Perfect Gluten-Free Chocolate Birthday Cake
Prep time
Cook time
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This cake is a real crowd-pleaser. Everyone seems to be able to agree upon it. Typically, to make a rich chocolate cake, you need to replace some of the butter with melted chocolate. In this cake, though, there’s nearly a full cup of cocoa powder. Combined with a neutral oil, the cocoa powder makes for a very deep chocolate cake.
Serves: Makes one 9-inch round cake or 18 cupcakes
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (157 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (see below)
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using the flour blend below or if your flour blend already contains it)
  • ⅞ cup (70 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • 1⅛ cups (225 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (84 g) vegetable oil or other neutral oil
  • 3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature, beaten
  • ¾ cup (6 fluid ounces) lukewarm water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin or 9-inch cake pan and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum (if using), cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center, and add the oil, eggs, and water, mixing to combine well after each addition.
  3. Fill the prepared wells of the cupcake tin ⅔ of the way full or transfer the cake batter to the prepared round pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 19 minutes for cupcakes; about 28 minutes for the cake).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. For the cupcakes, repeat with the remaining batter.
This dairy-free All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend from Nicole's book makes 2 cups (280 g): Whisk together 84 grams (about ½ cup) superfine white rice flour (30%), 84 grams (about ½ cup) superfine brown rice flour (30%), 42 grams (about ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons) tapioca starch/flour (15%), 42 grams (about ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons) potato starch (15%), 14 grams (about 3½ teaspoons) potato flour (5%), 8 grams (about 4 teaspoons) xanthan gum (3%), and 6 grams (about 1 tablespoon) pure powdered fruit pectin (2%).

This recipe is reprinted with permissions from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap (2nd edition) by Nicole Hunn. Copyright © 2017. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at