• Sarah Cohan

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Layer Cake

Don’t get me wrong - I love wheat flour and dairy just as much as the next gal, but I also love the challenge of baking for my friends and family who have specific dietary restrictions/preferences.

My pictures might not do this one justice; this is truly an outstanding cake given the restrictions. My teenage cousin, in fact, declared it better than the chocolate blackout cake they get at their favorite local restaurant - a tall order! It’s perfectly chocolatey, with a hint of cinnamon, and a luxurious chocolate frosting. Pretty simple as far as the number of elements, but no less tasty.

Happy Baking!

MAKES one 3-layer 8” cake


  • 1.5 cups soy milk (if you can’t have soy, maybe it could work with almond milk?)

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1)

  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 2 ounces cocoa

  • 1 Tablespoons espresso powder

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 6 ounces melted dark chocolate, cooled

  • 2/3 cup coconut creamer

  • 2/3 cup softened margarine (I like Earth Balance vegan baking sticks)

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • Stand mixer with beater blade

  • 3 8” round cake pans

  • Shortening

  • Parchment circles (or parchment cut to size to your pans)

  • Offset spatula or spoon


  1. Heat your oven to 350F. Grease the bottoms and sides of your baking pans with shortening, place in the parchment rounds, then grease the parchment round.

  2. Add 1tsp vinegar to 1.5c soy milk, mix and set aside.

  3. In your stand mixer, mix together 2c GF flour, 2tsp xanthan gum, 1.5c sugar, 2oz cocoa, 1TB espresso powder, 2tsp cinnamon, 2tsp baking powder, 1.5tsp baking soda, and 1/2tsp salt.

  4. Add the milk, 2/3c vegetable oil, and 2tsp vanilla - mix on low to combine, then beat on medium-high for 1 minute.

  5. Separate the batter evenly between cake pans, then spread even with the offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

  6. Bake for 15 minutes, until the sides are pulling away from the pan and a tester stick comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then flip out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

  7. To make the frosting, in a clean stand mixer bowl with clean beater blade, cream together 2/3c margarine with 6oz melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix on medium-high until fully combined.

  8. Add 5 cups sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing to combine fully in between each.

  9. Stream in 2/3 cup coconut creamer with mixer on low, then once liquid is incorporated enough not to slash, increase speed to medium-high and beat 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. This frosted will thicken quickly so use immediately, or prepare to re-mix briefly if it’s too difficult to work with.

  10. Stack & fill, frosting & decorate as desired!

custom desserts

boston, massachusetts

© 2014 by Sarah Cohan