Cocoa Sponge Cakes (gluten free)

11:30 am on 25 October 2011

Scrumptious and simple, these cakes are free of most ingredients that cause allergic reactions. The secret’s all in the method: the volcanic reaction of the vinegar explodes to create your ‘egg’. Remember that fabulous childhood drink, the Spider? It’s a little like what happens when you drop a scoop of ice-cream into the lemonade.

(Makes 6)

Cocoa Sponge CakesIngredients

  • 195g (1½ cups) quinoa flour
  • 40g (1/3 cup) gluten-free cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 230g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 125ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 250ml (1 cup) coffee, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar


  • 125g dairy-free margarine
  • 155g (1¼ cups) pure icing sugar
  • ½ tablespoon gluten-free cocoa powder


Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Grease and line six mini loaf tins (10 x 6.5cm) or line a 12-hole standard muffin tin with paper cases.

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.

Combine the oil, coffee and vanilla in a separate bowl, then add to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the vinegar and quickly stir to combine (this will help the mixture to rise when baked). Don’t let the mixture sit, pour immediately into the loaf tins or paper cases.

Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin and turn out onto a wire rack for icing.

To make the icing, beat the margarine and sugar in a small bowl with electric beaters until well combined. Add the cocoa powder and beat until well combined and the icing is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the icing generously over the cakes, creating lines and patterns if you like.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Rose Dessert Wine
Abbey Cellars Blushing Monk 2011

From Nine To Noon

Find a Recipe

or browse by title