Chocolate Cake:Gluten-Free and Vegan

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GF, V Chocolate Cake

If you have to avoid wheat/gluten then this is the cake for you. I developed a fascination for GF baking several years ago because I had two friends who couldn’t eat gluten and never got the good stuff at potlucks. I would try to always make something they could eat. They were always so appreciative even though I never loved my creations, they were happy to have whatever I brought.

Fast forward to spring/summer 2012 and I finally discover my son’s eczema is the result of gluten/wheat. He was just under 1 1/2 years old so he wasn’t eating a lot of cakes or cookies but he loved pancakes, banana bread, etc. I was determined that he wouldn’t have to do without “normal” food.

frosted chocolate cake

I have a list of favorites I intend to adapt so that they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free. I want my little guy to experience donuts, birthday cake, and banana pudding without pain or illness.

I’ve been working on this cake for a while. I wanted to make it as allergy friendly as possible. I have a friend who can’t have apples or bananas so I had been making it without them but I couldn’t get the taste or texture right. I decided to abandon that idea (temporarily, I’ve got some ideas) because I needed to make a birthday cake for my 4 year old.

If you follow My Plant-Based Family on Facebook then you know that I shared this recipe with several people. I got great feedback from everyone who made it. Some people couldn’t make it because they couldn’t find all of the ingredients. I buy some of them from Amazon because I can’t always find them locally. You could probably substitute a store bought GF baking mix with good results.

GF Chocolate cake

Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Cake


  • 1 c brown rice flour
  • 1 c sorghum flour
  • 1/2 c tapioca flour
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum OR guar gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 c warm water*
  • 3 tsp EnerG Egg Replacer*
  • 1 c turbinado sugar (I’ve also used agave nectar with good results)
  • 1 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-2 mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c rice milk (reduce to 1 cup if you use agave nectar)
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional but oh so good)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray two 8 or 9 inch pans with cooking spray. I’ve also made this in a bundt pan with good results (but longer baking time).
  2. In a mixing bowl add dry ingredients, brown rice flour through sea salt.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup mix warm water and egg replacer and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl mix sugar through milk. Add “egg” and mix well.
  5. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients until well incorporated.
  6. Add chocolate chips and stir until just mixed.
  7. Pour batter, dividing into two pans.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


This cake can be frosted once cooled or enjoyed as is. It is birthday cake worth. I’ve also layered fresh strawberries between the layers and used both Avocado Mousse and Coconut Cream Frosting. My 2 year old got Cococonut Cream Frosted Mini Cupcakes for his birthday and my 4 year old got store bought frosting on his birthday cake; it should be noted that neither kid liked the store bought frosting. Lesson learned: Plant-based kids don’t need over processed, store bought junk food. 🙂

birthday cup cakes

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  1. I must be lucky as my local store carries sweet sorgum flour and Ener-G 😀 I enjoyed trying it out and making it my way (cause I roll that way, ya know!). I still can’t believe my teenager ate HALF the cake. Sheesh!

    • That is lucky! I can find Ener-G at a few stores but the flour selection is a bit harder. I love that your teen at half. 🙂 Teenager approved people! You heard it here!

      • We have a local chain called Fred Meyers in the West, and they opened a store in my tiny town a year ago. Which was nice, as they have a dedicated natural foods section. No longer do I have to drive 30 miles rt to the nearest natural foods store…..

  2. Have most of these ingredients, Holly – looking forward to giving your recipe a try!

  3. Love this! I have a friend who is allergic to EVERYTHING, but I think she could eat this.

  4. This sounds so delicious! I absolutely love chocolate cake and I have all the ingredients pretty much, I’ll need to try it some time. I love baking gluten free as well. I love how chocolatey it looks and that adorable mini cupcake!

  5. This looks delicious! I always need a good go-to gluten free cake recipe for my GF friends! I love avocado mousse and have been eating a ton of it this month, never thought about it for frosting!

  6. Hi Holly,
    I don’t have any egg replacer on hand – is there another substitute I could use, like flaxseed + water or something

  7. Thanks – so would that be 3 Tb flaxseed and 6 Tb water? ie is one tsp of EnerG equivalent to one egg – that way I can substitute in other recipes if I need to. By the way, I made your gluten free banana bread – had to use buckwheat flour cause I didn’t have sorghum and it was great – I’m really happy with the recipe.

    • Hi Sue, I use a 1 TBSP ground flax seeds to 3 TBSP water ratio. Even though it is a little less than the 1/4 cup of egg replacer it should work well.

      I’m glad you like the GF banana bread. I haven’t tried it with buckwheat but it’s good to know it works. 🙂

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