Cinnamon-Kissed Chocolate Soufflès: full of love, free of gluten

[Ed. note: Amy Trage, a member of our bakers’ team and a dedicated gluten-free baker, is our newest blogger. Welcome, Amy!]

It has been through a series of trials and errors that I’ve learned to embrace the styles and challenges of gluten-free baking. When I first learned of my intolerance a few years ago, I not only resisted the change; I even avoided baking for almost a year.

One of my biggest tests was to sell this lifestyle to my three young children: Picky, Finicky, and Ewwthat’syucky. We are now united in a strong mission to discover at least one “I like” in every food. And to be honest, the transition from a wheat-based diet to one of gluten freedom has actually been more successful than my old strategy of hiding puréed vegetables in their dinner.

It’s no secret that chocolate and cinnamon have always had a thing for each other.  Aside from the days of fall when the favorite pie spice is busy flirting with the apples, the two are a relatively loyal couple of flavors. In fact, a chocolate-cinnamon combination, liquid-style, was traditionally served at Mayan weddings, as it was believed to promote virility.

Perhaps back then, this elixir was considered to be more practical than romantic; but nevertheless, Valentine’s Day seems the perfect occasion to reunite these old lovers for a sentimental gluten-free treat that never goes out of style or demand.

Let’s make Cinnamon-Kissed Chocolate Soufflés.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and brush six 6-ounce ramekins with butter, being certain to cover thoroughly and evenly.

Some of you may have ramekins in the 7- or 7 1/2-ounce range, which are also fine to use.

You’ll notice I had a difficult time finding a matching set. I rarely match my socks, why bother with my dishes? Uniformity is for the birds.

I opted to coat my eclectic collection of ramekins with cinnamon-sugar for a little more spice punch. For some, however, less is more, so please feel free to leave the cinnamon behind. Wipe the rim of each ramekin clean after coating with sugar, and set them aside.

Melt 1 heaping cup bittersweet chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter. I’m quite fond of our Belcolade Bittersweet Disks.

I made a double boiler out of a stainless steel bowl and pot, where the occasional stir is needed, but I’m also an advocate of the microwave method – as long as you’re willing to babysit. Love fever is good for people… not-so-hot for chocolate.

Add 2 teaspoons chocolate extract to this puddle of ecstasy, and consider it a little moral support.

More chocolate. More to love. Why not?

Don’t forget to switch to a whisk and stir in the Vietnamese cinnamon. Just 1 1/2 teaspoons is enough. It won’t compete with the chocolate, nor be a subtle mystery; but will rather sit right in the quiet middle of the flavor, as it should.

Separate 8 eggs (10 ounces), placing three of the yolks in your mixer’s bowl.  Set the 8 whites aside.

Separating eggs is my least favorite baking activity. I have a sensory disorder when it comes to raw eggs on my hands, so sometimes I pawn the job off onto a more tolerant kitchen friend; one who also happens to have better hand-modeling qualities!

The ghostly, subliminal scale in the background may be gently suggesting that you weigh your ingredients whenever possible.

Add 2 tablespoons brewed coffee to the yolks… not hot coffee, though, or you’ll make a latte scramble.

Beat on high speed until they’re frothy, then add 2 tablespoons sugar from your measured 1/2 cup. If you have Baker’s Special Sugar, this recipe would be a great opportunity to use it.

Once the sugar has been added, you’ll want to bring this combination to what’s called ribbon stage, which will take approximately 5 minutes at high speed.

The yolk color will lighten considerably and, when drizzled, you’ll find that it holds its shape for a few seconds before disappearing into the rest of the mixture. This one looks like the beginnings of a dribble castle.

Gently fold the silky yolks into the melted chocolate with a spatula, taking care to reach the bottom of the bowl with each fold, and turning the bowl every few strokes. This mixture is just about complete; you’ll want most of the streaks to disappear.

I had the advantage of having multiple mixers to serve me in the test kitchen, so I was able to go right to whipping the egg whites without needing to wash a bowl. I added a pinch of cream of tartar for stable results. Again, like the yolks, you bring the whites to a frothy consistency first.

Then, with the mixer running on medium-high speed, slowly make a gentle sugarfall into the bowl with the remainder of the sugar.

Once the sugar is gradually added, you can shift into high gear and bring the whites to peaks that are solid and glossy.

I hesitate to use the phrase “stiff peaks,” as it’s easy for the whites to cross into over-beaten territory. The difference will be between smooth, folding-friendly whites and dry, dull, mealy-looking whites that break up and clump in your mixture.

Thoroughly fold 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold the last 2/3 in as quickly and efficiently as possible, so not to deflate them. Some streaks may remain in the final mixture; no worries.

Fill each ramekin, leaving about 1/4″ to 1/2″ of space at the top. It’s a good idea to clear away any smears or smudges of batter on the edges to ensure a clean rise. It’s time to pass the faith over to your oven and read the riot act to those around you:

1)  Thou shalt not do jumping jacks.

2)  Thou shalt not slam doors.

3)  Thou shalt not make a one-man-marching-band with kitchen utensils.

4)  Thou who causes soufflé deflation shall be responsible for scrubbing the dirty ramekins. And there’s no love in that.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.  There will still be some wiggling in the centers when the soufflés are done.

Remove from the oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.

It was a grand adventure gathering a team of co-workers to make this shot happen. As you can imagine, the timing here is a tricky matter, since soufflés naturally begin to fall as soon as they’re removed from the heat. We had to strategically plan with 3 minutes remaining on the timer: one set of hands removes the tray from the oven, one rookie blogger removes most attractive candidate from the tray, one steady camera hand at the ready.

