This gluten free vegan chocolate cake will blow you away – with how it looks, how it tastes and how incredibly easy it is to prepare. No fuss, no weird fancy ingredients, only an hour of your time… and you’ve got yourself a decadent, gorgeous gluten free vegan cake. And the best thing: nobody could possibly guess that it contains no gluten, no eggs, no butter and no milk. Yes, it’s that good.
When it comes to vegan and/or gluten free baking, there’s this persistent belief that it’s the most complicated, difficult thing on the planet – borderline rocket science.
The thing is: people like to complicate… pretty much everything… pretty much all the time. (And please note that this is coming from the – self-proclaimed – queen of over-complicating things.) Yes, baking without gluten, eggs, butter and milk can be daunting. But once you step over that initial hurdle (that’s only in your head anyway), it’s a piece of cake. Really. Really really. Pinky promise.
So let’s jump into it, shall we? Because we’re totally badass and nothing scares us (not even egg-less baking) – and because CHOCOLATE IS THE BEST THING EVER, we’ll start with a *drumroll* gluten free vegan chocolate cake.
Deep breaths now. We got this. You got this. Mmkay?
Just look how pretty it is. So pretty.
Now, you might think a vegan chocolate cake recipe will be difficult to master. There’s no egg to hold things together and to give the cake it’s lift, no gluten to prevent the cake from going crumbly, no butter to keep it rich and moist… It’s okay, I thought so to. Initially.
But then, I remembered that quirky recipe that’s been around since the WWII: the wacky cake. You see, due to the shortage of just about everything during WWII, clever people have come up with a chocolate cake recipe that contains no eggs and no dairy. Does this ring a bell?
It sure did for me. If they could do it, surely a simple substitution of normal flour for gluten free flour should result in a gluten free AND vegan chocolate cake with no major problems. Aaaaand… I was right. (It’s a brilliant feeling, that.)
I didn’t follow a specific wacky cake recipe or anything similar. (Simply because I really don’t like following recipes. Go figure. And I have a food blog. With recipes. Don’t try to understand, I know I don’t.) I just threw the ingredients together in a way that felt right (<— yep, 100% accurate scientific procedure right there) and the cake that came out of the oven was… perfect.
So darn good.
(And easy to make. SUPER easy to make, actually.)
It also has the prefect balance between being dense and fluffy – I know that may sound contradictory, but it’s so true. It has the fluffiness of a good sponge, so that when you press it with your finger it has that bounce of a perfect sponge.
But like any good chocolate cake, it’s not too dry or airy – because everyone knows a good chocolate cake is moist and has a certain weight to it. Does that make sense? Tell me it makes sense.
The vegan chocolate frosting is another example where simplicity and effectiveness go hand in hand. Two ingredients, little to no fuss, and you’ve got yourself some amazing chocolate frosting.
Coconut cream and melted chocolate. That’s all you need.
Now, you’ll notice that the instructions for making the vegan chocolate frosting are a bit… odd. But there’s a reason for that. Because we’re essentially making a “naked cake” with very generous amounts of frosting, I wanted a chocolate frosting that has the airy body/volume of a whipped buttercream and the smooth texture of a chocolate ganache.
You with me so far?
So what I did is make a super concentrated ganache, by pouring a relatively small amount of boiling hot coconut cream over a whole lot of chocolate. This makes an intense, very dark ganache, that may appear slightly grainy (depending on the water content of your coconut cream). That’s okay though. No stress.
Then, I mixed the chocolate ganache gradually into more coconut cream. Which is weird, I know. But it works. It really really works.
I mean… just look at it. It’s all silky and velvety and just… gorgeous.
Have I convinced you yet? That gluten free and/or vegan baking can be (and is) simple?
I suppose the ultimate proof is in making and eating (obviously) the cake. All I can say is that this vegan chocolate cake recipe is probably one of the easiest on TLW, and when I brought the cake with me to work, people were impressed both with how it looked and how it tasted. Nobody could tell that it’s gluten free and vegan. Nobody could tell it took only about an hour to make.
What they saw and tasted was an amazing chocolate cake that delivered on all fronts. What more could you possible want?
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Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake (Gluten, Dairy & Egg Free)
For gluten free vegan chocolate sponge:
- 2 cups (240 g) gluten free flour
- 1 1/3 cup (260 g) caster sugar (Note 1)
- 1/2 cup (60 g) cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (240 mL) vegetable oil
- 2 cup (480 mL) non-dairy milk (for instance coconut milk, rice milk or almond milk if not sensitive to nuts)
For vegan chocolate frosting:
- 1 cup (200 g) coconut cream, divided (Note 2)
- 7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate, chopped
- chocolate shavings for decorating
- raspberries for decorating
For gluten free vegan chocolate sponge:
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and grease two 6 inch (15 cm) round cake tins with vegetable oil. You can also line the bottoms with greaseproof/baking paper.
- Mix all dry ingredients together.
- Mix the wet ingredients together, and add them to the dry ingredients. Stir well, until you get a smooth cake batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two greased cake tins, smooth out the tops, and bake in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 40 minutes or until the tops are springy/bouncy to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool.
For vegan chocolate frosting:
- In a saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the coconut cream until boiling hot.
- Place the chopped dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, and pour over the boiling hot coconut cream. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then stir it well until you get a glossy, dark, intense chocolate ganache. Allow to cool until only slightly warm.
- In a separate bowl, place the other 1/2 cup of coconut cream. This should be at room temperature or only very slightly cold. Slowly (a tablespoon at a time), stir the chocolate ganache into the coconut cream. At the end, you should be left with a smooth, easily spreadable frosting ideal for decorating.(If you want a more intensely chocolatey frosting, decrease the amount of coconut cream.)
- Layer the sponges together with the frosting, like in the pictures above.NOTE: Be sure to work relatively quickly – use the frosting as soon as possible after preparing it, as it tends to firm up slightly on standing, which makes it difficult to spread.
- Decorate with raspberries and chocolate shavings, or other decorations of choice.
- The gluten free vegan chocolate cake keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place (the fridge is fine, too) for 3 - 4 days.
Looking for more sweet vegan goodness? You’ve come to the right place!