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Vanilla Torte with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Frosting

gluten free passover torte

Ok, so in yesterday’s “reach out and touch someone” post I failed. In fact, I fell flat. On my face. Do you know how many comments were posted? One. Not much community in one post.

To cheer myself up, I can always read some Dooce. That woman makes me laugh out loud. Or I can listen to the Captain and Tenille’s Love Will Keep Us Together. Either way, I do not despair, Passover is near and for me, this occasion provides endless activity and distraction.

For the Jewish Betty Crocker in all of us, here’s a delectable cake recipe for Passover.

Vanilla Torte with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Frosting

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  1. In a medium bowl, combine flours and salt
  2. In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, agave and vanilla
  3. Whisk flours into egg mixture until well blended
  4. Line bottoms only of 3 nine inch cake pans with parchment paper
  5. Divide cake batter evenly between pans
  6. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes
  7. Remove from oven when cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  8. Cool cakes for at least one hour
  9. Run knife around cake to loosen from pan, remove from pan and peel off parchment paper
  10. Place bottom layer on a cake plate and spread with jam
  11. Add next layer of cake and spread with jam
  12. Place top layer on cake and frost entire cake with chocolate frosting
  13. Serve

Serves 12

This pareve torte is rich and sweet. Though it is a tad sweeter than most of my desserts, that’s because a) this one is for a holiday; b) my husband really liked it that way.

Still the cake has enough protein that it will not leave you with a high-carb hangover after your Pesach Seder. Now, if you eat too much matzah, well, that’s another story.


posted on April 11, 2008, 42 comments

  1. This looks yummy. I think I might try it today. My children are having their birthday party tomorrow and want chocolate cake, however, I need to make a non chocolate cake for one of the guests. I don’t have coconut flour. I wonder if I can run some unsweetened coconut flakes through my Vitamix?

    Hope you have a good Pesach.

    Shez over at Homeschooled Twins

  2. ~M

    Can I have a slice, please? This looks amazing! I still don’t know how you get it to rise without baking soda/powder, or not be incredibly fragile without starch, but congratulations! By the way, have you ever tried separating the eggs and beating the whites and then combining the mixture to get more lift?

    Chag sameach!

  3. Sarah

    Yum! Can’t wait to try this. Don’t despair Elana–this is definitely my favorite food blog!

  4. Debbie

    Well, thought I’d say hi. I just found your blog 2days ago. Have to say thanks for all your work. Love the blog.

    About yesterday…here’s a comment…Love Soup!

    Made your apple crisp last nite for DH. Went out and bought Agave and a few other items. The crisp was really good. I like that it was not too sweet. We had a serving for breakfast!

    Peace,
    Debbie

  5. emma leigh

    ooh, that looks delicious! i am in the middle of a move right now, so i have been holding off on buying those almond & coconut flours until i get to my destination. :) (i’m not on a restricted diet, but i’ve always had digestive troubles and blood sugar issues. high-protein flour sounds like an awesome change of pace!) i think one of the first things i should make is this torte!

    as far as the community post– maybe you should make a small banner that links back to that post (or another page) and put it like a signature at the end of your entries? so, if anyone is new to the site or the feed, they could be drawn to clicking on it. that’s just my two cents– i’m not much of a public blogger myself so i don’t really know what works, but i think you should give it another go! :)

    hope your holiday is grand!

    -em

  6. Oh, I loved that post, and I wanted to comment but didn’t right away and…you know how that goes. I think your site is fantastic. I found it because of your friend Helen, who I knew a bit when I lived in L.A. When I started reading, it was just curiosity, but I recently went off gluten (about a month ago) and am now off dairy, at least for the time being, eggs, sugar, and coffee (now there’s a blow.) I left the gluten behind to see if not eating it would help some chronic digestive and joint trouble I’ve had for the last year; both seem to be improving,though not perfect. I don’t find it so restrictive, actually; my cravings, as people said they would, have largely disappeared. But my daughter and I celebrated our birthdays last month, her third and my…never mind…and thanks to you, not only did I make great chocolate cupcakes for her, I also made delicious, gluten free ones for me. (At the time, I was still eating dairy–and eggs–so I got to enjoy the same vanilla icing she did.) In any case, don’t despair–you do have a community here and you’re doing a great, great thing by sharing your knowledge and experience!

