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Ultimate Gluten-Free + Vegan Chocolate Cake – 10 Ingredients!

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Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Cake that is rich, delicious, and full of flavor! Easy to make in one bowl. Perfect birthday and celebration cake. Top 14 allergy free. 

Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more

ultimate gluten free vegan chocolate cake on a white cake stand on the countertop surrounded by ingredients and plates and forks

This one bowl gluten free and vegan chocolate cake is what birthday and holiday dreams are made of.

It’s perfect. Rich, but not too rich. Chocolate-y but not too much (is too much chocolate a thing?). And is made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Basically, it’s perfect. 

Ingredients for a Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Milk of Choice – One cup of your favorite milk is needed to help make this cake moist. I love using unsweetened oat milk in my cakes, but feel free to mix it up with vanilla or chocolate flavored milk! 
  • Neutral Oil – Canola or vegetable oil to help make this cake delicious.
  • Ground Flaxseeds – Don’t make into a flax egg, just pop the flax seeds into the batter and let them do their baking magic.
  • Applesauce – The secret ingredient! This helps to make the cake moist and fluffy. 
  • Vanilla – The higher quality vanilla the better.
  • Tapioca Flour – This helps to lighten up the cake to make it soft and fluffy. 
  • Gluten Free Flour – Your favorite flour blend is perfect in this. Need a good one? Make sure you check out my nightshade free, gluten free flour blend! 
  • Sugar – To make it sweet! Make sure to use organic sugar or beet sugar to keep things vegan. For refined sugar free, try coconut sugar.
  • Cocoa Powder – This is what makes the cake chocolate! Try to use a high quality cocoa powder if possible.
  • Baking Powder + Baking Soda – Using a combination of both helps to give your cake a beautiful rise. 
  • Salt – To deepen flavors 

Optional secret ingredient: Cinnamon! A sprinkle of cinnamon will help to develop the chocolate flavor and imparts a bit of warmth to the cake. 

Can this make cupcakes?

Yes! This recipe is at the base for many of my cupcake recipes, including these Hostess Cupcake Copycat recipe that is also top 9 free!

gluten free and vegan hostess cupcakes copycat recipe are seen on the countertop on various wooden platforms surrounded by ingredients like chocolate and milk

Tips for the BEST Chocolate Cake

Gluten free and allergy friendly baking requires a few extra tips to make sure that you get beautiful and delicious results each and every time. 

Make sure you pre-heat your oven for at least 15 minutes before baking. Oven temperatures by design allow for fluctuations in temperatures and oftentimes will signal an oven is to temperature long before it is truly pre-heated. Use an oven thermometer to watch.

Dark pans seems to bake better than lighter pans. The darker heavier pans conduct heat much better than thin aluminum ones.

Allow for batters to rest for 5 minutes when baking gluten free. This allows for the dough/batter to hydrate and results in a better finished bake! But don’t let them sit much longer than that or you can lose the chemical reaction of baking soda and acidic ingredients, causing your cakes and cupcakes to sink.

What Sizes Will I Get with this Chocolate Cake??

This recipe can make 

  • 12 delicious cupcakes

  • One 8-inch round

  • Two 6-inch rounds

If you need more cake, it doubles perfectly every time! I don’t generally recommend that you bake it in a pan larger than an 8-inch round as it can sometimes turn out gummy in the middle. The smaller pans allow for a perfect bake every time. 

Allergy Variations for Chocolate Cake 

Allergic to chocolate? You can still enjoy this cake! Swap the cocoa powder for carob powder and bake as directed. 

Need more cake recipes?


ultimate gluten free vegan chocolate cake on a white cake stand on the countertop surrounded by ingredients and plates and forks

Gluten Free + Vegan Chocolate Cake

Easy to make gluten free & vegan chocolate cake! Made in one bowl for easy cleaning, this cake is perfect for birthday parties, holidays, and any time you crave rich chocolate cake!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baked Goods
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Keyword: allergy friendly, cake, celery free, coconut free, dairy free, dessert, easy, egg free, gluten free, nightshade free, nut free, sesame free, soy free, tomato free, vegan, wheat free
Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • mixing cups
  • mixing spoons
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • cupcake pan
  • baking pan
  • cupcake liners


  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F / 177°C. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners, or prepare an 8-inch cake pan by greasing and flouring pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the milk of your choice, oil, sugar, vanilla, flaxseeds, and applesauce. Mix well.
  • Add your cocoa powder and tapioca flour.Mix vigorously by hand or on medium speed with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. You want this to be very well combined before adding the remainder of ingredients.
  • After incorporated, add the baking powder, baking soda, and gluten free flour. Mix well for an additional 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan or fill your cupcake pan. If making cupcakes, you should fill between 2/3 and 3/4 full as these will not rise as much as gluten cake.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes for cupcakes and 30-35 minutes for cakes. Avoid opening the oven door to check on them for the first 20 minutes. This is the most vital part of the baking process and you want to let the steam help the gluten free cake rise. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.


Allergic to chocolate? You can still enjoy this cake! Swap the cocoa powder for carob powder and bake as directed. 

The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  1. Hello Laura – thank you for the work that you do to bring us recipes that are made for those of us with many allergies. I was very excited to receive this chocolate cake recipe, but as so often happens, there was an ingredient that I can not eat. Do you know if there is a substitute for the flax meal that I could use in this recipe? Would ground chia work? Thank you for any suggestions that you may have to help me.

    1. Hi Lynn! I’m so happy that you found the blog. Yes, for sure there are lots of swaps you can use for this recipe. Chia seeds certainly work just as well as flax seeds. I suggest letting them bloom in hot water for a good 5 minutes to really get gel like. For more egg free ideas, you can read my Egg Swaps for Brownie post which goes into more detail on how and why things work. https://www.livingbeyondallergies.com/egg-substitutes-brownies/ Hope this helps and let me know if I can help with anything else!

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