Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake (sugar free, dairy free, xanthan free)

2011 February 9



  Okokok before I get started, I will point out that I know this is the second chocolate recipe today…BUT.  It tastes different than the chocolate cupcake I posted this morning, and its super, wonderfully,  decadent.  I wanted to share with you my best go-to recipe, because hey, its Valentines soon and you are all going to get the best of my dessert recipes over the next few days….

 One of my favorite memories growing up was my mom’s impeccable chocolate birthday cake, she’d make them from scratch.  Now, given the uber-healthy diet we were on,  eating out of the garden and buying our chickens from local neighbor farmers, you can imagine, that eating cake was a Big Deal.  IT was HUGE.  I would look forward to that slice all year.  Seriously.  My mom’s chocolate oatmeal cake with cream cheese icing is the stuff dreams are made of.  Frankly, its the biggest thing I mourned losing after getting diagnosed.

But no more tears on that one, peeps. :)  This cake will just blow your mind. No, I am not kidding.  Its dark. Velvety. Thick. Rich. Soft.  Holds together.  Xanthan free.  You are going to get a taste of this gorgeousness.  AND. I must add. Stay tuned.  That icing up there- its soy free, dairy free, and refined sugar free.  And it tastes AMAZING.   And its also great for piping and decorating.  Its a good life. I swear. :D   Here is the soy/dairy/sugar/dye  free icing recipe for the picture above.  Here are more icing recipes for different ‘colours’ and flavours.

I know it seems odd that I just posted my chocolate cupcake recipe and now I’m posting a chocolate cake, but, this one is different, its super dark and super rich.  And its almost Valentines.  You people deserve options !

NOTE:  Are you looking for a nut free option?  You are in luck. Please, please check out the gorgeous blog Clean Green Simple.  She has put together an allergen free , GF chocolate  cake with zero nuts in it that you will be thrilled, thrilled about!





Thats me in my best buddy S’s pimped-out gorgeous kitchen.  With the latest version of that pretty, pretty cake and flawless icing ! I stole S’s apron.  i luvs it ;)


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44 Responses
  1. Susan permalink
    July 23, 2012

    Pat, the absolute best cocoanut oil that I have ever had came from Optimally It has a great smell to it and you can cook with it at high temps and also use it on dry skin (if that makes some people think–not food–sorry, but it is great as a skin cream and food).

    I might use it for one of my oils in my brownies, but I know that olives are good as anti-cancer food once someone has prostate cancer or breast cancer and might be a good source for oil. I have made ginger-bread boys and used olive oil.

    I know I said it in my last comment but the cacao from Optimally is inexpensive and organic. Most chocolate is treated with chlorinated pesticides, so don’t buy Hershey’s because it comes to the US in ships and has DDT on/in it. Susan J.

  2. Susan permalink
    July 23, 2012

    Hi, my husband has Avodart-induced Metastatic Prostate Cancer. I am going to try to use the low poly-amine foods I know that he “should” eat, and only eats. I told him “I’m going to make some brownies for you!”

    The poly-amines are used in chemotherapy, and those chemotherapeutic agents that do not work usually have poly-amines. So, my husband is on a low-poly-amine diet, only recently being developed by me! Fred Hutchinson Cancer center knows all the foods but will not publish their secret findings. Sooo, I have done a lot of research on the poly-amines. Corn is an example of a food very high in poly-amines, as is soy.

    We know he “can” and “should” have the following: organic rice, organic rice flour, organic rice milk, organic chocolate from “Optimally” (very rich chocolate with some of the fat still in it so you can make up cocoa with just water and stevia); and I know I can buy agar-agar from some organic recipe, but I do not know where to get it locally. He can eat eggs!

    He “cannot” eat butter, soy, wheat or derivatives from wheat, corn, beans, peas, oats, all nuts except black walnuts and a long list of other stuff not typically found in brownies.

    I think I can use baking powder unless I find out something about it that eliminates it from his diet. (This is a diet that keeps prostate cancer cells from growing–otherwise he could always eat anything I made. My husband had a radical prostateectomy, chemical castration also called total hormone ablation, so chocolate brownies might be just the thing to make him smile again.)

    I can use baking soda, too.

    So I have organic eggs, organic rice flour, organic maple sugar/syrup, organic walnut oil, organic olive oil, organic black walnuts, organic chocolate (very good stuff) baking soda, baking powder that I CAN use.

