gluten free recipes

By Mary Frances Pickett

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Mixing up a brand new gluten-free chocolate cake isn’t always easy. But here’s a great straight-forward cake recipe that you can master.

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The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is a slight variation on the the Black Chocolate Layer Cake that is included in my Gluten Free Cake cooking class. I made this version of the cake for my son’s 3rd birthday and we shared the leftovers with another gluten free family that we’d just met. Our new friend later send me a text saying, ” My husband thinks your chocolate cake is the best he has ever had, even better than any flour cake.” I LOVE to hear that because it’s just one more proof that you can still have incredibly delicious food on a gluten free diet.

A few notes: In the recipe below I’ve included a couple of options for some ingredients. The first option is the one that I tested. The second option is the ingredient that I used in the original version of the recipe.

I haven’t included an icing recipe. I generally use a packaged icing from the store – in this case, dark chocolate icing on the outside and coconut caramel icing between the layers. The mixing instructions may be different than what you’re accustomed to, so be sure to read those before starting.

Ratio Analysis: I thought it would be fun to check this recipe against the ratio from the previous email.

  • 16 oz of sugar > 12 oz of flour (be sure to count the cocoa as a flour)
  • 6 oz of eggs < 9 oz fat
  • 16 oz liquids (water + eggs) = 16 oz. sugar

According the cake ratio guidelines, I should add an additional 3 oz of eggs, or reduce the fat by 3 oz. I like for my cakes to very moist and tender, so I’m okay with the fact that I’m breaking this rule. However, if you’d like your cake to be a bit tighter, go ahead and add another egg or two. I personally wouldn’t reduce the fat, because the fat helps coat the individual flour grains and helps eliminate any grainy quality that might come through from the rice flour.

Grant’s Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • 3.6 oz. brown rice flour
  • 2.7 oz. corn starch or tapioca starch
  • 2.7 oz. millet or sorghum flour
  • 2.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. guar gum, or 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3.0 oz. cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 12.0 oz. granulated sugar
  • 4.0 oz. brown sugar
  • 6 oz. water
  • 9.0 oz. butter, melted or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4.0 oz water
  • 6.0 oz eggs (3 large)


  1. Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Place a baking stone on it and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flours, guar gum and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Whisk by hand with a fork for 1 minute or at medium speed on a hand mixer for 30 seconds. Set the flour aside.
  3. Put the sugar and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Heat 6 oz. of water (3/4 cup) to a simmer. Add the hot water to the sugar/cocoa mixture and mix to dissolve the sugar. Beat in the oil, vanilla, and salt at medium speed.
  4. Add a third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix at low speed just until incorporated and then add in remaining flour a third at a time. Total mixing time for this step should be approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add the last 4.0 oz of water and the eggs to the batter and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into one 9″ x 13″ cake pan or two 9″ cake pans. Be sure to grease and flour the pans first; or grease the pans and then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Drop the pan onto the counter from a height of 4″ to remove any large air bubbles.
  7. Place the cake in the oven on the stone and bake until the cake reaches an internal temperature of 209 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 30 minutes). If you do not have a digital baking thermometer, the cake should spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean, but moist. The cake should not pull away from the sides until after it is out of the oven.

How did your cake turn out?

Be sure and let me know when you’ve had a chance to make it!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe 2004-04-23

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