Gluten-Free Tunis Cake – My Christmas Gift To You All

9 Dec

This is my Christmas gift to you all. For years, I have grudgingly missed out on my favourite cake of them all – a Tunis cake. I swear this is the easiest cake you will ever make and the hardest part is getting it out of the tin! It has a subtle lemony twist, topped with thick, decadent chocolate which cracks when you cut into it. The cake is so moist, light and fluffy. It is better than any shop bought, gluten-filled cake any day! I wish you a very Happy Christmas and please share how you’ve got on with this recipe. I’d love to see yours.



  • 225g/8oz softened unsalted butter
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 225g/8oz gluten-free self-raising flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 70g/2½oz ground almonds
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lemon, grated zest only
  • 2 tbsp water


350g dark plain chocolate

2-3 tbsp apricot jam

Decorations of your choice – I used edible rice paper snowflakes, as I had some to hand. If you want a more traditional appearance you can pipe on pink and yellow icing, adding some marzipan fruits to the centre.



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C). Grease and line a 20cm/8in deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper (or I use non-stick liner from Lakeland). Make sure you have some excess sticking up around the sides, as you will need this when you apply your chocolate later.

  2. Add the butter, sugar, flour, Xanthan Gum, ground almonds, eggs, water and lemon zest to the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer (I use a Kenwood Chef with the K beater). Beat on the highest speed for one minute. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface with a palette knife or spatula.

  3. Bake for 45 minutes, then cover with foil to prevent the top from browning and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.

  4. For the topping, gently heat your Apricot jam either in the microwave for about 30 seconds or on the hob. Brush the top of your cake with a thin layer – it helps the chocolate to stick.

  5. Heat your chocolate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted (or in a bain-marie on the hob. Try to temper your chocolate by stirring it and allowing it to cool (although I didn’t get as much of a shine as I would have liked on mine!) Then, pour over the melted chocolate and try to smooth it as much as possible.

  6. I left my chocolate to set before applying my decorations, but you might need to apply yours to it wet to get them to stick. I simply brushed the back of my rice paper snowflakes with a few drops of water to get them to stick.
  7. To serve, remove the cake from the tin and carefully peel off the parchment paper so that you get a clean line between the cake and the chocolate layer. As this is a special cake for Christmas, I applied a coordinating cake frill and secured it with a bead headed pin, so you don’t lose it.


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