The best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake of your dreams has entered the chat! This cake is incredibly moist, extra fudge-like, and paired with the most delicious chocolate ganache frosting. Such an easy cake to make for any occasion and so customizable to serve up! A cake that is both gluten-free and dairy-free!

gluten free chocolate cake with flowers on marble cake stand with slice of cake on the side

As I celebrate another trip around the sun today, I’m so happy to do it with this gluten free chocolate cake recipe! There is no other cake that I prefer, especially on my birthday, than a slice of moist, deep chocolate cake. This cake is so damn beautiful, y’all- in both the physical and non-physical sense. It reminds me of that scene in Matilda with Miss Trunchbull and Bruce Bogtrotter, ha!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake!!! 😍

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill who I’m always so excited to partner with; all thoughts expressed here are my own. They house some of my favorite baking products and more! My kitchen pantry is fully stocked with their flours, baking aids, grains, and granolas. Needless to say, I’m a big fan and highly recommend their natural food products to everyone.

This is a chocolate cake recipe that is both gluten free and dairy free while also being completely versatile to not be. So, whether you prefer gf + df dessert recipes or not, this cake recipe is easily adaptable! For my chocolate fiends, you’ll love how rich, moist, and fudgy this chocolate cake is!

It’s got deep chocolate notes throughout and finished with a dreamy chocolate ganache frosting that’ll sweep you off ya feet! What I love most here is that you can enjoy this recipe in many versions: a 3 layer 6-inch cake, 2 layer 8-inch cake, and even a sheet cake. You can appreciate this cake in many forms!

Other BBR bakes: sweet potato pound cake, cute lil’ peach hand pies, these funfetti pudding cookies, this double chocolate banana bread, and rolls like these peach cobbler cinnamon rolls or my fave lemon sweet rolls– ayye! ♡

slice of gluten free chocolate cake on scalloped pink plate with gold fork

Ingredients For The Chocolate Cake

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Gluten free 1:1 baking flour: We use this one almost exclusively and love it! Use any gluten free flour of your choice, but make sure it contains xanthan gum (this is the necessary ingredient for transforming traditional bakes into gluten free treats). Feel free to use all-purpose flour in place of, too!
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder: This type of cocoa powder is washed with an alkalizing agent that lessens the acidity of natural cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa powder creates an even tastier chocolate product because it is purer and allows the chocolate flavor to truly shine through.
  • Black cocoa powder: This is the key to an ultra-intense, chocolate-y baked good. In addition, it also gives chocolate treats an even deeper, darker color.
  • Leavening agents: Baking soda + baking powder to provide structure.
  • Salt: Some sea salt to provide balance against the sweetness.
  • Brown sugar: Packed brown sugar with that added touch of molasses, yum.
  • Granulated sugar: Pairs right alongside with the brown sugar.
  • Milk: Any dairy or dairy-free milk of your choice- we use almond milk.
  • Black coffee: Any great chocolate cake recipe should have this, imo. Coffee provides a depth of flavor that enhances and deepens chocolate notes, making it more pronounced. No, the cake will not taste like coffee at all.
  • Vanilla essence: A touch of vanilla extract for lovely flavoring.
  • Oil: The fat needed for contributing to a wonderfully moist cake.
  • Eggs: Just 2 of ’em for added stability in the cake.

⇢ This gluten free chocolate cake is likely one of the best you’ll ever have! It’s a chocolate lovers dream with rich flavor in every bite. The sweetness hits perfectly and it’s without a dry crumb in sight, HELLA MOIST!

slices of gluten free chocolate cake on pink and white plates with bob's red mill flour on the side

Chocolate Ganache Frosting Ingredients

  • Coconut cream: Love me some coconut cream, especially in this ganache. This gives the chocolate ganache a luscious, creamy texture.
  • Brown sugar: We want this ganache to have some rich sweetness as well.
  • Unsweetened chocolate: The key to drive home the chocolate factor all up and through this chocolate ganache frosting.
  • Butter: Use any dairy or dairy-free unsalted butter of your choice.
  • Espresso powder: Added coffee notes to enhance the ganache.
  • Salt: Helps to provide balance with the flavors.

⇢ This chocolate ganache frosting, lawddd. It’s the sweet finale that seals the deal on this gluten free chocolate cake recipe. You’ll find that this frosting comes together with a quickness! I love how it’s loaded with chocolate flavor without any cloying sweetness, silky smooth, and extra creamy! 🙌🏾

Tips + Tricks For Making Layer Cakes

To get this gluten free chocolate cake just right, here are some baker’s tips:

  • Cake pans: Big fan of this brand, I got ’em in just about all sizes!
  • Kitchen scale: This will help you evenly weigh each cake layer for precision.
  • Cake strips: The damp fabric helps to keep the outside of the cake pan cooler, which causes the entire cake to bake at even rate…preventing cake domes.
slice of gluten free chocolate cake on scalloped pink plate with glass of milk behind it

How To Make Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the baking pan(s) very generously, line with parchment paper, and cake strips (if using)- then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, both cocoa powders, baking soda + baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Stir everything well to fully combine.
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, coffee, extract, oil, and the eggs. Whisk the mixture together until the batter is thoroughly combined.
  4. Evenly divide the cake batter into your prepared pan(s).
  5. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool down completely before frosting or wrap in plastic and refrigerate cake layers overnight.

