I had such grand plans for my year of being twenty-eight.

It has been a year of the most ridiculously magnificent highs. Moments that I will never, ever forget. As I was getting ready for work this morning, there were some snippets of commentary from the Olympics on the radio. That was all I needed to be back there. Back in that glorious summer.

Needless to say, there were the not quite so great times as well. I lost both my grandmothers this year (which sounds like it should be a line from Oscar Wilde). I spent a good few months feeling pretty sorry for myself. Bad things happened to some of the people I love. It has been a funny old year.

But birthdays are not really supposed to be sad occasions. Birthdays are supposed to be about fun and celebrations and sparkly things.

And, most importantly, birthdays are supposed to be about cake.

Although I nominally did make this cake for my birthday (and enjoyed a slice of it in bed this morning), really this cake is a trial run for Christmas. We have never really enjoyed the traditional Christmas pudding or Christmas cake. In the last couple of years, my contribution to the celebrations has been some kind of chocolate dessert which has proved far more popular.

This recipe is adapted from my lovely friend Sarah who responded to my plaintive plea on twitter for bundt cake recipes. It’s a grown up sort of chocolate cake – fitting for my 29th birthday – rich in dark chocolate with a hint of bitterness from the coffee and a subtle fruitiness from the olive oil. More than anything though, it’s really delicious.

In order to accommodate the dietary needs of my family, I had to make some tweaks to the recipe to make the cake gluten free. The plain flour was replaced with a gluten free flour. The oat flour was replaced with ground almonds. I swapped in yogurt for some of the olive oil to help counteract the chalkiness you sometimes get in gluten free baked goods.

And then I poured a generous helping of salted caramel sauce over the top of it which had nothing to do with making it gluten free but everything to do with my (and my mother’s) love for the stuff.

So happy birthday to me and happy tuesday to you (unless it also happens to be your birthday in which case happy birthday to you too).


Chocolate and salted caramel bundt cake

Yield: Serves 12

For the cake:

  • 75g (3 oz) dark chocolate (I used 85%), chopped
  • 60g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder (plus extra for the tin)
  • 240ml (1 cup) hot strong coffee
  • 140g (1 1/4 cup) gluten free flour
  • 60g (2/3 cup) ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel/sea salt
  • 360g (2 cups) dark brown soft sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the sauce:
  • 75g (1/3 cup) caster/granulated sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) double/heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel/sea salt
  • 25g (1 2/3 tablespoon) unsalted butter

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 12-cup bundt tin well with butter and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder and hot coffee in a small bowl and gently stir until the chocolate has melted and the cocoa is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, almonds, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and salt.
  4. Whisk the melted chocolate together with the sugar, olive oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add the dry ingredients a third at at time, lightly whisking between each addition until the flour is just incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the bundt tin and bake for 45 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean if inserted in the middle.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
  8. To make the salted caramel sauce, put the sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat it over a medium heat, swirling the sugar round to ensure that it all melts. When it is all liquid and golden brown, take it off the heat and add the cream and salt (it will fizz up, don’t worry). Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate before adding the butter and beating the mixture until smooth.
  9. Pour into a glass jar and leave to cool until the mixture reaches your desired pouring consistency – it will thicken as it cools.
  10. Pour about half the sauce over the cake. You can store any extra sauce in the fridge or serve it alongside individual slices of cake.
  11. Once it is cold, the sauce will have the consistency of dulce de leche but some gentle heat will liquefy it again if you want it to be pourable.
44 Responses to "chocolate and salted caramel bundt cake {gluten free}"
  1. Emma Gardner says:

    Happy Birthday Kathryn! This cake looks utterly delicious :)

  2. Happy Birthday Kathryn. Hope you have a lovely day and a great year ahead. You’ve kicked off the day in style already with cake in bed but I hope there will be some proper partying later tonight!!! Beautiful post!! xx

  3. Elli says:

    Oh fantastic, I’ve got my 29th next week. The cake looks delicious! And happy birthday :)

  4. Ana Cooks says:

    i really have no words to express what i feel when i saw this cake…i got to try it soon!
    Great shots…as usual|

  5. Happy Birthday, Kathryn! I think this is the perfect cake for turning 29. I hope that you have a brilliant day, and a few cocktails to toast it properly.

  6. Ondina Maria says:

    Happy bday Kathryn, I hope you have a wonderful day. I definitely want a slice of this cake, but since you’re a 1h45 mins flight from me, I’ll just bake one myself. With the salted caramel, of course!

  7. Joanne says:

    Happy birthday lovely! The only good thing about this past year being rough is that it means next year will HAVE to be better by comparison! This is such a lovely cake. I can never resist salted caramel. :)

  8. This is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Holy cow!

  9. Happy Birthday, gorgeous! :)

  10. Sara says:

    sounds like the perfect birthday treat to me.

