The Best Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This is the only chocolate cake recipe you need! It is my entire family's go to cake... with Chocolate or Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. It has an amazing flavor and soft & moist texture. And both the buttercream frostings (but especially the chocolate if you're a chocolate fan!) are unreal! Perfect creamy texture and rich, not overly sweet, flavor.

Best Chocolate Cake
The Best Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Moist, Chocolatey & beyond YUMMY!

If you’re looking for Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting, click here.

For Chocolate Sheet Cake with Buttercream Frosting (same cake with smaller quantities to fit 1/2 sheet cake), click here

If you’re here for The Best Chocolate Cake, read on!

This cake is for all chocolate lovers!

It is an old-fashioned, made-from-scratch cake that is moist and chocolatey and sooooo good!

The recipe is from my Aunt and it’s a longtime family favorite.  It’s that cake that my entire extended family makes whenever we need a cake — birthdays, holidays, random get togethers.

And it’s always served on Christmas Day!

So naturally, it is one of the first cakes we made gluten-free once my son was diagnosed with celiac disease.

gluten free chocolate cake #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreerecipes

It’s made with all the usual goods —

all purpose gluten-free flour (we use with GF Jules -affiliate link )



Hershey  cocoa (100% cacao unsweetened)

baking powder

baking soda


canola oil


coffee (we used a dark roast decaf)

and buttermilk (we made some!) for extra flavor and moistness.

Chocolate cupcakes buttercream frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

As an aside, you may have noticed that we are affiliate for GFJules.  To learn more about why we love GFJules flour and why we have used it for 10 years, click here.

Bonus: at the bottom of that post is a one-time use affiliate Discount Code.

And importantly, purchasing through an affiliate link does not change your cost at all. It generates a small percentage of the sale for me, and purchasing through an affiliate link helps me fund this website and all the recipes I share, so thank you!

Back to the Chocolate Cake….

And it is the easiest ever!

All you do it mix the dry ingredients together, add in the wet ingredients and that’s it!

Chocolate cupcakes buttercream frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

Pour or spoon into your cake pan and bake!

It’s frosted with a homemade classic buttercream frosting that is amaaaazing!

The Best Chocolate Frosting!

It’s made with 5 ingredients:

butter or dairy-free butter

cocoa powder (we use Hershey’s cocoa, 100% cacao unsweetened)

vanilla extract

powdered sugar (also known as confectioner’s sugar)

milk or dairy-free milk

Chocolate cupcakes buttercream frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

And you just mix them together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy!

It can also be made with vanilla buttercream frosting and both ways, it is delish!

Hope you love it as much as we do!

gluten free chocolate cake #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

We’ve even made this cake as cupcakes and they are so good!

Chocolate cupcakes buttercream frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

PIN it!

gluten free chocolate cake #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreerecipes

Scroll down for Chocolate Cake recipe and leave a comment if you try.













gluten free chocolate cake #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreerecipes
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5 from 6 votes

The Best Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This is a long time family favorite recipe that we have been making gluten-free for years. It's moist, chocolatey and so yummy! It can be made with with a chocolate or vanilla frosting, and can be made as a single cake or made twice as a double layer cake.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Cake, Dessert, Baking
Cuisine: Gluten-Free
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family


Pan size:

  • Recipe makes a 9x13x2 inch pan OR an angel food cake pan the10 inch round pan with hole in center OR a 2 9 -inch round springform pan (as I used here for a double layer cake)


  • TIP: For a double layer cake split batter between 2 spring form pans OR cut the recipe in half and make once for each pan if you want to be extra sure that the cakes are the same size
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ all purpose flour I use GFJules (affiliate link)
  • ¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong black coffee I used decaf or 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk to sour milk: use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 c. OR buy the buttermilk and use remainder in pancakes
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Frosting (This is enough to cover one cake, double if doing a double layer cake)

  • 1 1 lb box confectioner sugar (approx 3 3/4 cups)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 1/2 tbsp milk

Chocolate Frosting (This is enough to cover one cake, double if doing a double layer cake)

  • 6 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 6 Tablespoons milk



  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease and flour whichever pan(s) you're using.
  • In large mixer bowl, blend sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thin).
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35-40 min. or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely. Frost as desired.

Vanilla Frosting

  • In a small mixing bowl, beat butter. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until combined and creamy.

Chocolate Frosting

  • In small mixer bowl, beat butter. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency. Blend in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups frosting
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyGFFamily or tag #HealthyGFFamily!




27 thoughts on “The Best Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

    1. Hi Tina! Thanks so much for catching this! It’s 1/2 cup. I will update the recipe now.

  1. My Mother’s made this cake for us all the time. She would color the frosting of the time of year or holidays. My favorite chocolate cake!

    1. Yay!It is my extended family’s go to cake as well! Love the idea of coloring the frosting to make it more festive! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks amazing and I plan on making it for a friend’s birthday next week as she has celiac disease. One question though, can’t I just use 2 round cake pans? Is there a reason for the spring form pan?

  3. I just made this cake last night. It was easy to make and tastes delicious. It really is the best chocolate cake! My only concern is the center of the cake was concave…it did not rise like a typical cake. Any thoughts on what I did wrong?
    Will absolutely make again!

  4. I made this cake today, and it was absolutely, wonderfully, delicious. Usually when I make gluten free cake it’s very dense, not the case with this recipe. This cake was moist, and fluffy, and the icing was fantastic!
    My family loved it, and will definitely be making this again.

  5. I made this as cupcakes today for my daughter’s birthday. We are a family of 3 Celiacs and my birthday daughter is also lactose intolerant. I substituted with oatmilk and water instead of coffee. Used vegan butter in the frosting as well.
    This was the most moist and flavourful GF chocolate cake/cupcakes I have ever tasted. Thank you so much. Will definitely make it again ❤️.

      1. Can I use another unsweetened cocoa powder? I’m not a fan of Hershey’s. I don’t even have any in my pantry. My husband’s birthday is coming up, and I would love to make this for him. I’m the one who has to be gluten free and I hate to deny him a real cake.

  6. 5 stars
    We made this chocolate cake with vanilla frosting for our wedding cake and it was delicious!! My non-celiac husband approved and said he couldn’t tell it was GF! I’m going to make it again for our 1st anniversary ❤️

  7. 5 stars
    This is now my go-to chocolate cake recipe! I have made this cake many times for celiacs and non-celiacs alike and everyone loves it. I do the 9in 2 layer cake or half the recipe for a single layer. I also love that it doesn’t dry out quickly, so that if there is any left it can be stored in a cake carrier for the next day. LOVE THIS CAKE!

  8. If we are making this cake for someone who can’t have coffee, what would you substitute in place of the coffee?

    Thank you,

  9. 5 stars
    Hello Karen, I wish I could hug you. I am so grateful I stumbled across your page on Instagram. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and I made him the most delicious (and super easy) chocolate cake – with Nutella in the middle. I am not a baker, but the cake turned out amazing and is the best cake I have ever had (even before my son’s celiac diagnosis last year). We tried so many gf bakeries or cake mixes before I came across your site and they were OK, but I would never go back buying cakes EVER. I almost feel like I should open a bakery (I am joking, while I love baking for my family – it wouldn’t be anything I would want to do full-time) as there is a true need for amazing baked goods. I just wanted to let you know, how absolutely amazing your recipes are.

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