Chocolate Cake with Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Frosting

Ahh, chocolate cake. My go-to for any occasion that cake should be had. And, had by all - so here is my gluten and dairy free recipe which is very tried and true! Don’t forget the sprinkles!

I’ve enjoyed providing cake for most of our family’s celebrations. With multiple dietary restrictions amongst us, and my desire to not buy boxes of cake mix, I joyfully share this recipe with you to use for your next cake day.

Chocolate Layer Cake - gluten and dairy-free Makes four 8” rounds, or one 16” round pan


2 cups sugar

1 tsp fine salt

1 cup cocoa powder (try to find Fair Trade certified)

3 1/2 cups GF flour mix (I make my own with 1 cup tapioca flour/starch, 1 cup sweet rice flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup corn starch)

1 1/2 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)

4 eggs, large

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups canola oil

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups hot water


Preheat oven to 350F and prepare your chosen pan(s) (rub with coconut oil and dust with rice flour)

  1. Place the paddle attachment onto your stand mixer

  2. Measure the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl: gluten free flours, cocoa powder, guar gum, salt and sugar, mixing it on low to distribute the starch and stabilizer well.

  3. Whisk together in another bowl the wet: eggs, water, vanilla and oil. Add this to the dry and mix well on medium-low for 1 minute to blend.

  4. Scrape down the sides well and mix on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes to develop the cake’s structure.

  5. In a 2 cup measuring cup, place the baking soda and add the hot/boiling water. It will and should fizz up!

  6. In two additions, add the soda/water, mixing well on low speed between additions.

  7. Once it has all been placed into the mixing bowl, mix the batter on medium speed for another minute.

  8. Let the batter rest, covered for 20-30 minutes. This allows gluten free flours to absorb the needed moisture that will have your cake granule-free!

  9. Pour into the prepared pan(s) and place into preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean (about 12-18 minutes). The cake should bounce back when touched with your fingertip and be coming away from the edges of the baking pan.

  10. Let cool in the pan on racks for about 10 minutes before turning them out. Let cool completely before slathering with frosting.

  11. The cake can be baked a day or two ahead of time if stored in an airtight container, or wrapped well and frozen for up to a month.

a tall cake is pretty exciting!

a tall cake is pretty exciting!

Here’s my favorite whipped frosting recipe - yes, whip it for 10 minutes….

Frosting - 7-8 cups


2 1/2 cups vegetable shortening

3/4 cup margarine, soft

6 cups icing (powdered) sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Place all the ingredients into your stand mixer’s mixing bowl.

  2. Mix on low until the ingredients have been incorporated.

  3. Mix on high for 8-10 minutes, scraping down the sides half way through that time.

  4. This is a versatile frosting and freezes well. If you’re going to make it into multiple colors, divide it into other containers to add the coloring.

Peanut Butter Frosting

For something different, add some peanut butter or sunflower seed butter to your frosting - it is delicious on this chocolate cake!


  1. Place about 2 cups of peanut butter into the above frosting recipe and mix well. Use whatever you’d like - chunky or smooth - taste and see if it is “peanut-y” enough and adjust as needed!

Assembly of the Layer Cake

You have all your components, guests will be arriving in an hour or so, and you’re ready to assemble your layers. You’ve still not decided on what sprinkles to use, but maybe the kids will help with that part!

  1. With each round, even off the rounded top with your slicer (serrated) knife. These bits will be great samples to pass to your children, or just save them for yourself. You want a flat and even surface on all the layers. If you did one large round cake pan like I did in the above picture, quarter the 16” round, and even off each quarter.

  2. Find a surface to build your cake. It may be a cake wheel, a large dinner plate, or a baking sheet. With a rubber spatula, spread some frosting on top of your base layer, spreading to the edges. You’ll want to be generous but not so generous that it will ooze out the sides later.

  3. Once your tower is built, smooth in the edges and sides. You may want to put some frosting into a piping bag and fill in the edges, then smooth them off with a knife or pallet knife.

  4. Your final layer around the edges and top can be evened off with a long pallet knife or spatula.

  5. Top with sprinkles if you’d like and transfer to the serving platter

  6. To serve, cut into wedges.

  7. If there are leftovers, refrigerate and eat within a few days. Happy celebration!

Buying smart & serving equally

Buying smart & serving equally

Fresh Manitoba Salad

Fresh Manitoba Salad