    He can also have plantains but not bananas. He can also have a type of “Prebiotic fiber” made by Swanson Ultra called “Fiber Aid.” That is a dietary supplement made from Larch Tree Arabinogalactan (AG) and it actually reduces cancer cells and tumorogenisis. I would say it is like psyllium, but it is not even detectable in cold or hot drinks. I think it might be just a good thing to put in the brownies so he is not aware he’s getting it (three times a day.)

    He cannot have any beef, so gelatin is absolutely out.

    If Lexie or Drama Queen or ANYone helps me out with this, I’d be Anti-Cancer Girl for sure and you could post our brownies as CANCER GIRL BROWNIES on your blog.

    I am pretty tired at the moment but if anyone wants to throw out some ideas, there are just the two of us and we could eat brownies for two or three days. I cannot freeze food due to the creation of poly-amines when food is frozen.

    I hope there are some others who would benefit from a recipe and help me come up with one. I do cancer research almost all day, every day that I can, and believe it or not the foods I have said he can eat are the lowest in poly-amines and are actually good for him, especially the chocolate! I have a bag of it and it is actually called cacao. So many people with CANCER need a nutritious healthy brownie that will not “help” cancer cells to grow. I think I have listed the oil, “flour,” rising agent (could use help on that) and cocoa that anyone with cancer could have. I just need help with the recipe. Thanks, Susan J.

  3. May 18, 2012

    Hi there Sharky!
    Thank you for the feedback :) Yes, i think using carob may change the chemistry of the cake – the next time around, you might wish to reduce the wet ingredients and perhaps add a touch more starch to help bind things together – chocolate is a natural binding agent and since there’s so much of it in the cake , i imagine substituting it might change the consistency. In the future, if you are curious, there’s aterrific blog called lexie’s kitchen- she makes this decadent chocolate cake with (believe it or not!) pureed black beans- i think its called “Lexie’s Chocolate Decadence”. I think it might be a terrific candidate for substituting carob and its a super simple recipe… hope you find it helpful :D Happy baking!

  4. Sharky permalink
    May 17, 2012

    Hi Alea.
    My husband is intolerant to gluten, dairy, carrageenans , and allergic to soy, some nuts, yeast white eggs and chocolate. I found this recipe and I decided to follow your instructions, using carob instead of chocolate. Icing with fresh apricots and turmeric with a pinch of citric acid. the yellow decoration was beautiful. we noticed that the cake turned a bit like mud cake but still yummy.

  5. May 3, 2012

    go ahead and use olive oil Pat, it should be ok! :D hope it turns out beautifully for you!

  6. Pat permalink
    May 3, 2012

    I want to make this chocolate cake for a friend’s b’day – the dinner is at our house tomorrow! I have not been able to find coconut oil, and do not have time to drive to the next larger city before the event. I have olive oil – is that suitable? I can’t use butter, either, as the celebrant does not tolerate dairy (or wheat, or soy).

    The recipe for the Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake (sugar free, dairy free, xanthan free)
    looks so good. Thanks for posting it.

  7. April 13, 2012

    hi lindsay! yes, you could use chocolate milk.

  8. Lindsay Campbell permalink
    April 4, 2012

    Would chocolate milk work for the chocolate almond/rice milk the recipe calls for?


  9. Daphne Medina permalink
    February 17, 2012

    um…yeah…so I made this again. (YES, AGAIN). So good. I didnt have any coconut oil for the frosting, so I made it from just soaked dates, vanilla, cashew cream, a little salt and cocoa powder. Good stuff…this recipe is really “flexible” ( I have used various flours based on what I have access to and it turns out every time). This cake ROCKS. :))))

  10. February 15, 2012

    YAAAAAY!! omg. Loubot this is fabulous news!!! i’m so excited that the cake worked for you!! I like to put a little espresso in it myself.. and some allspice and alittle nutmeg and cinnamon (i’m a ibt of a spice a holic) I LOVE the chocolate chunks idea! I always hoped the recipe would work well with eggs, and i’m so glad it actually did :D
    what a great day today is :D

  11. Loubot permalink
    February 15, 2012

    Sooooo I ended up sticking with the coconut oil, but I did substitute eggs for the gelatin. This. Cake. Is. AMAZING! It’s everything you want in a chocolate cake and more! All of my friends were impressed, and kept commenting on how nice it was that it wasn’t too sweet. They loved it, and they’re all used to eating lots of butter, sugar, gluten, etc. This recipe is a real winner.

