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Home » Cuisines » American » Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cocoa

Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cocoa

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Our recipe for gluten free chocolate cake is where indulgence meets simplicity. This recipe redefines your dessert expectations, offering a soft, tender, and moist cake that’s astonishingly easy to make. 

With just one bowl and no fuss, you’ll have a rich, decadent cake that promises perfect results every time. 

This recipe is your ticket to hassle-free, gluten-free baking, where simplicity reigns supreme, and the payoff is ridiculously rich and chocolaty. So, wave goodbye to the days of kitchen disasters and say hello to foolproof, show-stopping goodness.

A slice of gluten-free chocolate cake on a plate.

You guys, this is the one! This is the cake you dreamed about. The one you knew was too good to be true but you couldn’t stop wishing it existed.

Here is Why You Will Love this Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

This is THE Gluten-free chocolate cake you need in your life. This cake will take care of all your chocolate needs. All your cake needs. It is everything you want in a chocolate cake and more. And it is gluten-free. 

  • Imagine a cake that’s tender, light, soft, and moist; not just any cake, but the pinnacle of chocolate cake. And yes, it’s gluten free, but let’s be real—it’s so good it might just redefine your chocolate standards and become your favorite recipe.
  • You can serve this to all your friends that are gluten-free haters but they won’t be hatin’. Not with this cake. As a matter of fact, they won’t believe that it is a gluten free cake.
  • This gluten free fudgy cake recipe keeps things straightforward, using standard pantry ingredients that are easily accessible.This recipe is all about making the most of what you typically have on hand. Simple, convenient, and utterly satisfying. 

If you’re living a gluten-free life, you know how hard it is to find baked goods that are good. 

You either just go without or regret you ever tried. But you won’t regret this cake. 

I want you to taste chocolate cake the way a chocolate cake is supposed to taste. You have to make this chocolate cake so you can see and taste how good gluten-free can be.

Gluten free chocolate cake partially eaten.

A One Bowl Cake

Usually, baking a cake calls for fussy steps like sifting the flour and creaming the butter. Keeping dry ingredients separate… and on and on. 

Not this cake! I adapted this cake from my chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting recipe and it is the easiest cake I have ever made. Same goes for this gluten-free version. 

You don’t need an electric mixer but you can use one if you want. 

All you have to do is put everything in one bowl and stir it together. 

How to Make Your Favorite Gluten Free Cake

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with this gluten-free chocolate cake recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Whisk the hot water (or coffee) and cocoa together until smooth then let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.
  3. Sift the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over the bowl and stir well.
  4. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and bake.

Gluten free chocolate cake with a slice taken out of it

Baking Cakes with Gluten Free Flour

This is a really important tip! As a matter of fact, it is the most important tip I can give you. You have to use the right kind of gluten free flour. I have made this cake several times with different kinds of flour. And let me tell you, not all gluten-free flours are the same. 

You really need to use a blend of several gluten-free flours. Just using one type of flour will lead to a big fail. For instance, if you only use rice flour this cake will not turn out fluffy, light and moist. However, you can use a BLEND that HAS rice flour in it and get perfect results. 

Flour Blends That We Tested

Our ancient grains gluten free flour blend works really well with this recipe. But you don’t need to make a flour blend. There are several good gluten-free blends on the market. 

We didn’t test out all the different flour blends but we did test a few popular brands that work well. Here are some of the store-bought gluten-free blends that we tested and know work well with this recipe.

There are definitely other brands and blends that work but we didn’t test all of them.

If you don’t want to use any of the gluten-free flour blends that I mentioned above then let me help you know what to look for. Look at the ingredient list on the back of the package. 

If the flour blend has more than four different types of flour, it will most likely work. However, we found that flour blends that contain coconut flour or almond flour do not work as well. They tend to lead to a dry dense cake. 

Here is What You Need for This Chocolate Cake

Look for:

  1. A blend of different types of flour
  2. An ingredient list with more than 4 types of flour
  3. Avoid flour blends with coconut flour
  4. Avoid flour blends with almond flour 

One more tip about gluten-free flour blends:

If the gluten-free blend you get does not have xanthan gum in it then add about a 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the flour blend. It will help bind all the starches and give you a light fluffy texture.

Several servings of gluten free chocolate cocoa cake.

Hey, if you try some gluten free flour blends that we did not list, we would love to hear your experience with that blend. If it worked let us know what blend you used. If you leave a comment right here at the bottom of the post it would be super helpful for other readers.

We all want to know what works and what your favorite tips are. Gluten-free baking is challenging so let’s help each other out. 

