Menu
Search
Menu
Close

Gluten-Free Chocolate Layer Cake

Why This Recipe Works

Everyone loves a rich-tasting chocolate cake, but too often the gluten-free translation is less than appealing. Instead of the dense, bricklike versions we turned out in our initial testing, we wanted fluffy, tender, moist layers that baked up tall and sturdy. A combination of cocoa powder and melted bittersweet chocolate provided the best chocolate flavor, but we were afraid the melted chocolate was weighing down our cakes. When we tried a cake made with all cocoa powder, the results were dismal—dry and dense, with a very flat chocolate flavor. Instead, we kept the chocolate and cocoa combination and swapped out the traditional butter for oil, which had proven successful in other gluten-free cakes. This not only gave our cake better texture, but also brought a richer, cleaner chocolate flavor to the forefront. Another combination of ingredients was necessary for leavening our rich layers: baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum. The soda helped to keep the cake tender, while the powder gave it lift, and the xanthan gum provided necessary structure. Chocolate cake recipes often call for sour cream to add moisture and richness, but this cake batter was already thick and plenty rich. Switching to whole milk gave us better results.

Ingredients

Print Shopping List

1 cup vegetable oil
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces (2/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
7 ounces (1 1/3 cups plus 1/4 cup) ATK All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ½ ounces (1 1/2 cups) sugar
1 cup whole milk
4 cups frosting
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 10)

  • Calories 894
  • Cholesterol 76 mg
  • Fat 45 g
  • Sodium 538 mg
  • Saturated 8 g
  • Carbs 121 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 5 g
  • Monounsaturated 23 g
  • Sugar 98 g
  • Polyunsaturated 11 g
  • Protein 7 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Featured Equipment

From Our Shop

From Our Sponsors

Instructions

Serves 10 to 12

Once frosted, serve the cake within a few hours.

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper, and grease parchment.

2. Microwave oil, chocolate, and cocoa together in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk mixture until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly. In separate bowl, whisk flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together.

3. In large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Whisk in sugar until well combined. Whisk in cooled chocolate mixture and milk until combined. Whisk in flour blend mixture until batter is thoroughly combined and smooth.

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking.

5. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of cakes to loosen. Remove cakes from pans, discard parchment, and let cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours. (Cake layers can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

6. Place 1 cake layer on platter and spread 1 1/2 cups frosting evenly over top using small icing spatula or butter knife. Top with second cake layer, press lightly to adhere, then spread remaining 2 1/2 cups frosting evenly over top and sides. Serve.

Share photos, tips, and questions about Gluten-Free Chocolate Layer Cake with fellow fans!

0 Comments
Try All-Access Membership to Unlock the Comments
Don't miss the conversation. Our test cooks and editors jump in to answer your questions, and our members are curious, opinionated, and respectful.
Membership includes instant access to everything on our sites:
  • 10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work
  • Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients
  • Equipment Reviews save you money and time
  • Videos including full episodes and clips
  • Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Start Free Trial
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.