Chocolate cake is one of those desserts that’s just as comforting at 5 years old as it is at 35. Aside from tasting heavenly, this recipe also just so happens to be vegan (meaning you don’t need eggs, butter, or milk to make it) and gluten-free. But you’d never know if I hadn’t told you.
According to Rio, the food blogger behind Rio’s Garden, the secret to creating a vegan chocolate cake that’s this rich and decadent is using a blend of gluten-free flours. In her recipe, that’s almond, chickpea, oat, coconut, and tapioca flour. (Which also adds an impressive amount of protein, BTW.)
“My kitchen is like a lab with so many flours. I’ve tried a lot of different combinations because I’ve always wanted to make people believe a vegan and gluten-free cake can be as good—or even better—than a cake made with gluten and dairy,” she says. “I see a lot of recipes that use all-purpose flour, but you really need to customize it for each recipe. At the end, the subtle combinations of these flours—and the natural oils—really make it a delicious, moist cake.”
There’s not much else you need besides the flour. Just flaxseed to make the vegan egg, and staples like cacao powder, apple cider vinegar, baking powder, and sugar. And to ensure you get the same delicious end result every time, Rio highly recommends using a kitchen scale ($24) to measure out the ingredients. “I use grams to be more exact so the taste and texture is more accurate,” she says.
After mixing up your ingredients and baking the cake for a little under an hour, Rio says to let it cool then put it in the fridge wrapped in foil. That trick gives you a cake that’s even more moist. Then, add your frosting (and layers, if you want!) and you have yourself a bakery-worthy cake. When you’re ready to try the recipe out for yourself, follow along with the instructions below.
Photo: Rio’s GardenVegan triple chocolate cream cake
For one 8″ x 2″ round cake pan (make three for a layered cake)
100 grams almond flour
40 grams chickpea flour
20 grams oat flour
20 grams potato starch
10 grams coconut flour (if you have)
10 grams tapioca flour
50 grams cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
240 grams sugar (your preference)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
Flax egg (mix 1 Tbsp flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water and leave for 15 minutes)
330 grams oat milk or almond milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Almond chocolate cream frosting:
225 grams unsweetened almond butter
600 grams canned coconut cream (about 2.5 cans, chilled)
85 grams cacao powder
270 grams sugar (your preference)
To make the cake:
1. Prepare the flax egg. Preheat the oven to 360℉.
2. Put all the flours in a bowl and mix.
3. Add the wet ingredients and the flax egg to the mixed flour bowl and mix.
4. Bake for about 55 minutes with a paper-lined mold.
5. Take the cake out of the oven and poke it with a wooden skewer or toothpick to make sure it’s fully baked.
6. After it has cooled down a little, remove the cake from the mold and let it cool on a rack.
7. When it has cooled completely, wrap it in foil and place in the refrigerator.
To make the almond chocolate cream frosting:
1. Mix all the frosting ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy.
2. Spread it over each layer of cake.
Next up, make this healthy carrot cake:
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