    Sidenote: I put chocolate chunks in the batter (I splurged for my birthday :p ), and they made it even more amazing!

    Thank you, thank you, Alea!


  12. February 13, 2012

    heya Lou! i have no idea what it would look like iwth eggs and butter… but, i figure you can easily replace the oil in the recipe with the butter, and throw in about 3 well beaten eggs instead of the agar powder… you have to tell me how it turns out! you can also substitute regular sugar instead of the coconut sugar… i’m curious about your experiments you’ll have to tell me how it goes :D

  13. Lou permalink
    February 13, 2012

    Hey Alea!

    What would this recipe look like if I were using eggs and butter?

    I can’t wait to make this for my birthday tomorrow!

  14. January 31, 2012

    daphne this recipe is terrific! i’m so going ot have to try it out :D thank you!!!

  15. Daphne Medina permalink
    January 30, 2012

    oh and I left out the cinnamon!


  16. Daphne Medina permalink
    January 30, 2012

    for the tres leches, I substituted a cup of regular coconut milk for the all of th emilk called for, I used 1 cup of Bobs Red Mill GF flour (a mix) and a 1/2 cup of coconut flour. I used coconut shreds in place of the coco powder. I also threw in a heaping tablespoon of cashew cream that I had on hand. I didnt change anything else.

    As for the tres leches: I mixed up the following in the blender:

    almond milk
    coconut milk
    cashew milk
    cashew cream that I had made a few days earlier
    coconut butter (I used the Artisana brand with the coconut meat mixed in with the oil )

    honey (You can also use dates or date paste in this to give it extra depth in place of the honey)

    vanilla and MAPLE extracts (the maple gives it that flavor)
    dash (or 4!) of rum or sherry (optional)

    I basically made it to a glaze consistency and then tasted and adjusted for that sweet/salty caramely flavor. Then I poured it over the cake (make sure you pierce the cake first)

    ** YOu can cook the glaze down to really caramelize it…I just didnt feel like it, and if you use the maple/dates then you wont really need to. I let it cool and served it. SO GOOD!!!! And its still nice and moist!!! :)

  17. January 29, 2012

    omg Daphne i am so happy that this was helpful to you!!! You MUST tell me how you did it as tres leches i am sooooo curious! :D thank you so much for making my day…. its moments like this that just make this so worthwhile! alea

  18. Daphne Medina permalink
    January 28, 2012

    I wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this recipe! Do you know know how HARD it is to find a vegan, GF recipe for CAKE without all the gums and what-not?!?!? (Im guessing you do!)

    I made the chocolate cake this past week; it was very very good and I was quite happy. So different tonight I made a version of it–I left out the chocolate and made it into a coconut Tres Leches cake !
    It is so so so good and the texture is like CAKE–REAL CAKE- not one of those “I’m-going-to-eat-this-crap-and-tell-myself-it’s-cake” crap…!

    Thank you much and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!


    Daphne Medina

  19. November 24, 2011

    Hi Brooke- i’ve never used soy flour so i don’t know for sure, but you want something that has alot of structure to it and a bit of oil. You could try 1/3 cup another nut or seed meal plus 1/3 cup sorghum flour?

  20. Brooke permalink
    November 23, 2011

    Would I be able to substitute the almond flour for soy flour?

  21. October 2, 2011

    oh, and no problem with the rice milk. !

  22. October 2, 2011

    hi minnie! so sorry its taken so long to write back, iàve been travellingwith infrequent internet acess… you can sub coconut flour, but use less than what the almond flour calls for because its much more absorbant and can casue a slightly grainy texture. as for the chia flour, you might find it is gummy, iàd try jsut coconut flour furst, with perhaps 1/2 tsp of chia

  23. Minnie permalink
    September 26, 2011

    Hi there,
    With allergies to nuts, is it possible to sub the almond milk for extra rice milk? Also what can replace the almond flour? I was thinking of using chia flour, or more coconut flour?


