Recipe: How to make a gluten-free chocolate Tiny Teddy birthday cake

Arnott's gluten free Tiny Teddy cake
Photo credit: Supplied

Imagine not being able to indulge in a toasted, chocolatey hot cross bun, or a thick, buttered slice of crusty sourdough, or tear into a flaky, golden pastry. This is the life of a coeliac - and yes, it can be very sad.

While there are many gluten-free products now on the market, they rarely live up to the real thing. But we begrudgingly butter our corn flour pasta and snack on styrofoam-like rice cakes, because we don't have a choice - we must avoid gluten until we can shove a cure down our gullets.

With all that being said, a few gluten-free alternatives really do hit the spot - Magnolia Kitchen's doughnuts are perhaps the best thing since (gluten-free) sliced bread. And sometimes, you stumble across a coeliac-friendly recipe that revolutionises you or your loved one's diet.

Earlier this year, Arnott's Biscuits expanded its range to include gluten-free versions of their family favourites. Endorsed by Coeliac New Zealand, the lineup includes gluten-free Scotch Fingers, Choc Ripple biccies and the childhood lunchbox classic, Tiny Teddy. 

The brand has now shared a simple yet delicious recipe for a coeliac-friendly chocolate cake laced with crunchy bites of Tiny Teddy - these can be substituted for another brand of gluten-free cookies, crumbled into bite-size pieces. This cake makes a great bet for birthdays and is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. 


  • 20g Arnott's Gluten-Free Tiny Teddy biscuits
  • 430g packet gluten-free chocolate cake mix (you can find a gluten-free cake mix at your local supermarket - Countdown's Free From Gluten range has one on offer, and you can find Betty Crocker's variety at New World).

Cake mix (ingredients may vary depending on cake mix packet)

  • 2 eggs
  • 60g butter
  • 190ml milk
  • Extra butter and milk for icing.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp of gluten-free 100's and 1000's sprinkles.


  • Preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced. Lightly grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Prepare the cake mix following the packet instructions and stir 15 Tiny Teddy biscuits through the mixture. Pour into a greased pan and follow the baking instructions.
  • Line a tray with baking paper and set aside. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir it over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • Simmer without stirring until it changes to a golden colour. Let the bubbles subside and pour the mixture onto baking paper. Sprinkle over 100's & 1000's. Set aside to cool then break into pieces.
  • When the cake is cool, top with prepared icing, the toffee shards and extra Tiny Teddies. Decorate just before serving.
Recipe: How to make a gluten-free chocolate Tiny Teddy birthday cake
Photo credit: Supplied

What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a permanent intestinal reaction to dietary gluten. Over time, the immune reaction to eating gluten creates inflammation that damages the cells lining the small intestine. This causes flattening of the tiny, finger-like projections, called villi, which line the inside of the bowel, leading to medical complications. It also prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The mainstay of treatment is a strict gluten-free diet that can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.

It's estimated that coeliac disease affects between 60,000 and 70,000 Kiwis, but more are believed to have non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.

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