Everyone’s favourite (gluten-free) chocolate cake

I’ve been eating this cake for as long as I can remember. There were no gluten-free flour mixes available when I was a child and this was one of the few recipes which worked well with brown rice flour. It quickly became my mother’s go-to cake. I think it formed the basis of practically every birthday and special event cake throughout my childhood.

When I was little, the recipe was written up in Mum’s book as Richard’s Favourite Chocolate Cake. In the next iteration of the hand-written recipe book it had become Ruth’s Favourite Chocolate Cake. Dad had been demoted. These days, Mum has taken a more democratic approach. The cake is now known as Everyone’s Favourite Chocolate Cake. Much fairer!

I think this cake tastes slightly different each time I make it but it’s great every time. It can be made with gluten-free plain flour or with brown rice flour. You could make a dairy-free version by replacing the butter in the cake and icing with a dairy-free margarine. Of course, if you don’t have to watch what you eat, you can use normal plain flour.

This recipe is fail-safe. Once, when I was about 12, I forgot to add the eggs and didn’t realise until it was just in the oven. Amazingly, it coped with being dragged out and having the eggs added.

Everyone’s Favourite Chocolate Cake is one of those great, quick cakes which you can make with minimal fuss. I made this one while Elena was in her highchair eating breakfast. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m crazy.

I didn’t have time to make icing for the cake this time so I dusted it with icing sugar instead.

chocolate cake

Everyone’s favourite gluten-free chocolate cake

2 cups brown rice flour or White Wings Gluten Free Plain Flour
1 teaspoon psyllium husks
1 ¾ cups caster sugar
½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 ¾ teaspoons bi-carbonate soda
pinch salt
2/3 cup cocoa
2/3 cup (150g) soft butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup water
2-4 drops cochineal
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs


Sift 1 1/3 cups pure icing sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 cup cocoa
¼ cup butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla,
1 tablespoon of water.

Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Line a 33cm x 22cm x 5cm cake tin with baking paper.

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add butter (soft, not melted), water, vanilla, and cochineal. Beat for two minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating mixture until light and creamy (it will change colour slightly).

Pour into tin. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

To make icing

Sift sugar, salt and cocoa. Add butter, vanilla and water. Beat until smooth.

This entry was posted in baking, dairy-free, gluten-free, recipe, sweet. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Everyone’s favourite (gluten-free) chocolate cake

  1. Laura says:

    Looks fabulous! Three cheers for democracy…your mom sounds sweet!

  2. Emgy says:

    That cake looks absolutely scrumptious! I am in so much awe that you actually baked a cake while your child ate breakfast. Wow.

  3. Thanks so much for linking up! I can’t wait to try this.

  4. canada jenny says:

    I’m excited to try this recipe…looks yummy!

  5. Michele says:

    How would this recipe do in a bundt pan? Or is it better to make a large flat cake cut into squares?

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Michelle! I haven’t made this cake in a bundt pan, but I think it would be fine if you adjusted your baking time and watched it carefully. It’s a pretty robust cake. If you do make it in a bundt pan, I’d love to hear how you go 🙂

      • I tried it in a bundt pan today, and it worked well! I buttered and floured the pan and baked at 344 degrees F for 50 minutes. Next time, I’m going to use a flour mixture with millet, teff, and buckwheat for a nuttier flavor and more whole grains.

        • Ruth says:

          I’m so glad it worked out! Good luck trying it with a different flour mix 🙂 It’s really nice with brown rice flour too – that also makes for a nuttier flavour.

  6. Pingback: 8 Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Recipes to Try For the Holidays

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