Gluten-free Chocolate Cake is always a joyful thing. And that’s true for today’s gluten-free simple and good Chocolate Cake recipe, too. This cake is different though and I wanted to remind you all about this recipe that I’ve had here on gfe for almost forever.
You’ll be happy to know that this cake is my version of the World War I and II-era, Depression-era chocolate cake that requires no eggs, butter, or milk. Because of that fact, some call the original version–the cake that today’s recipe is based on—Wacky Cake. Some call it Crazy Cake. And some even call it Chocolate Dump Cake (because of the way ingredients are “dumped” into the cake pan itself versus a mixing bowl before adding the batter to the pan).
Truth be told, I’ve shared more than one chocolate cake recipe here at gfe. Cakes like my 3-Minute Chocolate Cake, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Flourless Chocolate Banana Honey Walnut Cake, Double Chocolate Clementine Cake, Chocolate Zucchini “Loaf Cake,” and Mediterranean Chocolate Cake.
Just to name a few! But all of those recipes require eggs—or an egg substitute—and often other ingredients that you may not have on hand right now.
Simple chocolate cakes are the very best in my opinion, so I was excited when Lydia at The Perfect Pantry shared her adaptation of Quick and Easy Chocolate Dump Cake. Lydia’s adaptation was not gluten free, but it was already vegan. Which by definition means no eggs or dairy—butter or milk—were used. Vegan recipes please my vegan, dairy-free, and/or egg-free readers. With a few additional changes, I made this cake gluten free and a bit healthier.
So now you have a delicious dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan chocolate cake! You may have never thought that you’d want to eat vegan in the past but in this case, eating vegan means you can have limited ingredients and still bake a delicious chocolate cake.
Or cupcakes. One gluten-free friend has long used this recipe to make cupcakes for her son who not only doesn’t eat gluten but also doesn’t eat dairy or eggs.
This cake is not very sweet and has that sort of rich Devil’s Food or buttermilk cake flavor because of the vinegar that is used in conjunction with the baking soda to ensure that the cake rises. This cake’s medium sweetness actually makes it perfect for pairing with a lovely cup of tea. If you want a tad more sweetness, you can sprinkle on/sift on a little bit of powdered sugar.
As a former gluten-free support group leader, I used to host a tea party every year. I and all the members loved participating in the tea party because, of course, the typical tea events are not gluten-free. Plus, we could adjust the recipes however we wanted or needed.
Tea party fare included many of our favorites, recipes like Seafood Chowder, Baked Potato Soup, Pumpkin Soup, Great Salad, Elegant and Easy Party Puffs, Banana Maple-Nut Muffins, Cinnamon-Sugar Crusted Almond Popovers, Molasses Banana Bread, Shortbread, and today’s cake—as one recipe that worked for most everyone in attendance. Additional dietary restrictions or not.
Memories of those tea parties still make me smile. We donned hats from my vintage hat collection, brought out the fancy tablecloths and our best china and silver, and enjoyed a host of wonderful sweet and savory items.
You don’t have to host a tea to enjoy this chocolate cake though! We all know that none of us should be hosting events at the moment. Well, unless it’s with the people in your own house. If that’s the case, go for it! A tea event would be a lovely thing to do at home right now.
For other scrumptious gluten-free chocolate cakes (or similar), be sure to check out some more recipes from a few of my favorite blogger friends via the links below.
More Delicious Chocolate Recipes
~ German Chocolate Cake with Pecan Filling from Elana’s Pantry ~ A “sweet rich chocolaty cake.”
~ Chocolate-Covered Cake Balls from Go Dairy Free (be sure to use gluten-free cake or cupcakes) ~ Turning disappointing baking results into something truly special.
~ Chocolate-Covered Banana “Cake” Pops from Cook IT Allergy Free ~ Cake pops—without the cake!
~ Chocolate Decadence from Flo and Grace ~ You’ll never believe this incredible dessert is not only gluten free but also dairy free, egg free, and vegan!
~ Wacky Cake from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures ~ Be sure to use the gluten-free flour option. One of my gfe readers recently had her young daughter make this cake as her first cake. She did a fantastic job!
