It is time to get ready for the holidays! Wait until you try this delicious gluten-free chocolate mint cake recipe. I created this recipe after one of my favorite winter treats, minty hot chocolate. This gluten free hot cocoa cake is perfect for sharing with friends and family.
This chocolate mint cake if full of deep chocolate flavors and is topped with homemade chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting and lots of mini marshmallows!! You will love this delicious gluten-free take on our favorite cold-weather treat, hot cocoa!
(*This post is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. All opinions are my own.)
This delicious gluten-free chocolate mint cake is not only a showstopper for a dessert table, but it is an incredible recipe to share because NOBODY will know it is gluten-free!! Take it to any gathering, it tastes that good.
I love Nielsen-Massey because their extracts are gluten-free so I know there are no weird hidden gluten ingredients! All Nielsen-Massey products are all-natural, allergen-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, and certified Kosher and gluten-free.
If you haven't tried their extracts in your baking, I highly recommend them. Their flavor is crisp, pure, and adds depth to the flavors in your desserts.
Why this cake is great:
This moist chocolate mint cake is not only easy to make, but it is also really versatile! You can make it as a layer cake, sheet cake, cupcakes, or in a roll. This cake is perfect for a birthday party and nobody will know it is gluten free. It tastes that good!
I have lots of easy gluten free peppermint recipes to make. They are perfect for the holidays, or any time!
- Gluten free flour blend - I have tested my recipe with two different gluten free flour blends. It doesn't mean others won't work, I just haven't had a chance to test other blends. See below for the two blends I used.
- Xanthan gum - if your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain this, you will need it to hold your cake together.
- Cocoa powder - there are several great gluten free cocoa powder brands you can use. I like to use Ghirardelli, Rodelle, Anthony's, and Hersheys.
- Butter - if you want this cake to be dairy-free, use a vegan butter.
- Pure vanilla extract - I do not recommend using imitation vanilla.
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: Add all of your dry ingredients to a bowl.
Whisk to blend the dry ingredients thoroughly.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients into a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and 1 teaspoon of the Pure Peppermint Extract.
Whisk the wet ingredients to mix.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Grease your cake pans and add the cake batter to the pans. I like to use a coconut oil spray to grease my pans and prevent the cake batter from sticking to the pan.
Step 4: Smooth the cake batter in each pan with a spoon. Bake at 350º F for 40 minutes (baking time will depend upon the size and depth of the cake pans you use). I baked my cakes in two 8-inch round cake pans.
Now it is time to make your frosting while the cake cools!
Step 5: Add the butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and water to your standing mixer.
When you add the powdered sugar a little at a time so that it doesn't go flying all over the counter :-). Don't forget, you can watch the video to see how I frosted this cake!
Step 6: Divide the frosting into parts. Leave ¾ of the frosting in the mixing bowl and add ¼ (to remain vanilla) to a separate bowl. Add the cocoa powder and more water to the ¾ frosting mixture and whip until the cocoa is mixed in.
Step 7: Frost your cake, using a spatula to smooth the sides and top. You can frost between the 2 cake layers and the top of the cake, keeping the sides in the popular "naked cake" style, or frost the sides as well.
Add the white frosting to a piping bag with a star-shaped tip. Pipe detailing around the top edge of the cake. Top with mini marshmallows and a candy cane. 🙂
Here is a picture of the top of the cake. I tried to decorate the top of this cake like a mug of hot chocolate by putting marshmallows on top and swirling the chocolate frosting like the liquid.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ
You can definitely use a hand mixer to make the frosting. You will want to make sure your bowl is deep so that bits of butter and sugar don't go flying.
You can definitely make this cake dairy-free. Substitute vegan butter or coconut oil for the cake batter and use a vegan butter for the frosting.
Often if a cake is too dry, it will crack or crumble. This can happen with gluten free baking, especially if you use a starchy gluten free flour blend. Make sure you keep the moisture level balanced so that your batter is similar in consistency to the cake batter I show pictured above.
Always wait until your cake is completely cooled before you frost it. If your cake is still warm, your frosting will melt on the cake.
This cake should keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. You can freeze cake slices by placing the cake slices on a cookie sheet. Freeze for 2 hours, then you can move the frozen slices to a freezer bag.
More delicious cake recipes:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Mint Cake
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder unsweetened, see note
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 ¼ cup milk *see note
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Try not to overmix the batter so the cake can turn out fluffier.
- Add the cake batter to two 8-inch round cake pans. Spread the batter out and bake for 40 minutes.
- Insert a toothpick into the cakes to test if they are done. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cakes are ready. If there are crumbs or batter on the toothpick, you will need to bake a bit longer.
- In a standing mixer, add the frosting ingredients except cocoa powder.
- Mix well.
- Leave ¾ of the frosting in the bowl and add the cocoa powder and mix.
- Spread the batter onto the cake's first layer. Add the top layer and frost the top and sides of the cake.
- Add marshmallows and candy cane.
- For piping directions, see the blog post for step by step directions.
- 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.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter and use non-dairy milk.
- 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 needs to bake longer.
- When you add the powdered sugar a little at a time so that it doesn't go flying all over the counter :-). Don't forget, you can watch the video to see how I frosted this cake!
- This cake will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
- To freeze this cake, put cake slices on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Once the slices are frozen, you can add them to a freezer bag.
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.
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 gluten free lemon desserts e-cookbook!)