Gluten Free Opera Cake (Nut-Free Option)

Bake to impress with this stunning gluten free opera cake. Opera cake is French. Similar to tiramsu, it is a coffee and chocolate lover’s dream. However, an almond sponge cake, rather than vanilla, creates amazing layers of flavor. The delicious layers of chocolate ganache and coffee infused almond sponge cake is decadent yet light enough to go back for seconds.

Gluten Free Opera Cake

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: Makes 5 - 6  servings

Gluten Free Opera Cake

This gluten free opera cake is made up of a moist and light gluten free almond sponge cake infused with coffee syrup and layered with chocolate ganache.


  • 1 recipe Gluten Free Sponge Cake (using 3/4¬† blanched almond flour and only 1/4 cup gluten free¬†all-purpose flour)
  • For the Coffee Syrup:
  • 1/2¬†cup¬†Homemade Espresso (or strong coffee)
  • 1/4¬†cup¬†granulated¬†sugar
  • For the Buttercream:
  • 2/3¬†cup¬†unsalted butter¬†softened
  • 1¬†cup¬†confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Homemade Espresso (or strong coffee)
  • For the Ganache:
  • 1/2 recipe [Chocolate Ganache||]
  • Gluten free edible gold leaf flakes or dust (CornucAupia), for garnish (optional) (or gluten free graham cracker crumbs)


    To Make the Sponge Cake:
  1. Make one recipe of the gluten free sponge cake as instructed, but make it in a jelly roll/roulade pan (approximately 11 x 8-inches) and substitute the 1 cup of all-purpose gluten free flour with 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup blanched almond flour. Also, reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1 teaspoon pure almond extract. Also, reduce baking time to about 20 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched.
  2. Bake the cake on the center shelf of your oven for approximately 12 minutes or until it just begins to become golden on the top and when the cake springs back when gently press down with your finger. Using a knife, loosen any edges that are stuck to the pan. Transfer the cake on the parchment paper to a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper from the sides and allow the cake to cool for about 5 minutes. Oil the wire rack and invert the cake onto the rack. Slowly peel the parchment away and allow the cake to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  3. To Make the Coffee Syrup:
  4. Add the espresso/coffee and sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves; set aside on a cool burner.
  5. To Make the Buttercream:
  6. Whip the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer until creamy. Sift in the confectioners' sugar on medium speed until smooth fluffy. Pour in the espresso and beat on low until thoroughly combined; set aside.
  7. To Make the Chocolate Ganache:
  8. Make the chocolate ganache as instructed in the above link.
  9. To Assemble the Cake:
  10. Slice the cake into three layers/rectangles by facing the longest portion of the cake, also slicing off any dried or golden brown edges,
  11. Baste the top of each layer with the coffee syrup and top one layer with a thin layer of chocolate ganache. Refrigerate the one layer until the ganache sets.
  12. Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter and spread with a layer of buttercream. Add the layer with the chocolate ganache, face up. Add the final layer and spread on a little buttercream. Top with a thick layer of chocolate ganache; refrigerate overnight. Garnish with gold leaf flakes or dust, gluten free graham cracker crumbs, etc.


For Nut-Free Cake: Make the traditional sponge cake as instructed at the link.

Note: Add about 8 hours of chilling time to the above recipe.

2 Replies to “Gluten Free Opera Cake (Nut-Free Option)”

  1. Hello. This looks great and I’m going to try it out this weekend. I think you do have a typo when talking about cutting the cake. The directions say to cut into three triangles but I assume from the picture that you mean rectangle. :)

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