If you’re looking for an alternative flourless cake, try my hazelnut chocolate cake! I made this for a girlfriend’s birthday, I wanted something more “adult” if that makes sense. Less sweet, and easy to put together but still delicious, moist and pretty. Perfect with a cup of tea or an espresso martini!

When I make this cake, I like to use whole hazelnuts and roast them then grind them in a food processor. You can use store-bought hazelnut meal for your cake, if you can find it in your local grocery store. I use real hazelnut paste with no sugar added, these are sold in specialty baking stores, but I’ve also used Nutella and it worked too. If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can substitute 50 mL of strong coffee or espresso.

You can make this cake as simple or as special as you want, I recommend finishing it with the crunchy pearls or chopped hazelnuts for texture but a few ideas if you don’t want to bother with making a ganache:

  • You can serve the cake by itself with just a dusting of cocoa powder.
  • You can top with Chantilly cream then dust with cocoa powder.
  • You can whip some cream and icing sugar together then fold in some cocoa powder to make a chocolate cream.

If you bake this cake, make sure you let me know what you think in the comments section below or tag @mrs.fancypants.recipes on your social media post! Happy baking everyone!

Difficulty: Easy

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Makes 1 x 20cm cake


  • Dark Chocolate Ganache


0/8 Instructions
    Make the ganache:
  • Chop chocolate and dice butter. Place in a medium bowl.
  • Bring the cream to the boil and pour on top of the dark chocolate and butter. Let stand for 2 minutes then stir vigorously until smooth and glossy. Set aside until fully set.
  • Optional step: If you want your ganache to be lighter. Whip the set ganache with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Make the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Line a 20cm cake tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix brown butter, sugar, salt, frangelico and hazelnut paste.
  • Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Pour into lined cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from oven and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Remove cake from tin and cool down completely. This will take about 1 more hour.
  • Using an offset spatula, dollop and spread the ganache on top of the cake. If you're feeling fancy, you can choose to use a piping tip. Sprinkle with crunchy pearls or chopped hazelnuts.


  1. Hazelnut paste is sold in specialty shops, but I have tested this with Nutella, and it works as well, its just has a stronger chocolate flavour.
  2. Callebaut also has crunchy pearls, and both Valrhona and Callebaut are sold in specialty shops, however, chopped hazelnuts can also be used as a replacement.
  3. If you don't feel like making chocolate ganache, don't fret, top the cake with some chocolate cream by whipping 1 cup cream and 2tbsp icing sugar until medium then folding in some sifted cocoa powder.

I’ve been baking for people with gluten and lactose intolerance lately and it’s a welcome challenge to be able to adapt my recipes for them. We’re lucky that these days we have so many ingredients available in our local supermarket or specialty store and most of them substitute 1:1 that catering to dietaries have become so much easier. Today, I’m sharing my gluten-free & dairy-free recipe for yummy banana nut muffins. Now don’t hit that close button just yet, if you’re not gluten-free, just use plain flour instead and this recipe still works like a charm. And if you do not have almond meal, use gluten-free flour for the gluten-free option or plain flour for non-gf option to substitute for the almond meal. Easy-peasy!

This recipe is super easy. I actually love it with pecans and walnuts, but you can use whichever is readily available to you. Both the maple syrup or vanilla really gives that delicious aroma and another layer of flavour that perfectly blends with the nuts and bananas. This is not a recipe to skip, it’s so quick and easy to make, you don’t even need to whip out your mixer, just bowls and your spatula.

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You must be thinking, with all the substations and combos that I’ve given you for this recipe, how many times did I test this? Well… too many times that I’ve lost count! All my recipes are tested before I publish them and I regularly update them if needed. So yes, I’ve made all the combos I suggested to you not once but several times so you can rest assured, all of them work.

Now before you pop the muffins in the oven, don’t forget to sprinkle coarse raw sugar on top. This gives your muffins that crunchy crust and gives them that professional baker look. They also make for amazing photos! Speaking of, when you make a batch (or two!) don’t forget to snap and tag! I love seeing your creations and it also gives me direction on which type of recipes you guys love. Also, don’t be a stranger and leave a comment below if you have any questions about the recipe. Now, gluten and/or lactose intolerant or not, let’s get baking!

Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

Banana Nut Muffins

Makes 6 large muffins or 12 standard muffins



0/3 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a large 6 cup muffin pan or standard 12 cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl, mash bananas add eggs, vanilla or maple syrup and oil. Mix until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, sift together, brown sugar, flour, almond meal and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Mix until almost incorporated. Add the nuts then mix until incorporated.
  • Pour into lines muffin cups. Sprinkle 1/2 a tbsp of raw sugar on top of each muffin. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.


  1. If you are not gluten-free, simply use plain flour instead of gluten-free flour.
  2. If you do not have almond meal in your pantry, simply substitute plain flour or gluten-free flour (if you're gluten-free) for all the amount of almond meal.


I never really tried making my recipes gluten-free and dairy-free, but for some reason I woke up today and thought I should try making my brownie gluten-free & dairy-free. What I didn’t expect was it to be a straight substitution. I wanted to use almond meal & gluten-free flour but thought almond meal may be hard to find in some countries, plus it’s pretty expensive and brownies are not cheap to make as it is. Have you seen how much butter and chocolate is needed? So I stuck with GF flour. Then I used coconut oil, and it was the bomb, so so good! But then again, I wanted it to taste like my usual brownies, so I then tried Nuttelex Buttery which is a butter substitute, and it worked!!!

By this stage, I was over the moon, because I don’t know about you, but when I test recipes, they’re not usually a raging success on the first go, moreso two gos in a row! You can imagine my excitement, right? Probably not, but I’m telling you, it might have been the sugar rush from all the brownie testing, but I was extremely delighted.

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So, yes, if you love coconut, by all means, use coconut oil. A good thing to note, most good quality dark baking chocolate is dairy-free. Also, cocoa butter is a non-dairy product, as much as a lot of people mistake it to be so. I of course use my favorite Valrhona Guanaja 70% because the bitterness balances the sweetness of the batter. You can use any chocolate brand that you want, just check that it’s dairy-free. If you want it to be extra and don’t mind cost, use half almond meal and half GF flour. I have to mention that the GF version takes longer to bake, though. So start checking around 28 minutes instead of 25.

I then carried out my blind taste-test, and not one of my audience thought they were eating a GF/DF version of a brownie! Success!!! Please try this recipe and my gooey brownies let me know if you agree with me or not. I am positive this tastes like a regular brownie, and it’s backed by my own study. LOL. Have fun baking! Don’t forget to comment below and tag me on your baking photos!

Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy

Dairy-free & Gluten-free Brownies

Makes 18 slices


0/9 Ingredients


0/5 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 180C no fan or 160C with fan. Grease & line a 33 x 23 x 5 cm (9 x 13 x 2 in) with baking paper.
  • In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa and salt together. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together sugars, nuttelex and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each time.
  • Fold in flour mixture until you only see a few flour streaks. Fold in 2/3 of the chocolate and half the nuts until everything is just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour into prepared pan. Tap on the bench once to spread the batter. Sprinkle the rest of chocolate and nuts on top. Bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes for super gooey brownies. Check around 28 minutes just in case your oven is too hot and the brownies are done. The brownie should form a shiny crust on top and still feels soft in the centre.
  • If you like your brownies firmer and more set, add 5 minute increments until set. Remember the brownies will get firmer as they cool down. Cool down completely then cut with a hot, sharp knife into 18 squares. Wipe the knife clean after each stroke for sharp edges.


  • Nuttelex Buttery is actually margarine but I use this brand because the taste is not like other margarines. You can also opt for coconut oil and other butter substitutes.
  • Pure cocoa powder (dutch processed or not) should be gluten-free
  • Make sure the 70% chocolate is dairy-free, I used Valrhona Guanaja 70% but there are plenty of good quality baking chocolate that are dairy-free too, like Ghirardelli & Callebaut.