Want a bite? A flourless (GF) sponge cake with a creamy center

So, sometimes you don’t have to work so hard to make your gluten-free dreams come true.

In fact, it just takes a bit of surfing.

Take for example my bizarre craving for a Hostess Ho-Ho. I honestly don’t think I’ve eaten a Ho-Ho in 20 years (Gad! I’m getting OLD when I can say that, huh?) Suddenly at the end of the week, I found myself craving the impossible gluten-filled, preservative-festival Ho-Ho.

What in the world is going on with me?

Nope, I’m not pregnant. I *wish*! (That’s a whole other story… and one that has us putting every penny away for adoption that we can!)

Instead, I decided to try to make my own. However, this craving hit me on Thursday and I have been busy as heck getting things ready for Final Exams at school. Make up a new recipe? Nope. Not on Thursday Night. No way. I just wanted a stinkin’ Ho-Ho for goodness sake, not an expedition into baking.

So I turned to the internet and my problems were solved. I found an excellent flourless chocolate sponge cake at Joy of Baking. While most of the recipes there have the potential of causing giant green-eyed baking monsters to climb on my shoulders and peer at the pictures with me, I tend to go there when I am in need of inspiration. And thank goodness I found it!

I then used a whipped filling recipe that was a piece of cake and fairly well-known by many.

I didn’t create either of these recipes. I just put them together, rolled up my giant Ho-Ho and sliced it into individual serving sizes. After all, what’s a chocolate-eating, Ho-Ho craving gal to do when her Love doesn’t eat chocolate or sweets? (He’s just plain wrong, I know. LOL) I did the only thing I could think of! I packed up a family pack for Mohammed and Gaby and some smaller single servings for students who are GF or have family who is GF. And I had two pieces left over.

Yes. My weekend was Ho-Ho filled. Deliciously, thank you. I think I’m done ever craving a Ho-Ho to be honest. Not just because it’s been 20 years (again- ACK!) but because this homemade version is quite honestly, better. More moist. Easy to make. And I know exactly what the ingredients are.

Here are the recipes.

For the flourless chocolate sponge cake, click here. (Until I get permission from Stephanie to post her recipe here as well, I have only including the link.)

Gluten-free, flourless Ho-Ho
Makes a dozen generous servings.

1 flourless chocolate sponge cake

Whipped Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Chocolate Glaze topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon butter


  1. Make the flourless sponge cake. Cover the warm cake with two damp paper towels (wring out all of the water from the towels) to keep the top moist and the cake flexible.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar, shortening, extracts, and milk for 6-7 minutes. It *will* become blended, whipped, and smooth – even though it doesn’t look like it at first.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and beat again for an additional 5 minutes. The filling will fluff up and become light with this amount of time. Less time and the filling will be dense.
  4. Remove the paper towels from the sponge cake. Spread the filling across the sponge cake evenly.
  5. Roll the cake along the long-side. (I used a jelly roll pan with greased (important!) parchment paper to make the sponge cake.) Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake and make sure that the final roll has the cake resting upon itself to help keep it rolled tight.
  6. GLAZE: Heat the heavy cream (whipping cream) until almost just at the boiling point – but don’t let it boil.
  7. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate chips and stir until the chips have all melted and it is smooth.
  8. Add the tablespoon of butter to the chocolate glaze and stir until well incorporated.
  9. With the cake resting again on a piece of clean parchment paper in a clean jelly roll pan, pour the glaze slowly over the top so that it drizzles down the sides and coats the sides of the cake evenly.
  10. Allow the glaze to set overnight on the cake. It will be soft, but not sticky when it is set.
  11. Cut and serve. (I also cut the pieces before glazing if you want to try that as well.)

Happy Ho-Ho Making!


  1. i want a bite!!! MAN that looks tasty and gooey!! Kate you are mean! You shouldn’t post these things that look so amazingly good!! *Sigh* last week and then I can have all the sugar I want~! LOL well sort of! LOL

    Two more days, babe. And the chocolate craving baton will be passed to you. 🙂 – Kate

  2. I worship you! I love ho’s ho’s. And I have missed them so bad. I was going to make cheesecake this weekend but forget that. I’m making this. I cannot wait to try this.

    It will fit the taste bill on the Ho-Hos. (At least it did for my 20 year old memory of them. LOL). 🙂 -Kate

  3. Switch the milk to a milk alternative, and that’s a whipped filling I could actually eat! That’s exciting. I need to remember this for my next celebratory cake.

    Perfect, Sally. I bet it would be great too. I would use a vanilla soy milk and then omit the vanilla extract. 🙂 -Kate

  4. Glutigirl says:

    Oh you’re killing me! That looks so good and I’m really trying so hard to stay away from good stuff like that! I might have to cheat on my diet soon 🙂

    Ya know….we’d BOTH be better off on our diets if we SPLIT it. I could share the calories….you can share the craving. 🙂 LOL -Kate

  5. Somehow I’ve never thought of Ho-Hos as sponge cake (as in, they have a basis in a real dessert you could make)…and I didn’t know that sponge cakes are naturally GF. Good to know! Funny how I was reading the first paragraph thinking “that sounds like a pregnancy craving” 🙂 Good with your exams…grading is so lame-o.

