Gluten-Free New Orleans Doberge Cake: A Recipe Reimagined

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When you think of cakes from New Orleans, a King Cake is probably at the top of your mind. But today, I want to introduce you to a delicious Big Easy tradition called a Doberge Cake. This gluten-free Doberge Cake has a fun California twist — I’ve swapped the traditional (and in my opinion, overly sweet) filling with a rich and flavorful one made with one of my favorite ingredients from the Golden State. 

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slice of gluten free doberge cake covered in dark chocolate ganache

What kind of cake is Doberge?

Doberge cake is a delightful confection that originates from New Orleans, Louisiana and is a staple in the region’s culinary repertoire. This multi-layered dessert was adapted from the Hungarian Dobos torte by a local baker, Beulah Levy Ledner, in the 1930s. The Doberge cake distinctively features thin layers of butter cake, usually six or more, which are alternated with a thick custard filling. Traditionally, the fillings are either chocolate or lemon.

Gluten free doberge cake

The entire cake is then enrobed in a smooth, poured fondant or, more commonly in modern variations, covered with a rich buttercream and topped with a chocolate ganache. This method of alternating cake layers with filling and the outer ganache or fondant creates a balance of textures and flavors that make Doberge cake uniquely appealing and decadent. It’s often served at celebrations and special occasions, continuing to be a beloved treat in New Orleans and beyond.

Why is it called Dobash cake?

The term “Dobash cake” is another name used for Doberge cake, especially in areas outside of New Orleans. This alternative name likely arose from a phonetic misinterpretation or simplification of “Doberge.” Over time, as the cake became popular in different regions, the original name may have been modified due to local dialects or mishearings, leading to the “Dobash” variation.

Does Doberge cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, Doberge cake typically needs to be refrigerated. This is primarily because it contains layers of custard or cream filling, which are perishable and can spoil if left at room temperature for too long. Additionally, the cake may be frosted with buttercream or covered in ganache, both of which maintain their best texture and stability when kept cool.

Refrigerating the cake also helps to keep the layers firm and makes slicing easier, ensuring that the structure holds up well when served. It’s usually recommended to refrigerate Doberge cake until it’s time to serve, and any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator as well, typically lasting up to about a week when properly covered to prevent drying out. Before serving, you can let the cake sit out briefly to take the chill off, which can enhance the flavor and texture.

sliced dobege cake filled with california prune puree

What Does this Gluten-Free Doberge Cake Taste Like?

This Gluten-Free New Orleans Doberge Cake updates this classic dessert with a California twist. Instead of the traditional custard or cream layers, this recipe features a rich, sweet prune puree nestled between six delicate layers of moist, gluten-free cake. The layers are enveloped in smooth vanilla buttercream, and finally draped in a luscious chocolate ganache that sets to a perfect sheen. This delicious gluten-free cake recipe will transport you straight to the heart of Louisiana. Whether for a special occasion or a weekend treat, this cake promises a celebratory, decadent experience in every gluten-free bite.

using a sharp knife to slice the gluten free doberge cake

Why (Bourbon-Spiked) Prune Puree is a Delicious Alternative Filling for Doberge Cakes

Prune puree made with Prunes from California can be a great substitute for the traditional custard or buttercream fillings typically used in Doberge cakes for several reasons:

sliced gluten free doberge cake revealing 6 layers filled with prune puree
  • Flavor Enhancement: Prune puree offers a naturally sweet and slightly tangy flavor that can complement the rich, sweet layers of the cake. Its unique taste can add a deeper, fruitier dimension to the cake, which balances well with the sweetness of the other components.
  • Moisture Addition: Prune puree helps to keep the cake layers moist. The natural moisture content of prunes ensures that the cake doesn’t dry out, which can sometimes be a challenge with multi-layered cakes.
  • Healthier Alternative: Prunes are known for their health benefits, including fiber content and natural sweetness. Using prune puree can reduce the need for added sugars and fats in traditional fillings, making the cake a bit healthier while still indulgent.
  • Consistency and Texture: Prune puree has a thick, spreadable consistency that works well as a layering ingredient between cake layers. It adheres well to the cake, helping to keep the layers stable and adding to the overall texture of the dessert.
  • Innovative Twist: Incorporating prune puree can be seen as a creative and modern twist on the traditional recipe, offering a different palate experience that can be appealing to those looking for something new in classic desserts.

Overall, using prune puree as a filling in Doberge cakes is a clever way to introduce new flavors and textures, while also offering some nutritional benefits and maintaining the moist, layered integrity of the cake. I added a splash of bourbon because…New Orleans…but you can feel free to omit it. 

