Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting

There is something about birthday cake, no birthday is really complete without one. OK, maybe some of you REALLY don’t like cake, but for many of us there is a small moment in which all voices are singing to you and that cake sparkling with candles is set down in front of’s magical. It’s one of those moments that freezes time and in which, years later, you can remember faces smiling, what napkins you used, the clank of forks against plates, and heavy, satisfied sighs.

My father’s 67th birthday was this past Wednesday and we had a little luncheon for him yesterday. I let Izzie pick the flavors and she picked chocolate cake with vanilla frosting (hooray! one of my favorites too!). I adapted the recipe from Cybele Pascal’s Allergen Free Baker’s Handbook, I wanted less sugar and more moistness as my father tends to love dense and rich desserts.

Buppy’s Chocolate Birthday Cake

1 1/3 cups brown rice flour

1/3 cup tapioca starch

2/3 cup almond flour

1 1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp flax meal and 1 Tbsp chia seed mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk

1 1/4 cups rice milk

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup warm water

1 recipe Fluffy Vanilla Frosting (recipe follows)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8 inch cake pans, line with parchment and grease again. Dust with cocoa powder. Mix flax and chia with rice milk and leave to gel at least 20 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together flours, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add flax/chia egg, rice milk, coconut oil, vanilla and warm water. Mix until smooth, scraping bowl frequently.
  • Dived the batter evenly into two pans and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the pans and a knife inserted in the cake center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans for thirty minutes. I used a springform pan so that made it easy, just pop the sides off, invert onto a plate and peel the parchment off.
  • Frost!

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

1 cup vegetable shortening

pinch of salt

3 cups confectioners sugar

1/4 cup rice milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

  • Beat all ingredients until smooth and fluffy, scraping the bowl frequently, about 5 minutes.
  • Frost away!

Buppy's Birthday Cake

We decorated Buppy’s cake with little vegan gummy bears, it was very cute. To say this cake was perfectly delicious would be an understatement at best. It was dense and chocolaty, but not too rich or too sweet. The contrast of the denser, moist cake with the light and fluffy frosting was not only visually appealing but also velvety and distinct in taste and texture.

Enjoy!! We sure did!