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Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe – who could possibly say no to that?! Best of all, nobody would know it’s Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free too.

Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe? Say hello to my a super moist chocolate sponge, topped with incredibly indulgent Crunchie chocolatey icing, topped with chopped Crunchie bars, which are gluten-free in the UK.

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

The chocolate bar section of the supermarket can be a bit of a minefield when you’re gluten-free.

Some contain clearly biscuit which makes them a clear no-go. Then, some aren’t quite so obvious… until you read the back and realise that they contain barley. And of course, some have a ‘may contain gluten’ warning for seemingly no reason!

But Crunchies are one of the rare exceptions to that rule, so I think it’s about time we made the most of it, don’t you?

Here’s a few reasons you need to make this recipe if you weren’t convinced already…

Why make my Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe?

  • It’s a SUPER moist and chocolatey sponge cake, topped with an indulgent, thick, Crunchie-chocolate icing, topped with more Crunchie bars. What more could you want?
  • Best of all, you’d never know it was gluten-free by tasting it or looking at it – it’s super soft and NOT crumbly or dry at all.
  • Loaf cakes are incredibly easy to make – there’s no need to construct it once cooled. Just bake it, allow to cool and top it.
  • Crunchie bars are gluten-free in the UK, so celebrate that fact by making these!

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

But what does my Crunchie chocolate loaf cake taste like, I hear you ask?

The chocolate sponge cake itself is incredibly moist thanks to the ground almonds AND it’s packed with chocolate chips. It has an overall wonderful, rich chocolate flavour.

If that wasn’t good enough already, it’s then topped with chocolate icing dotted with crushed Crunchie and of course, tons of chopped Crunchie bars.

Honestly, every bite is pure heaven and nothing else tastes quite like it!

Here’s everything you’ll need for my Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe – consider this your shopping list! Keep scrolling until you see the recipe card below if you’re looking for the full ingredients and method.

Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe: What you’ll need…

  • Caster sugar: Of course, sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it helps to achieve a lovely crisp exterior and helps the cake to form a crumb.
  • Butter: Butter is king in cakes and buttercream, but make sure yours is softened before beginning. Leaving it out of the fridge for a couple of hours should do it.
  • Eggs: I used large eggs for this recipe, though medium eggs should be fine too.
  • Gluten-free self-raising flour: I use a simple commercial blend from the free from aisle in the supermarket. If you can’t find a blend like this where you live, you can always make your own using my gluten-free flour recipe.
  • Gluten free baking powder: Though there’s a little of this in gluten-free self-raising flour, a little goes a long way to ensure a nice, perfect rise.
  • Xanthan gum: This helps to bind the cake crumb together so it doesn’t become crumbly, replacing the gluten that would otherwise do the same job. This is particularly important in a cake that uses ground almonds!
  • Ground almonds: Believe it or not, this isn’t for taste – ground almonds ensure a super moist cake, every time. If you’re adverse to using ground almonds, feel free to substitute with more flour.
  • Cocoa powder: The easy, instant way to a wonderful chocolatey flavour.
  • Milk: All the best chocolate cakes start as a lovely, wet batter and milk is the best way to guarantee this.
  • Chocolate chips: Use either milk, dark or white – it’s up to you!
  • Icing sugar: You’ll need this for the buttercream as caster sugar won’t cut it whenever it comes to creating icing.
  • Dark chocolate: You’ll need to melt this into the buttercream – don’t worry though, it doesn’t taste like dark chocolate. The butter and icing sugar help to balance it out to a more, rich, indulgent flavour.
  • Crunchie bars: Yes, these are gluten-free in the UK! So celebrate that fact by throwing them on top of this wonderful cake.

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling.

But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time making this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!

Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe gluten free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?

It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!

Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:

Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).

Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.

Can I make your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe dairy free?

You actually can, though of course, the main difference is that you’ll need an alternative to Crunchies (or make your own!). Fortunately, I’ve found one for you guys and linked it below.

To make the cake dairy-free:

  • Use dairy-free margarine instead of butter (I use Stork hard margarine).
  • Use dairy-free milk instead of regular milk.
  • Use dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips, if using.
  • Ensure your cocoa powder is dairy-free.

To make the icing dairy-free:

  • Use dairy-free margarine instead of butter (I use Stork hard margarine).
  • Use dairy-free dark chocolate.

Instead of using Crunchie bars:

That’s it!

Can I make your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe vegan?

Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.

Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.

  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba, pre-whisked until frothy. Aquafaba is simply the water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
  • Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce.

So use one of those egg replacement options and you’ve got a gluten free AND vegan Crunchie chocolate loaf cake! I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below.

Can I make this recipe low FODMAP?

Unfortunately, as Crunchie bars contain dairy and the dairy-free alternative isn’t known to be low FODMAP or not, this recipe isn’t suitable for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.