Simple and Good Chocolate Cake Recipe
Even if you're gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and vegan you can still enjoy a really good chocolate cake! ALL of your friends will love this cake, too! Recipe adapted from a recipe from The Perfect Pantry (who adapted a recipe from Pragerway). As you can see from the recipe, I didn’t use any gums so there may be a slight crumble factor. It did not bother us---and I’m not sure it will happen each and every time as I rushed mine on the cooling!---but if you want to ensure crumb free, you may either add 1 tsp xanthan gum or 1 tsp chia seed (if you are a fan) and let the latter sit in the batter for a minute after the cold water is added, before you add the vinegar. Cutting with a plastic knife ensures straight-edged pieces with fewer crumbs. This is a tip that Linda (Gluten-Free Homemaker) reminded me of in one of her posts in her ongoing Kitchen Tips series.
Simple and Good Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Vegan)
One reader added a tablespoon of cold coffee at the same time as the water. She said the resulting cake was wonderful!
Even if you're gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and vegan you can still enjoy a really good chocolate cake! ALL of your friends will love this cake, too!
Recipe adapted from a recipe from The Perfect Pantry (who adapted a recipe from Pragerway).
As you can see from the recipe, I didn’t use any gums so there may be a slight crumble factor. It did not bother us---and I’m not sure it will happen each and every time as I rushed mine on the cooling!---but if you want to ensure crumb free, you may either add 1 tsp xanthan gum or 1 tsp chia seed (if you are a fan) and let the latter sit in the batter for a minute after the cold water is added, before you add the vinegar.
Cutting with a plastic knife ensures straight-edged pieces with fewer crumbs. This is a tip that Linda (Gluten-Free Homemaker) reminded me of in one of her posts in her ongoing Kitchen Tips series.
OMG, I’m thinking I should have waited till tomorrow to check this post! Because now it’s 11:15 pm and I’m seriously debating making cake.
Thanks, dear AndreAnna! Hope I didn’t keep you up baking this cake or tossing and turning if you didn’t. 😉
I love the story about your husband and the cake song! And I love Bill Cosby… 🙂
I can tell by the ingredients that this cake must taste amazing. Coconut and almond flours create the most amazing flavor and texture for baked goods!
Hey Iris–I do love almond and coconut flours together, mostly due to Elana’s cupcakes. 😉 I ended up adding the small amount of coconut flour because the batter was too thin. With a few stirs, the coconut flour thickened the batter perfectly. 🙂 BTW, one of my support group members made this recipe using 1 1/2 cups almond flour and 2 tbsp coconut flour, plus she used chocolate extract (and more of it) instead of vanilla extract. I think everything else was the same. She said it turned out great!
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats says
This looks SOOOOOO good. Love the concept. And yes, I am one of those dairy-free (and vegan-leaning) readers who totally appreciates recipes like this 🙂
I have loved the idea of the garden tea-party theme myself – such the perfect time of year for the theme too.
Hey Valerie–Thanks, dear! Love experimenting with different “free” recipes and sharing with those who have different needs. 🙂
Well, it didn’t take long to pass the optimum time for the garden tea party theme, did it? At least adound here. Uless we had one of those misting systems like they do in Palm Springs. 😉 Seriously, I love tea parties, but I think it’s gotten too hot too quckly. Even camping in the mtns this weekend was somewhat brutal as far as temps. 🙁
Even though I practically have this comedy routine memorized, I love that you put in a link to the video so I could watch it again. A lovely source of smiles for me this morning. Oh, and the thought of easy chocolate cake doesn’t hurt either. 🙂
Ina Gawne says
Love, love Bill Cosby….and your cake looks mighty delicious! I would eat chocolate cake, or any cake for that matter at breakfast time too! A little indulgence once in a while is a good thing!
Hi Ina–Wonder on any given day how many folks are eating cake for breakfast?! They might be the happier ones … especially if they are thinking of and chuckling at memories of Bill Cosby as they are eating. 😉
The cake looks moist and delicious! I love the idea of vintage hats at the tea party! I just brought down my grandmother’s hats for the royal wedding party I went to. It was a shock that they were too small for my big head:D
Hi Sherri–Thanks! This cake does get a tad drier after the first day, but it’s still very good. 🙂
I love my vintage hat collection. So glad you have your grandmother’s hats; that’s very special. I do understand the size factor. I do have some that almost fit nobody. 😉 Love the idea of a royal wedding party!
Nancy @SensitivePantry says
I love that Bill Cosby routine! Thanks for reminding me about it, Shirley. Cake looks perfecto. Been craving chocolate cake and this is one I can eat. Yay!!