  7. Nancy Molnar

    Dear Elana,
    Thank your for posting your recipes online for us. I look forward to receiving them. It’s very generous of you to take the time to do so. I have two teenage boys who both have celiac, so I appreciate getting new recipes to try. I also like the explanations you give since we happen to be Catholic and it’s very educational to hear the meaning behind things. I have also noticed quite a few Passover desserts in the bakery that happen to be gluten free and I load my cart up. I’ll miss them when they’re gone!! Keep up the good work.
    Thanks again
    Nancy

  8. Ya'ara @ bishulog.co.il

    Hi Elana,

    This looks Great!!!
    what a beautiful picture…
    I wish I could make such a mean torte..

    Have a Hag Sameah!

    Ya’ara

  9. stratolynne

    New to this site and boy am I excited. Your recipes show some real creativity with interesting ingredients. I look forward preparing this cake and some of the other recipes.

  10. Shez –Nice blog. The James Madison quote gave me goose bumps –literally. Gosh, could it be more true right now? Per your question about making coconut flour in the vitamix, I haven’t tried it myself, though I bet it would work. If you have the “dry” blender use that one, it makes better flours than the “wet” blender. Hope this helps and let me know the results of your diy coconut flour experiment.

    ~M –If you beat the egg whites, you will get a much fluffier cake; I am not patient enough to do so. I like really easy recipes –wet, dry, bake. That’s about my speed. Let me know how it turns out if you separate the whites and beat them!

    Sarah –Thanks for your comment and your kudos. Much appreciated!

    Debbie –Glad you found this site; this is the place for those of us that do not like things to taste all that sweet. Thanks so much for your comment.

    Emma –I always enjoy hearing from you. Good luck with your move and let me know when you get all settled into your new place. I like your idea about linking back to the soup/community post to generate more “bonding.” Thanks!

    Paige –I have followed your blog and your move. Glad that my recipes can be of help during your diet shift. If you still want frosting and are not doing dairy, maybe try the vegan chocolate frosting on my site. It is very rich and I have to try not to eat it on crackers, which I have been known to do late at night. Let’s keep in touch.

    Nancy –I have two boys 8 & 9, not at the teenage stage yet. I am glad that you are enjoying my recipes and explanations of Jewish tradition!

    Ya’ara –As always, THANKS (todah rabbah!)

    stratolynne –Glad to have you stop by. Let me know how the cake and other recipes come out for you.

  11. kristian

    Thanks for all the great recipie ideas. I am not able to find coconut flour here in Houston? Is there anything else that I may use to substitute? Thanks, kristian.

  12. Kristian -You could order it online from Tropical Traditions.

    Or, as Shez comments above, you could try grinding shredded, unsweetened coconut in the blender for diy coconut flour. If you try the latter option, please let me know how it goes.

  13. Yikes, this looks outstanding. I love gluten-free bloggers because they come up with such interesting recipes like this. I just bought some coconut flour and the farmers market here in Davis has some great almond flour. I must make these! 10 eggs must be due partially to the coconut flour, that stuff is an egg-fiend! Do you think egg-beaters would work with this? I have 5 cartons of egg-beaters in the fridge from Costco I’d like to use and I think regular eggs are more expensive these days! I’d love to make this.

    I love chipotle peppers. I recently discovered them and now I can’t get enough of them! I also found out that they are only smoked jalapenos, is that true? I also bought a jar of chipotle chile powder which is great but super expensive.

    I just moved to Davis in September for grad school and I just learned that you are originally from Davis? I was talking to Elise (Simply Recipes) and she mentioned there were a lot of other Davis food bloggers out there, so I searched and found this site (although you’re in CO now I see), just thought I’d stop by and say hi!

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  14. Hey Peanut Butter Boy -That’s so cool that you live in Davis. Yes, I am from there. Lived in Davis until I was 18, when I moved to NYC. Love Davis. The only other blogger I know from there is that gluten-free guy –his blog was called “something in season,” he was great, however his blog ended a few months ago.
    I think elise is amazing; she is one of my favorite bloggers.

    Per the coconut flour, yes, it is such an egg fiend (I like that term), I am not sure about egg beaters, have not used them before.