Are Crunchie chocolate bars gluten-free?

Yes! At the time of writing, in the UK, Crunchie bars have no gluten-containing ingredients and no ‘may contain’ gluten, wheat etc. allergy warning. Here’s a link to them so you can check for yourself.

According to Coeliac UK, if a product has no gluten-containing ingredients and no ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat etc. then that makes it safe for Coeliacs and those on a gluten-free diet.

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

Can I make your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake in a food processor or standing mixer?

Of course you can – and it’ll save you on elbow grease! I don’t use a standing mixer or food processor to make the cake mixture personally – I use an electric hand whisk like this.

However, I do prefer to use a stand mixer to make the buttercream as it requires extended periods of mixing.

Can I make your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe by hand?

You can of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned silicone spatula will do.

Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent and might not bake properly otherwise.

Do I need any special equipment to bake your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe?

Certainly not! You will need a good quality 2lb loaf tin though, so here’s a link to the one I use.

Can I bake this using the all-in-one method?

In case you didn’t already know, the all-in-one method involves bunging all your sponge ingredients into a bowl at once and mixing them together. That’s instead of adding them gradually.

As there’s more dry ingredients than with your average Victoria sponge-style cake, as well as milk too, I would always advise adding them gradually, instead of all at once.

Trust me, you’ll thank me when you cake comes out and it’s not a total disaster. So no, don’t use the all-in-one method for this one!

Does this recipe need xanthan gum?

You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten free baking. And that’s exactly the case here.

Though gluten-free self-raising flour has a little in it anyway, adding a little extra doesn’t hurt – especially when we’ve got ground almonds in there AND when factoring in that this is quite a tall sponge.

So yes, if you can tolerate xanthan gum, please ensure that you use it!

Can I make this recipe using other gluten free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?

There’s a big difference between ‘gluten free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten free flour. When I say ‘gluten free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten free flours, not just one, singular flour.

Most gluten free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!

In gluten free self-raising flour, there’s usually even a little baking powder and xanthan gum in it too which always helps. So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten free flour blend.

Do I need weighing scales to bake your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe?

In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any of my recipes without them.

A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.

I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

How long can I keep your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake for?

I’ve kept my gluten free Crunchie chocolate loaf cake for 3-5 days in an air-tight container in the fridge with no problems.

If you need to keep it any longer than that, I’d highly recommend freezing it (see advice below for doing that).

When the sponge starts getting a little dry, it’s probably starting to get past its best.

Can I freeze your Crunchie chocolate loaf cake?

Of course! I’ve frozen it for up to 2-3 months no problem. Ideally, slice up the cake first before freezing. Then, you can easily defrost a few slices at a time instead of the entire thing.

When you want to eat it, each slice should take around 3 hours to defrost at room temperature.

How can I tell when my gluten free Crunchie chocolate loaf cake is done?

Grab a skewer and give it a poke in the centre. If it comes out clean, then it’s done!

But if the skewer comes out moist and cake-like, it’s best to pop it back in for a bit longer.

Crunchie chocolate loaf cake Recipe: Method

Oh and here’s a printable version of my Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️ Feel free to leave your written reviews in the comments below this post.

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)
Yield: 12 slices

Crunchie Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (gluten-free + dairy-free option)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe - super easy to make, indulgent and packed with chocolate-honeycomb awesomeness!


For the cake

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 135g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 100ml milk
  • 65g chocolate chips

For the icing

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 55g dark chocolate
  • 2 Crunchie bars, chopped
  • 2-3 Crunchie bars, to decorate


For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Cream together your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I use an electric hand mixer).
  3. Add in your eggs, gluten free self raising flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, sifted cocoa powder, ground almonds and milk. Mix together until combined using your electric hand whisk.
  4. Fold in your chocolate chips carefully.
  5. Spoon the cake mixture into your tin. Ensure it's as even as possible. Place in the oven for about 50 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before moving to a cooling rack.

For the icing:

  1. Melt your dark chocolate (I do this is the microwave in 20 seconds bursts), put to one side to cool whilst making the rest of the buttercream.
  2. To make your icing, place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don't have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
  3. Add your icing sugar gradually to the butter (I do this in two stages). I mix each addition of icing sugar for around 3 minutes before adding the second half.
  4. Sieve in your cocoa powder and then mix again until fully combined.
  5. Add in your cooled melted chocolate and mix until dispersed evenly, the colour is a lovely rich chocolate colour and it's a nice thickness to spread. If too thick, add a drop of milk and mix.
  6. Mix in 2 Crunchies broken into smaller pieces.

To decorate:

Spread your icing all over the top of the cake and then cover with more Crunchie bars just before slicing. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 6g

Nutritional info is estimated and not always accurate.

 Thanks for reading all about my Crunchie chocolate loaf cake recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!

Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

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