Easy gluten free chocolate sheet cake that is rich, fudgy, and perfectly chocolatey! Make it dairy free with one simple swap. Perfect for parties.
Free from: wheat/gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, dairy (optional), casein (optional), soy, corn, sesame, lupin, sulfites, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, mustard, flax, chia
A delicious and easy to make gluten free chocolate sheet cake that is perfect for parties! No one will be able to tell this cake is gluten free. The inside tastes just like a bakery style cake with no grainy texture what-so-ever. Make it dairy free with one simple swap.
This cake is tender, fluffy, and has a rich dark chocolate flavor but without the bitterness!
Plus, if you turn this cake into cake pops, it tastes like fudge. Seriously!
You’ll love this cake.
Ingredients for Gluten Free Chocolate Sheet Cake
The secret to getting a bakery style cake is in the shortening. Traditionally, bakeries use shortening in place of a lot of butter in cake. Not only is this more affordable, but it also produces a softer cake.
This is because shortening is pure fat, 100%, while dairy butter is usually around 82% fat. That doesn’t seem like a huge difference but in a cake that adds up fast.
What happens while baking is that the fat helps the ingredients combine better into a really smooth batter. The texture of the cake is light, fluffy, and tender, and stays that way because of the higher ratio of fat.
The shortening that I always reach for is Spectrum Vegetable Shortening. Here is the link for it, but I recommend that you purchase it in your local store so that it doesn’t melt in the heat or break open during shipping.
The rest of the ingredients are simple! Here is what you’ll need:
- Cocoa Powder – Blooming this in hot water helps the chocolate flavors to deepen and develop, making for a richer cake.
- Vegetable Shortening – What gives the cake it’s tender crumb!
- Butter of Choice – Either dairy or plant based butter work fantastic in this recipe. Land O Lakes dairy butter or Earth Balance soy free are great options.
- White Sugar – To give the cake its sweetness.
- Eggs – Eggs are so important in gluten free baking. They act as a binder to help hold everything together, a leavener as it rises in the oven, and even provides a bit of moisture. The combo of whole eggs and egg yolks really gives it a richness that just whole eggs on their own don’t do. However, we need the egg whites to act as that structural support.
- Vanilla – Don’t ever skip the vanilla even in a chocolate cake! It makes everything taste better.
- Gluten Free Flour – Your favorite gluten free flour blend works perfect in this recipe. I prefer mine to be made with xanthan gum so you don’t need to add any extra. Pamela’s and King Arthur flour blends are a great start. For a potato free / nightshade free option, make sure you check out my homemade Gluten Free Flour blend!
- Baking Powder and Soda – These help the cake to rise.
- Salt – Salt makes everything taste more like itself and is such an important ingredient in baking sweets. Don’t skip it!
To make this dairy free, swap out the butter with plant-based options that work for you!
To ensure they are corn and soy free, make sure your gluten free flour blend does not contain any corn or soy. Also check your powdered sugar when making a frosting.
My Favorite Frosting for A Sheet Cake
Speaking of frosting, a good cake needs a good frosting. Here are some of my personal favorite frostings to top this cake with!
Chocolate Buttercream – A classic combo of chocolate and chocolate, this buttercream is super delicious thanks to the two kinds of chocolate.
Very Vanilla – A simple vanilla frosting that is anything but basic.
Vegan Marshmallow Frosting – A bit of a wild card for a cake frosting, but this is one of those recipes that you can’t stop sneaking tastes of out of the bowl. It’s that good.
Can I make Cupcakes with this recipe?
Yes! This sheet cake will easily turn into some of the most delicious cupcakes you’ve ever had. Line 24 cupcakes with baking cups and fill cupcakes about ⅔ of the way full. Bake at the same temperature for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before frosting!
Did you make this recipe?
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup butter of choice
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 egg yolks room temperature
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ c + 2 tbsp gluten free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and line with parchment an 8×10 baking dish. Set aside.
- Place the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour in boiling water and mix well to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, making sure to fulling incorporate each egg before adding the next one. Add the vanilla and mix.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add half the flour mixture and half the liquid cocoa. Mix well and add the final batch of flour and cocoa. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and use a spoon or spatula to distribute it evenly in the pan. Bake the cake for about 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.