Go Back
+ servings
A slice of a gluten-free chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a plate.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Every baker needs an excellent gluten-free chocolate layer cake recipe in their back pocket! This simple recipe makes a decadent, moist chocolate cake topped with a smooth and rich chocolate frosting that will have everyone reaching for more.
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 812kcal
Author: Megan


Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour blend (285g, I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend*)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (75g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (410g)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup almond milk mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup hot coffee

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter (softened at room temperature (or a 50/50 mix of palm oil shortening and vegan butter))
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (360g, sifted)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk (or almond milk)


To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with butter and dust with cocoa powder or gluten-free flour. Set aside. In a large bowl, add the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar.
  • Whisk until all ingredients are combined and mixture is medium-brown in color.
  • Add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs and buttermilk to the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the dry mixture is incorporated.
  • Pour in the hot coffee and mix for an additional 1-2 minutes. The batter will be very thin. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the batter to slightly thicken.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. I like to use a food scale to ensure that my layers have approximately the same amount of batter.
  • Bake at 350F for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before topping with buttercream.

To make the frosting:

  • When your cake is either close to cool or completely cooled, add softened butter and salt to a large bowl. Mix for 2-3 minutes using an electric mixer until creamy.
  • Add the cocoa powder to the butter mixture and combine using an electric mixer.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined and there are no lumps of sugar or butter.
  • Add the vanilla extract and milk (one tablespoon at a time) until the frosting is thick and creamy.  It should be thick enough to hold its shape when piped but not so thick that it won't spread.
  • If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more milk a little bit at a time.
  • Once the cake has cooled, frost with the chocolate buttercream.


  • This recipe can be made dairy-free by using almond milk and apple cider vinegar in place of the buttermilk. The apple cider vinegar is acidic and therefore helps create a buttermilk substitute. For the frosting, you can use a 50/50 combination of vegan butter and palm shortening.
  • If you want to make this recipe into cupcakes, divide the batter between 24 muffin cups and bake for 23 to 25 minutes. I have more tips on how to make chocolate cupcakes here.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 812kcal | Carbohydrates: 109g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 85g | Vitamin A: 1026IU | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ADashofMegnut or tag #adashofmegnut!