Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake slices on plates

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Cool: 45 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
297 Calories
11g Fat
45g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 297
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 385mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 65mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sometimes chocolate cakes are gluten free by nature, omitting the flour to create a dense and fudgy dessert. But for the times when you want a multi-layered, more festive treat that's gluten free, you'll need to work with some alternative flours.

Fortunately, the world of gluten-free baking has made leaps and bounds in recent years, and to make a perfect two-layer cake, it really is as simple as subbing out wheat flour for an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. When you choose a premade one that has stabilizers and gums added, the results for chocolate cake are nearly identical to the traditional version.

This cake tastes similar to a wheat flour cake, though you might notice the texture is slightly more springy. It's an excellent choice for a birthday or holiday celebration, being full of rich cocoa flavor. It holds up well to a buttercream such as this chocolate buttercream one, but we also love it with a simple ganache.

"The gluten-free chocolate cake was easy and chocolatey. You really couldn't guess it was gluten-free, and the flavor was amazing. I baked it in 9-inch pans and used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour and grape seed oil. The cake was excellent, and I'm sure I will make it again." —Diana Rattray

Gluten-free chocolate cake/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1/2 cup neutral oil, such as grape seed or avocado, more for the pans

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob's Red Mill 1:1

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup dairy or non-dairy milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gluten Free Chocolate Cake ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment. Generously grease the bottom and sides of the pans. Set aside.

    Parchment paper lined and greased cake pans

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, use a large bowl and an electric mixer. Whisk on low speed until well combined.

    Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a glass bowl, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Turn off the mixer. Add the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.

    Cake batter in a glass bowl, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Add the boiling water and mix until combined, about 1 minute.

    Cake batter in a glass bowl, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Fold in the vinegar with a silicone spatula.

    Cake batter with vinegar in a glass bowl, with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.

    Cake batter in a cake pans

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

    Baked chocolate cakes in cake pans

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  9. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans before frosting, about 45 minutes.

    Gluten Free Chocolate Cake frosted on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati


  • To make this recipe into cupcakes, bake for less time—generally 20 to 22 minutes in standard-sized muffin tins. It makes about 24 cupcakes.
  • Be sure the cakes have cooled completely before frosting.
  • This recipe is easily halved for a single cake, or for 12 cupcakes.
  • For best results, use 8-inch cake pans, which will yield a taller cake than 9-inch pans.
  • The vinegar adds lightness to the cake, so we don't recommend omitting it.
  • If baking this for someone with gluten or celiac intolerance, be sure to check that all ingredients, including baking powder/soda and cocoa powder, are certified gluten free.

Recipe Variations

For a different flavor, try one of the following:

  • Brewed coffee instead of water for a mocha cake; coffee should be boiling hot to activate cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract for a minty chocolate cake
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons whiskey or rum added to the batter with other liquids, for a festive flavor

  • To make the cake vegan, use non-dairy milk and a cup-for-cup egg substitute.
  • The batter makes a batch of 24 cupcakes. We enjoy frosting them with an easy vanilla glaze.

How to Store and Freeze

  • This cake can be stored at room temperature for up to several days unfrosted. Once frosted, refrigerate for up to 1 week in the fridge.
  • To freeze, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then secure in a freezer-proof container. It will freeze well for up to three months, and can be frozen with or without frosting. Thaw in the fridge before serving.

How do I know when my gluten-free chocolate cake is done?

A toothpick inserted into the center of a cake should come out clean. The internal temperature should be 210 F.