Last year for Easter, my husband was following the low FODMAP diet to try to help us identify his food intolerances beyond just gluten intolerance. The year before, I had baked a delicious chocolate Easter Nest cake from a recipe by Nigella Lawson, but although we had really enjoyed it, clearly it wasn’t going to be suitable for a low FODMAP diet. So I set about adapting the recipe to ensure that everyone could enjoy it – and I also adapted it from a massive Easter cake into smaller individual cakes that would be suitable to bake with a young family. Presenting: my gluten free Easter nest cakes recipe! And if you still want to make one big cake, just double up the quantities and stick it all in one big cake tin…
Gluten Free Easter Nest Cakes Recipe
Ingredients For Your Cakes:
You will need the following ingredients for your gluten free chocolate nest cakes:
- 3 eggs
- 85g caster sugar
- 75g salted butter (butter is low FODMAP but not completely lactose free, so if you need a completely lactose free recipe, then replace with coconut oil (75g) or vegetable oil (55g))
- 125g dark chocolate (make sure it’s vegan dark chocolate if you need 100% lactose free)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
And for the topping and decoration, you will need the following ingredients:
- 125ml vegan double cream (Elmlea do a plant based double cream which works perfectly)
- 70g dark chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 pack chocolate mini eggs or buttons
Gluten-Free Easter Nest Cakes: The Method
1. Preheat your oven to 180 C.
2. Lightly grease the bases of a non-stick muffin or cupcake tray. A silicone cupcake tray is best, as you can easily pop out the cooked cakes. A metal cupcake tray will work too, but prepare yourself for a bit of an adventure getting the cakes out of the tray (however – even if you break them, they will stick back together again if still warm!)
3. Put the 75g butter and the 125g chocolate in a bowl and melt them down together either in a microwave (short bursts of 10 seconds at full power, stirring in-between, until melted) or over a saucepan of hot water.
4. Separate two of the eggs.
5. Whisk the two egg whites with a handheld or stand mixer, slowly adding in 50g of the sugar until the mixture forms soft, gleaming peaks.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the two egg yolks with the remaining whole egg (I mean… Not the shell, obviously), the vanilla essence and the remaining 35g sugar.
7. Gently add the chocolate mixture to the bowl and fold it in carefully.
8. Next, start adding the whisked egg whites and folding them in gently. First, add about one-third of the egg whites, then once that’s all combined, add another third and so on.
9. Pour the mixture in to the cupcake tin, filling each cupcake hole about 3/4 full. Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and cracked but not wobbly when you shake the tray (see the picture, below). Let the cakes cool in the tin on a wire rack, and don’t panic when they sink – that’s what makes the nests!
10. Once the cakes are cool-ish, get them out of the cake tin. Don’t worry if they break – I promise that if you gently squash the separate pieces back together, they will magically re-combine through some incredible cakey voodoo.
11. Melt the 70g dark chocolate and set it aside while you whip the double cream until it’s forming soft peaks. Add the vanilla essence and slowly fold in the melted chocolate, but make sure it’s cooled down a fair bit first.
12. Dollop the cream into the sunken centres of your chocolate nest cakes, and add the chocolate eggs or buttons.
13. Enjoy your gluten-free, low-FODMAP chocolate Easter nest cakes!
Top Tips For Your Easter Nest Cakes:
These cakes are sort of like a brownie/meringue hybrid, which means a lot of folding various mixtures into one another. Usually, where whisked egg is involved, the idea is to combine the two mixes completely without knocking too much air out of the egg whites. Not confident on how to do this? Here’s a handy guide on folding in egg whites.
It’s also worth noting that the sugary shell on the outside of the chocolate eggs will melt over time, so if (for example) you’re preparing these the night before for a party the next day, don’t add the eggs until a few hours before you’re ready to serve, if you can.
More recipes for gluten-free chocolatey treats!
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, why not try my favourite gluten-free Rocky Road recipe (no baking required!) or this delicious recipe for coffee-lovers – gluten-free chocolate cappuccino brownies. Yum!