Satisfy your chocolate cravings with this decadent Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. Fudgy yet light, this cake is easily made in one bowl. Chocolate cake layers are covered in a velvety buttercream frosting for the best gluten-free chocolate cake recipe.
You will be surprised by how heavenly this chocolate cake tastes. It’s rich and fudgy, with a perfectly moist crumb that will melt in your mouth with every bite. This gluten-free chocolate cake is coated with a luxurious buttercream frosting, making it a lovely indulgence for chocolate lovers everywhere.
And the best part is it’s incredibly easy to make - all in one bowl.
I’ve had years of gluten-free baking experience, and it’s never been easier to replicate that same velvety, rich chocolate goodness without gluten. Thanks to perfectly crafted gluten-free flour blends, you don’t have to waste time and ingredients with many different flours and starches. And the result is the best gluten-free chocolate cake you will ever taste.
Ready to make an intensely flavored chocolate cake covered with creamy buttercream frosting? Let’s get started.
This simple gluten-free chocolate cake comes together quickly with six simple ingredients and a chocolate frosting made with butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and cream.
For the cake:
- Gluten-free baking flour - ensure that your gluten-free baking flour contains xanthan gum. The best flour for this cake Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. If using Bob’s Red Mill flour, add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to the cake batter.
- Sugar - regular granulated sugar works great; buy organic sugar if your budget allows.
- Cocoa powder - use Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a rich chocolate flavor, also known as cacao powder
- milk - use coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk as a dairy-free option, but regular whole milk will work also.
- Vegetable oil - neutral flavored vegetable oil like avocado oil is best; important ingredient to help make those moist crumbs in this easy gluten free cake
- Vanilla extract
For the buttercream frosting:
- Salted butter - I love Kerrygold butter for its rich flavor and texture; pull it out of the refrigerator for an hour to let it come to room temperature first
- Powdered sugar - also known as confectioner’s sugar; in a pinch, you can blend some by adding regular sugar to a coffee grinder and grinding it to powdered sugar consistency.
- Cocoa powder - use Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a true chocolate flavor, also known as cacao powder
- Heavy cream - just a tablespoon or two to help create that rich chocolate buttercream frosting
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
This simple chocolate cake recipe comes together with very minimal steps. There is no need to sift anything; you can make the cake batter in one bowl.
The printable recipe is in the recipe card for your convenience.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) with the rack in the center of the oven.
Spray two 8x2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Cut out parchment paper circles in the same size as the cake pans and line them with the parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.
Add eggs, oil, milk, water, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until mixed well. You can also mix in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer.
Slowly add gluten-free flour blend, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, and continue to mix until well incorporated. Pause often to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Alternatively, you can mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add them to the wet ingredients. This extra step is optional but sometimes helpful if you have to add baking powder to your flour blend.
Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans and tap against the counter to release any bubbles.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean.
Remove the cake pans from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife along the edges of the cake to release any stuck bits from the pans.
Invert the pans to remove the cakes and place them on the wire rack to cool completely. Don’t rush the cooling process - this may take several hours for them to cool thoroughly.
To make the buttercream frosting: add softened butter to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and cream and mix well. Start with one tablespoon of cream and add more as needed, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
To assemble the cake, place one cooled cake on a plate or cake stand. Evenly spread frosting on top of the bottom layer. Place the second cake round on the frosted bottom layer and spread enough frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula.
You can leave the cake with rustic frosting or decorate it with shaved dark chocolate or chocolate chips for an extra touch of chocolate.
Serve chocolate cake at room temperature for the best flavor and texture. Avoid refrigerating it as it will dry out.
This delicious gluten-free cake is pretty simple to make. But a few expert tips may be helpful as you make this recipe.
- Use good quality gluten-free flour blend: I almost always use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour, but this cake calls for a special blend. I found this Dove's Farm Gluten Free Self Rising Flour White Flour. It is made in the U.K., but you can order it on Amazon. The xanthan gum is included and has a great texture with no grainy taste. It is made from rice, potato, tapioca, and buckwheat.
- Don’t skip the xanthan gum: When choosing a gluten-free flour, look for the ingredient list to ensure it includes xanthan gum. This helps replace the texture and elasticity of gluten in regular flours. Additionally, if you use Bob’s Red Mill flour blend, add a tablespoon of baking powder to the dry ingredients to help the cake rise. I don’t recommend any other flour blend besides the two mentioned here.
