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The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is the best gluten-free chocolate cake recipe out there. It’s moist, rich, and is incredibly easy to make. You won’t believe this cake is gluten-free! There’s a dairy-free option too!

This is the BEST gluten free chocolate cake recipe out there! So moist, so rich, and so full of chocolate flavor! It's always the hit of the party! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog.com | gluten free dessert recipes | easy desserts | cake recipes from scratch | homemade chocolate cake | gluten free cakes | birthday cakes | gluten free birthday cake recipes | chocolate cake from scratch

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

I’ve been making this gluten free chocolate cake recipe for years and I can’t believe I’ve never shared it here! I’ve shared versions of it, like my gluten free chocolate cookies and cream cake. And I made a half batch of it to make my gluten free chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake.

A plain old, classic gluten free chocolate cake? NOPE. What was I thinking?!

Clearly I wasn’t and it’s definitely time to change that because this cake is EVERYTHING. It gets rave reviews every time I make it (which is pretty frequently for birthday cake) and nobody can tell it’s even gluten free!

This is the BEST gluten free chocolate cake recipe out there! So moist, so rich, and so full of chocolate flavor! It's always the hit of the party! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog.com | gluten free dessert recipes | easy desserts | cake recipes from scratch | homemade chocolate cake | gluten free cakes | birthday cakes | gluten free birthday cake recipes | chocolate cake from scratch

The great thing about a stellar chocolate cake recipe is that you can do a lot with it. The chocolate cake is the perfect base for all different kinds of flavor combos you’d like.  It really has no limits so you can use your imagination!

I’ve made a Sourdough Chocolate Cake with the discard from my gluten free sourdough starter. I also turned it into a fall cake and made a Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

This cake recipe is one of those classic recipes that you’ll want to keep on hand, you’ll definitely be making it again and again.

This cake is made with regular milk but it’s easily adapted to be dairy free. Just use unsweetened coconut milk or your favorite dairy-free milk alternative!

This is the BEST gluten free chocolate cake recipe out there! So moist, so rich, and so full of chocolate flavor! It's always the hit of the party! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog.com | gluten free dessert recipes | easy desserts | cake recipes from scratch | homemade chocolate cake | gluten free cakes | birthday cakes | gluten free birthday cake recipes | chocolate cake from scratch

 


Key Ingredients for this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

For the Cake:

  • All purpose gluten-free flour blend (omit the xanthan gum if using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour)
  • Cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk (or 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or your dairy-free milk of choice)
  • Avocado oil or canola oil
  • 2 eggs at ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1 cup hot coffee

For the Frosting:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar

Equipment Needed


How to make this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from scratch

Step 1. Combine the dry ingredients and whisk together.

Step 2.  Combine the wet ingredients and whisk together until blended into a large bowl.

Step 3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Step 4. Mix them until completely combined.

Step 5.  Pour in the hot coffee and mix until incorporated.

Step 6. Pour the batter evenly into two prepared pans.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Step 7. Allow cakes to fully cool (20 minutes) then begin to frost the first layer.

Step 8.  Add the second layer and frost over.

Step 9.  Make sure the cake is completely frosted on the top and sides.

Step 10. Add some swirls or other fancy decorations (optional).

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake


How to make the chocolate buttercream frosting

  1. First, add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until completely smooth.
  2. Next, add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix on low to combine.
  3. Then, mix in the vanilla extract and heavy cream.
  4. Turn the mixer to a medium-high speed and beat for 1-2 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Finally- frost the cake as desired!

What types of frosting can I use?

For frosting, I made a simple homemade chocolate frosting. If you’re making this dairy free, frost it with my vegan chocolate frosting.

Another great frosting option is Nutella Buttercream Frosting. It gives a wonderfully nutty flavor with a nice, smooth chocolate flavor. I promise you’ll love it!

And I linked to my Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting above (which is fabulous).

I suggest making a double batch of frosting so you can do a proper crumb coat to lock in those cake crumbs and then frost it with a good thick layer of creamy, dreamy chocolate frosting. You’ll probably even have a little bit extra for piping if you want to get fancy.

This is the BEST gluten free chocolate cake recipe out there! So moist, so rich, and so full of chocolate flavor! It's always the hit of the party! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog.com | gluten free dessert recipes | easy desserts | cake recipes from scratch | homemade chocolate cake | gluten free cakes | birthday cakes | gluten free birthday cake recipes | chocolate cake from scratch

 

Pro tips for this chocolate cake:

  1. Don’t skip the hot coffee!  The coffee really helps to enrich the chocolate-y flavor!
  2. You can make the chocolate cakes and freeze them until you’re ready to frost the cake.
  3. Make sure all of the wet ingredients are room temperature.
  4. I use Rodelle’s Dutch Processed Gourmet Baking Cocoa because I prefer the rich chocolate flavor. Regular cocoa or dark cocoa powder can also be use.
  5. The frosting makes enough to frost one cake. If you would like a thicker layer of frosting or if you want to pipe any details, I suggest making 1 1/2 batches or doubling the recipe for best results.
  6. If you freeze your cake layers before frosting, you can often get away with skipping the crumb coat.

