This is LOVELY!  Unlike most gluten-free cakes this stays moist and delicious for days.  Just don’t tell anyone that its high protein, gluten-free, almost grain-free and almost totally free of sugar.  I got the original idea from a recipe on but it contained gluten and was packed with immune-disrupting sugar.  So I adapted this recipe and the toppings in the other recipe.  A triumph.  And surprisingly easy!

I made the cake this Saturday, served it on Easter Sunday and it was still perfect (from the fridge) on Monday.  Can we wait till Tuesday to polish off the rest.  That’s the question….

Serves 8-10

For the sponges:
1 heaped plus 1 level tbs cocoa powder
1 heaped plus 1 level tbs rice flour
1 rounded tsp baking soda
1 x 400g tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large eggs (or 4 medium)
140g xylitol or erythritol
1 espresso shot black coffee or strong dandelion coffee
½ tsp vanilla extract (if you’re gluten-free, avoid vanilla “essence”).
50ml almond or cow’s milk (or cherry juice)
10ml kirsch
5ml apple cider vinegar (if you are using cherry juice you don’t need this. Acid activates baking soda)
Pinch of Himalayan or Atlantic sea salt
Silicon or greaseproof paper
Butter or light olive oil for greasing the tin
2 x 25cm loose bottomed cake tins.

For the filling:
2 heaped tbs no-added sugar morello cherry jam.  I love St Dalfour (sweetened with fruit juice) or Prunotto sour cherry jam (just 10% sugar instead of the usual 50% in most jams)
1 420g tin cherries in juice or light syrup
300-400ml whipping cream (use double cream if you prefer)
4 drops stevia (or 1 heaped tsp xylitol/erythritol)
½ tsp vanilla extract
30g dark chocolate, at least 80% cocoa solids

To make the sponges:

  1. Preheat oven to 175C (160C fan).
  2. Cut 2 circles of silicon/greaseproof paper the same size as the base of your cake tins.  Grease and line the tins with the paper.  Is the paper is greaseproof rather than silicon, grease the paper too.
  3. Sieve the rice flour, cocoa and baking soda together into a bowl.
  4. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is smooth.  Don’t be alarmed if the mixture is runny.  It’s supposed to be.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake tines and bake18-20 minutes until a needle/knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Set aside to cool completely before removing from the tins.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Drain the cherries, retaining the juice/syrup.  Mix 100ml of it with the kirsch (the rest is good in cocktails).
  2. Put each cooled sponge upside down on a separate plate, including the one you want to serve on.  This makes it easier for the liquid to soak in fully.  Spoon half the syrup/kirsch over the sponges.  Leave to sink in.  Add more if it’s all absorbed but don’t overload it.
  3. Whip cream until thick, then add the stevia/erythritol/xylitol and vanilla extract.  Whisk until voluminous but not too stiff to spread.
  4. Set aside 12 of the drained cherries.
  5. Spread the bottom layer of cake (on the serving plate) with the jam.  Arrange the cherries on top (except the reserved 12).
  6. Spread half the whipped cream in between and over the cherries.  Everything will look rustic.
  7. Carefully slide the top sponge layer into position on top and press down gently.
  8. Use a palette knife to spread the remaining cream on top in big, puffy waves.
  9. Grate the chocolate into curls generously over the top.
  10. Arrange remaining cherries around the edge.  Chill for an hour before serving.

Why this is better for you:
Amazingly, theres very little grain in this cake and its high in protein from the eggs and black beans.  This makes it suitable for moderate carb diets.  Most cakes are sky-high in carbs (flour, sugar) and so are a real stressor on your metabolism.

Yes this cake has got lots of cream but  for over 25 years nutrition science knows that eating cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease.  It’s the oxidation (damage) done to cholesterol by high carb diets, nutrient deficiencies and metabolic stress that drives heart disease.

This isn’t a cake for every day because fresh, natural vegetables fruit are healthier choices than baked sweet treats.  But sometimes you want CAKE!