Two people. One soufflé. Tap your spoon into the center. It’s like docking fresh, untouched powdery snow with your skis or poking your toes into a hot foamy bubble bath. You can hear a whisper of air escape when you break it open. If you’re feeling fancy, try pouring  a little Creme Anglaise into the center.

And, if you dare, try adding a little liquor to the anglaise – preferably something that won’t intimidate the cinnamon. Feed each other and share some laughter. I wish you joy and love.

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Cinnamon-Kissed Chocolate Soufflés.

Print just the recipe.

[Ed. note: If you’re extremely sensitive to gluten, be sure to use ingredients packaged in a gluten-free facility. Our Belcolade Bittersweet Disks and Baker’s Special Sugar are gluten-free, but are NOT packaged in a gluten-free facility.]

Amy Trage

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...


  1. Tower Deli

    Soufflé seems so simple yet making it requires skill and attention. As a catering Fort Lauderdale service provider, we are aware of how important it is to make a soufflé that tickles the fancy of sweet tooth and dessert lovers. Thanks for sharing your gluten free chocolate soufflé that’s cinnamon kissed. Sounds and looks delicious indeed!

  2. Ruth B

    Made these last night for dessert. Came out LOVELY. Despite recommendations from KAF, I did make them mid-afternoon and then held them until 7:30. They still rose very nicely, maybe not quite as nice as if they were popped into the oven immediately, but still very respectable souffle texture. I will make them again! LOVE the Gluten Free recipes as it seems more and more people are realizing they are sensitive. One other note, I used 4-7 oz ramekins, then 2-6 ounce ramekins, then 2 custard cups – I ended up filling up 10 dishes! I’m guessing because I used extra large eggs (should have measured the egg whites by volume). Great job, Amy!
    Glad to hear it worked out for you Ruth. Aren’t you excited to see more great GF recipes from Amy? ~ MaryJane

  3. gaitedgirl

    Welcome Amy!!! Nice to have you here! Your first blog is brilliant! I adore anything cinnamon! I have always wanted to try something gluten free but haven’t ever seen something that just jumped out at me and said, “Bake me! I’m gluten free!” You have changed my mind! Congrats on that 🙂 Again, welcome and I’m sure everyone, including myself, will be looking forward to your next GF adventure!!
    One of the best things about being a new blogger is the warm embrace from fans like you! I can’t thank you enough for your welcoming words and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future. ~Amy

  4. "Mrs. Hittle"

    Welcome, Amy! i was so excited to see that KAF added a dedicated GF blogger. i’m not sensitive to gluten myself, but i have been blessed with many, many friends who are, and i love learning about how to love them with food, not poison. 😛

    i’ve passed this post on to several people, and will definitely make this recipe. It looks just like a flourless chocolate cake i’ve made several times, only in miniature (and what’s NOT better in miniature?!). i generally add a pinch or two of cayenne or chipotle to mine along with the cinnamon.

    Thanks again!

  5. superreader

    Welcome, Amy! It’s so nice to see more even more GF support from KAF. I also enjoyed your humor, and the many personal touches. As you’re thinking about recipes for the future please include whole-grain, lower sugar & alternative flour (i.e. sorghum, millet, oat) breads, cakes, bagels, etc.

    FYI, we always use grams, not volume measurements for baking, thanks to Gluten Free Girl & her many demonstrations of the differences that can creep in. Your gentle hint was nice but at the mention of “a heaping cup” I immediately wished for an in-line weight notation. I know most recipes have the weight conversion (though the eggs are still by the each & one or more other ingredients converts back to volume when the gram option is selected [sigh]) but there are times when an in-line note is warranted, too.

    Looking forward to your next post! 🙂

    I am so happy to have your suggestions for the future. I am very interested in trying more gluten free yeast recipes- and bagels are definitely on my list. I believe this recipe does have a weight option for the chocolate. I started this recipe with weight measurements and had to convert them to volume. Unfortunately 7 ounces of the chocolate is really a heaping cup- no more, no less. ~Amy

    When you read the recipe (link is at the bottom of the blog), you’ll be able to toggle between volume, ounces, and metric (gram) measurements… PJH

  6. onlycoe

    Well done, Amy! I’m looking forward to your next blog. My husband has developed a wheat allergy, so I’m learning to bake without it. I don’t like getting raw eggs on my hands, either (or raw meat or raw chicken), so I wear disposable gloves for those disagreeable jobs. It looks kinda funny, but it works.
    Ahh, yes, I went though a disposable glove stage also. Thanks so much for the warm welcome! ~Amy

  7. calacci

    Excellent job, Amy!! I have been cooking/baking gluten free for 8 years now, when my son was diagnosed at 2 1/2 with Celiac. I wish I’d had the resources available now, then. I am so thrilled that KAF, my favorite baking company in the world, has embraced gluten free. Keep up the good work Amy and KAF!
    Great to meet you here! Thanks so much for the feedback- we are happy to be providing you with a gluten free resource. ~Amy

  8. GCarolinaMD

    My gluten-intolerant granddaughter is also lactose-intolerant (butter, milk) and salicylate-intolerant (apples, grapes). Do you ever have recipes covering all those requirements?

    Not specifically, no. But I’d suggest you check out our gluten-free recipes; some call for butter or oil (choose oil), or just oil; and the ones that call for milk, you could substitute soy or rice milk. Any recipe calling for apples (we don’t have any GF recipes with grapes, I don’t believe), simply substitute another chopped fruit. Good luck – PJH

  9. Virginia

    Great post, nicely written and presented. Welcome.
    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Glad you are here with us. Thank you. ~Amy


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