Note– Feel free to skip the crumb coat and piping if you’re short on time, that step is totally up to you. The crumb coat just locks in the crumbs so they don’t get into the frosting when you’re trying to spread it.

Which gluten free flour blends work best with this recipe?

I highly recommend to use my Nightshade Free Flour Mix in this recipe. This cake recipe also works well with both my White Rice Flour Blend and the Brown Rice Gluten Free Flour Mix.

I have also tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour with great results.

Measuring your gluten free flour blend- the right way!

I REALLY recommend you follow and sign up for this free guide on how to properly measure your flour blends. This is a step that is often overlooked but is super important!  If you follow this guide, it will increase the quality of the recipes that you bake.  I guarantee it!

How do I make this GF chocolate cake dairy-free?

Simple! First, be sure to use a dairy-free milk alternative, such as coconut milk. Secondly, make sure to use a vegan frosting.  I highly recommend you try my recipe for vegan chocolate frosting.  It’s delicious- and super easy to make!

Can I freeze the chocolate cake safely?

Yes, absolutely!   Just be sure to follow these steps:

For freezing the unfrosted cakes:

  1. Wrap the chocolate cakes tightly in plastic wrap. 
  2. Freeze on a sheet pan 4-6 hours and then transfer to freezer safe bags.
  3. When you’re ready to bake with them, make sure they are fully unthawed (4-6 hours) 

For freezing the finished chocolate cake (frosting included)

  1. Slice the the cake into individual pieces first. 
  2. Then, freeze individual slices on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. 
  3. Once frozen solid (4-6 hours), wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to freezer safe bag(s). 
  4. Thaw for at least 4 hours when you’re ready to enjoy the slice of heaven!

Delicious and moist homemade gluten free chocolate cake from scratch

Let me know in the comments who you’ll be making this cake for and if it’s for any special occasions! And if you’re making it for yourself, I won’t judge! But if you ARE looking for a mini cake, I’ve got you covered with my mini chocolate layer cake. Enjoy!


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This is the BEST gluten free chocolate cake recipe out there! So moist, so rich, and so full of chocolate flavor! It's always the hit of the party! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog.com | gluten free dessert recipes | easy desserts | cake recipes from scratch | homemade chocolate cake | gluten free cakes | birthday cakes | gluten free birthday cake recipes | chocolate cake from scratch

Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This is the best gluten free chocolate cake recipe out there. It’s moist, rich, and incredibly easy to make. There’s a dairy free option too!

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend contains it)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup milk (1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or your choice of dairy-free milk)
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened (or 1 cup vegan butter)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

To make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 2 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray that parchment paper with non-stick spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use the paddle attachment to mix the dry ingredients on low speed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.
  5. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and pour in the hot coffee. Mix on low until incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter (it will be very thin and pretty liquidy) evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. (Mine take about 37 minutes.)
  7. Cool the cakes on a wire rack (in the pan) for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. When the cakes are cool, prepare the buttercream.

To make the chocolate buttercream:

  1. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until completely smooth. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix on low to combine. Mix in the vanilla extract and heavy cream.
  2. Turn the mixer to a medium-high speed and beat for 1-2 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  3. Frost the cake as desired!

Notes

  1. I currently use my Nightshade Free Flour Mix in this recipe. It also works well with both my White Rice Flour Blend and the Brown Rice Gluten Free Flour Mix. I have also tested this recipe with Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Mix with great results.
  2. *I use Rodelle's Dutch Processed Gourmet Baking Cocoa because I prefer the rich chocolate flavor. Regular cocoa or dark cocoa powder can also be used.The frosting makes enough to frost one cake. If you would like a thicker layer of frosting or if you want to pipe any details, I suggest making 1 1/2 batches or doubling the recipe.
  3. If making this dairy free, you can frost this cake with my favorite vegan chocolate frosting.
  4. Cake adapted from Ina Garten.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569Total Fat: 29gUnsaturated Fat: 13gFiber: 2gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

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Judy St John

Sunday 8th of January 2023

I’ve made this numerous times for family celebrations and it’s always a big hit. Do you have any time and temp recommendations, if I want to bake this in 6” pans? Thanks!

Shay

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Thank you Judy! I made this as part of a 6-inch ice cream cake and baked it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

You can get the full recipe for that here: https://www.whattheforkfoodblog.com/2015/04/02/chocolate-peanut-butter-cup-ice-cream-cake/

Emily

Monday 21st of November 2022

Hi, how do I update the recipe to make a larger rectangular cake? Can I just double the recipe? is there a specific cake tin size that you recommend? Thanks!

Shay

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

No need to double the recipe. Bake it in a 9x13 pan for 30-35 minutes :)

Audrey

Thursday 10th of November 2022

Do you think buttermilk can be used instead of milk?

Cheri

Wednesday 14th of September 2022

Love this cake and make it often for birthdays as well as shared it with others to make too. My son has a friend with an egg allergy so wondering if anyone has tried flax eggs as a sub in this recipe. Thanks!

Ericka

Saturday 27th of August 2022

I have made this cake at least a dozen times and everyone loves it!!! Everything about it is amazing

Shay

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

Thanks Ericka!

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