Chocolate Layer Cake


This Chocolate Layer Cake recipe was reprinted with permission from “What’s to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook” by Linda Marienhoff Coss, available at”

“This is my children’s first pick for birthday cakes!” – Linda Coss

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Layer Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Chocolate Layer Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 9-inch double-layer cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup dairy-free 100% cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using 100% vegetable shortening, grease and then flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat with a spoon or wire whisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well-blended.
  3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Frost the first layer, stack the second on top, and frost again. Decorate as desired.
  5. Makes one 9-inch round double-layer cake.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Is this recipe milk free AND soy free? My son has milk allergies and soy allergies and it has been very difficult to find a recipe that is free of both.

  2. This recipe is my GO to for all birthday’s and most parties. I always get compliments and I know I have a cake that pretty much everyone can eat. It is very versatile. I made a cake for our cast party on Saturday…and will be making cupcakes this weekend for a bridal shower…and my kids aren’t left out!

  3. Rebecca Atkinson on

    Awesome and versatile recipe. Also makes great cupcakes or a slab style cake. Or halve ingredients for one smaller cake. Or yet for one more option, omit the baking soda and you have brownies.

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