    Per chipotle, according to wikipedia, chipotle is a jalepeno pepper that is left on the vine somewhat longer and then smoked. It is so expensive because it takes 10 pounds jalepeno to make one pound of chipotle. I am also a huge fan of smoked paprika –it is amazing, makes any dish completely come to life.

    I hope you are enjoying grad school and having a wonderful time in Davis. The farmers market there is a lot of fun.

  15. You are my saviour!!!
    When I saw the cake/torte photo and immediately went to ingredients I found myself all giggly and I told my fiance, “I can eat cake! I’m making this TOMORROW!!! thank you

    Since I found your site, I have made the choc. chip cookies, muffins, bread and granola, oh yeah and the yellow pea soup was awesome. So, thanks again for widening my eyes to the things I CAN still eat. Those things really helped me out on my road trip last week with my daughter. I had some doubts about travel food since I discovered (6 months ago) the food intolerances I have developed.

    I am not a ‘blogger’ but I may become one with this site! By the way, I am one of those people craving contact that you mentioned. I had my gluten free time with Shauna’s site back in October (and even got to meet her and the chef briefly at the Mariposa Cafe-gluten free bakery) but discovered shortly after that I couldn’t eat grains at all, sniff. I wanted the fresh GF pizza so bad!
    It is a great thing to have found your site/blog. I think there are recipes I can pass along-one is a grainless peanut butter cookie.
    I don’t know if I should try to reference it here but I do know it by heart. If that’s ok I’ll just pass it on. Let me know!

    Oh, and truely, don’t despair, and don’t go there with the Captain and Tenille thing…that sounds really bad! I just hope you can handle inexperienced bloggers like myself.

  16. Dear Jeanne,
    Thanks so much for your comment! It is great to hear from you. I am glad that you are finding my recipes helpful and tasty and that you are enjoying this site. I promise I won’t go Captain and Tenille on you!
    Per your peanut butter recipe, feel free to leave it here in the comments section, or, you may want to save it and post it in comments for a new dish I will be posting in the next week or two. That dish will be almond butter brownies. Either way, fine with me.
    Thanks again for stopping by!
    Elana

  17. LSG

    I was looking back at this recipe, and I realized that I have an answer to Kristian’s question. In Houston, you can find Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour at Whole Foods. I’ve even seen it at smaller health food stores and at some Krogers.

    I’ve only tried Bob’s Red Mill brand. Elana, have you tried it? If so, how does it compare to the one you use?

    I would think that using ground unsweetened coconut would end up a little sweeter and more overtly coconut-flavored than coconut flour (at least Bob’s). I love coconut, so that wouldn’t bother me, but others who are hoping for more of a vanilla flavor might do better with the actual coconut flour.

    Thanks again for all of your inspiring recipes Elana!
    LSG

  18. Tracy

    Hi elana, thanks so much for your recipes. i have printed out so many i don’t know what to start with. i have a lot of allergys and most of your food seem to be ok, just 2 things coconut flour (can i replace this with almond meal) also grapeseed oil can i repalce with butter?. Thanks so much, i will let you know how i go with theses recipes. Thanks, wow i can’t stop saying thanks. Tracy

  19. LSG -I like Tropical Traditions coconut flour; I haven’t tried the Bob’s Red Mill brand as it is a couple of dollars more expensive per pound than Tropical Traditions. Bob’s usually makes a nice product though, so I bet it’s just as good.

    Tracy -Good questions. Coconut flour and almond flour are not interchangeable in these recipes. See this < http://www.elanaspantry.com/2008/03/06/coconut-flour/” target=”_blank”>post for a brief explanation. I am guessing you could use butter in place of grapeseed oil, though I don’t cook with butter anymore, so I’m not sure. If you do experiment, let us know how it turns out! Thanks so much for visiting!

  20. George

    Looks gorgeous Elana. A perfect Passover Cake :)

  21. Thanks for your comment George!

  22. Thanks for this recipe!

    My boyfriend made this for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and it turned out really well.

    He doesn’t have much experience with baking, but the recipe was easy to follow and he said that he didn’t have any problems making the cake. He substituted the agave with one cup of honey and it worked well.

    The texture of the cake surprised me since it was light and fluffy. I also thought that I will make a sacher version of this cake someday, I think it would work well. All in all the cake was really delicious.

  23. Hi Emilia-

    Happy belated birthday! Glad you liked the cake and that it was easy enough for your BF to make. And thanks also for letting us know about the substitutions.

