Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake

Everyone deserves to have this chocolate cake in their life – and everyone can! This surprisingly simple recipe uses dairy and gluten substitutes to fabulous effect. One slice may not be enough…

triple chocolate birthday cake

Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake

By Holland & Barrett (

Serves 12Prep – 30 minutesCooking time – 30 minutes




  • 60g (2ox) dairy-free natural cacao powder
  • 115g (4oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 225g (8oz) gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 140g (5oz) dairy-free sunflower spread
  • 85g (3oz) golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g (11/2oz) dairy-free chocolate, melted
  • 50g (11/2oz) gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 3 gluten- and dairy-free Oreo-style cookies


  • 50g dairy-free chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp sweet alcohol such as dark rum, Grand Marnier or Baileys (optional)
  • 100g (31/2oz) dairy-free sunflower spread
  • 75g (23/4oz) icing sugar
  • 25g (1oz) dairy-free natural cacao powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the bases of two 20cm (8in) springform cake tins with baking parchment. Put the cacao and muscovado sugar in a heatproof bowl and add 240ml (9fl oz) boiling water, mix well and leave to cool.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate into a bowl. In another bowl, cream the spread and caster sugar until light and fluffy, using an electric whisk. Gradually whisk in the beaten egg, then beat in the vanilla, half the flour mixture and half the cacao mixture for 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining flour and cacao.
  3. Fold in the melted chocolate and chocolate chips, then divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes until risen and springy. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. To make the icing, melt the chocolate. If you are including the alcohol, put this in with the broken pieces and melt it, then stir together – you can do this in 10-second bursts in the microwave or set in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Put the spread, icing sugar and cacao in a bowl and beat using an electric whisk (you may want to start off mixing with a wooden spoon as it can get quite dusty!). Fold in the melted chocolate (and alcohol if using). Spread a third of this mixture over one cake half and sandwich with the other cake. Spread the rest of the icing over the top.
  5. Blitz the cookies in a processor to make crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.

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