Gluten free chocolate cake with homemade cream cheese frosting would make a delicious gluten free birthday cake. Rich chocolate flavors blend in perfectly with the homemade cream cheese frosting. I include both dairy-free and nut-free options so everyone can enjoy this cake!
My family is all about chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and even white chocolates are so hard to resist. This gluten free chocolate layer cake is one of their favorites.
I try to have "classic" staple recipes on my blog and this homemade gluten free chocolate cake is one of them. It is hands down the best light and fluffy chocolate cake!
If you lean towards chocolate desserts, this easy gluten free layer cake recipe should go onto your list of cakes to make. (Or, if you prefer, this incredible Gluten Free Vanilla Cake recipe.)
If you love chocolate as much as we do, check out my best Gluten Free Chocolate Dessert recipes.
Why you must make this cake:
I try to have many "classic go-to best of the best" recipes on my blog and this homemade gluten free chocolate cake is one of them. It is hands down the best light and fluffy rich chocolate cake EVER! You will love how easy it is to make this gluten free chocolate cake from scratch!
If you do not substitute the gluten free flours outside what I have tested, this cake is fool-proof."
One thing I love about this gluten free chocolate layer cake is how small it is. I have a really hard time ignoring desserts. This little layer cake serves 8 people, so after each family member has a slice, there are NO leftovers!
Need a quick chocolate cake recipe but you don't want to bake? Try this Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake recipe!
- Gluten free flour blend - I tested this recipe using Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- Cocoa powder - I love Rodelle and Anthony's brands.
- Plain yogurt or sour cream - I recommend using full fat, but either will work
- Butter - you can use vegan butter too.
- Non-dairy milk - I used almond milk but if you are nut-free, use a different milk
I used this cute set of mini layer cake pans. These cake pans make layer cakes so easy to make. You can choose how many layers to make your cake. I used all 5 layer pans to make my homemade gluten free cake recipe.
Recipe step by step directions:
Preheat your oven to 350º F.
Step 1: Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
Step 2: Pour the wet ingredients into a bowl and whisk to blend.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, but try not to over-mix or your cake or it will not be as light and fluffy!
Step 5: This is the consistency of the batter. It is a nice rich chocolate color.
Step 6: Add the batter to the mini cake pans. Bake the cake at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes. The bake time will vary depending on what pan you bake your cakes in.
Step 4: While the cakes are cooling, mix up the cream cheese frosting in a standing mixer. You can use any flavor frosting you like.
Step 5: Frost the cake and build the layers up. Add sprinkles if you like to the top. I used Toll House Chocolate Curls that I found at my local grocery store to top the cake.
If you want more chocolate, try these moist Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies and these Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts with Cookie Dough Frosting.
Check out my chocolate cake Google story on how to make this delicious cake recipe.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
TIP: To check to see if the cakes are 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 will need to bake longer.
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 a dairy-free yogurt.
The only nuts in this recipe are in the almond milk. Substitute soy milk or another non-dairy milk to avoid the almond milk.
The layer pans I used in this cake recipe are very shallow so the cake doesn't need to bake very long. If you are making your cake in a larger pan, you will need to bake it for 20 minutes, then test to see how close it is to being done.
Most brands are fine to use in this cake recipe. Always double-check the cocoa powder is gluten free. My favorites are Rodelle Cocoa Powder, Anthony's Cocoa Powder, and Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder.
The vanilla yogurt in this recipe helps to keep my gluten free chocolate cake very moist.
If your cake didn't rise, you overmixed the gluten free cake batter. Overmixing makes your cake denser, making it more difficult for it to rise during baking.
Gluten free cakes can take longer to bake. They also brown a bit faster so if you notice the top of your cake getting too brown, place a piece of aluminum foil over the top.
I redid the photos of this cake because this cake is so much more than just a fancy Valentine's Day cake! Here are the old pictures so you can see how it looked before.
More Delicious Cakes to Try:
- Gluten Free Lemon Layer Cake
- Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
- Gluten Free Rainbow Cupcakes
- You can also use this to make a gluten free chocolate cake mix to gift over the holidays!
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!"Michelle, blog reader
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (*see note)
- ¾ cup gluten free flour blend (*see note)
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup 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
- For Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
- 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. (*see note)
- 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.
- 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.
If you love the recipes you are finding on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free chocolate e-cookbook!)