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Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free & Vegan Options!)

Years ago, my mom made a chocolate cake for my birthday and she used this recipe. We never turned back after that. This is truly the best chocolate cake you will ever eat. All credit goes to Robyn over at Add a Pinch blog where we found the recipe, but I simply had to share this with you all. 

This is the cake I turn to for a lot of special occasions because I am a huge chocolate lover, and what’s better than a classic chocolate cake? I dress it up with raspberries and some raspberry jam in the middle.

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chocolate cake

As you all know, I am a dairy free baker, so I modified the recipe to be dairy free. I also have gluten free and vegan options because other dietary preferences run in my family. 

I don’t know the science behind it, but the batter requires boiling hot water. I think that may be the key ingredient that makes this cake so moist. It’s rich and delicious. You will probably want to eat leftovers (if there are any) for breakfast the next day, I know I have. 

Chocolate Cake: Make the Sponge

The batter is fairly easy, throwing it all into the mixer and beating it for a few minutes. The ingredient saved for last is the boiling water which gets poured in slowly while beating. 

Then you can separate it into two nine inch cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If it comes out clean, you’re in the clear. 

chocolate cake

Make the Frosting

Accompanying the chocolate cake is a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting. While the cake is cooling, you can get the frosting ready. I recommend beating the butter and sugar first, then sifting in the cocoa powder so you don’t get any lumps of cocoa powder or butter. Then add the vanilla, and add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. 


I’ll start by saying I am by no means a great cake decorator. If you want to you can just take a rubber spatula and spread it onto the cake, just leave it a little wavy to give it some texture. If you’re up for it, you can put the frosting into a couple different piping bags.

I put most of my frosting in a big piping bag with a large round tip. It made it easier to spread and gave a more even layer of frosting that way. Then I put a couple of scoops into a smaller disposable bag with a star tip to decorate the top and sides. I also put some fresh raspberries for decoration too. 

If you plan on doing raspberry jam in the middle, a great tip is to pipe a line of frosting around the edge of the cake. This creates a dam so the jam won’t ooze out when you put the next layer on top. 

Of course, my best advice is to have fun with it! Everyone will love your cake no matter how it looks.  

My favorite raspberry jam is Bonne Maman brand!

You could also make my homemade strawberry jam recipe. It requires no pectin, and then you could have fresh, homemade jam in your cake!

chocolate cake

Keep this recipe in your pocket for special occasions like birthdays, dinners, holidays or you could even make it just because!

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chocolate cake

Classic Chocolate Cake (Dairy-Free with Gluten Free & Vegan Options!)

With Love, Melissa
Amazingly moist and super chocolatey. This is my go-to chocolate cake! Recipe from Add a Pinch Blog with Dairy-Free, Gluten Free and Vegan Substitutions
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 People


  • 2 9-Inch Cake Tins



  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Classic Coconut Milk
  • ½ Cup Avocado Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water


  • 1 ½ Cups (3 Sticks) Dairy-Free Butter
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ Cup Classic Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  • Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl or stand mixer. Whisk until combined.
  • Heat water to a boil on the stove.
  • Add the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Beat until combined. Then slowly pour in boiling water while mixing.
  • Distribute batter into cake pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
  • Gather the frosting ingredients. Beat the butter until fluffy and then add in the milk and vanilla. Beat in the sugar a cup at a time and add in the cocoa powder. Beat until it's smooth and all incorporated.
  • Assemble our cake! Put a layer of frosting on the first cake, place the next cake on top and cover the whole cake in frosting. Enjoy!


Gluten Free Option: Replace the flour with a gluten free all purpose flour mix. I recommend Bob's Red Mill or Pamela's.
Vegan Option: Replace the eggs with 2/3 cup of unsweetened plain applesauce.
Keyword Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Claudio

    5 stars
    This is the BEST and most moist chocolate cake ever!! Super addicted. I love it! 😍

    1. Melissa

      Thank you!! I’m happy you like it, I’m completely addicted to this chocolate cake too!

  2. Sarah

    Can you use this for cupcakes? Have you tried?

    1. Melissa

      Yes, you certainly can! I’ve never done it but you shouldn’t have a problem baking them as cupcakes instead of in a cake pan. Your cooking time will be different, I would start with 12-14 minutes. Check with a toothpick in the center to see if they’re done. Let me know how they turn out!

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