If you love chocolate, this gluten free devil’s food cake recipe will be for you! This cake is made the old-fashioned way from my Grandma’s delicious recipe. It has rich dark chocolate flavors in every bite you take of this gluten free devil’s food cake.

A delicious gluten free chocolate cake in an 8x8 pan.

Today is all about chocolate cravings. As I was going through my family’s antique recipe cards, it was really hard to figure out what to make next.

When I saw this devil’s food chocolate cake recipe in my grandmother’s recipe box, I knew I needed to convert this recipe to gluten free ASAP just in case my readers love chocolate as much as my family.

If you prefer a slow-cooked version, try this incredible Gluten Free Crock Pot Lava Cake.

Why Make This Cake:

  1. Devil’s Food Cake is a moist, rich chocolate cake. If you love angel food cake, this would be the chocolate version. This gluten free version of Devil’s Food Cake is dense and rich and would be delicious or smothered in a rich chocolate frosting.
  2. You will also notice this gluten free chocolate cake has a darker color than many gluten free chocolate cake recipes. This recipe has extra baking soda, which changes the pH level of this cake, making it a deeper dark brown color.
  3. This gluten free cake recipe can make a sheet cake, a layered cake, or cupcakes!
  4. This cake has incredible chocolate flavor. It is a chocoholic’s dream cake!

If you love chocolate as much as we do, you will want to check out all of my delicious gluten free chocolate recipes.

Top Pick
King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour 3 lbs

This is one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends for cookies, cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins! (Do not use this flour blend for yeast recipes.)

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Ingredient Notes:

Old fashioned devil's food cake recipe card.

I love how this card is noted: “Never Fails.” If you are a chocoholic or just love chocolate cake, this easy gluten free chocolate cake recipe will become one of your favorites!!

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure. Other blends should work, but you may need to add more liquid depending on the starch level of the blend you use.
  • Xanthan Gum – Add one teaspoon if your blend doesn’t have xanthan or guar gum.
  • Brown Sugar – Be sure to break up the clumps. Use a brand that is gluten free to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Cocoa Powder – There are several great brands, and I like to use Anthony’s. Sift it if your cocoa has a lot of lumps.
  • Baking Soda – This helps the cake get that dark brown color.
  • Milk or Non-Dairy Milk – Either will work in this recipe.
  • Butter – I recommend unsalted butter.
  • Eggs – Size large.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract.

When you make this cake, you will find it is a moist chocolate cake that is still light and airy. I created another delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Layer Cake that is beautiful for a party.

Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake slice on a white plate with the cake pan in the background.

As you can see, this cake has all of the delicious devil’s food cake traits; it is moist and rich!


  • Make this cake in a round baking pan, and you have an amazing gluten free birthday cake!
  • It also makes a delicious gluten free sheet cake. All you would need is the frosting! It would be perfect for a kid’s birthday party.
  • Knowing my kids, they would want a cupcake version of this to pile on the frosting :-).
  • Add chocolate chips and or nuts.

If you want to try more recipes with this cocoa, give these Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts or this delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes recipe a try!

If you are new to cake baking, here is a good write-up of my favorite Kitchen Tools For Baking Cakes.

Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:

This cake is a little different from your typical cake recipe because the cake is made from chocolate custard. You want to make the chocolate custard first and allow it to cool slightly. This is what makes the cake so moist and chocolaty!

Cooking the chocolate custard.

Step 1: This gluten free chocolate cake is so easy to make! The first step is to make the chocolate custard in a saucepan. Add the chocolate custard ingredients to the saucepan, melt everything together, and bring to a gentle boil. Whisk to prevent burning.

In the old days, this cake was made with unsweetened chocolate baking squares. Times have changed over the years, and many more devil’s food cake recipes are made with unsweetened cocoa powder now.

Adding the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl.

Step 2: Mix the chocolate custard and the remaining wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Avoid heavy starchy flour blends or blends with bean flour. If your blend doesn’t include Xanthan Gum, add 1 teaspoon.

The devil's food cake batter in a bowl.

Step 3: The batter is just right (sorry for the meh picture!) Bake the cake in this 8×8 pan; it is a perfect size, unless you prefer to make a cute little-layered gluten free birthday cake! Then you would want these layer cake pans.

Step 4: Bake your cake at 350º F for 30-45 minutes. That is a big range, but it really depends on the size pan you use.

I like to use what I call the toothpick test to check to see if my cake is done. Insert a toothpick into the middle of your cake. If the toothpick comes back clean, your cake is finished baking. If your toothpick has crumbs or batter, you need to bake it longer.

Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake slice on a plate. A fork is holding a bite of cake.

Are you ready to take a bite? I love how this forkful of cake looks like a heart!

Tips and Recipe FAQ:

What cocoa powder is gluten free?

There are a lot of great high-quality gluten free cocoa powders out there. I tend to use this organic cocoa powder because it has great flavor. I also like Rodelle and Ghirardelli.

Can you make this cake dairy-free?

You can easily make this cake dairy-free by using vegan butter.

What non-dairy milk is best in this recipe?

I used almond milk but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work I do not recommend canned coconut milk.

How long will this cake keep fresh?

This gluten free devil’s food cake will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an airtight container or for up to 4 months in the freezer.

More Gluten Free Chocolate Desserts:

Devil's Food Cake baked in an 8x8 pan.

Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake

Sandi Gaertner
A moist deep chocolate gluten free devil's food cake. You can make this as a sheet cake, cupcakes, or a layer cake.
4.93 from 38 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people
Calories 274 kcal



  • ¾ cup cocoa powder * see note
  • ½ cup dairy-free or regular milk * see note
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • ½ cup dairy-free or regular milk
  • 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Spray coconut oil in an 8×8 baking pan.
  • In a saucepan, add custard ingredients and cook over low heat. Allow to bubble gently, then remove from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, add all cake dry ingredients. Sift together.
  • Add wet ingredients to custard and whisk to blend.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake 30-45 minutes until done. *see notes


  1. Baking time really will vary by pan size, if you are making sheet cake, thinner layer cakes, or cupcakes with this batter.
  2. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend, and Authentic Foods Multi 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 or Guar Gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  4. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  5. There are several great gluten free cocoa powder brands I like to use. Ghirardelli, Rhodelle, Anthony’s, and Hershey.
  6. This cake will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.


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: 1gCalories: 274kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 276mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 4gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 298IUCalcium: 77mgIron: 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.

(*This post was updated from an older September 2018 post when it appeared on my old blog Grandma’s Gluten Free Recipes. I moved it over to this blog when I merged my two sites.)

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  1. Hi,
    In your gluten free chocolate cake, I’ll have to use almond flour instead of the gluten free flours you’ve tested.
    Any tips for me to do that?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Unfortunately, almond flour, by itself isn’t going to work. It doesn’t absorb moisture in the same way as gluten free flour. I would recommend looking for a different recipe as mine won’t work with only almond flour.

  2. Great chocolate flavor! I made them as cupcakes, turned out little dense and dry. I will try them again, maybe need more liquid?

    1. Hi Laura, I am so glad you love the flavor. As for the dense and dry, you will definitely want to add more liquid. Every gluten free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio and some blends need more liquid. Which did you use? If you click on my Resources section in my blog menu, you will see I have a cake troubleshooting guide, and also a gf flour blend guide that talks more about the flour blends.

  3. I am in the same boat, still very wet in the middle after 30++ and I’ve used a metal pan of the size recommended..

    1. Hi Bee, I updated this recipe today to and added information about the gluten free flours I tested in this recipe. I found people using starchy gluten free flour blends are finding it needs to bake a lot longer. I hope my clarifications will help.