    Elana

  24. So I ran across these today when trying to find a home-made jam recipe for this cake… After an entire day searching the web I found these… Enjoy!

    Yield: scant 1/2 cup jam
    1-1/2 cups black raspberries, or berries of your choice
    1/4 cup agave nectar
    1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
    Combine raspberries and agave nectar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. (I used an enameled cast-iron pan, which was perfect.) Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and continue simmering until mixture thickens and berries have begun to fall apart but still retain some shape, about 30 minutes. (Stir occasionally with a heat-proof spatula to prevent scorching.)
    Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. The mixture will continue to gel as it cools.
    Keep refrigerated.

    Recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Agave Jam

    Yield: scant 1/2 cup
    2 cups red raspberries
    1/4 cup agave nectar
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    1 ounce dark chocolate (72% cacao), very finely chopped
    Combine raspberries and agave nectar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. (I used an enameled cast-iron pan, which was perfect.) Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat as low as humanely possible. Continue simmering until berries fall apart and essentially liquify, giving a stir now and again to prevent it from scorching. You want the mixture to reduce considerably and begin to thicken, so plan on a 25 minute simmer time.
    Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice.
    Pass the jam through a medium-mesh strainer, pressing on it with a rubber spatula to force it through, leaving the seeds behind. (Scrape the underside to release jam that clings to the mesh.) Discard the seeds. Quickly add about 1/4 of the chopped chocolate to the hot jam, and stir until it melts. Continue with remaining chocolate. (If the jam has cooled too much to melt all the chocolate, microwave the chocolate by itself at 50% power for about a minute, stirring halfway through. Then mix into the jam.)
    The jam will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge.

    Now may you not have to search the web for hours for a wonderful and simple sugar-free jam recipe!

    Happy Eating!!!

  25. Gabriella Campbell

    Hi Elana

    I have been searching for a website like this for YEARS! Must never have put the right keywords into google before, but I did this time! :-) When I saw this recipe I thought all my Christmases had come at once :-) Got right in and made it as I had all the ingredients and….it was perfect! Loved by all, even those without allergies or intollerances!

    Thought it was worth mentioning, I didn’t know almond flour was actually flour. I thought it was another name for almond meal so that’s what I used in my recipe. The flavours were rich, dense and just divine so I’m going to keep making it that way! A small piece was more than enough to satisfy. What I loved the most was knowing how healthy it was :-) I also used date jam which was yummy!

    I love this site, it must have taken you years to try all these recipes. The lifestyle I ‘try’ to follow has no wheat, gluten, cow’s dairy, red meat, sugar, nightshade vegetables or processed foods. Yes I do stray every now and then…and I’m always sorry when I do and wonder why I did! People generally say ‘well what can you eat!’ Surprisingly to them, quite a lot, however in the baking department I’ll admit it’s always been a challenge…..until now!

    Thanks so much, you’ve given me hope and inspiration.

    Cheers

    Gabby

  26. Joan V

    Elena,

    I’ve been ogling your blog since I learned I needed to go gluten free back in December after a gall bladder attack. I received your cookbook for my birthday, bought a 7 x 3 loaf pan, ordered almond flour and have made multiple recipes. Like many of the other commenters I am so grateful that you and other gluten free bloggers take the time to create, test, and post such great recipes.

    I am not a frequent commenter, but know that I’m always reading!

    Thanks!

  27. Ali

    I just made and tried this Torte for our Easter luncheon today. It’s amazing! I did make a few changes I wanted to share:
    *I only used 8 eggs because 10 just sounded like too many to me.
    *I used maple syrup in place of agave-I live in New England and we have a new crop for 2010!
    *I used an electric hand mixer to beat the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla together until slightly frothy.
    Couldn’t get those egg white peaks because there was yolk and a lot of sweetner, but it still gave the cake that little lift I was hoping for. I had enough batter to make 6 cupcakes (so I could sample my creation today–they fluffed up nicely), and I made two of the round cakes that are about an inch tall each. I used Polaner Seedless Raspberry Jam (I noticed they have a new “w/Fiber” line out and that contains corn-maltodextrin- so make sure you are reading their labels carefully). The maple did add a flavor, and the cake is a bit sticky, but it tastes great. I woke up my Jeffrey with a taste and he LOVED it!
    A great recipe that I am definitely adding to my successful recipe repertoire. Thanks Elana! And I hope you and your family had a wonderful Passover celebration together. I’m looking forward to my whole family being around one table today.

