My fudgy gluten free chocolate cake with homemade cream cheese frosting is the perfect moist chocolate cake. This tried and true rich dark chocolate’s flavors blend perfectly with the homemade cream cheese frosting. I include dairy and nut-free options so everyone can enjoy this gluten-free chocolate cake recipe! You can make this cake in about 40 minutes!

A gluten free chocolate cake slice on a white plate.

If you are looking for the best gluten free chocolate cake recipe, you will love making this decadent chocolate cake. It is made for chocolate fanatics! This cake is made from simple ingredients, and it tastes incredible. Nobody will know this cake is gluten free!!

After years of perfecting my gluten free chocolate cake recipe, I can finally say it is ready for you all! If you love baking a cake from scratch, this is the cake to make! This classic chocolate cake is fluffy and fudgy and has all of the rich dark chocolate flavors you love in a cake!

If you love chocolate as much as we do, check out my best Gluten Free Chocolate Dessert recipes. They are guaranteed to help you with those chocolate cravings!

A whole chocolate frosted cake on a white plate.

Why this is the best gluten-free chocolate cake recipe:

  1. It is to make this gluten free chocolate cake from scratch! This cake is rated a beginner baker-level recipe.
  2. This yummy gluten free chocolate cake is so fudgy! It is the ultimate chocolate lovers cake.
  3. This chocolate layer cake serves 10 people.
  4. This cake is perfect for a birthday party! Make it as a layer cake or even cupcakes!
  5. Many have used this cake for a wedding. Make it as a gluten free chocolate groom’s cake and enjoy!
  6. You can enjoy this cake in just 40 minutes from start to finish!

I bought the mini pans and made this for Thanksgiving! It turned out sooooo good! Even my Picky non-gluten free kids loved it and said , “Hey, it doesn’t taste gritty’!
The frosting was to die for as well!”

becky r., pinterest comment

If you prefer an excellent vanilla cake, this incredible Gluten Free Vanilla Cake recipe is also amazing!

Allergen Information:

This homemade chocolate cake recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and oat-free. See the Substitutions for dairy-free, gum-free, etc.


  • Dairy-Free – You can easily make this gluten free chocolate cake dairy-free by substituting the cream cheese for a dairy-free cream cheese like the one from Kite Hill. Also, substitute the yogurt for dairy-free yogurt.
  • Nut-Free – The only nuts in this recipe are in almond milk. Substitute soy milk or another non-dairy milk to avoid almond milk.
  • Gum-Free – To make this cake gum-free, meaning there is no xanthan or guar gum, use my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend.
  • Butter-Free – If you want to make this gluten free chocolate cake with oil instead of butter. That is fine, and I tested this recently. I recommend using a light oil, not a strongly flavored one. (This is for the cake and NOT the frosting.)
Photos of the chocolate cake ingredients.
I used simple ingredients to make a gluten free chocolate cake!

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend: I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure. That doesn’t mean other flour blends will not work; I have not tested other flour brands.
  • Cocoa Powder – I love Ghirardelli and Anthony’s brands. Almost all cocoa powder is gluten free, but always check the label.
  • Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream – If you love your cake super moist, yogurt or sour cream is the secret to a moist chocolate cake. I recommend using full-fat yogurt in this cake, but either will work.
  • Eggs – Use size large.
  • Butter – If you need this recipe to be dairy-free, you can use vegan butter. I recommend unsalted butter.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – I used almond milk, but if you are nut-free, use plant-based milk—also, regular milk works.
  • Baking Powder – Many ask if baking powder is gluten free, and most are. Always read the labels!

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

It is so easy to make a gluten-free chocolate layer cake. The first step is to preheat your oven to 350º F.

Photos of making the chocolate cake steps 1 and 2.

Step 1: Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. If you notice a lot of lumps in your cocoa powder, I recommend sifting it into the bowl. This will make your cake consistency more even,

To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using the spoon method or leveling method. In a perfect world, people weigh their flour, but most do not own a kitchen scale. Every gluten-free flour blend has a different weight, making a scale even trickier. Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour. You can also use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.

Step 2: Use a whisk to blend the dry ingredients. Don’t forget if your gluten-free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum, add a teaspoon to the dry ingredients.

Photos of making the chocolate cake steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Add the wet ingredients to a smaller bowl and whisk to blend. I melt my butter to make the mixture smoother.

Step 4: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients in the bowl with a large spoon until they are just “barely” mixed.

HINT: Do not over-mix your cake, or it will not be as light and fluffy! I NEVER use a standing mixer for gluten free cake. It makes your cake not as fluffy.