- Make frosting to your liking: The buttercream frosting is a simple butter and powdered sugar blend, but you can tweak it to your liking. Thin it with more cream as needed; conversely, back off the cream to make it thicker. Always start low and adjust as desired. To change things up, skip the cocoa powder and make vanilla buttercream - it is lovely with rich chocolate layers.
- Storage Instructions: Gluten-free chocolate cake is best stored at room temperature on the counter for up to 3 days. Store the cake in an airtight container or cake platter with a dome for up to 3 days. If you still have leftover cake after that, transfer it to the refrigerator but keep in mind, it will start to dry out. For longer storage, this gluten-free cake can be frozen in a cake carrier for up to 2 months. For the best flavor, reserve the frosting until ready to serve and freeze just the chocolate cake layers. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my gluten-free cake so dry?
Gluten-free baked goods can often turn out dry and very grainy. That grainy texture is a result of an improper balance of starches, flours, and gums in a gluten-free flour blend. Most gluten-free flours contain rice flour, potato starch, tapioca powder, and other ingredients that take longer to absorb moisture than traditional wheat flour. As a result, you end up with a very crumbly inedible mess. That’s why it’s always good to stick to a good quality flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill and Dove’s Farm Self Rising All Purpose Flour. You get perfect texture in every bite.
How do I know when my gluten-free cake has baked through?
It’s important not to overbake gluten-free baked goods because they often appear undercooked when in reality they are perfectly done. The best way to test for cake doneness is to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and when it comes out clean, the cake is done baking.
What is the best way to enhance the chocolate flavor in chocolate cake?
This is the best chocolate cake recipe for that chocolate lover in your life, but to take it up another level, there is one simple trick that you can do to make the chocolate flavor really pop. When making the cake batter, swap out the water for coffee to intensify the flavor of the chocolate. It makes for a very rich chocolate cake.
This easy gluten-free chocolate cake is a delightful treat for all your special occasions. It’s excellent all year long - serve it during the holidays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or to celebrate the last day of school. And of course, it makes a fabulous gluten-free birthday cake for that special someone in your life.
Whichever way you serve this chocolate cake, it will quickly become a favorite. If you like almond flour, try this delicious Almond Flour Chocolate Cake.
Need More Gluten-Free Treats to Get You Through The Week?
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Five Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Balls
- Five Ingredient Gluten Free Brownies
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- 2 ½ cups gluten free flour with xanthan gum
- 1 ¼ cups cocoa powder
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups milk (I used unsweetened almond)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup salted butter ( I love Kerrygold)
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
- 4 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Spray two 8 x 2 inch round pans with cooking spray and cut out parchment paper circles. Place inside pans and spray parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer add eggs, oil, milk, water and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, cocoa, sugar and salt and continue to mix, scraping down the sides often.
- Pour into prepared pans and drop gently on counter to release any bubbles. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick in center. It is done when toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely for several hours before frosting.
- Place room temperature butter in a stand mixer with paddle attachment and beat for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add sugar one cup at a time and beat well after each addition. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and continue to mix. You can add more sugar to get a thicker consistency or more cream for thinner.
- Frost cake and serve or store on the counter for several days. It will start to dry out.
Does this cake still taste great using Bob's Red Mill? Don't want to spend over $50 for the gluten-free flour from the UK!
The flour is only $13 and shipping was free. I have made this cake many times with Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour and it works great.
Penny - one more thing if you use the Bob's you will need to add 1 tbsp baking powder - no xanthan gum necessary since it's already in the flour. I added that to the recipe notes.
Calleigh | The Fork Bite
I would love to try this gluten-free chocolate cake. I'm glad that I can order the flour online thru Amazon. What a convenience.
Lovely recipe definitely the best gluten free chocolate cake. I’ll make this again. Thank you!
Who needs gluten?! This was soooo good. Such a great treat for my GF friends - they loved it!
Thanks so much Tracy!
Your chocolate gluten-free cake looks incredible. I don't regularly bake GF cake, but sometimes I need to when hosting for friends that need gluten-free food, so I am definitely saving this for such a time. 🙂
Heidy L. McCallum
This cake looks amazing and I love the fact it contains 0 Gluten. I can not wait to share this recipe with my best friend.
Hope your friend loves it!
I think this recipe has all the details to make a fabulous chocolate cake that everyone will love. Definitely a must-try recipe!