    Hi Kara –
    Thanks for the visit. 🙂
    I just wanted to let you know that sponge cakes are NOT gluten-free. They usually have flour (or a flour/corn starch mix) in them – that’s why this recipe was so tempting. I know Ho-Hos are more cake like… but I wasn’t sure a GF cake would roll – that’s why I started thinking about sponge cakes. 🙂
    And yes – grading is totally Lame-o. LOL
    🙂 I’m off for now. The first final starts in under an hour or so. Poor kids. and Poor ME! 🙂

  6. Kate – I love your pictures of the gf Ho-Ho. It looks simply scrumptious!

    I’m afraid that when I was pregnant both times, I craved salt. It always got me in trouble with the doctor and my nurse practitioner. My blood pressure didn’t go up, but they fussed anyway.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

    LOL – My love is the salt-eater here. LOL 🙂 Maybe he should get pregnant instead of me? LOL – Kate

  7. kate- i wish we were neighbors so I could come over and taste this. I’m going to make it today, I went out and bought chocolate and more eggs especially for this.

    Good lord – what are ya waiting for? Move in already! I could use the help eating the goodies and your recipes are DIVINE! I want to taste them ALL! 🙂 -Kate

  8. oh, and do i REALLY have to leave it overnight?

    The glaze “sets” overnight. Feel free to eat it right away, though – but the outside won’t be firm – just chocolately. 🙂 -Kate

  9. Celiac Girl says:

    Please tell everyone you know to go vote on the Martha Stewart website on Martha’s blog for the big idea bakeoff. One of the ideas is to launch a new magazine with Martha for people with food allergies and intolerances. Please vote as many times as you can each day for the next week so this dream becomes a reality!
    Go to http://www.marthastewart.com and then look for Martha’s blog on the upper right hand side.
    Check it out…we need more press and more resources for Celiacs!

    I’ve voted. 🙂
    Here’s the link for anyone else who would like to chime in and vote too.

  10. ok I made it and its AWESOME, you’re right. My boyfriend and roommate think so too! Thanks!!

    Hooray! Success! I’m glad you had so many buddies to share it with…. I think maybe you will have to bring them with you when you move out here, Jill. That will really help me cut calories! LOL 🙂 -Kate

  11. this thing looks delicious and i wanna make it for an special ocation but i dont know what is “shortening” and “heavy cream” is like…?, sorry but i’m for Venezuela and dont know much but this…thanx!

    Hi Marti
    I use Crisco for the shortening. (Creo que se dice “manteca vegetal” para esta clase de manteca.)
    The heavy cream needs to be a high fat cream that will whip well. (Se puede decir nata líquida?)
    Hope this helps!

  12. hazeleyes says:

    I love this chocolate sponge cake recipe because the cocoa gives the cake exceptional flavor (I AM CHOCOLATE!) and the granulated sugar provides the sharply sweet character I love in cake. I have halved this recipe successfully.

    I once used a round cake pan to bake this and the cake looked wonderful when removed from oven, but when turned out of the pan the center dropped. OK, I filled the depression right up with whipped cream, but now I prefer cake roll.

    Chocolate Sponge Cake

    Turn on oven to 350 degrees and allow to heat while you do your prep.

    Select a jelly roll pan 11″ x 16-7/8″ x 3/4″ or equivalent.

    A smaller pan makes too thick a cake for rolling, but a smaller thicker cake baked in oblong baking pan could be cut in equally-sized strips, filled, and stacked for impressive results.

    Grease pan lightly. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper or parchment. Grease paper. Set aside.

    7 eggs, separated (do not get any yolk into the whites)
    pinch of salt
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    7 tablespoons sifted cocoa powder (measure after sifting)

    Combine egg whites and salt. Beat just until glossy stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Set aside.

    Combine egg yolks and sugar. Beat until yolks increase three times in volume and are thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes on high. Stir in vanilla and mix. Gently fold in cocoa, combining eggs and cocoa completely.

    Pour batter into center of jelly roll pan. Using a spatula or offset frosting spatula, gently spread the batter from the center to all quadrants of the pan.

    Put cake into oven and bake 20-25 minutes. The cake needs to be fully cooked in the center (center should be flat, not raised, when done), but edges should not be allowed to brown too much.

    Complete cake by spreading filling as instructed in gobsmacked’s beautiful recipe.

  13. christine says:

    hi there just tried out this recipe tonite and its wonderful i will definetly be hangin on to it 🙂 tks so much and keep it coming


  1. […] Flourless “Ho-Ho” Cake (Gluten Free Gobsmacked) […]

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