  28. Kim McKellar

    Well, hmmm. I had high hopes with this because it was a torte and not expected to rise and be fluffy. But I just took them out of their pans and the consistency of the cake is really odd – like a sponge cake and with big areas of uneven thickness – more like when an omelette puffs up. Any ideas where I went wrong? I was thinking of pairing it with your coconut pecan icing (from the German Chocolate Cake) but now I’m worried it will completely overwhelm these little flat cakes. :(

  29. Amanda

    Made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday and it was awesome! I separated the eggs and beat the whites for a few minutes to make it a little fluffier, but it was still pretty dense, which was fine because it was also really moist. Made a cream cheese frosting for it and covered it in unsweetened, shredded coconut – heavenly!

  30. marsha

    Hi Elana,
    i am going to try the torte recipe, just got the almond flour, can i substitute anything else for the coconut flour?
    Can you freeze this cake?
    thank you.
    marsha
    marfred2000@gmail.com

  31. what a fantastic recipe. love that passover & gluten-free intersect.

    Just found this blog and looking forward to exploring. I love baked goods but have had to cut the gluten and a lot of sugar out. This is no deprivation w/recipes like these out there!

  32. marsha

    Hi Elana,
    Please note that the ‘Torte’ was great. It didn’t look beautiful, but, it tasted great.
    I only had bob’s red mill almond flour so i had to use it. I sifted it first to get the lumps out, then I added extra to it. I used an extra 1/2 cup. Then I didn’t have access to coconut flour so I substituted potato starch, and added an extra 2 Tablespoons.
    I originally used only nine eggs (because they were extra large). and used less of the agave nectar 1 1/2 cups,(it was the light). The taste was good, but, as you mentioned, the consistency was a bit loose.
    I beat up 2 egg whites until they were stiff and folded them into the mixture-the batter was a little better but probably could have used a little more flour. I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to dry it out so i put it in the oven and kept checking it. I took it out ofter the 25 minutes because my toothpick was clean, but perhaps a lower temperature or or a longer cooking time was needed.
    I’ll try that next time.
    Thanks so much for that great recipe.
    If anybody has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear about them.
    Marsha

  33. Shelley

    is almond meal the same as almond flour?

  34. nicole

    I have made this cake 3 times and it is absolutely delicious. It tastes like the Jelly Krimpets I used to eat as a child!! I omit the chocolate frosting (only to cut down on sweetness) and it is just heavenly. My 4 kids devour it!!
    Thanks for an amazing cake recipe!!

  35. Rachel

    I’m so glad I found this recipe. I been wondering about how I could make sweets that normally require some form of leavening when I first started celebrating Pesach in 2008. I will definitely use this recipe at this coming Passover!

  36. karina

    elana, thank you so much for this recipe! i was initially wary of the number of eggs but i tried it, persevered through an extremely liquidy batter and turned out with three beautiful cakes that are delicious in taste and texture! i was never a baker before my intestines began protesing gluten. since this change, i’ve taken my baked indulgences into my own hands and your site is fantastically versatile and inspiring. thank you!!

  37. ruth

    have you tried using honey instead of agave nectar in this recipe? we are bee keepers and have wonderful raw honey right out our door…

  38. Lauren

    Hi Elena,

    How far in advance can you make the cakes in this recipe and the chocolate frosting?

    Thank you

  39. Amanda

    Could I sub honey for agave nectar? I also wanted to thank you for sharing your recipes. You’ve really helped me live a healthier gluten-free life. :)

  40. Hannah

    This is a delicious recipe! Because most sweeteners besides sugar, honey, molasses, and maple syrup trigger my migraines, I replaced the agave nectar with raw honey. I also found it to be a little bit dense and dry, however, so I made a few changes. To help it be a little fluffier, I separated the egg whites and beat them until they were frothy and stirred them carefully into the rest of the batter. To counter the dryness, I made a glaze from coconut oil, salt, vanilla, sugar in the raw, and almond milk and poured it over the warm layers before I let them cool. That being said, everyone loved it! There definitely weren’t any leftovers after our Pesach Seder!

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