Hi Nancy–It seems like there are so many of us Cosby fans! Thanks for the cake kudos. 🙂 I love making recipes that will work for those who often get left out. 😉
Tia @ Glugle Gluten-Free says
When I was 7 months pregnant, we went to my FIL’s for a birthday(his)/baby shower. My now-SIL made a flourless chocolate cake. The next morning, I wake up to all of the “men” of the house eating the cake for breakfast. Sam busts out “Dad is great. Give us chocolate cake.” I knew I was in trouble. So far, he hasn’t done it with Max, but I am sure it is just because we have yet to have any around in the morning.
On another note, I made this today. The pie is not quite how I oped it would be, so I needed something to take to my SIL’s father’s house today. We are going to his ranch to pick cherries and peaches. I had to do some subbing, since I didn’t have everything in my kitchen, so we will see how it turns out. So far, it looks and smells great. I will let you know. Thanks for having this up.
xo – Tia
Hey Tia!–I love that you have a “Dad is great. Give us chocolate cake.” story! 🙂 And you probably have some time before the chocolate cake for breakfast situation happens in your house … if ever. 😉
I’m sorry your crustless pie didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped. I really hope your variation of this cake worked out!
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) says
I think I have everything to make this! Definitely giving it a try for! It looks perfectly delicious Shirley! Thank you for sharing this one! Tony is going to be so happy!
Hey Sarena–I sure hope you liked this recipe if you tried it, dear! 🙂
Don’t you just love comedic husbands who laugh the most at their own jokes? 😉 The HH will do that, too–say something and then burst out in a guffaw (while I stand with arms crossed and a faux scowl on my face).
Ah, chocolate cake for breakfast–been there, done that! And let me tell you, it was great. 😉 This one looks wonderful. I’ve never found that chia resolves the “crumb factor,” have you? I use it often as an egg sub, but I find that the gluten still needs to be replaced somehow. Maybe I’m not using enough. . .not sure.
And thanks for the plastic knife tips–going to try those out! 🙂
Ricki–The answer to that question is yes, I do, as long as I’m not always expected to think he’s funny. Of course, Bill Cosby material does give him an edge. 😉
Your comment on chia seed is interesting … I thought it helped as a binder and did help with crumbs, but now I am not so sure. I think my crumb warning was a bit overly cautious though, as there were just a few tiny crumbs the next day. So the original crumbs were definitely due to me being over anxious and having to try some almost immediately. I know nobody else has ever done that before, right? LOL
Shirley…you had me with simple & good, but oh, my, that cake looks amazing!!! So glad you shared this recipe with all of us! 🙂
Hey dear Gigi!–Thanks, dear. “Simple and good” is how I like most things in life to be! 😉
Shirley, do you have another great chocolate cake recipe using stuff from the (GF) average pantry? (you know, GF baking mix, sweet rice flour, cornstarch, regular sugar….i hope, i hope, i hope…)
Hi Leese–Welcome to gfe! Lydia’s original recipe used regular sugar and I did try this recipe with my standard gluten-free flour mix alone, but it just didn’t work. As I emailed you, for a basic chocolate cake, I recommend my Mediterranean Chocolate Cake recipe. Hope you give it a try!
Three cheers for the DUMP CAKE! I’ve been waiting for this recipe :). Dump cake is one of my fondest childhood memories. My Tutu (grandma) and I would make it and I remember her asking me to make the three wells for the liquids and then letting me mix it up. Thanks for conjuring up these memories for me 🙂 I just may relive my childhood today and make me a chocolate dump cake!
Hey Lexie–You know the only dump cake I’ve ever known of is one using fruit. How neat that you have a wonderful memory of a chocolate one with your grandma! I love your name for her—very sweet. 🙂
Oh, Shirley – I remember watching Bill Cosby when I was a kid and it was always a tie between watching his show or Little House on the Prairie, haha. 🙂 Neither of my parents have ever made chocolate cake for breakfast but I’m not against the idea at all, once in a while. 😉 This cake would be excellent with ice cream, I agree, indeed I can taste it right now!
Just reading Kim’s comment, I now think I’m actually referring to the Bill Cosby Show!
Hi Zoe–Two very good, “wholesome” shows. 🙂 You’re right on the ice cream … I think that would really take this cake up a notch or two. 😉
Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free says
Can’t wait to try this — I love the “easier” factor combined with chocolate!
