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STOP! Before you hit ‘Jump to Recipe’ check ‘Skip to the Good Bit‘ below. I may answer a query you have about this recipe.
I have to say I’m quite pleased about this Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake Recipe it’s also an eggless cake too. Making this (hopefully) a very free from friendly bake that almost anyone can enjoy. Include those who don’t have dietary restrictions because it has been going down a treat in with friends and family.
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Skip to the good bit
- What yogurts can I use for this chocolate cake?
- Not dairy free?
- What does yogurt do in a cake?
- What does yogurt replace in a normal cake?
- How do I make a dairy free yogurt buttercream?
- My yogurt buttercream has split
- How can I thicken my yogurt buttercream?
- An alternative cake topping suggestion
- Do I need to add more sugar to this yogurt cake?
- Can I make this chocolate cake with a different flavour yogurt?
- How to store this Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake
- Equipment you will need
- Ingredients you will need
- Other gluten & dairy free chocolate recipes
- Dairy Free Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake Recipe
What yogurts can I use for this chocolate cake?
Sadly, there’s not much wriggle room here. I can only fine one dairy free cherry yogurt on the market and it’s the Alpro Soya Cherry Yogurt available in 500g tubs. If you are overseas and have an alternative please do let me know in the comments and I can add them here.
Not dairy free?
Okay, I’m guessing you’re here for the gluten free aspect of this recipe. If this is the case then feel free to use any of the dairy-filled cherry yogurts on the market, they will all work in like-for-like quantities in this recipe.
What does yogurt do in a cake?
Whether you use a dairy free or dairy filled yogurt the same results apply. Adding yogurt to a cake adds moisture, lots of moisture [read ‘how to make a yogurt buttercream‘ below to see what I mean]. The down side to adding yogurt to a cake is that I find it has a shorter lifespan and needs to be eaten over 24hrs ideally.
What does yogurt replace in a normal cake?
Adding yogurt to a cake can replace one of two things. Most commonly, adding yogurt to a cake will replace the need to add eggs. That said, this is a dairy free recipe so my cake requires a little extra in the way of ingredients to stabilise the sponge. The yogurt can also be used to replace milk, or milk alternatives. However, I add additional soya milk (my go-to milk alternative) to loosen the cake batter.
How do I make a dairy free yogurt buttercream?
Now I have to be honest here. Making the same buttercream as I have used in these images is not a quick process. In fact, it’s blooming slow.
To get the best results i.e. thick yogurt buttercream and intense cherry flavour buttercream, you will need to be patient because you have to dehydrate the yogurt first. Not got time for such shenanigans? Now worries, I’ll give you an alternative below.
The best way to dehydrate your dairy free yogurt in my experience is to weigh it into a sieve lined with a sheet of kitchen towel or muslin if you have it. I then place the sieve over a bowl or jug to catch the liquid as it, oh so very slowly, drains from the cherry yogurt.
This process ideally needs to last 8 hours. That’s right, I said 8 hours! You will be surprised at how much liquid does come out of the yogurt and if you don’t do this step first you will end up with a wet buttercream. Sure you can add more icing sugar but to get the right consistency you’ll have to add loads more moving further and further away form that delicious cherry flavour.
To give you an idea of the liquid that is lost during the process, you start with 150g of dairy free yogurt and after it’s drained you have approximately 85g of yogurt. As you can see, quite a lot of water drains in the process.
My yogurt buttercream has split
In the last image above you can see the final Cherry Yogurt Buttercream. It does appear to have split a little, this is to be expected, you have not gone wrong. I have done some research on yogurt buttercreams, dairy-filled and dairy-free and all state that they experience a little cream splitting.
However, there’s good news. Once you have made the cake and decorated it, the buttercream hardens ever so slightly and any excess liquid evaporates so the split-look goes away.
How can I thicken my yogurt buttercream?
If you have followed the instructions and been patient and still find the butter cream is too wet then you have two options.
Option one: add more icing sugar
Option two: pop the buttercream in the fridge for a while to harden so that you can work with it. However, bear in mind that the buttercream will soften again if the decorated cake is left standing for some time.
An alternative cake topping suggestion
Not everyone has the time or patience to make my cherry yogurt buttercream so how about you make a normal (dairy free) vanilla buttercream but add a dash of red or pink food colouring. You could also add glace cherries to decorate or, my imagine is running wild, why not grab a tin of cherry pie filling and add that to the top of the cake! I may do that myself actually.
Do I need to add more sugar to this yogurt cake?
Remember, whilst lovely and fruity, any yogurt has a slight sour twang to it and this will come through in your cake if you don’t compensate for it. This is why I add more sugar than I normally would to this cake.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned taste test, so have a taste of the cake batter and see for yourself. If it needs more sugar, then feel free to add according to taste.
Can I make this chocolate cake with a different flavour yogurt?