Photos of steps 5 and 6 making chocolate cake.

I used this cute set of mini-layer cake pans. These pans make layer cakes so easy to make. You can choose how many layers to make your cake. You can also use this fudgy chocolate cake batter to make sheet cakes or cupcakes.

Step 5: This is the consistency of the batter. It is a nice, rich chocolate color.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

Step 6: Add the batter to the cake pans. You can also make a 9×13 sheet cake with this chocolate cake batter. Bake the cake at 350º F for 20 minutes. The bake time will vary depending on the pan in which you bake your cakes.

To check to see if the cake is finished baking, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cake is ready. If there are crumbs or batter on the toothpick, it must be baked longer.

🔑 Sandi says: TIP: Let the cake cool completely before frosting it. Otherwise, your frosting could melt. If you are in a hurry, cool your cake in the refrigerator.

Rich chocolate frosting in a mixing bowl.

Step 7: Mix the homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting in a standing mixer while the cakes are cooling. Be sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature so your frosting is really creamy!

Frost the chocolate gluten-free cake, building up the layers with frosting one by one. If you like, add sprinkles to the top.

I used Toll House Chocolate Curls that I found at my local grocery store to top the cake. If you want to make your own chocolate shavings or curls, this easy tutorial on how to make chocolate shavings is easy to follow.

If you want to bake more chocolate recipes, try these moist Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies. Need a quick chocolate cake recipe but don’t want to bake? Try this Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake recipe!

A piece of chocolate plate standing up tall on a plate.

This chocolate cake would make an incredible Gluten-Free Wedding Cake. If you want more decorating ideas, this wedding cake recipe article has a lot of great tips and tricks. I also share my favorite cake-baking and decorating tools to make cake-baking and decorating even easier!

My dearest friend is now following a gluten free diet. This cake was my first foray in baking for her — holy heck, she LOVED it! and even the non gluten free people loved it. Its nice to make something to rave reviews while still following their dietary requests. Ill be making this often!”

Michele W.

Cake Troubleshooting:

Baking the perfect gluten-free cake can be tricky. The most important parts are choosing the right flour, not overmixing the batter, and ensuring the recipe liquid ratio works for the flour blend you choose.

Why did my gluten-free cake turn out dense or crumbly?

There is nothing more frustrating than having your gluten free cake turn out dense. This can be caused by a few potential issues.

  1. I always tell my readers not to use a stand mixer when they mix cake batter. They tend to overmix your batter, leaving you with a denser cake. Mix the gluten-free cake batter only until the ingredients are combined, and avoid overbaking by checking the cake a few minutes before the suggested baking time.
  2. Another reason for a dense cake is that every gluten-free flour blend has a high starch-to-grain ratio. This will greatly affect the moisture level of the cake. If you are using a flour blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust the liquid or flour amount to get the right batter consistency.
  3. The same answer for #2 applies if your cake is crumbly. You may need to add more liquid to your cake batter to compensate for the grain-to-starch ratio of your flour blend.

Why did my gluten-free cake sink in the middle?

  1. I know it is tempting to open the oven door and check on your cake, but opening it while baking can cause it to sink in the middle. Cakes need a consistent, steady baking temperature. Opening the oven door lets cooler air into the oven, slowing baking.
  2. Always check the expiration date of your baking powder or baking soda before using it. An expired leavener can cause all sorts of issues in baking.
  3. Is the cake underbaked? Know that the cake bakes from the outside in, so if you take it out of the oven too soon, the middle hasn’t had a chance to finish baking. Do the toothpick test to ensure your cake is thoroughly baked. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to bake longer.

I wrote up my Gluten-Free Baking Tips and a great Gluten-Free Cake Troubleshooting Guide to help you perfect your gluten-free baking.

More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

A whole chocolate frosted cake on a white plate.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Sandi Gaertner
Easy gluten free chocolate layer cake.
4.93 from 28 votes
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
vegetarian icon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 565 kcal



  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder (*see note)
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour blend (*see note)
  • 3 eggs size large
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder + dash of salt
  • ¾ cup almond milk or other milk
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt *you can also use sour cream


  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • In a smaller bowl, add all wet ingredients and mix.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just barely mixed. If you overmix your batter, your cake will turn out dense. I never use a standing mixer when I make gluten free cake because I like my cakes to turn out fluffy.
  • Spray cake pans with coconut oil. Add batter to each layer pan. (*see note)
  • Bake for 20 minutes, checking to see if it is done. (Time cooking really will vary depending on pan size, or if you are making cupcakes.)
  • Remove from the oven. Tip the pans so cakes come out onto the cooling rack.
  • To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake need to bake longer.
  • In a mixer, add frosting ingredients and mix until thick and creamy. (Start on low speed so powdered sugar doesn’t fly all over your kitchen!)
  • When the cake is cool, frost each layer. Use a rubber spatula to smooth and spread the frosting all around the cake.



