Daring Bakers May Challenge – The Opéra Cake (Gluten-free)

Isn’t it beautiful??I’ll give you a moment to savor it. Admire it. Drool over it.Do you know what you’re looking at? Have you ever heard of an Opéra cake before? I know I never had! For those of you that don’t know about this cake, it’s an extremely elegant and polished French dessert that is believed to have been created around the beginning of the 1900’s. Many people credit a gentleman by the name of Louis Clichy with inventing the cake and that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as Clichy Cake. See, you learn something new everyday! :)This is the most involved cake that I have ever made. Before receiving this challenge I had never heard of an Opéra cake. I had never made any of the 5 components that make up an Opéra cake. This was ALL NEW to me! So, after reading the recipe, I was terrified. What had I gotten myself into? But, when you take one component at a time, well, it’s a piece of cake! :)

You see, to make an Opéra cake, you need a joconde (the thin sponge cake that is made using nut meal), syrup to flavour the joconde, a buttercream frosting, a ganache/mousse layer, and a glaze to complete the cake. This was our Daring Baker’s challenge for the month of May.

I am so glad that I joined the Daring Bakers when I did, because this cake was amazing! It is a very beautiful cake, and the flavours were fantastic. I’m positive that it is something that I would never make on my own. But, now with a little push, I’ve done it! I’ve completed it. I’ve eaten it. I wish I had more of it!

Traditionally an Opéra cake is made up of chocolate & espresso flavours, but for this challenge, we were asked to stick to lighter colours & flavours, making it a spring cake. I decided to go with lemon/blueberry flavourings for this cake. However, I liked this cake so much, I just may give the chocolate/coffee version a try one day! :)


Thank you SOO much to Ivonne, Lis, Fran and Shea for hosting this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. It was most certainly a challenge.

To see all the wonderful versions of Opéra Cake that were created this month, check out the Daring Baker’s Blogroll.


  1. TerryLynnL says

    Oh WOW, Jeanine!! Looks great doesn’t even seem fitting enough for this cake!
    I bet it was delicious. Great job!!

  2. Jeanine says

    Thanks, TL! It actually got best after sitting for a few days. next time (yes, next time) I want to try to make the traditional cake, with chocolate & coffee flavours…mmm… :)

  3. Renee says

    Blueberry and Lemon – what a great combination of flavors. I love the look of your buttercream. Very pretty cake!

  4. Susan says

    I was extremely thrilled when Jeanine brought out this dessert for Mothers day :-} It was beyond delicious…Thanks Jeanine, Job well done..Mom

  5. sleepingbearinthekitchen says

    Blueberry and lemon, my favorite combo, although after seeing this wonder I don’t think I will ever look at a blueberry lemon scone the same way again.
    For never having made any of the components before it appears you are a natural in the kitchen!!

  6. The Opera Singing Chef says

    Hmmm..mine was a diaster, but I might try what you did next time, even though I said I probably would not make this cake again. Yours looks awesome!

  7. katskitchen says

    Jeanine, your cake turned out beatuiful! This was the first time I’ve heard of an oprea cake also! Definitely tasty!

  8. Maddy says

    Beautiful cake! I love the flavor combo of blueberry and lemon and the fact that the colors pop in this cake makes it even better.

  9. pixie says

    I’m always amazed by how spectacular gluten free cakes are! congratulations! VERY ELEGANT TOUCH WITH THE RIND!

  10. dana McCauley says

    You did a great job! So glad to learn that rice flour can have these kind of results. Thanks for a lesson in gluten free cooking!

  11. Indigo says

    Ooh that’s perfect… I’m jealous! I could just help myself to that top slice, with the blueberries and lemon… mmm, I love this cake.

  12. Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats says

    Oh this is a lovely cake! Blueberries and lemon – yummy. I’m getting so many ideas for different flavorings and presentations and the berries and lemon are on my list.

  13. madcapcupcake says

    Your cake is a complete stunner! – so pretty, I just love the colours, all those shades of cream and yellow against the blue, gorgeous!!

  14. The Irreverent Cook says

    Oh goodness, you are totally justified in feeling proud of your cake…its a beauty!! Fantastic job =D

    • Sara W. says

      Hi Jeanine, I was looking over the directions as I would love to give this a try. Can you please review the portion discussing the white chocolate/ganache. Lemon is included as an ingredient and a liqueur must be left out?
      Thanks for all you do!!


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