Recipes | Baking

Low FODMAP Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake

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Our Low FODMAP Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake is a big, important cake, perfect for significant milestone birthdays and other celebratory events. Many of the components—the chocolate cake, the espresso buttercream, the dark chocolate ganache and the Low FODMAP Coffee Liqueur – can be made ahead. This cake elicits “ooohhhs and aahhhs” and once guests taste it, they will be clamoring for the recipe. My good friend Kerry Boyd requested a cake with these flavors for her fortieth birthday, so it is dedicated to her. 

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This is a FODMAP IT!™ version of the cake that first appeared in my book, The Birthday Cake BookIt didn’t start its life as low FODMAP, gluten-free or lactose-free, but it is now!

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Are Toffee Bits Low FODMAP?

Vanessa Vargas RDN, who is one of our Monash trained Success Team dietitians, has reviewed the ingredients, and they are low FODMAP, in small portions. This cake is very rich, and we recommend a small slice.

Is Coffee Low FODMAP?

Coffee is low FODMAP and we even have an entire article for you that discusses coffee, caffeine and IBS. There is a fair amount of coffee in this recipe – both in the cake as well as in the buttercream. You may use decaf, if you like. 
 
If coffee is a gut irritant for you, then I suggest choosing a different cake.

Why Is There Coffee In The Cake?

The coffee in the cake is used instead of water, which is the recommended liquid in the basic Chocolate Cake recipe. The coffee adds depth and complexity and helps create the mocha flavor profile. 

What Is “Mocha”?

Mocha is simply a combo of coffee and chocolate; one of our favorite favor combinations. And with the addition of toffee, this cake is swoon worthy. 

Is This Cake Portable?

It absolutely is. As a matter of fact, the first time I made it, for Kerry’s birthday, I drove it interstate to bring it to her at a dog show. (We both show dogs; she is a pro; I dabble).
 
I did use a proper cake box, but what makes this so portable is its sturdiness and the fact that the sides are completely covered with the toffee and mini chocolate chip mixture. It means there is no buttercream to smudge! Also, it can be left at room temperature for many hours, so that helps, too.
 

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Is This Cake Hard To Make?

If you have never made a layer cake before, the challenging part will be the Italian Meringue Buttercream. The cakeganache, liqueur and the assembly are straightforward. If you love to bake, you will find this quite easy to put together.

What this cake takes is time. It is made of several components, but they can be made ahead of time:

  • The Chocolate Cake can be made 1 day ahead, which is my preference. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month ahead.
  • The Italian Meringue Buttercream can be made 1-month ahead and frozen. Have defrosted and ready-to-use. Read our article on how to Reconstitute this buttercream, if making ahead.
  • BTW it is helpful to have a thermometer when making the Italian Meringue Buttercream. I love my Thermopen.

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  • The Chocolate Ganache may also be frozen up to 1-month ahead.
  • The Low FODMAP Coffee Liqueur can be made up to 3 months ahead.
  • Once all components are made, assembly can be accomplished in about 20 minutes.
  • Note that the times in the recipe itself assume components have been made and are ready to use.
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Professional Cake Decorating Tips

You will notice in the images below that I use a cake turntable, icing spatulas and also cardboard rounds. Let’s discuss these one by one.

First, it must be said, that the right equipment can make or break a dish. I cannot tell you how many times I have taught cooking classes and folks are amazed at how easily I “do” things. But then we get into the nitty gritty and I point out how I am using a heavy, well-made pot and that is why a dish can cook on the stovetop, without burning or sticking, or for extended periods of time. The same recipe in the wrong pot might not work! And the worst thing is folks think it is them, that they can’t cook. And all along, it was the equipment!

Cake Turntable

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I use a heavy Ateco cake turntable, as shown above. They are not cheap, but even inexpensive turntables – even found at a tag sale – can be of help when applying buttercreams and frostings. When shopping for one, the heavier the better. You don’t want the base to move as you are using it.

Icing Spatulas

Icing spatulas also help get the buttercream and ganache onto the cake in the most efficient manner. I often use an assortment of sizes and shapes, both long and short, straight and offset.

Now, while you might be familiar with the aforementioned items, cardboard rounds might be new to you. Perhaps you have noticed when you buy a cake from a bakery that it is often sitting upon a piece of cardboard?

