Recipe: Gluten-free chocolate cake by Susan Hart |

Recipe: Gluten-free chocolate cake by Susan Hart

Susan Hart
Gluten-free chocolate cake is a rich and dense addition to summer gatherings.

June birthdays! They are gone (for this year), but not forgotten! I had the pleasure of baking gluten-free cakes for some of my favorite June celebrants this year. The standout is always this amazing, rich cake which is both gluten and dairy free. It’s no less satisfying for that. My nephew, Israel, also a June birthday boy, says his Aunt Susan “makes the best chocolate cake in the whole, wide world!” At least he says that when I’m visiting and knows he can get me to make a cake.

But it’s good! The list of ingredients seems daunting, but the cake is easy to assemble and always comes out beautifully. The slice pictured is not iced with the frosting recipe included here, but is instead filled and topped with whipped cream and bananas. Also, the slice pictured is one layer, sliced and filled. It’s a big cake with both layers assembled together.

I used my own Help Yourself — it’s gluten-free basic flour mix, which is available in Reno at Great Basin Co-op and in Carson City at Sierra Acupuncture’s Herb Shoppe, or by emailing me. I haven’t tried it with other gluten-free flour mixes, but some of those should work well also.

Bon Appetit! On to the July celebrations!


(Adapted from the Gluten-Free Goddess)

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 cups Help Yourself — It’s Gluten-Free (or other) gluten-free flour mix

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature

2 tablespoons bourbon vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line two 9-inch cake pans with (non-dairy) greased parchment paper cut to fit.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugar, flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Beat the eggs, coconut oil and vanilla together and add to the dry ingredients, mixing at low speed. Add the almond milk and, when all is blended, beat two to three minutes at medium-high speed until the batter is smooth and glossy. It will be dense.

Put even amounts of the batter into the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula dipped in water. Bake on the center rack for 35 minutes, turning each pan halfway at 18 minutes. The cake is done when the center springs back when touched lightly. Cool the pans on a wire rack.

Ice when cooled thoroughly; you may want to refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours if the air temperature is warm.

For the mocha frosting:

1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar

6 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons vegan margarine

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract

1/4 cup cold, strong coffee

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, as needed

For the mocha frosting, combine the ingredients except for the almond milk in a large mixing bowl. When everything is combined smoothly, add the almond milk one or half a tablespoon at a time until a firm spreading consistency is reached. Beat until the frosting is fluffy. If you need to, add more powdered sugar to thicken the frosting for spreading.

Put one layer of the cake on a serving plate, top side down. Spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting evenly over the layer. Place the second layer on the bottom one, top side up. Ice the top, then the sides, with a spatula. If you want to completely smooth the icing, dip the spatula in water for the final pass.

Garnish with your favorite fruit, or shaved chocolate, or nuts, or coconut … Chill the cake briefly to set the frosting.

Makes one 9-inch layer cake, but you’ll want thin slices of this one! Rich and dense.

Susan Hart has been cooking gluten-free for 20 years. She can be reached at