I thought about this whilst making my latest Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake. It was due to the fact that I’d had to go on a cherry yogurt hunt as my usual store didn’t have any.
I thought to myself that blueberry and chocolate yogurt cake would be amazing. Maybe add some fresh or dried blueberries to the cake instead of glace cherries.
Strawberry and chocolate goes together well to and you’re more likely to be able to source a dairy free strawberry yogurt as there are more options on the UK market at least.
How to store this Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake
This is a live cake, by that I mean it’s got yogurt in it and yogurt is packed with little living goodness-biotics. This means that this cake won’t keep well past 48hours. You can keep it in the fridge if you want it to last longer, you’ll just have a denser sponge experience when you come to eat it.
Equipment you will need
- Kitchen Scales
- square baking tin 20x20cm
- baking paper
- mixing bowl
- 500 ml glass jug
- set of measuring spoons
- silicone spatula
- electric whisk
- cooling rack
Ingredients you will need
For the yogurt cake sponge
- gluten free self raising flour
- cocoa powder
- dairy free cherry yogurt
- caster sugar
- dairy free butter
- dairy free milk
- ground flaxseed
- psyllium husk powder
- cold water
- bicarbonate of soda
- dairy free chocolate chips
- glace cherries
For the yogurt buttercream
- dairy free cherry yogurt
- dairy free butter
- icing/confectioners sugar
Other gluten & dairy free chocolate recipes
Dairy Free Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake Recipe
If you make it and like the recipe I would be eternally grateful if you popped back and commented leaving a star rating as this will tell search engines that this recipe is worth checking out and others will get to find it in searches.
Dairy Free Chocolate Cherry Yogurt Cake
For the yogurt cake sponge
- 200 g gluten free self raising flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 250 g dairy free cherry yogurt
- 150 g caster sugar
- 100 g dairy free butter, melted I use Flora Plant Blocks
- 100 ml dairy free milk I use soya
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 3 tbsp cold water
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 75 g dairy free chocolate chips
- 75 g glace cherries I cut mine into smaller pieces with scissors
For the yogurt buttercream
- 150 g dairy free cherry yogurt drained of liquid
- 50 g dairy free butter
- 250 g icing/confectioners sugar
To drain the cherry yogurt
- If you plan to make the identical cake, then you need to drain your yogurt first. Simply weight out the yogurt into a lined sieve placed over a bowl or jug. (I line my sieve with a kitchen towel but if I had one I'd use a fine muslin).
- Leave the bowl with the yogurt filled sieve in the fridge for as long as you can bear to. 8 hours is the most ideal time.
- This process will leave you with super thick dairy free cherry yogurt ready for your yogurt buttercream.
To make the chocolate cherry yogurt sponge
- Make your flaxseed egg by adding the ground flaxseed, water and psyllium husk to a small bowl or cup and whisk to combine, then set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl add the dry ingredients; gluten free self raising flour, cocoa powder, caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and stir with a whisk to combine.
- In a large jug weigh out the dairy free butter and heat in the microwave, only a quick blast as you don't want the 'butter' to be too hot. Remove and allow the rest of the 'butter' to melt.
- Now weigh out the yogurt and milk alternative into the same jug that has the butter in it and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Finally add the flaxseed to the jug of yogurt and 'butter' and mix to combine.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour your yogurt concoction into the centre. Ideally using an electric whisk, beat the ingredients until light and fluffy, (do you taste test now to see if you need to add more sugar).
- Now you can fold the glace cherries and dairy free chocolate chips into the cake batter.
- Spoon the batter into a square 20x20cm loose bottom cake tin that you have lined with baking paper and greased the sides.
- Cover the tin with foil. By doing this for half the baking time you ensure a good rise to the bake.
- Place in a preheated oven of 200℃ | 180℃ fan | 400℉ | Gas 6 for 15 minutes with the foil cover and then remove and cook without the foil for 20 minutes.
- The cake will be ready when the sponge has a bounce to it and a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before decorating.
To make the dairy free yogurt buttercream
- Carefully scoop your thickened cherry yogurt into a bowl. If you use a muslin I'd imagine this to be stress free but with a kitchen towel you need to be gentle so the paper doesn't tear.
- To the yogurt add the dairy free butter and beat with an electric whisk.
- Next add the icing/confectioners sugar and continue to beat well until thoroughly combined.
To decorate the cake
- After all the time spent on this cake I'm not fussed about beautiful piping so I simply dollop spoonful's of the yogurt buttercream onto the cake and smooth to the edges with a silicone spatula. Finally I grate some dairy free chocolate onto a piece of kitchen towel to decorate.
- TOP TIP: fold the kitchen towel cover to corner so you can use this to sprinkle the grated chocolate over the cake, this will prevent the chocolate from melting in your fingers tips as you sprinkle.
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