  24. September 8, 2011

    Hi there Sarah!
    Locally i buy the corn-free Purest Natural Products corn-free baking powder (they use potato starch), however, I’ve found a recipe for you that will also work :) \

    To make a large batch of baking powder, mix ¼ cup starch (arrowroot or tapioca) with ¼ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of cream of tartar. The starch is very important! Otherwise you get concrete. Keep in a sealed jar or Tupperware. 1 tsp. mix equals 1 tsp. baking powder. Also, check out the corn free recipe at she’s got alot of recipes that i think you’ll find helpful. be encouraged :) you can do it. :) -own-grain-free-corn.html

  25. Sarah permalink
    September 7, 2011

    Hi, I just wanted to know… Is there a baking powder that doesn’t have cornstarch? And if not then this isn’t corn free…
    I’m having a really hard time as I’m off gluten, dairy including eggs, soy, corn and peanuts.
    Thank you for your time and thanks for putting yourself out there – I think you’re very thorough.

  26. July 25, 2011

    hey there Iris! Thanks so much… its a super fluffy cake :) i’m thinking i need to go make some now lol

  27. July 25, 2011

    Wow, that is a beautiful looking cake! I am so impressed!!!

  28. June 20, 2011

    Hi there Melissa!
    Almond flour subbing may not work for this one.. (you might be able to get away with cooked quinoa and use chickpea flour but i’m not totally certain)
    Try this one from Gluten Free Goddiess- its vegan, GF, nut free:

    If you don’t want to do xanthan gum, and if you can do cashews, go for this one, its a mini cake but its SO rich and terrific- one small one easily feeds 4 people, no joke:

    If you’re looking for a dairy and soy free and refiend sugar free icing recipe- try this strawberry icing in this post and just take out the nut butter or sunflower butter: its not needed)

    If you need other flavours or ideas for icing ‘colours’ without dyes, check this post:

    Happy baking! give me a shout anytime if you need any help at all :) xox

  29. Melissa permalink
    June 20, 2011

    Hi Alea,

    I’m trying to find a recipe for Priya’s birthday cake…would there be a substitute you can recommend for the almond flour??


  30. June 10, 2011

    Hi there Saniel!

    it often depends on the recipe- can he do other nuts? If he can, I highly suggest your first option is to substitute cashews.

    Coconut milk: Cashew milk (soak cashews over night, drain, blend, add water to your preferred consistency). If the fat content is needed, add a little cashew butter in, or even blend in a little melted unhydrogenated organic palm oil. If the sweetness is needed, add in a few soaked pureed dates.

    Coconut flour- it depends on the recipe. If its a minor ingredient, it means its needed for its absorbancy and protein- so substitue with chickpea or your preferred bean flour. If its a major ingredient, subsitute with 1/2 part almond flour, 1/4 part white rice flour, 1/4 part tapioca starch (or other starch).

    For shredded coconut, I’d suggest substituting in your preferred chopped nut or seed, and for sweetness chop finely a few dates and toss them in.

    For coconut oil in baking- depending on your diet restrictions, you can substitute butter, shortening, or unhydrogenated organic palm oil shortening, or Earth Balance butter (each oil has a bit of a different cooking point, anything wiht palm in it will take abit longer to cook and will not brown as quickly, even when totally cooked)

    I hope that helps? if you have any specific recipes you’re thinking of that you need help with, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout at . I’d love to help!
    alea :)

  31. June 10, 2011

    my husband is gluten free and is allergic to coconut. any other alternatives for coconut milk, flour, oil, shreds?

  32. May 16, 2011

    ohh wow. :) Adrienne, you made my day- i am so glad it turned out well for you!! I love it when people who couldn’t eat treats can suddenly have treats again- it puts me on cloud nine :D if you ever have any particular requests for anything at all, let me know! I’m always up for a challenge :D

  33. Adrienne permalink
    May 16, 2011

    This cake is spectacular…I did use Fry’s cocoa, and it was still lovely (perhaps it is better with darker stuff, but don’t let that put you off). I made a chocolate icing (made with Agave) and it was delicious. My son, who is allergic to dairy, eggs, gluten and cane sugar, was thrilled. Thanks!

  34. February 11, 2011

    thank you so much ellen!! let me know how it goes when you give it a shot :)

  35. February 10, 2011

    Gosh, there’s nothing more to say than WOWOWOW!!!! This looks fantastic! Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

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