It can be simple and sweet like the boxed cakes you made when you were a kid, or dark and decadent like the dessert you order after a meal out at a fancy restaurant. And the best part is that no matter which type it is, chocolate cake never fails to satisfy your sweet tooth.
But what happens when you try to make a gluten free chocolate cake?
Too often, people hear the words “gluten free” and automatically think of dry, tasteless, cardboard-like desserts. Believe me, I know—I used to be one of those people.
If you’ve ever searched for gluten free birthday cake recipes online, you know that there’s no shortage of options out there. And most of them range from “this is missing something” to “downright awful”.
But that’s not because the people publishing these recipes don’t know how to bake. Pulling off a perfect gluten free dessert is no easy feat.
Many times, when a recipe is converted to a gluten free version, the result is dense, flat, and bland because the person who wrote the recipe simply swapped all-purpose flour for another type.
Trust, I know this from experience. I once tried making a gluten free carrot cake recipe and just switched out regular flour for almond flour and it. was. terrible. It basically fell apart when I tried to get it out of the pan, and the parts that I could salvage were dry and crumbly.
The trick is this—in order for gluten free cake recipes from scratch to work, you can’t substitute a gluten free flour for the wheat flour.
When you use a combination of two different gluten free flours along with a few other tweaks, gluten free desserts can turn out moist, fluffy, and delicious.
Before this one, I tried so many gluten free chocolate cake recipes. And gluten free vanilla cake recipes. Not to mention that one gluten free yellow cake recipe. And so on…
But this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake? It will make you question everything. This is the cake of your dreams. It’s moist, rich, and deeply chocolatey with a chocolate ganache frosting that ties it all together beautifully.
If you’ve never made ganache, it’s a fancy sounding frosting that’s actually really easy to make. This one only takes three ingredients, and all you have to know how to do is measure, melt, and stir.
Not to mention there’s no piping or spreading involved. Once it’s cooled a little, you literally just pour it on top of the cake and you’re done. It’s the easiest frosting job ever. You can dress it up with some additional decorations or keep it sweet and simple.
As if all that wasn’t enough, this cake even has dairy-free chocolate chunks in it. This is truly a chocolate lover’s gluten free cake!
It’s a perfect dessert for potlucks, birthday parties, or no particular reason at all. If you’re a person who is plagued by late-night chocolate cravings, this recipe will be your new best friend.
I can’t have this gluten free cake near me without undoing every bit of exercise I’ve done in the last week. I basically have to ration it and give away slices to anyone who happens to stop by to keep myself from eating the whole thing.
Let me tell you—this cake is The One. If there are any gluten free haters in your life, this is the recipe to convert them. Just don’t be surprised if they refuse to believe it’s gluten free—it’s that good.
Why, you ask? Let me tell you a little bit about what makes this cake so darn good.
About the Ingredients
Almond meal is a super versatile gluten free alternative to wheat flour. If you make your own almond milk, it’s also a great way to use up the leftover pulp that’s left behind after you strain it.
Plus, almonds are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats so almond meal makes any dessert at least a little bit healthier.
Coconut flour is one of the star ingredients in many of my recipes, including this gluten free cake. Whole Foods is a great place to find coconut flour, but if you don’t have a Whole Foods near you and can’t find it elsewhere, it’s really easy to make your own homemade coconut flour.
All it takes is shredded coconut and water, and during the process, you actually end up making coconut milk as well, which you can use in smoothies and tons of other recipes. It’s like getting a free gift with your homemade coconut flour!
Besides making delicious gluten free baked goods, coconut flour is also high in protein, fiber, and manganese. You can find out more about its health benefits and learn how to make it yourself here.
Raw cacao powder gives this cake a deep, complex flavor, and it’s also a superfood.
Cacao comes from the same plant as cocoa, but it’s processed at a much lower temperature, which allows it to retain more vitamins and nutrients.
Agave nectar is a great alternative to refined sugars that’s both vegan and Paleo.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this cake is good for you. It’s definitely no kale salad. But these ingredients do help to make it a little better for you than most typical dessert recipes.
If you’re just getting into gluten free baking, this is a great recipe to test the waters. It’s good enough to be super impressive when you serve it to guests, but simple enough that it’s not at all intimidating. In other words, you don’t need to have mad baking skills to pull it off.
But enough talking about the recipe—let’s get to it!
I hope you enjoy this gluten free chocolate cake as much as I do and I would love to hear about how it turns out if you decide to give it a try!
Please let us know in the comments below what you think of the recipe (and how you tricked your non gluten free friends into loving it)!
- Chocolate Cake
- 1 Cup Almond Meal (or Almond Flour)
- ½ Cup Cacao Powder
- ¼ Cup Coconut Flour, Sifted
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Agave Nectar
- ½ Cup Ghee, Melted + Ghee to grease cake pans
- 4 Eggs, Room Temp
- ½ Cup Dark Chocolate (I used chips, you can use chunks)
- Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 1 Package of Dark Chocolate Chips, 10 oz
- 4 Tablespoons Ghee
- 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar (or more if you’d like it sweeter)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine dry ingredients (Almond Meal/Flour, Cacao Powder, Coconut Flour, Baking Soda, Salt) in a bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients (Agave Nectar, Ghee, Eggs) to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Add chocolate chips/chunks and combine.
- Pour batter into two 6″ round cake pans that have been greased with ghee.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
- Let cake cool on a wire rack.
- Fill a pot half way with water. Bring to a simmer, and place a glass bowl over the top (or use a double boiler).
- Place chocolate chips in glass bowl and stir continuously while they melt.
- Add Ghee and Agave Nectar, and stir until incorporated.
- Remove from heat, and allow ganache to cool slightly.
- Once the cake has cooled, frost the top of each cake. Place one cake on top of the other, and frost the rest.
Recipe Adapted From: My Heart Beets