  1. There are many gluten free cocoa powder brands. I like Rodelle, Anthony’s, and Ghirardelli.
  2. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  3. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum, add 1 teaspoon.
  4. To make this cake dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter and use a dairy-free yogurt like Kite Hill brand.
  5. I used almond milk but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  6. When mixing the batter, do not over-mix the batter. It would result in a denser cake.
  7. You can bake this cake in regular-sized cake pans or as cupcakes if you don’t have the mini layer pans.
  8. This cake will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze this cake in the freezer. I recommend freezing the cake unfrosted with each layer wrapped in plastic wrap, then gently placed in a large freezer-safe zipper bag.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 565kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 7gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 335mgPotassium: 258mgFiber: 5gSugar: 63gVitamin A: 950IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 2mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.


4.93 from 28 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. When I bake I’ve been measuring my flour by weight rather than cups. Do you spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping to get an accurate measurement?

  2. I want to make a 3 layer 8 inch cake. Would this recipe still work or do you think I should increase the quantities of ingredients?

  3. The Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free flour I have doesn’t have xantham gum listed in the ingredients. Do I need to add a tsp of xantham gum to the recipe?

  4. 3 stars
    This picture of this cake looked so delicious. My first problem is that the pan size was not cited within the recipe. I used two 8″ pans, which did not exceed the traditionally recommended 2/3 fill for a baking pan. Twenty minutes baking time was not near enough; these required 35-40 minutes each to fully bake. I feel that the cake was not quite sweet enough, in spite of the fact that I would normally cut sugar in recipes by 25%. If I were to make it again, I would increase the cocoa in the frosting. My husband liked both the cake & the frosting, but he’s not the GF person in this family.

    1. Hi Kathleen, I am sorry the cake didn’t work out for you. I had listed what pans I used under the ingredient notes, with a link to the actual pans so readers could see them. I also talked about the pan size in the Recipe FAQ section and advised the cake needs to bake longer if you use a different size pan. I just added a photo of the cake pans just in case anyone else doesn’t read the post and see the photo of the pans with batter I had already included.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this cake so many times & each time it was delicious! I love this recipe, it’s easy yet tastes like you’ve worked for hours.
    I wrote the recipe down, way back when I first found, & didn’t write down the author, something I do religiously, now. I’m so glad I can now give credit where it’s due!! Thank you! BTW- people who aren’t GF ask for the recipe. It’s my go to for church meals!

  6. 5 stars
    I had to bake this cake today! I haven’t tasted it yet but I will soon.

    I used Bob’s red mill gf 1 to 1 baking flour. Instead of baking powder I used cream of tartar and baking soda. I also used light extra virgin olive oil in thr cake battery instead of butter because I only had enough unsalted butter for the icing. I used powder vanilla for the icing and added a little water. I heated a hershey’s bar on top of the cake. It was a lot of fun decorating the cake. Thanks for sharing all these amazing recipes. One new friend mentioned possibly going gluten free and I shared your website with her. ❤️

  7. I can’t wait to make this cake. Is there a way to make the cream cheese frosting just plain vanilla? Would I just leave out the cocoa powder? Thanks!

  8. 5 stars
    After a rough start the end result was a beautiful, moist cake. My neighbor asked if I would make a gluten free chocolate cake for his wife for her birthday. They absolutely loved it! Thank you Sandi for helping me thru this.

      1. Would I use 3, 6 inch cake pans to make a smaller cake? I wasn’t sure on the sizes of pans and how many of the pans I would use with this recipe.

        Thank you!!

  9. 5 stars
    This cake tastes SO delicious, much better than other GF ones I’ve made! Do I use a mixer to combine wet ingredients? Do I also use a mixer when combining dry and wet? What do you mean by ‘barely mixed together?’ I made this and tried to not mix a ton but then I had some chunks of ingredients in the final product. Thank you!

      1. I am making this recipe tonight. I am concerned about the small amount of flour the recipe calls for. Only 3/4 of a cup is needed or is this a type-o

  10. 5 stars
    My dearest friend is now following a gluten free diet. This cake was my first foray in baking for her — holy heck, she LOVEd it! and even the non gluten free people loved it. Its nice to make something to rave reviews while still following their dietary requests. Ill be making this often!