Go Back
+ servings
a slice of gluten free chocolate cake on a plate with a fork

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

A true celebration gluten free chocolate cake everyone will like no matter what diet they're on.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 585kcal
Author Rachel Ballard


For the gluten free flour blend

For the cake

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (282 grams)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (362 grams)I used 1 cup date sugar and 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar, See Note 2
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (94 grams)I used 1/2 cup black cocoa and 1 cup dutch cocoa, see Note 3
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (304 grams) almond milk with a dash of lemon juice may be substituted
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (300 grams)
  • 1 large egg 2 small eggs works
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (134 grams) any flavorless oil works
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (258 grams) I tested with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (48 grams)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (22 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (224 grams) vegan butter or shortening may be substituted
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (150 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon milk almond milk works
  • pinch salt


Make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two round 8" or 9" cake pans with coconut oil or butter, or spray them with baking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, grease again lightly and sprinkle with cocoa powder to coat the inside. Tap out the excess and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour and make sure everything is well mixed. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of this mixture to use in the recipe and save the rest for another use.
  • In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, add the flour blend you made, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Whisk or mix together to combine.
  • In a 4-cup measuring cup or a medium size bowl, measure in the buttermilk and water. Add the egg, oil and vanilla and whisk to break up the egg.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and blend with a hand mixer, whisk or in your stand mixer until no lumps of flour remain.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake on the center rack, rotating half way through, until a toothpick comes out clean--25 to 30 minutes. Don't overbake your cakes or they will be dry. Start checking them 5 to 7 minutes before the end of the baking cycle. If you use 8" pans your cakes may take closer to 40 minutes to bake.
  • Once baked, let cool in the pans 5 minutes then turn out on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Make the frosting

  • Add the chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments, stirring in between until the chocolate chips melt. About a minute and 30 seconds should do it. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Mix the cocoa in the boiling water and stir to combine. It will thicken. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, milk and salt on high with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes almost white and fluffy. About 7 minutes. No less.
  • If the chocolate and cocoa mixtures are cool, add to the butter mixture and beat until everything is incorporated. If your chocolate is warm you'll melt the butter and ruin the frosting so make sure it's room temperature.
  • Frost the cakes once they are room temperature. The frosting will firm as it sets and will be quite hard if refrigerated. Best if served the day it's made but will be delicious the next day as well.


Note 1: The only way to ensure a cake that isn't gritty is to use this specific brand of brown rice flour. I cannot guarantee the results of your cake with any other flour blends or substitutions. The brands of potato starch and tapioca starch/flour are not important. 
Note 2: You may substitute coconut sugar (it will have a bolder flavor in the final cake) or do a half and half blend of sugars as I did. I haven't tested the recipe with honey and it would need several adjustments to the recipe to make that swap. I'd recommend sticking with some type of granulated sweetener.
Note 3: I linked to black cocoa for you in the recipe but keep in mind it should not be used without adding regular cocoa powder as well.  It's far too bitter. I recommend using a small amount and the rest as regular cocoa powder or just doing all cocoa powder and knowing your cake won't be quite as dark after baking. 
Note 4: Nutrition Information: I don't believe these nutritional numbers are right. Keep in mind the computer calculates for all of the flour blend being used and you will only be using 2/3 of it or so. This will effect the carb and calorie counts (making them less than what's listed). 


Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 3mg