This is the most amazing gluten free chocolate cake, ever! Decadent, fluffy, perfectly sweetened and easy to make in 1 bowl. No more dry or dense gluten free cakes!

close up of a piece of chocolate cake on a white plate

Never again will you need to suffer through dry or bland gluten free and vegan cake! My Gluten Free Chocolate Cake comes out of the oven tasting moist and sweet every time, just like all of your favorite classic cake recipes.

Gluten free cake can sometimes get a bad wrap for having a long list of complicated ingredients. I opted to make this recipe super simple and as close to my well-loved Vegan Chocolate Cake as possible. The results were fluffy, rich, and heavenly.

Slathered in a mouthwatering chocolate buttercream frosting, this is the best gluten free cake to bring to celebrations, birthday parties, and the holidays. It’s so easy to make and stores away beautifully.

slice of chocolate cake with a bite out of it

Does gluten free cake taste different?

No way! This gluten free recipe uses a few different ingredients compared to regular cake like apple sauce, cocoa powder, and a gluten free flour blend. Together, they create a moist and chocolatey cake that is never dry, crumbly, or bitter.

Tip: I strongly recommend using King Arthur Gluten Free Flour for the best results. I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 and it was too dense. This gluten free cake works best using a flour blend WITHOUT xanthan gum added in order to control the texture.

large glass bowl filled with chocolate cake batter

How to make gluten free chocolate cake

Start by making vegan buttermilk by combining the soy milk with vinegar. Stir it slightly and let it sit for a few minutes while it curdles.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Next, pour in the wet ingredients (including the soy milk/vinegar mixture). Mix it all together until well combined.

Lower the speed on your electric mixer and pour in the boiling water until combined. The batter should look runny at this point.

Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost the cake with the frosting of your choice using an icing spatula or just a butter knife and enjoy!

frosting a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Can I make this recipe into cupcakes?

Of course! Make the recipe as-is and pour the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners instead. They should only need to bake for around 20 to 25 minutes. 

Frosting options

You can top your chocolate cake with almost any frosting you love but if you’re a chocolate fiend like me, I recommend a classic Vegan Chocolate Frosting. It’s buttery, sweet, and made with only a handful of ingredients.

Dress up your cake with a delicate Vegan Vanilla Frosting instead to play with the flavors. A finishing drizzle of Chocolate Ganache as decoration or even in between the cake layers would be divine!

spatula removing a slice of chocolate frosted cake

Storing gluten free cake

I’d recommend storing your frosted cake in the fridge to keep it fresh for longer but it’s fine to be kept at room temperature for a day or two instead. You can store the cake whole or keep individual slices in airtight containers in the fridge.

The baked, unfrosted cake layers can easily be frozen as well. Wrap them indidvually in plastic wrap and foil before freezing for up to 3 months.

close up of a fork taking a bite out of a piece of chocolate cake

Want more gluten free sweet recipes?

close up of a piece of chocolate cake on a white plate

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This is the most amazing gluten free chocolate cake, ever! Decadent, fluffy, perfectly sweetened and easy to make in 1 bowl. No more dry or dense gluten free cakes!
4.92 from 12 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix*, I used King Arthur Flour, NO xanthan gum added
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, if using a flour with this added, omit
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling hot water, or use hot coffee
  • 1 Recipe Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch cake pans. I also line them with parchment rounds for easy removal of the cakes later.
  • Measure 1 cup soy milk in a glass measuring cup and add vinegar. Stir slightly and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • To the bowl with the dry ingredients, add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until well combined.
  • Lower the speed and carefully pour in the boiling water, continuing to mix into the cake batter until combined. The batter will be quite runny at this point.
  • Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.
  • Only once the cake is completely cooled, frost with chocolate frosting using an icing spatula or just a butter knife and enjoy!
  • It’s fine to store the cake at room temperature for 1-2 days, or you can refrigerate it for 3-4 days. Make sure to cover any cut parts so it doesn't dry out.

Notes

  1. May substitute any non-dairy milk, such as almond, oat or coconut milk.
  2. For best results, use King Arthur Gluten Free Flour with no added xanthan gum, so we can control it and add a little on our own. You can use another mix such as Bob’s Red Mill, but the cake will be a bit more dense and less fluffy.
  3. May use coconut sugar instead of regular sugar, if desired.
  4. For cupcakes, fill liners half full and bake for 20-25 minutes. You will get about 24 cupcakes.
  5. May substitute 2 flax eggs (2 tbs ground flax + 5 tbs water) or another egg replacer if needed for the applesauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16 servings, Calories: 500kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 408mg, Potassium: 220mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 54g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 2mg

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