  11. Happy Birthday Kathryn! As you saw in my last post, my family are exactly the same and we’ll be having something chocolaty on Christmas Day too. Cake for breakfast sounds like the perfect way to start the day :-)

  12. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    Happy Birthday Kathryn! Sorry to hear about your Grandmas this year. This cake looks incredible! Salted caramel instead of icing is genius and I love that photo of the carmel jar it’s beautiful!

  13. Sophie says:

    Happy Birthday! You have made my Tuesday morning with this cake. Salted caramel is just the best thing. I’m handing over jars of it for Christmas. Hope you have a great day and eat more cake :)

  14. Happy happy birthday!! Every day is better with salted caramel. :) Have a wonderful day, and best wishes for next year!

  15. Beautiful cake, beautiful post, beautiful birthday girl! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  16. Shanna says:

    Happy birthday, you sweet girl! This cake has reminded me, again, how much I need a bundt pan in my life. What a perfect birthday/Tuesday/holiday treat! : )

    Hope today is a day full of surprises and blessings… the start of a fresh, good year to come!

  17. shruti says:

    happy birthday ! delicious cake :D

  18. Happy Birthday Kathryn! I wish I had seen your plea for bundt cakes on twitter, I have a great chocolate yoghurt bundt cake. This one looks good as well – I do love olive oil cakes. I’ll have to give it a try and report back! Enjoy the last year of your 20’s, and know that the 30’s are So. Much. Better. You’re going to love it :)

  19. Angharad says:

    Happy birthday! The cake looks divine. Hope your day is wonderful.

  20. Happy birthday, lovely lady! This cake looks fantastic! I hope your birthday is full of love and happiness!

  21. Miss South says:

    Happy birthday!

    28 is the most over-rated year I think. It gets *really* good from 29 onwards…

    And thank you for a Christmas idea as we don’t do traditional pudding either. I’ve been dying to do a bundt and this one sounds amazing!

  22. Lovely cake – great for marking your Birthday. Hope you’ve had a fantastic day and managed to enjoy a slice of cake! :)

  23. This is a fab cake…definitely very grown up and perfect for an alternative Christmas cake…and you can’t lose with salted caramel…fab! :-)

  24. Monika says:

    Happy Birthday !
    I want this elegance cake:)

  25. Happy Birthday!
    I love how simple this cake is, that always appeals so much more to me than a dessert with a million different things all over it.

  26. well, whatever the excuse for this fabulous cake… happy birthday x

  27. SS says:

    That looks amazing! I want it NOW. Your a lucky girl to have that delicious treat on your birthday.

  28. becca says:

    happy birthday to you!
    my mother is having a birthday on saturday, and as she is gluten free I know just what she will be eating..

  29. Jess says:

    Happy birthday to you! May this next year bring everything you hope for, and more.

  30. Happy birthday dear Kathryn – I’d love a slice of cake to share with you on your birthday :) or, yesterday. I hope you have another great year and that your days are filled with joy and happiness! xoxo

  31. Erin says:

    Happy birthday Kathryn! Hope you had a lovely day and hope your year to come is wonderful. :)

  32. Hope you had an absolutely lovely birthday. If we lived closer to each other, I would’ve gladly helped you enjoy some of this cake – it looks wonderful!

  33. Happy birthday lady! I want a slice of this cake right now with my coffee. Geez, she’s a beauty! Hope your day was awesome! xo

  34. Happy birthday dear friend! This cake is a sure way to celebrate, even if it was a trial run. I’m sorry for your losses earlier in the year. May the next year be filled with lots and lots of happiness, and cake of course.

  35. Laura says:

    Life is such a heady mix of deliriously happy and the unfortunate/unbelievable, isn’t it? Birthdays always put this into perspective for me too. It’s good to recognize, be grateful for the lot of it and have a completely lovely slice of cake at the end. Happy birthday to you, Kathryn :)

  36. Happy Birthday! The cake looks delicious!

  37. Happy birthday!! Although I’m really late with this comment(I’m so sorry!). Hope you had a wonderful day! And your cake looks amazing!

  38. Sorry I am late, but happy returns of the day nevertheless, and if cakes were the plimsol line of happiness, then I can assume that your next year will be just the best, given the beauty and lushness of your birthday cake! Karen xxxxx

  39. I’m a little late, but happy belated birthday Kathyrn. I’m sorry you’ve had a difficult year, but here’s hoping this year will be full of lots of love and happiness. And with cakes like this, I’m sure that will be the case.

  40. Erin D. says:

    Happy belated birthday! :)

    So sorry about your grandmas. I lost all three grandparents last year and I still find it so… weird.

    The cake looks great! So nice that you adapted it to be gluten-free. I probably wouldn’t have been so nice. “It’s MY birthday… grumble grumble.”

  41. Rachel says:

    This looks divine! I’ll be making it as soon as I treat myself to a bundt tin..!

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