Gluten-Free Chocolate Spice Cake
Having a family member that needs to eat a low-gluten diet has caused me to begin to try my hand at making gluten-free recipes of late. I want everyone to be able to enjoy dessert at our family gatherings. Since he likes chocolate spice cake, I figured that would be a good recipe to translate into a gluten-free version. After a couple of tries, I came up with a recipe that satisfied me. My whole family ended up liking this cake, including the children.
It makes life easier to have a good 1-to-1 substitute for flour when doing gluten-free baking, though I will say 1-to-1 does not mean the substitute will act exactly like flour. I found this to be particularly true in how the cake tastes after a couple of days. This why there is a lot of liquid for the amount of flour in the recipe; the cake would be rather dry otherwise.
- 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour
- 3/8 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup milk
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- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake tin with parchment paper and grease the whole pan lightly with vegetable oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the sugar/oil mixture and beat until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Add several spoonfuls of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir well. Add about 1/4 of the milk to the bowl, stir, then add more flour. Alternate adding the flour and milk in this fashion until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin, then place the tin on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning it out onto a plate.
- Simply double the recipe if you want to make this as a two-layer cake.
- This cake tastes best within the first two days after making it. If you are going to take it to a party, I would recommend not baking it too far in advance.
- You can omit the spices if you prefer a plain chocolate cake. If you are leaving out the spices, add a full tablespoon of vanilla or 1/2 tablespoon almond flavoring plus the 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla to enhance the flavor of the cake.
- You can serve this plain with whipped cream, or cover it with your favorite glaze or frosting. I have included in the section below the recipe for the chocolate frosting I like to use on this cake.
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl on medium heat for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring about every twenty seconds to prevent scorching.
- Stir the melted chocolate, shortening, butter, salt, and vanilla together in a small mixing bowl.
- Add one cup of the powdered sugar and beat it in with a mixer on medium-low speed.
- Add two of the tablespoons of milk, then beat it again to work in the milk.
- Add the second cup of powdered sugar and the last tablespoon of milk.* Beat together thoroughly until smooth.
- Use immediately, as this frosting sets quickly due to it being made with chocolate rather than cocoa powder. Double the recipe if making this for a two-layer cake.
*You may need a little more or less milk depending on how humid your climate is.