Hi Pat–How we love our chocolate in this group! And easy is, of course, the name of the game here. 🙂
YUM! And yay Shirley. Everyone needs a chocolate cake recipe and now I have mine. I will make this for my Dad – who loves chocolate cake (surprise!). I love the almond flour and coconut flour additions. I couldn’t see a pic of you in one of your hats… 🙂 xo
Hope this recipe (or your variation … it’s hard not to resist tweaking some) does become “your chocolate cake recipe.” As I was telling Iris, one of my support group members adapted the recipe slightly to make it grain free and even healthier. She used 1 1/2 cups almond flour and 2tbsp coconut flour and NO gluten-free flour mix.
Actually I’m in three of the photos in the collage wearing my favorite salmon top, one just showing the back of my hat with the back of another friend’s/member’s hat. 🙂
Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) says
I love Bill Cosby! One of my favorite shows was the Cosby show and I totally remember being so sad when they ended the series that I actually cried watching their very last episode!
I have seen that bit about the chocolate cake before and it always reminded me of my Dad giving us cake (even though it was vanilla) one Sunday morning when my Mom was out of town. My sister and I thought it was so amazing and knew, without my Dad even telling us, that it was probably supposed to be a big secret, so we NEVER told my mom. LOL
This cake looks amazing! I cannot wait to give this recipe a try. What a great treat for this weekend. My list of things I want to make is getting too long. Not sure how I am going to make everything at this point! 😉
Hi Kim–Doesn’t the Cosby show seem like a 100 years ago now? We always enjoyed it very much. Haha on your “secret” vanilla cake from your dad. So much easier NOT to tell mom, and it’s special to have a secret with Dad and sister. 😉
If you have a list, then you’re ahead of me, dear, but no surprise there! LOL Occasionally, I do try a recipe right away or at least commit that I want to make it to memory, but lots of times, recipes I really, really wanted to make I forget about. So many great recipes, so little time …
[email protected] says
Shirley, I have always LOVED this Bill Cosby bit… Classic. 🙂 As is chocolate cake! A healthy, allergen-free take on a classic! My favorite. Sometimes the toughest recipes to master as the constantly-substituting, allergen-eliminating cooks that we are, are the ones that are the most basic, simple and traditional – so I am especially excited to try this one out… Thank you!
Hi Desi–Great to see you, dear! Happy to share a love of Bill Cosby and allergen-free chocolate cake with you! 🙂
The Healthy Apple says
What a lovely recipe; thanks for sharing….there’s nothing like a delicious gluten-free chocolate cake. This really looks fabulous! Love your blog and enjoy reading your gluten-free recipes!
Enjoy your holiday weekend.
Hi The Healthy Apple–Welcome to gfe, and thanks so much for taking the time to comment! 🙂 Thanks, too, for the kind words on my blog and this cake recipe!
Had a great holiday weekend … hope you did, too!
Ellen @Gluten Free Diva says
It’s 9:51. PM. I need to make this. Oh my, why couldn’t I have seen this earlier today? You are a she-devil, in only the best way:).
Hey Ellen–Blog reading late at night can have its disadvantages. 😉 I hate to admit it, but I kind of like being a she-devil … LOL
Fantastic recipe with so many intolerances catered for at once- and so yummy!
Thank you so much, InTolerantChef! I do aim to please. 🙂
That chocolate cake looks so moist and chewy! And I think of that bit just like Mr. GFE. lol My best friend and I used to go through it all the time in high school. “Chocolate cake behiiiind you!”
Hey Debi–Haha … “Chocolate cake behiiiind you!” Love it. 😉
Lisa @ Healthful Sense says
This cake looks amazing! I like the idea of adding the chia seeds. I just made a cake like this over the weekend for my birthday with some chocolate avocado frosting!
Hi Lisa–It looks like you are new here at gfe–welcome! 🙂 Chocolate cake and chia seeds … your chocolate and protein needs met at the same time. 😉 And chocolate avocado frosting … yes, please! Put the two together and it’s kinda sounding like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meets Chia Pet. LOL
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
That cake looks great! I’ve been looking for palm sugar at the health food store but haven’t seen it. I guess I need to order online. Where do you buy yours?
Thanks for the link love. 🙂 xoxo
Linda–Thanks, dear! 🙂 I’ve orded the palm sugar through iHerb and Amazon. I’ve looked for it locally, but have not found it yet.
