Basic Baking

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is my go-to for the basis of most things I bake, and this recipe can be used to make cupcakes and cakes alike. When I’m in a rush this right here is what I use to guarantee it will turn out delicious!

The chocolate cake is based on the Hummingbird chocolate cupcake recipe, turned gluten free with a vegan option. The quantities are doubled compared to the Hummingbird recipe as I often make a cake or muffin size cupcakes, rather than standard cupcakes.

Furthermore I find slightly more mixture is necessary for gluten-free which doesn’t rise as much. I actually really like the vegan version of this cake as it is particularly moist, but I will discuss both versions of this chocolate cake.

If you’re making a cake, use a closed tin, don’t use springform tins as the batter will leak. I use 8 inch tins and bake 3 or 4 layers with this recipe, depending on how thin you like your cake layers to be. If you’re making cupcakes this quantity yields 24 cupcakes or 12 muffins.


You will need:

  • Stand or hand held mixer
  • 3-4 8 inch round cake tins with baking paper (cake option)
  • Muffin or cupcake tray with cases (cupcake option)
  • A small bowl
  • A mixing bowl

Ingredients:

  • 80g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature (or vegetable fat vegan alternative)
  • 280g (1 ½ cups) caster sugar
  • 200g (2 cups) plain gluten free flour
  • 40g (6 tbsp) extra dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder (heaped spoon)
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • 240 ml whole milk (or coconut milk for vegan option)
  • 2 egg (or 2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water for vegan option)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Step 1

Vegan – Here is a little trick I learnt from my sister for replacing egg to make recipes vegan. Mix the ground flaxseed with cold water and refrigerate to form an egg like consistency, it should be gloopy but still maintain some movement. I usually try to do this as I preheat the oven so it should be ready by the time I need to add the egg replacement to the rest of the recipe.

All – Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F). Grease the baking tins and line or place muffin cases in a muffin tray.

Step 2

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly beat in half of the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and xantham gum if using. If you don’t have xantham gum in the house you can go without, but I recommend investing in some as it helps to hold the cake together. Careful not to use too much in your recipe as it can give an odd texture if overused. The darker the cocoa you get the richer you’re cake will be, I find a dark cocoa creates a luxurious looking cake.

Step 3

Slowly add in the rest of the dry ingredients, rubbing together with your hands until the mixture forms a sandy consistency.

Step 4

In a separate jug whisk together the milk, egg (or flaxseed mixture) and vanilla extract. Pour half the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until combined, scraping down the sides.

Step 5

Finally add the rest of the liquids to the dry ingredients a bit at a time, beating between adding until combined. Do not overmix. The mixture should be very runny at this point, don’t add extra flour as this will make the cake dry.

Step 6

Pour into prepared baking tins or cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until springy to the touch. I use 4, 8 inch round tins, this gives me thin layers, use 3 deeper tins if you want thicker cake layers. Fill to about three quarters full.

Step 7

Test the centre with a knife if this comes away clean it’s ready. It may need a few more minutes depending on how deep the tins are.

Let cool on a rack before removing from the tin.

Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “Gluten Free Chocolate Cake”

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