The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
This is the only gluten-free chocolate cake recipe you need! It is my entire family's go to cake... with Chocolate or Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. It has an amazing rich, chocolate flavor and perfect soft & moist texture. And both buttercream frostings (but especially the chocolate if you're a chocolate fan!) are unreal! Perfect creamy texture and not overly sweet.
The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
A gluten-free chocolate cake everyone will rave about!
If you’re here for The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake, read on!
This Gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting 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 (though I have recently learned was adapted from the Hershey’s recipe!) 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 over 13 years ago.
Just look at that texture! It’s so soft and moist, and has the perfect cake “crumb” .
How to make the Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
It is one of the easiest cake recipes!
It’s made with all the usual goods. You’ll need:
gluten-free all purpose flour (we use with GF Jules -affiliate link )
Hershey cocoa (or 100% cacao unsweetened of choice)
canola oil or oil of choice
coffee (we used a dark roast decaf, and the coffee brings out the chocolate flavor)
and buttermilk (easy to make!) for extra flavor and moistness.
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 Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake….
The batter comes together in 2 simple steps:
Mix together all the dry ingredients, then
Add in the wet ingredients and mix for 2 minutes until the batter is smooth.
Seriously, just as easy as a boxed cake mix!
The batter will be pour-able so you can spoon or pour into your pan/ pans.
Of note, it is a flexible cake, basically fitting any pan… we tend to make it in a 9×13 baking pan or 2 9 inch round cake pans as I did here.
Pro Tip: If you use 2 9 inch round cake pans, cut out some parchment paper to put a the bottom of the pan and grease that as well — it will help ensure the cake comes out of the pan easily.
Bake and cool the cakes in the pan completely before removing from pan and frosting. Pro tip: the cakes can be made a day ahead of frosting it.
How to make the easiest and yummiest Buttercream Frosting
The cake is frosted with a homemade classic buttercream frosting that is amaaaazing!
Note: I also provide a recipe for a vanilla buttercream frosting that is equally yummy.
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)
powdered sugar (also known as confectioner’s sugar)
milk or dairy-free milk
All you do it cream the butter, then alternately add the cocoa powder/ powdered sugar and milk until smooth and creamy.
How to Frost a Layer Cake
Frosting a cake always seemed daunting to me but once I started doing it, I realized that it was actually pretty simple. And that while it may always look like it came from a bakery, that it didn’t matter — it always looked good enough and it tasted great… everyone loves a homemade cake!
I’m sure there are many ways to frost a cake but here is how we do it. It’s as easy as 1,2, 3!
Place one cake in the center of your serving dish/ cake plate and frost the top of the cake.
Top with the second cake and frost the top of that cake.
Finally frost the edges and give the top an extra swirl of two as desired or needed.
Cake Frosting Pro Tip: especially with this moist cake, to avoid “grabbing the cake” as you frost it, spoon out a generous serving of frosting, then using frosting knife or even a butter knife (I love using a butter knife to spread frosting on the sides of the cake) to spread the thick layer evenly. Repeat by adding more spoonfuls of frosting to the top of the cake and spread until the entire cake is covered.
Cake Frosting Pro Tip 2: when the frosting is on the entire cake, use a damp paper towel to wipe along the edge of the cake plate and remove any excess or stray frosting.
And you can leave it with just the frosting or decorate any way you love!
I always love adding sprinkles to a cake as it is easy and festive! Just be sure to gently press down on the sprinkles so they stick to the frosting.
And that’s it!
The easiest, most moist and chocolaty cake, frosted with the yummiest buttercream frosting!
No one will believe it is gluten-free! And everyone will be asking for the recipe.
So who wants a slice?
Hope you love it as much as we do!
It can also be made with vanilla buttercream frosting and both ways, it is unbelievably delicious! No one ever believes it is gluten-free!
We’ve even made this cake as cupcakes and they are so good!
Scroll down for the Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake recipe and leave a rating/ comment if you try. We love hearing from you!
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 sheet cake in a 9x13 inch pan or baked in 2 9 inch round cake pans for a double layer cake as I did here.
Grease and flour whichever pan(s) you're using. If using 9 inch cake pans, cut out a round of parchment paper and place on bottom of pan and grease that as well -- this will help ensure the cooked cake comes out of pan easily.
In large mixing 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. Remove from pans if using 9 inch round cake pans. Frost as desired.
In a small mixing bowl, beat butter. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until combined and creamy.
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.
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...