Dairy-Free Rich Chocolate Cake

Dairy-Free Rich Chocolate Cake
The Spruce
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 8-inch cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
702 Calories
34g Fat
90g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 702
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 276mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 90g 33%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 57g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*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.)

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, dairy-free shortening, such as Spectrum

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    Oil pans and dust with cocoa powder
    The Spruce 
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

    Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together
    The Spruce 
  4. 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.

    Cream shortening and sugar using a mixer
    The Spruce 
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, beating until combined.

    Add eggs, rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla
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  6. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet in several additions until just combined.

    Stir in dry ingredients into wet mixture
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  7. 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.

    Pour mixture into pans and bake
    The Spruce 
  8. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting with a dairy-free frosting of your choice.

    Add frosting to chocolate cakes
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  9. Serve and enjoy.


  • 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).

Recipe Variation

  • Almond milk is a good substitute for rice milk in this recipe.

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.