Dairy-Free Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe

Dairy-Free Rich Chocolate Cake
The Spruce
Ratings (121)
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8-Inch Cake (10 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
603 Calories
9g Fat
122g Carbs
10g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This dairy-free chocolate cake recipe is as close to the real thing as it gets. With traditional-tasting frosting without the guilt, there will be no leftovers of this one after you make it.

This cake is great for kids' birthday parties, company potlucks, or family gatherings as well. It is not only lactose-free but soy-free and nut-free as well to accommodate a variety of allergies, food intolerances, and restrictive diets.


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soy-free and dairy-free shortening (such as Spectrum)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil two 8-inch-round cake pans and dust with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Set aside.

  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer at a high-speed setting, cream the shortening with the sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, beating until combined.

  5. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet in several additions until just combined.

  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.

  7. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting with a dairy-free frosting of your choice.

Kitchen Note

This recipe is suitable for dairy-free and lactose-free diets but, as with any recipe intended for persons with allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to read all nutritional labels carefully to make sure that there are no hidden dairy-derived ingredients (or other allergenic ingredients, if these apply to you).

Frosting a Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake

To frost a layer cake, allow the cakes to cool completely before leveling the tops of the cakes using a serrated knife. (It is often a good idea to place the cakes in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before icing to prevent crumbs.)

Place one cake bottom-side down on a serving platter. Spread with a dairy-free frosting of your choice, then top with the other cake, bottom-side up. Using an offset spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake.