Zuccotto (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, Gluten Free)

by Deliciously Organic on September 4, 2012

Zuccotto via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #paleo #grainfree

I think I might be having too much fun with desserts. I haven’t developed a new sweet-tooth, but am fascinated and challenged by just how many recipes there are to create without grains.

I fell in love with this dessert many years ago, when I bought a copy of Everyday Italian. It’s a classic Italian book full of accessible recipes. I pull it off the shelf every few weeks and thumb through – always feeling inspired. Some cookbooks just do that for me. Maybe the recipes aren’t elaborate, but the copy, photos and combinations of recipes speak to me in a way that other cookbooks can’t. I’m sure you have a cookbook or two like that in your collection.

Zuccotto via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #paleo #grainfree

Zuccotto is a fancy-looking dessert made from everyday ingredients. A pound cake, some whipped cream, chocolate, extract, brandy and almonds. That’s it. The “fancy” part is the way it’s all organized. The pound cake is cut into triangles and pieced together in a lined bowl. The cream is whipped – once with chocolate, the second time with almonds and extract. The bottom of the dessert is once again lined with cake. It’s chilled in the refrigerator where it forms a mold and the finale is a dusting of cocoa powder. It will get many “oohs” and “aahs” at the table. I enjoy making it for guests because the entire dessert can be assembled the day before. You can substitute the almond extract for another, leave out the nuts or keep them, or add other ingredients to the mix. Use your imagination and enjoy the possibilities!

Zuccotto (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, Gluten Free)

Serving Size: Serves 10

Zuccotto (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, Gluten Free)

Adapted from Everyday Italian


  • 1 coconut cake, completely cooled (I used this recipe and baked the cake batter in a loaf pan at 325ºF for 30 minutes, or until golden brown)

  • 1/4 cup brandy

  • 2 cups heavy cream (or very cold coconut milk, using this method to whip it)

  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used clover)

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped

  • Unsweetened cocoa for dusting


Line a 1.5 quart mixing bowl with plastic wrap, so that the wrap hangs over the side. Cut cooled cake into 1/3 inch-thick slices and then cut each slice in half on a diagonal, forming 2 triangles. Line the bottom and the sides of the bowl with cake slices. Using a pastry brush, brush brandy over the triangles in the bowl. You should have about 10 triangles leftover, reserve these.

Whip 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold in melted chocolate and spread over the cake, covering completely and creating a well in the center. Pour remaining 1 cup heavy cream and almond extract into a clean bowl. Turn mixer on medium-high and slowly add honey. Whisk until soft peaks form. Fold in the almonds. Spoon the cream mixture into the center of the well of the filling. Brush the remaining cake slices with brandy, and arrange them, brandy side down, to cover the filling. If needed, trim the pieces of cake to fit. Using the overhanging plastic wrap, cover the entire cake and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (I usually let the cake sit overnight).

To serve, open the plastic wrap and invert the cake onto a platter. Remove the bowl and plastic wrap. Sift cocoa powder over and serve.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

the urban baker September 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

This is so pretty, Carrie. I love how free-form everything is. I am sure the combo of coconut, chocolate, and cream does get you a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs”.


Deliciously Organic September 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

Thanks Susan!


karen September 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

I do have a cookbook like that in my collection, it’s called “Delicously Organic” :o). Every few weeks or so I pull it off the shelf for inspiration. I love the photos (almost one for every recipe) and the recipes always turn out perfect, everytime.

Thank you for the inspiration, Carrie! You have certainly turned my cooking world upside down, in a good way. I really enjoy cooking and with all your expertise and recipes that never fail, my family is very happy. :o)


Deliciously Organic September 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

You are too sweet! I’m glad I’ve “turned your cooking world upside down”. :) Thank you!


shoprubyjean September 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Okay, I just FRANTICALLY read over all the ingredients in hopes that I had everything on hand to try this. And I believe I do.. This looks so Incredibly Delicious! Thank you for sharing it.


Deliciously Organic September 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

You’re welcome. Enjoy! :)


shoprubyjean September 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

How did I miss the Brandy.. That is one thing I don’t have on hand. I guess back to the Market I go. :)


linda dazey September 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I made this, but used a square glass pan, all the round ones have the toxic coating on them. This turned out wonderful! The best cake I have ever had!


Deliciously Organic September 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t tried it in a square pan. I bet it was beautiful!


HeatherChristo September 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm

This is just beautiful Carrie!!


marla September 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Such a great looking cake Carrie!


Maria September 11, 2012 at 11:03 am



Carol Lovett September 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm

This dessert is so beautiful!


Brideen Sjulstad October 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

I dream of cooking like you!


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