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close up on a slice of gluten free chocolate cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes + 1 hour chilling
  • Yield: 8-10 slices
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This super fudgy chocolate cake is soft, moist, and so chocolatey! It’s smothered in creamy chocolate sour cream frosting which makes this cake that much better. Seriously, it’s so dang good you would never even know it’s gluten free.


Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups (280g) 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour
  • 1 cup (90g) unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup (360g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70g) coconut oil, melted
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (235ml) milk, room temp (regular or plant-based)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (118ml) hot water

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting *see notes for dairy free option


Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and line the bottom of (3) 6″ round cake pans or (2) 8″ round cake pans with parchment paper. If you have them, wrap the pans in dampened cake strips.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, milk, and vinegar.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients as you whisk the two together. The batter should then be thick and fudgy at this point.
  5. Pour in the hot water and whisk to combine. The batter should now be very thin.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter between the cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes for 6″ cakes or 30-35 minutes for 8″ cakes. Test with a toothpick to make sure the cakes are baked through before removing from the oven.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the cake pans for about 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside of the pan and release the cakes to cool completely before frosting. Transfer the cakes to the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

  1. Using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter until smooth.
  2. Mix in the sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the cocoa powder. Once the frosting becomes too dry, mix in 1 tablespoon of milk.
  4. Now mix in the sour cream. Scrape down the bowl again and mix.
  5. Mix in another 1-2 tablespoons of milk if the frosting appears too thick.
  6. Before assembling, make sure the cakes are completely chilled. If they’re even the slightest bit warm, the frosting will melt on the cakes.
  7. First, if the cakes need it, use a knife or cake leveler to level off the surface of the cakes.
  8. Spread a layer of frosting between each cake layer and then spread a thin crumb coat over the entire cake. Chill the cake for about 30 minutes to set the layers and crumb coat.
  9. Once chilled, spread the remaining frosting over the entire cake. Top with sprinkles, flowers, nuts, or more chocolate. Enjoy!


*DAIRY FREE FROSTING – To make the entire cake dairy free, use the chocolate frosting recipe from my fudgy vegan chocolate cake. It’s just as smooth and silky as the sour cream frosting shown here.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free chocolate cake, gluten free chocolate cake recipe, gluten free cake recipe, gluten free cake, chocolate cake, chocolate cake recipe

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