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Austin360Cooks: Gluten-free Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Addie Broyles
Holly Postler (@hollypostler on Instagram) recently posted this photo of a gluten-free chocolate sponge cake with chocolate ganache.

Even though she earned a culinary degree in baking and pastry, Austinite Holly Postler rarely bakes anymore.

The food blogger behind Celiac Chronicles says that as she started eating fewer grains and processed foods, she found herself cooking most of her meals at home and from scratch, which meant baked goods and breads naturally fell to the wayside.

Now, the only time she bakes anything sweet is for special occasions. Last week, she made this chocolate chiffon cake with chocolate pudding ganache for a friend’s birthday, and even though she ended up not being able to attend the party and had to finish the gluten-free cake herself, she posted the photo on Instagram (her username is @hollypostler) with the #Austin360Cooks hashtag.

You can find this recipe, as well as dozens of other gluten-free, health-forward dishes, on her website, To see the latest photos submitted in our #Austin360Cooks project, go to

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

UPDATED: Like many sponge and chiffon cake recipes, Postler’s calls for more eggs than you’ll find in a traditional cake, as well as celiac-friendly coconut flour, which is available at health food stores, upscale supermarkets and online. We originally ran this recipe as a sponge cake, but a reader emailed me this week to point out that the difference between chiffon and sponge cakes are the addition of oil and a leavening agent, such as baking soda, both of which appear in this recipe. A sponge cake, according to “The Food Lover’s Companion,” is traditionally leavened entirely by eggs and contains no shortening or oil.

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. fine grain sea salt

10 eggs

1 cup honey

1 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt into a medium bowl. Whisk them together well to remove any lumps from the cocoa powder and coconut flour.

After blending the flour mixture, place the eggs, honey, oil and vanilla extract into a larger, separate bowl and whisk until slightly frothy and well combined.

Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid bowl gradually, whisking as you pour. Hand mix until well combined.

Grease a sheet pan with a layer of olive oil or cooking spray. Spread the batter evenly into the pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. A knife will come out clean and the cake should be soft and spongy but firm. Let it sit in the pan until it cools. Slice into squares or use mason jar rings or cookie or biscuit cutters to make miniature circle cakes. You also can layer the two halves of the sheet cake over each other and frost them like a 2-layered rectangular cake. Serve with chocolate ganache, whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Chocolate Pudding Ganache

2 cups milk or coconut milk, divided

1 1/2 Tbsp. tapioca starch

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar

1 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs (sweetened) or chocolate chips

Place a medium or small saucepan filled halfway with water on the stove. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a soft boil.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the milk with the tapioca starch to create a slurry. Set aside.

In a larger stainless steel bowl, add the rest of the milk, butter, oil, cocoa powder and sugar. Place the stainless steel bowl over the pot with the boiling water and stir the mixture with a whisk, until it all melts together.

Add the slurried milk and stir continuously with the whisk. The mixture should thicken as the steam heats the bowl, after about 5 to 10 minutes. When the mixture has started to thicken, add the chocolate chips or cacao nibs and then remove from the heat.

Wipe the condensation from the bottom of the bowl and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, stirring it every 4 to 5 minutes. When it has thickened, remove from the freezer and use it to ice the cake. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

— From Austin blogger Holly Postler (