Here’s What You’ll Need for This Gluten Free Doberge Cake

The gluten-free version of the New Orleans Doberge Cake maintains the luxurious, layered experience of the original. Each bite is a blend of soft cake, sweet prune puree, creamy buttercream, and rich ganache—a truly indulgent treat that everyone can enjoy. 

ingredients for gluten free doberge cake

For the Cake:

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend includes it)
  • Fine kosher salt
  • Butter
  • cane sugar
  • Whole eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk, room temperature
  • Pure vanilla extract

For the Prune Puree:

  • Prunes
  • Hot water
  • Bourbon

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • Salted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Whole milk
  • Pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Heavy cream
  • Sea salt

How to Cover a Cake in Ganache

  1. Prepare the Cake:
    • First frost the cake with the buttercream frosting and ensure your cake is completely chilled. I like to put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
    • Place the cake on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet or tray to catch any drips. Alternatively you can place parchment under the cake as I have done in the images above.
  2. Pour the Ganache:
    • Starting at the center of the cake, pour the ganache slowly and steadily. Use an offset spatula to gently push the ganache towards the edges, letting it naturally flow down the sides of the cake.
    • If needed, use the offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth the sides and top. Work quickly before the ganache sets.
  3. Smooth the Ganache:
    • If desired, use a cake turntable to rotate the cake while smoothing the ganache with an offset spatula or bench scraper.
    • For a perfectly smooth finish, let the ganache set slightly, then use a hot, dry spatula (run it under hot water and dry it off) to smooth out any imperfections.
  4. Set the Ganache:
    • Let the ganache set at room temperature or in the refrigerator if you prefer a firmer finish. The ganache will become firmer as it cools.

Tips

  • Ensure the cake is level for an even coating.
  • Work quickly to smooth the ganache before it sets.
  • If the ganache thickens too much while you’re working, gently rewarm it until it reaches the desired consistency.

By following these steps, you’ll achieve a beautifully covered cake with a luscious chocolate ganache coating.

taking a bite of the gluten free doberge cake

Whether for a special occasion or a weekend treat, this cake promises delight in every gluten-free slice.

Here are a few more delicious gluten-free dessert recipes featuring California Prunes:

A huge thanks to my friends at California Prunes for sponsoring this post. I only share recipes and products with you that I love. Sponsored posts like these help me bring you delicious gluten-free recipes. Thanks so much for your support!

Did you make this gluten free doberge cake recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and star rating below (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) and post a picture and tag us on Instagram using the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes! Thank you!

Gluten free doberge cake

Gluten-Free New Orleans Doberge Cake: A Recipe Reimagined

Alison Needham
Indulge in a slice of New Orleans tradition with a delightful twist. This Gluten-Free New Orleans Doberge Cake updates this classic dessert with a California twist. Instead of the traditional custard or cream layers, this recipe features a rich, sweet prune puree nestled between six delicate layers of moist, gluten-free cake. The layers are enveloped in smooth vanilla buttercream, and finally draped in a luscious chocolate ganache that sets to a perfect sheen. This delicious gluten-free cake recipe will transport you straight to the heart of Louisiana. Whether for a special occasion or a weekend treat, this cake promises a celebratory, decadent experience in every gluten-free bite.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time + Decorating Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 1276 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer (or high-powered hand mixer)
  • Blender (or hand-held immersion blender)
  • Small Saucepan
  • Small offset spatula

Ingredients
 
 

For the Prune Puree

For The Vanilla Buttercream

For the Chocolate Ganache

Instructions
 

Prepare the cakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three, 6-inch cake pans lightly with gluten-free cooking spray. Line each of the bottoms with a round of parchment (use a pan as your guide to cut rounds of parchment) and spray again. Set aside.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Repeat with the egg whites. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the butter and beat to combine. Add the milk, sour cream, and the remaining flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth with an offset spatula so they are even.
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert onto a cooling rack. Cool cakes completely. At this point, I usually wrap the cakes in plastic and refrigerate overnight so they are easier to work with.
  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated knife to halve each horizontally to make 6 cake layers total.

Make the prune puree:

  • Combine the prunes, water, and bourbon in a blender. Pulse to combine, then blend until smooth, pourable consistency forms, scraping the sides if necessary.
  • Store the purée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

Make the frosting:

  • Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add about half of the powdered sugar, followed by the milk. Beat until smooth. Stir in the remaining powdered sugar. If the frosting seems too thick, add a splash of additional milk. If it seems too thin, add additional powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt.

Assemble the cake:

  • Using a small offset spatula, spread 5 cake layers with the prune puree. Place 1 puree-covered cake layer on a cake stand, then quickly stack the remaining cake layers, ending with the final, plain cake layer. Refrigerate the stacked cakes for 30 minutes. Using a small offset spatula spread the top and sides with the vanilla buttercream until smooth. Place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • While the cake chills in the freezer, prepare the ganache: Start by placing the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and 1/2 teaspoon of salt over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Take the pan off the heat, pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let it sit undisturbed for one minute. Begin whisking from the center, blending the chocolate and cream together until the ganache becomes smooth and glossy.
  • Take the cake out of the freezer and gradually pour the ganache over the top, using an offset spatula to evenly spread it down the sides, ensuring the cake is fully coated. Optionally, you can let the ganache drip naturally down the sides. Allow the cake to sit for about 10 minutes to let the ganache set before serving. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated for up to one week; let it come to room temperature before serving.
    using an offset spatula to help spread the ganache over the cake

Notes

Preparing this cake requires a lot of steps. To make your life easier, you can prepare the prune puree in advance.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 1276kcalCarbohydrates: 173gProtein: 12gFat: 64gSaturated Fat: 39gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 625mgPotassium: 876mgFiber: 12gSugar: 124gVitamin A: 2205IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 214mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Doberge Cake, Gluten free cake recipe, Gluten Free Doberge Cake, Prunes
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious! We loved every bite!

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