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. I used Bob's Red Mill® brand 1-to-1 baking flour in this recipe, and highly recommend it if you have yet to come across a gluten-free substitute for flour that meets your expectations.
- 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
- 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 28-30 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 powder sugar and beat it in with a mixer on med-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.