Always happy to share cake recipes! Hugs,
Heidi @adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com says
Oh Shirley, this looks absolutely delicious!!! Have I told you lately how much I miss chocolate? And your cake, my dear, could definitely qualify as breakfast!! 😀
I love Bill Cosby and have ever since the good ol’ Fat Albert days during Saturday morning cartoons, and of course, I grew up on The Cosby Show and now I watch it with my kids (The Muppets and The Carol Burnett Show too, LOL!).
I also love your gluten free tea that you host, what an wonderful treat! Is that Mr. GFE I see wearing a hat too? I think he and Mike would get along fantastically!
Hi Heidi, dear!–We all have an addiction to chocolate and Bill Cosby! I’m glad you introduced your kids to the classics. 🙂
No, that’s not Mr. GFE in the hat. That’s a friend and founding member of our group. We just thought it would be neat to show the backs of our hats. We also really enjoy our tea event. 🙂
I remember that Bill Cosby bit! Heh!
I will have to educate myself about nut and coconut flours. My kids and I are going to start the GAPS diet over the summer.
Hi Holly–Great to see you again! 🙂 I’m surprised and delighted how many folks do know that Cosby bit. 😉
Good for you on starting the GAPS diet with your family. I’ve heard really good things about it. Nut and coconut flours can certainly fill a void when it comes to grain-free diets. As I was saying in a comment reply earlier, one of my support group members saw this recipe and immediately made it grain free. She used 1 1/2 cups almond flour and the 2 tbsp coconut flour and 2 tsp chocolate extract vs vanilla extract. All the other ingredients were the same as my recipe. She raved over it! 🙂
This cake looks so flavorful and rich. The beauty of a good simple cake, it that it is so good it can stand on it’s own.
Hi Tracee–So sorry on the belated reply … your comment got “lost” in all the giveaway entries. 😉 Thanks so much re: my chocolate cake! It’s a great addition to the chocolate cake roundup here at gfe. 🙂
I make a very similar cake but mine doesn’t have the almonds and coconut flour which I think will make it much healthier! I’m going to try this!
Hi Vicky–I hope you enjoy it. I love using almond flour and coconut flour! A friend actually made a grain-free version, but I haven’t had success with that so far. Will post the recipe when I do! 😉
Hey thanks so much for this recipe! My friend recently went off of sugar, dairy, gluten, eggs, and more due to a disease and i wanted to try and make her a cake so this is GREAT. Thanks so much!! (:
Hi Amy–It looks like you’re new here … welcome to gfe! 🙂 I hope your friend enjoys the cake. Believe it or not, there are actually lots of great blogs that have nothing but recipes that fit her needs. Really great recipes, I might add. FYI, one friend also uses this recipe to make cupcakes. 😉
Thank you for a great easy and delicious recipe!!! I made this for my husband’s birthday along with this frosting: http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2011/01/chocolate-date-frosting-book-signing.html
and it was SO GREAT!!!
Hi Jenna–That’s wonderful news! Thank you so much for sharing with us all! I love the idea of using Kelly’s frosting with this cake, too. 😉 Will share your comment on my gfe Facebook page so that others will know about the combo. 🙂
I’d forgotten about this beautiful cake Shirley, I must make it soon 🙂 I wish I had the coconut flour because I would be making it for Father’s Day tomorrow for my husband..
Have a lovely weekend!
Thanks, Vicky! I hope you enjoy it when you finally get to make it. 😉 Happy Father’s Day to your husband! I’m sure you will make him something very delicious to enjoy on his special day. 🙂
Hope you have a great weekend, too, dear! xo,
Why no egg? Would the egg make it more moist? Just wondering.
Hi Brenda–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 After making this recipe, I learned that it was a depression-era cake, sometimes called Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake. It was designed to be made without butter and eggs, which tended to be scarce and costly if available at the time. That makes this an ideal recipe for the person who is out of eggs or the one who needs a dairy-free and/or egg-free recipe (or a vegan recipe as it’s naturally vegan). The baking soda and vinegar reaction creates the “lift” that normally eggs would provide. Adding an egg to this recipe would actually make it too heavy IMO, unless you made other changes. If you do, please let us know how it works out!
ummu muhammad says
any substitute for almond flour
Shirley Braden says
Hi ummu–You could probably use gluten-free flour mix instead of almond flour, which means that you would be using a total of 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (instead of just one cup) as well as the coconut flour. I’ve never made this cake that way before but I *think* it would work. Please report back and let us know how it works out if you try it. Fingers crossed!