If you’re searching for an ultra-rich and decadent chocolate dessert, then look no further! This gluten free chocolate fudge cake is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Not only is it incredibly moist and fudgy, but it’s also completely dairy free, frosting and all!
This classic chocolate dessert comes together beautifully in just an hour and a half. Bake this cake from scratch for your next birthday celebration or family get-together. Serve with a scoop of dairy free ice cream or all by itself – it’s amazing either way!
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Table of contents
⭐What makes this recipe so good!
My favorite thing about this delicious gluten free chocolate fudge cake recipe is the intense chocolate flavor! In addition to being both gluten and dairy free, this cake easily can be made sugar free if desired. Made with a few staple pantry ingredients, your cake batter can be prepped with a stand mixer in 20 short minutes. Here are even more things to love about this fudge cake recipe:
- It’s easy to make with one simple flour mix - this is the one I used and recommend
- You can use either 8-inch or 9-inch pans
- It makes two layers of velvety chocolate cake
- Frost the cake with an extra thick layer of frosting by making a double batch
- It’s super moist, rich, and chocolatey!
Gluten and dairy free baking can sometimes be difficult, but this chocolate fudge cake recipe doesn’t have to be! These baking tips will ensure your cake has the perfect flavor and texture.
1. Use room temperature ingredients (except for the hot water)
The ingredients in this recipe should be at room temperature to ensure they are fully incorporated during mixing. This is important in achieving the right consistency of the batter. The hot water is an exception here. It is used to bring out a strong chocolatey flavor from the cocoa powder.
2. Measure the ingredients by weight
Use a digital scale to measure the flour, cocoa powder, and sugars as specified in the recipe. As discussed in this gluten free baking tips post, measuring by weight is more accurate than measuring by cup and can significantly affect your cake's outcome.
3. Let the cake batter rest for 30 minutes
Giving the batter time to rest before baking allows the dry ingredients to fully absorb the liquid ingredients. This helps provide a super light and fluffy texture to your cake!
4. Line your pans with parchment paper
Lining your pans will help keep the cake from sticking to the pan so they come out looking flawless (the same goes for this gluten free fudge!). To quickly line your pans with parchment paper, trace the bottom of the pans onto the parchment paper and cut to it fit each pan.
5. Check the cakes for doneness using the toothpick method
You should check the cakes for doneness after about 35 minutes in the oven. To do this, insert the toothpick into the center of each cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready to come out of the oven. If the toothpick comes out with liquid batter on it, the cake needs to be baked longer.
6. Make a double batch of frosting
If you like your cake thickly frosted, I highly recommend making a double batch of the dairy free chocolate buttercream frosting.
7. Helpful tools
Here are some tools that will help in prepping your gluten free chocolate fudge cake:
- Digital scale
- Stand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- 2 round cake pans (8” or 9”)
- Parchment paper
- Wire cooling rack
- Frosting knife
🧾Ingredients & substitutions
- Gluten free flour mix - This recipe was tested using King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour. Other gluten free flour blends may work in this recipe but none have been tested.
- Cocoa powder - There is no substitute for the cocoa powder in this recipe.
- Baking powder - There is no alternative for the baking powder.
- Baking soda - There is no substitute for the baking soda.
- Salt - There is no substitute for the salt in this cake recipe.
- Vegan butter - This recipe was tested using Earth Balance vegan butter. Other vegan butter brands may be used in this recipe.
- Granulated sugar - The granulated sugar can be substituted with Swerve granular sweetener for a sugar free option.
- Brown sugar - The brown sugar can be swapped out for Swerve brown sugar replacement sweetener if desired.
- Pure vanilla extract - There is no substitute for the vanilla extract in this recipe.
- Eggs - If you’d like to replace the eggs, the JUST Egg brand egg-free alternative can be used in this cake. I would not recommend using chia eggs in this recipe.
- Hot water - There is no substitute for the hot water in this recipe.
- Dairy free sour cream or yogurt - Either vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt can be used in this recipe. If you use vegan yogurt, be sure to use plain or vanilla. Not all sour cream is gluten free - so check the label!
This gluten free chocolate fudge cake batter can be prepared in 20 minutes. To get started, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature (except the hot water). In a medium bowl, sift the flour mix, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (step 1 above). Whisk these ingredients until they are fully combined and set them aside. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the vegan butter and the sugars (step 2). Beat them for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the consistency is light and fluffy. Next, add the vanilla and the eggs (step 3). Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. Then, scrape down the bowl and beat on medium for 1 minute.
Next, add the flour mixture and the hot water to the batter (step 4). Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to fully mix. Then, add the dairy free sour cream or yogurt to the cake batter (step 5). Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Finally, set the batter aside to rest for 30 minutes (step 6).
Meanwhile, prepare two 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans by spraying with cooking spray and then lining with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the batter is done resting, pour the batter into the pans. To make certain the pans are filled evenly, try alternating spoonfuls of batter between pans. Bake the cakes for 35 - 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. I recommend testing the cakes at 35 minutes to ensure they do not get overbaked.
Then, remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, turn the cakes out of the pans to finish cooling on the wire rack. Remove parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes.
Once the cakes are cooled completely, frost with this dairy free buttercream chocolate frosting. It's important that the cakes are cool as the frosting may melt on warm cake. Be sure to make a double batch of frosting for a thickly frosted cake!
FAQ's about this recipe
Yes. The cakes can be made in advance and stored tightly covered on the counter for up to 1 day. The frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake. Be sure the cakes are well covered and the frosting is kept in an airtight container. The frosting may need to warm up and be remixed before use.
If you are planning on serving this cake the same day, you can keep it on the counter under a cake dome. For storage longer than 1 day, this cake should be kept in the refrigerator in a well-sealed container. To store for a longer period of time, the cake can be cut into individual slices and stored in the freezer.
Yes! Just replace the round cake pans with two 12-cup muffin tins. Bake the cupcakes at the same temperature. Check them for doneness with a toothpick after 20 - 25 minutes.
More cake recipes!
Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake (Dairy Free)
- 280 grams King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour about 2 cups
- 60 grams cocoa powder about ¾ cup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan butter
- 200 grams granulated sugar about 1 cup
- 135 grams brown sugar about ¾ cup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup hot water 120 F
- 1 cup dairy free sour cream or dairy free yogurt plain and unsweetened
- In a medium bowl, sift flour mix, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine with vegan butter and sugars. Beat for 30 seconds - 1 minute until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and eggs. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. Scrape down the bowl.
- Beat on medium for 1 minute.
- Add the flour mixture and the hot water to the batter. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to fully mix.
- Add the dairy free sour cream or yogurt and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl once.
- Set batter aside to rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare two 8" or 9" baking pans by spraying with cooking spray and then lining with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Pour batter into the pans. Bake for 35 - 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Turn out of the pans to finish cooling. Remove parchment paper from the cakes.
- Frost with dairy free buttercream frosting (link below).
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
- Use a digital scale to weigh the dry ingredients, where weight is given.
- Vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt work equally well.
- Recipe was tested with King Arthur Measure for Measure flour mix.
- Tip for lining the pans: Trace the bottom of pans with parchment paper and cut to fit each pan.
- Tip for dividing batter equally: alternate spoonfuls of batter between pans.
- Start checking cakes for doneness at 35 minutes.
- Cakes are frosted with this dairy free chocolate buttercream frosting. Make a double batch to thickly frost the cake as shown in the pictures!