Cardboard Rounds: aka Cake Boards or Cake Rounds

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Cardboards rounds, that are pre-cut to the same diameter of your cake layers, allow you to pick up the cake as it is being worked on – applying buttercream, pressing the mini chips and toffee bits on the side, moving the finished cake easily to a display plate or fitting into a cake box (in which case it is also placed on a larger round, that nestles snuggly in the box: 8-inch (20 cm) cake on an 8-inch (20 cm) cardboard round for decorating, then placed on a 9-inch (23 cm) cardboard round in a 9-inch (23 cm) box), which prevents it from shifting around; the two cardboards are “glued” together with buttercream).

And the reason why you want to buy pre-cut cake rounds (as they are called) and not cut your own, is because you want that perfectly smooth, round edge to help guide your icing spatula, which will in turn help you apply buttercream to the sides of your cake in a smooth, even, professional fashion. You cannot accomplish that smooth and circular of an edge yourself. You can see below how I use the edge of the cardboard to help guide my icing spatula.

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None of these items are necessary, but if you fancy yourself as a cake baker, I highly recommend them.

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How To Make Low FODMAP Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake 

Have cake layers and buttercream ready to assemble.

Brush the two cake layers with Low FODMAP Coffee Liqueur.

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Here is a picture of the toffee chips and mini chocolate chips that I use for this recipe.

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Toss together the toffee bits and morsels in a small bowl; set aside.

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Fill and frost cake somewhat smoothly with buttercream (have the bottom cake layer on a cardboard round as it will make the next step very easy).

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Press toffee bit/morsel mixture all over sides (you can just pick up the cake on the cardboard and hold over bowl of morsel mixture with one hand and apply morsel mixture with other hand).

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Then, place on display platter. PRO TIP: Schmear a bit of frosting on your platter to act as “glue” to hold the cake in place.

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Use star tip to make a complete ring of shells or rosettes around top outer edge of cake.

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It is very important that you make a full ring of large, tall shapes as it will hold in the ganache that you will be pouring on top later (see photos).

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I chose to pipe a reverse shell pattern, but you can make any shapes you want, as long as there is a complete border, all the way around the cake, to hold in the ganache.

Chill cake until buttercream is firm, at least 2 hours. 

Have Chocolate Ganache fluid, but not hot. Pour it over the center top of the cake.

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Flood the entire top within the boundaries of the decorative buttercream rim; a small, offset icing spatula works very well here to help push the ganache up against the border.

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Chill cake until ganache is firm, at least 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Cake may be served immediately or refrigerated overnight in covered container. Cake is best served within a day or 2 but will last a few days longer.

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5 from 1 vote

Low FODMAP Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake

Our Low FODMAP Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake is a big, important cake, perfect for significant milestone birthdays and other celebratory events. Many of the components—the chocolate cake, the espresso buttercream, the dark chocolate ganache and the Low FODMAP Coffee Liqueur – can be made ahead. This cake elicits “ooohhhs and aahhhs” and once guests taste it, they will be clamoring for the recipe. My good friend Kerry Boyd requested a cake with these flavors for her fortieth birthday, so it is dedicated to her. 

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 1, 8-inch (20 cm) round layer cake; 24 slices; 1 slice per serving

Makes: 24 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Have cake layers and buttercream ready to assemble. Brush the two cake layers with Low FODMAP Coffee Liqueur. Toss together the toffee bits and morsels in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Fill and frost cake somewhat smoothly with buttercream (have the bottom cake layer on a cardboard round as it will make the next step very easy). Press toffee bit/morsel mixture all over sides (you can just pick up the cake on the cardboard and hold over bowl of morsel mixture with one hand and apply morsel mixture with other hand). Use star tip to make a complete ring of shells or rosettes around top outer edge of cake; it is very important that you make a full ring of large, tall shapes as it will hold in the ganache that you will be pouring on top later (see photo). Chill cake until buttercream is firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. Have Chocolate Ganache fluid, but not hot. Pour it over the center top of the cake and flood the entire top within the boundaries of the decorative buttercream rim; a small, offset icing spatula works very well here to help push the ganache up against the border. Chill cake until ganache is firm, at least 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Cake may be served immediately or refrigerated overnight in covered container. Cake is best served within a day or 2 but will last a few days longer.

Notes:

Tips

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

  • Butter: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested butter. Monash states that a low FODMAP Green Light portion is 1 tablespoon or 19 g and also states that “butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates (FODMAPs)”. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 1 tablespoon or 19 g. Both recommended serving sizes are presented as part of healthy eating guidelines, not as maximum FODMAP serving size. Fat can affect guy motility and trigger IBS symptoms in some people. Eat to your tolerance.
  • Chocolate: Monash University has lab tested dark, milk and white chocolate all have low FODMAP amounts: 85% dark at 20 g; dark at 30 g; milk at 20 g; white at 25 g.
  • Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is ¼ cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.

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