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All recipes are deliciously vegan.

Gluten-free Chocolate Cake

kid friendly
2 spoon difficulty rating

45 minutes, including baking time


Gluten-free Chocolate Cake

Does what it says on the tin! It makes a light, fluffy cake that everyone can enjoy. Most of these ingredients - if not all - can be found from a good health food shop or large branch of a supermarket like Sainsbury's or Waitrose.

Get all the kit and ingredients out first, get the oven hot, grease and line the tins, weigh everything then mix the cake fast!


Stage I - fat/sugar mix

  • 350g/12oz/1½ cups caster sugar
  • 115g/4oz/½ cup vegan margarine
  • 120ml/4floz/½ cup unsweetened applesauce OR cooked, pureed cooked sweet potato OR pureed banana

Stage 2 - dry mix

  • 225g/8oz/1½ cups brown rice flour
  • 115g/4oz/½ cup tapioca starch
  • 50g/scant 2oz/½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Stage 3 - vegan buttermilk

  • 120ml/4floz/½ cup dairy-free milk, (eg soya, coconut, rice or almond) +
  • 1 tsp lemon juice OR cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Stage 4 - liquid

  • 120-240 ml/4floz-9floz/½-1 cup boiling water - add a little at a time

Stage 5 - Buttercream Icing

  • 350g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g margarine
  • 50g Trex white fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2-3 tbsp dairy-free milk

Stage 6 - optional

  • Vegan and gluten-free cake decorations



  • 2 x 18cm/7 inch loose-bottomed shallow cake tins  (You can use 2 x 21cm/8 inch tins but cook the cake for about 5 minutes less).
  • Baking parchment or greaseproof paper to line the tins OR cake liners
  • Scissors and a pencil
  • Scales or measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Sieve
  • Kettle and jug
  • Bowls: 3 medium mixing bowls (sugar/marge mix; dry mixand 2 small bowls - one for the soured  milk/bicarb mixture, one for hot water to ice cake
  • Wooden spoon to mix batter
  • Spatula - rubber or silicone
  • Cooling racks
  • Cake tin to store
  • Food processor (or one of mixing bowls + electric hand beater/fork)


1. Preheat oven to 180°/350°/Gas Mark 4. If using a fan-assisted oven, reduce the heat to about 160.

2. Baseline 2 x 18cm/7 inch loose-bottomed shallow cake tins with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and lightly grease the sides of the tins. You can use 21cm/8 inch tins but cook the cake for about 5 minutes less.

3. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and margarine together until fluffy then add applesauce.

4. Sieve the next 5 ingredients (dry) into a separate container.

5. Mix the bicarb into sour milk and let it sit. Add the vanilla essence.

6. To the dry mixture, mix in the vegan buttermilk mixture then the sugar-applesauce mixture. Stir everything well, making sure that each addition is combined before adding the next.

7. Mix well by hand but don't over-beat. Fold in boiling water until mixture is smooth. You want a dropping consistency but not too wet.

8. Divide the mixture equally into the tins. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly if necessary.

9. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or thin bladed knife comes out clean.

10. While the cake is baking, make the buttercream filling and topping. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa then place the fat, vanilla essence and 1 tbsp of the dairy-free milk into the bowl of a food processor. Whizz until creamy and smooth, drizzling in extra milk as necessary. Alternatively, mix in a bowl with an electric cake beater - or a fork!  Store in the fridge until the cakes are cool then use 1/3 or so of the mix and sandwich the two cakes together - use a spatula dipped in hot water to spread the icing evenly. Use the rest of the icing to coat the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with vegan choc drops or other gluten-free, vegan decorations of your choice.

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