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cake

  • Use the right pan size. This tip may seem a bit obvious, but I have seen and heard enough from others that this step is overlooked. 

    Even though the recipe calls for 8-inch pans, you need to make sure the pans are at least 2-inches deep. If you use shallower cake pans, the batter will flow over the edge and mess up your oven…. ugh!
  • Use room temperature ingredients.
  • If you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour into the measuring cups and level it off with the back of a knife. 

We frosted this cake with our chocolate cream cheese frosting. Here are some other frostings that would got well with this cake.

Storing the Cake

Store the cake in an airtight container. Even though this is a super moist cake, gluten-free flour will make your cake dry out faster. That is just the nature of the flour. An airtight container will help prevent it from drying out as fast. 

You can freeze the cake for up to four months if you keep it well sealed. As a matter of fact, if you’re not going to eat it within two days of baking it, you really should freeze it. That will help prevent it from drying out.

A slice of gluten free chocolate fudge cake.

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Gluten free chocolate cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

A truly incredible gluten free chocolate cake that is soft, tender and moist. You can mix the batter in one bowl and get perfect results every time.
4.58 from 56 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 33 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 80g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot water or coffee 240 ml
  • 2 cups sugar 400g
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 240 ml
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 120 ml
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup 210g all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (see notes)
  • 1-¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate chopped (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips) (87 grams)
  • ½ cup butter room temperature (113 grams)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature (226 grams)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 452 grams
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 63 grams
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, then grease the sides. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the hot water (or coffee) and cocoa together until smooth then let it cool to room temperature for a few minutes.
  • Add the sugar, eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended.
  • Place a metal sifter over the bowl and sift the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk or an electric mixer until all the ingredients are very well blended and look smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 33 to 37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the cake pans for 5 to 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cake from the pans. Invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Melt the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) in a microwave or a double boiler and set aside to come to room temperature while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  • Place the butter and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl and beat on medium high speed (with an electric mixer) until it is smooth and creamy. About 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Stir them in a bit by hand then use the electric mixer to whip it up until it is smooth and creamy. Start on low speed so the dry ingredients don’t fly out of the bowl, then slowly increase the speed. Stop the mixer intermittently to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl and beat until it is all blended in and smooth.
  • Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before covering them with frosting. Partially freezing the cakes will make it easier to frost them. 

Notes

Not all gluten free flours work the same. We tested this recipe with the following gluten free flour blends that gave us perfect results. 
  • Our own Ancient Grains Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour (multipurpose blend)
  • Pamela’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
If you don’t use any of these flour blends, look for flour blends that have more than four different types of gluten free flours. However, stay away from blends that have coconut flour or almond flour. Gluten free blends with coconut flour or almond flour resulted in dense, heavy, and dry cakes. 
Cocoa powder is naturally gluten free but not all cocoa powder is packaged in gluten free facilities. If you need to be certain that there is no trace of gluten then buy cocoa powder that is certified gluten-free.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 380mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 41g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Recipe Rating




September

Wednesday 13th of March 2024

Hey there, Dahn!

Just discovered your website recently, and made this cake today. I halved the recipe, made your flour blend, and weighed all the ingredients. I didn't have a big enough pan so I put it into 2 pans and checked them early on. I took them out when a toothpick was mostly clean. Mine came out a little brownie like and even almost had a crackly top, but the perimeter was more cake like. It also had an earthy taste, which from reading the comments, makes me think it was the teff flour (I used bob's mill, which I think is brown teff). Could my pan size be the cause of the texture being brownie like? I usually just put batter in whatever pans I have and check early and take out as soon as a toothpick comes out clean. Is there an issue to doing this if I am checking and taking it out as soon as baked through? Thanks! :)

september

Thursday 14th of March 2024

@Dahn Boquist, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I used two 8inch square pans, but they were only about 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" deep so that is why I used two even though I halved the recipe. I think you may be right that I needed to bake it longer. I'm going to try again today and bake it longer. Thanks for your help. On a side note, me and my sister recently discovered your website, and we think you guys have a very unique site. I just love it! :)

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 14th of March 2024

Yes, teff flour has a bit of an earthy flavor. If you don't care for that flavor you can omit the teff next time or try a different gluten free flour blend. What size pans did you use? The baking time in the recipe is for two 8-inch pans. However, ovens vary quite a bit so you do need to do a toothpick test and adjust the time according to your oven. This is a pretty moist cake so you want to make sure the toothpick does not have any crumbs or moist batter on it when you do your toothpick test. It sounds like you may have taken the cake out of the oven a bit too soon.Thanks for the comment and question.

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