How To Make Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  1. Add the coconut cream and brown sugar to a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer and once it begins to boil, remove from heat.
  3. Add in the chopped chocolate and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Then use a rubber utensil to stir the chocolate into the cream mixture until a smooth, chocolate ganache forms.
  5. Stir in the butter, espresso powder, and salt until fully combined.
  6. Refrigerate the ganache until chilled, but spreadable.
  7. Frost the cake and garnish as desired. Slice and enjoy!

Chocolate ganache notes: This chocolate ganache is ohhh so precious, y’all! It’s giving the silkiest and sexiest of vibes- you will swoon over it just the same! When it’s first made, it is quite runny, as a typical ganache is.

As such, this ganache needs to be chilled for some time so that it can achieve a spreadable consistency, like frosting. I like to make this while the cakes are baking or cooling- and this ganache can even be made a day in advance!

gluten free chocolate cake with flowers on top sitting on marble cake stand

Make Ahead Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Can I make this cake ahead of time? Yes! It’s what I recommend as well. After baking and completely cooling the cake layers, wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. These gluten free chocolate cake layers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Then frost the cake and decorate as desired.

Alternatively, you can also freeze cake layers. On top of covering in plastic wrap, I recommend adding a covering layer of foil to them for extra measure on freshness. The cake layers will keep in the freezer for 3 months. Then transfer frozen layers to the fridge to thaw before decorating/serving.

Can I make the chocolate ganache ahead of time? Absolutely! Make the ganache the day before serving, as it is written, then store it in the refrigerator. Note: the ganache will harden the longer it’s chilled; as such, it will need to sit out for about 1 hour to come back up to room temperature to achieve a spreadable consistency for frosting.

How To Assemble, Decorate, & Store This Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

For layer cakes: Once more, make sure the cake layers are completely cool without an ounce of warmth to them! After applying a layer of frosting between each layer, apply a thin, crumb coat over the entire cake surface. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes to set. After chilling, use the remaining chocolate ganache to frost the entire cake and decorate.

Decorating: Ahhh, the fun part! I’m not too big on being overly obnoxious with my decorations lol. Listen, I keep it simple with a rustic, spackle-like frosting pattern and some gorgeous flowers, dassit. Decorate this gluten free chocolate cake as you’d like! You can pipe the frosting to create patterns, use sprinkles/shaved chocolate, write words, use edible flowers, etc. 🥳

For storing: Keep the finished cake stored inside the refrigerator for freshness. If you have a cake container, even better. Otherwise, I like to press a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the sliced/cut open part of the cake to keep it from drying out. The cake will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

a slice of gluten free chocolate cake on small scalloped pink plate with gold fork

This Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe is the ultimate chocolate treat, y’all. That cake and that ganache frosting, whew! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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a slice of gluten free chocolate cake on small scalloped pink plate with gold fork

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Desserts & Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

The best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake of your dreams has entered the chat! This cake is incredibly moist, extra fudge-like, and paired with the most delicious chocolate ganache frosting. Such an easy cake to make for any occasion and so customizable to serve up! A cake that is both gluten-free and dairy-free!


Ingredients

Scale

For the chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1:1 baking flour
  • 3/4 cups dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons black cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dairy or dairy-free milk (we use almond milk)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee, warm
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 1 (14 fl ounces) can full-fat coconut cream
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 10 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped- see notes
  • 8 tablespoons dairy or dairy-free unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

For the chocolate cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Then preheat the oven to 350°F. This cake can be made using 3 (6-inch) round cake pans, 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, or in a 9 x 13-inch (sheet cake) baking pan. Generously grease the baking pan(s) and line with parchment paper and damp cake strips (optional!) for good measure. Then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Stir the dry ingredients very well to thoroughly combine.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the milk, coffee, extract, oil, and the eggs. Whisk the mixture together until the batter is fully combined. This chocolate cake batter will be very runny.
  4. Evenly divide the cake batter into the cake pan(s). I like to use a kitchen scale to help get the precise weight of each cake pan.
  5. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes (for 3, 6-inch cakes), 30-35 minutes (for 2, 8-inch cakes), or 30 minutes (for a 9 x 13-inch pan)- or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean before removing from the oven.
  6. Allow the cake(s) to cool in the pan for about 20-30 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and place onto a wire rack to cool down completely before frosting. Feel free to wrap cake layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, if desired.

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut cream and brown sugar. Whisk the mixture together and bring to a simmer. When the mixture starts to boil, remove the pan from heat.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate into the saucepan and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Then use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate into the cream until a fully melted, smooth ganache forms. Add in the butter, espresso powder (if using), and salt and continue stirring until the butter melts and everything is well combined.
  3. Refrigerate the ganache until chilled but spreadable, about 1-1/2 hours. You can also cover and refrigerate the ganache overnight. Note: the ganache will harden the longer it’s chilled; as such, it will need to sit out for about 1 hour to come back up to room temperature to achieve a spreadable consistency for frosting.
  4. If making a sheet cake, use an offset spatula to spread the ganache onto the cake. For layer cake assembly, if your cakes have a dome, use a sharp knife or cake leveler to level the cakes. Then spread an even layer of ganache over each cake layer. Followed by a thin, crumb coat layer of ganache over the entire cake. Then place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for the layers to set, about 30 minutes.
  5. After chilling, use the remaining ganache to frost the entire cake. Garnish the cake with flowers, sprinkles, and other cake toppings, as desired. Slice into wedges and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
  2. For the chocolate ganache: use at least 70% dark chocolate.
  3. Feel free to use all-purpose flour in place of gluten-free flour.