Gluten Free Passover Chocolate Pistachio Cake + Chocolate Glaze

Tonight is the first night of Passover. Passover is essentially a gluten free holiday. With the absence of wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and oats for 8 nights, creates limited choices. Protein and veggies are easy. It’s the carbs, the desserts, actually the stuff that most of us crave, thus find satisfying become absent. What I have found in creating a gluten free household is that mealtime as well as snack time is every bit as tasty, if not tastier than how we previously ate.

For my kids, Passover elicits emotions of dread and doom. However, this past week, as I tested and retested recipes, the kids were quite emotional about what was coming out of our kitchen. Even a failed attempt at a gluten free passover doughnut this morning, were gobbled up. Eli coined it a “makee” – a cross between a muffin and a cake and one of the best gluten free treats to date!

So, in testing recipes for the first night of Seder, I started with this Amaranth, Quinoa and Dark Chocolate Cake from La Tartine Gourmande. The first go around, I made it exactly according to the recipe. Delicious! Perfect! And it disappeared within minutes. But with 14 adults and 9 kids, sitting down to dinner tonight, this wasn’t going to go very far.

So, I turned this recipe, with a few tweaks, into little cakelettes. Although the cake itself was delicious dusted with powdered sugar, I wanted even more chocolate. Making a very simple chocolate glaze and adding some toasted pistachios for some crunch was a great call.

The original cake recipe was made in a 4″ x 7 1/2″ loaf pan. Swapping out the pistachios for the pecans in the original recipe and adding mini bittersweet chocolate chips gave me 22 bite sized cakelettes. The kids snagged a few before frosting them and were every bit as good without the glaze.

This cake is going to become a household staple. Using both amaranth and quinoa flour which not only makes it the perfect gluten free dessert, but it also creates endless options for our Passover dessert table.

Gluten Free Passover Chocolate Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Glaze


for the cake:
4.5 ounces | 125g  dark chocolate (Valhrona)
3.5 ounces | 99 grams | 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
3.5 ounces | grams | 1/2 cup organic, pure cane sugar
1 ounce | 30 grams | 3 tablespoons amaranth flour
1 ounce | 28 grams | 3 tablespoons quinoa flour
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1.5 ounces | grams | 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
1 ounce | 29 grams mini bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large, organic eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

for the chocolate glaze:
3/4 ounces | 21 grams | 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 ounces | 42 grams | 3 tablespoons boiled water
6 ounces | 173 grams | 12 tablespoons unsalted, organic butter
2 3/4 ounces | 77 grams | 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces | 229 grams bittersweet chocolate
pinch of Celtic sea salt


for the cake:
• preheat oven to 350*
• butter a 4″ x 7 3/4 ” loaf pan and then line with parchment. or line a mini muffin tray with 2 ounce muffin liners (or these paper cups) and spray with cooking oil.
• set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). add the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder. stir occasionally until combined and smooth. let cool slightly.
• in another bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla and whisk until light in color.
• add the cooled chocolate to the yolk mixture. mix to combine. add the flours, pistachio nuts, and mini chips. fold until just combined.
• in a clean bowl of a standing mixer, with the whisk attachment attached, beat the egg whites and the salt until firm and light. fold the whites into the chocolate mixture.
• if making the cake pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a bit of crumbs on it. let cool on wire racks.

for the glaze:
• combine the cocoa and the boiled water and whisk until a thick paste forms.
• in a glass bowl, set over a pot with simmering water, place the chocolate and stir occasionally until melted. let cool.
• in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar, until combined.
• add the cooled, melted chocolate and beat until you do not see any white streaks. beat in the cocoa mixture until combined.
• use immediately or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. if storing, when ready to use, bring to room temperature, beat for a few minutes until smooth.

The Urban Baker /

Showing 27 comments
  • Reply

    These are art, Susan. They look breathtaking and delicious! Wow. I love the addition of the chocolate glaze and the pistachios.

  • HeatherChristo

    just gorgeous Susan!!!!

  • Esi

    This makes me so happy. I just love chocolate with pistachios.

  • Reply

    Such a great looking cake + the photos are some of your best yet. LOVE.

    • Susan

      thanks, Marla! It means a lot!!

  • Barb Bamber

    Gorgeous cake.. gorgeous photos!

    • Susan

      Thanks, Smidge. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  • Kristina Vanni

    Looks great for the holidays! What a great combination of flavors!

  • aida mollenkamp

    Happy Passover, Susan. I’m sure these cakelets are going to be a delicious addition to the feast!

  • Kim

    This is a great cake… Even if we are not celebrating Passover!

  • Heidi Leon

    Beautiful pictures, they are so poetic and evocative. I must try both recipes, Bea´s and your version of that gorgeous cake.

    Happy Passover.

    ps. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am enjoying yours so much.

    • Susan

      Heidi – your blog and your photos are breathtaking. I am so glad to have found you!! Cheers to sharing. x

  • Patricia Scarpin

    The mini cakes and the loaf look adorable, Suz! Delicious, too. I love the sprinkling of pistachios on top, such vivid color!

  • Allie

    Hi there,

    I am making these tonight! So excited to get ready for Passover. I didn’t see how long to cook it for if you are using mini cupcake size?

    • Susan

      Hi Allie – I am actually in the process of preparing the ingredients for the cake. I plan on baking my first thing in the morning. In terms of muffin cups, I used these (Solo 2 ounce paper cups ), but I am sure small muffin liners would work just as well. Simply bake for a shorter amount of time and check them, often, with a toothpick. Please come back and tell me how they turned out!

  • Allie

    mine just came out of the oven, and my husband loves it! Already got the seal of approval 😉 Now, about to start on the glaze. Hope they are a hit for tomorrows sedar. Happy Passover!

  • galia

    are there any substitues for amaranth flour like potato starch or mato meal

    • Susan

      Hello! Both Quinoa and Amaranth are Passover friendly flours, thus that is why they are in this recipe. If you are good with the Quinoa flour, then substitute the amaranth for more quinoa flour. I tested this recipe a few times before I got it right, so I cannot reccomend the other options because they all are used for different reasons and react differently together. I hope this helps.

  • Susan

    thank you!

pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment