Cakes are my favorite dish to make, hands down. I adore everything about them. The taste, texture, decorating…and most of all, how happy they make whoever is receiving them. Cakes are just special.
I have been a lover and maker of three-tiered confections for years, but becoming plant-based threw a wrench in things. How does a cake bind and rise without eggs? How do you make buttercream without butter?
After a lot of study and practice, I have figured out the tricks to making vegan cakes. Aquafaba, flax, coconut oil etc. Vegan AND gluten-free, however, is another story. Why gluten-free? I want to make recipes that are available to as many people as possible. A lot of people have gluten intolerance (my best friend Emma has celiac) and EVERYONE should be able to have delicious cake.
So I began my quest to make a gluten-free and vegan cake. To be honest, it felt like rocket science. There are so many elements to balance: weight of flours, ratio of liquid and fat, crumb. After a few failed batches, I decided to take my favorite vanilla cake recipe from Minimalist Baker and adapt it to chocolate.
The result? INCREDIBLE! Decadent, subtly sweet, crumby (not gummy) and sturdy enough to hold a buttercream. I have high cake standards and this one is a WINNER. I gave this one to a non-vegan, non-gf friend for her birthday and it was a hit. She said that her family couldn’t believe it.
Top fresh roses (non-toxic) and chopped pistachios for a simple and beautiful look.
Enjoy and comment if you have any questions!
Best Ever Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups boxed coconut or almond milk
- 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- t tbsp vanilla
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
- 1.5 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup cacao
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks Miyoko’s vegan butter 8 oz
- 3.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp strawberry juice (for coloring)
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 6-inch cake pans with vegan butter and flour. I do this very liberally! It’s a naked cake, so you’ll want to make sure the exposed sides come out cleanly.
- Mix coconut or almond milk and your apple cider vinegar. This little combination forms a vegan “buttermilk.” Set aside for a few minutes to activate and then add your vanilla and apple sauce.
- Mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Fold in your wet ingredients until well incorporated. I do this in my stand mixer.
- Divide the batter amongst three cake pans and place in the oven. Cook until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let *completely* cool before frosting. This is very important for a layer cake. If they are even slightly warm it will slip and slide around. I pop mine in the fridge for 20 minutes 🙂
- Make sure your vegan butter is at room temperature. If you need to heat, do this in very short increments (we’re talking 5 seconds). Vegan butter tends to melt very quickly and you don’t want to end up with a pile of unusable liquid!
- Whip the butter with a hand or stand mixer. Add vanilla. Slowly fold in your powdered until your desired consistency is reached. It should be medium thickness for frosting. I also add a touch of almond milk to make it extra creamy.
- Add strawberry juice for a beautiful pink coloring and subtle flavor. If you prefer, you can also use 1/2 drop of red food paste or coloring.
** All ovens run at very different temperatures – mine at home can be off by nearly 30 degrees! For successful baking, I would recommend purchasing an oven thermometer. You can get them for under $10 at a grocery store or online. It will save you a lot of heartache!