Scrumptious and simple, these cakes are free of most ingredients that cause allergic reactions. The secret is all in the method. Remember that fabulous childhood drink the spider? This recipe's volcanic vinegar reaction is a little like what happens when you drop a scoop of ice-cream into lemonade.






Skill level

Average: 2.4 (22 votes)


  • 195 g (1½ cups) quinoa flour
  • 40 g (⅓ cup) gluten-free cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 230 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coffee, chilled
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp white vinegar


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

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease and line 6 mini loaf tins (10 cm x 6.5 cm) or line a 12-holed standard muffin tin with paper cases.

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

Combine the oil, coffee and vanilla in a separate bowl, then add to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add 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 20–25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins, then turn out onto a wire rack for icing.

Meanwhile, combine the margerine, icing sugar and cocoa powder. Using this mixture, ice the cooled sponge cakes and serve.


Recipe and image from Indulge by Rowie Dillon, published by Harper Collins, $40.