Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
This gluten free chocolate cake is moist, rich, decadent and so chocolaty! It is perfect for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any rainy day. This cake comes together quickly and easily. Only 10 minutes of prep time and pantry staple ingredients. The texture is soft, fluffy and moist. The chocolate frosting is silky smooth and creamy!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Nobody can ever tell this cake is gluten free.
- Only 10 minutes to prepare the batter.
- This gluten free chocolate cake has the best moist texture.
- The flavor is rich, decadent and chocolaty.
- Add any flavor frosting. Try this cream cheese frosting as seen with Red Velvet Cupcakes!
- Great for many celebrations and special occasions.
- Make this for Christmas, birthday cakes, Valentine’s Day and more.
- The texture is moist and soft.
- This recipe is gluten free and nut free.
- Check out this Gluten Free Banana Cake for another delicious dessert!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for gluten free chocolate cake. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.
Olive oil adds such a great flavor to this cake. Feel free to use avocado oil or vegetable oil for a lighter taste.
Granulated sugar adds the sweetness. I have not tried this recipe with coconut sugar or another refined sugar free option.
Vanilla extract adds a homemade flavor.
Eggs help bind this cake together. In addition, eggs add the light and fluffy texture. Do not attempt to make this with Vegan eggs, flax eggs or chia eggs. Check out this Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
Any type of milk works. To keep this recipe dairy free, use dairy free milk. For nut free, try oat milk. Be sure oat milk is certified gluten free.
Use gluten free 1 to 1 flour. King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill make great options.
Cocoa powder adds the chocolate flavor. Use regular or dark cocoa powder.
Baking soda helps this cake rise.
Add in a pinch of sea salt. This helps accentuates the chocolate flavor.
Lastly, top gluten free chocolate cake with desired frosting or glaze. Both chocolate and vanilla can be used. Cream creese, buttercream or sour cream frosting all work well.
Taste & Texture
This gluten free chocolate cake is rich, a little intense and decadent. It has a strong chocolate flavor.
This cake is moist, fluffy and soft. The frosting is smooth and creamy. This cake is not dry at all. It has a tender crumb! For the best texture, do not over mix cake batter.
How to Make
First, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generously spray a 9 inch by 13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder.
In a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. Use a hand mixer to beat until combined. Do not over mix the eggs.
Then, pour in milk. Beat to combine.
Sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Stir to combine, until no lumps remain. Batter will be pretty thin.
Pour into greased cake pan.
Bake for 29 to 33 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven. Fully cool before frosting.
Lastly, slice gluten free chocolate cake and enjoy!
Expert Tips & Tricks
Carefully measure all ingredients.
Make this gluten free chocolate cake recipe exactly as written with as few substitutions as possible.
Generously grease 9 by 13 inch pan. Then sprinkle cocoa powder on top. This prevents sticking.
For a more robust flavor, use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Feel free to add in a pinch of espresso powder to the cake batter. This really brings out the chocolate flavor.
Use gluten free 1 to 1 flour. These mix blends typically already contain xantham gum. This will not work with almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour or cassava flour.
The biggest tip is to not over mix the cake batter. This leads to air bubbles and yields a dry cake.
The cake batter will be pretty thin. See photos above for reference.
Bake this gluten free chocolate cake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not bake too long.
Wait until cake is completely cooled to add frosting. Frosting a warm cake will yield runny frosting.
If desired, bake this into two 8 inch cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Or, bake into two 9 inch cake pans for about 25 minutes. These will be on the thin side.
Learn more about Sheet Cakes!
Use any frosting on this cake! Wait until cake is completely cooled before adding frosting.
Or, feel free to keep it naked.
A simple glaze would be great too!
Otherwise, use cream cheese frosting, sour cream frosting or Funfetti frosting with sprinkles.
Flavor Variations & Add Ins
Here are some fun flavors to add to your gluten free chocolate cake.
Add in a pinch of espresso powder. This adds a deeper chocolate flavor.
Use dark cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder.
Add in mini chocolate chips to the cake batter.
Add in sprinkles to the cake batter.
Top with a flavored frosting.
For a very indulgent treat, try this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake!
To make cake in the Instant Pot, make this Instant Pot Chocolate Cake.
How to Serve & Store
Serve gluten free chocolate cake once cooled and frosted.
Serve with a tall glass of milk, coffee, hot chocolate or tea.
Top with a dollop of whipped cream!
Store cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To freeze this cake, slice into pieces and freeze before adding frosting.
Thaw completely before eating.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make gluten free cake moist, do not over mix and do not over bake. Otherwise, this cake is very moist!
Duncan Hines has a keto friendly cake mix made without gluten, but it is not certified gluten free. Therefore, they are not yet completely safe for Celiacs or those with a gluten allergy.
No, this cake tastes like a classic cake.
Yes, gluten free flour can be used to bake cakes.
Sure! Use dairy free milk and dairy free frosting.
Hand Mixer: This hand mixer is great for baking cakes, cookies and brownies.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer: If desired, a stand mixer can be used. Be sure to not mix too quickly or too much.
Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: These are my favorite glass bowls for baking.
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups: Use these heavy duty measuring cups for baking.
9 Inch by 13 Inch Pan: This is my favorite pan for this gluten free sheet cake recipe.
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If you make this gluten free chocolate cake recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Dessert Recipes.
Get the Recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- First, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Generously spray a 9 inch by 13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder.
- In a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. Use a hand mixer to beat until combined. Do not over mix the eggs.
- Then, pour in milk. Beat to combine. Do not over mix.
- Sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Stir to combine, until no lumps remain. Batter will be relatively thin.
- Pour into greased cake pan.
- Bake for 29 to 33 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven. Allow it to fully cool before frosting.
- Lastly, slice and enjoy!
- Olive oil really brings out the chocolate flavor. For a slightly more mild flavor, use avocado oil or vegetable oil.
- For an even more intense chocolate flavor, add in a pinch of espresso powder to the cake batter.
- I have not tested this recipe with another flour. King Arthur Flour gluten free 1 to 1 flour and Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking flour are my favorites.
- Do not over mix the cake batter.
- Batter will be pretty thin.
- Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Do not frost the cake until completely cooled. Otherwise, the frosting will melt.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- This can be baked in two 8 inch round cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Or, bake in two 9 inch round cake pans for about 27 minutes. These will be thin layers.
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