Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

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Plat with a slice of Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

I remember watching the movie Matilda as a child and being both jealous of and disgusted by the little boy who was forced to eat chocolate cake as punishment for a petty crime he didn’t commit. The glory was raised up on a pedestal – so thick, decadent and fudgy. I wanted to be right there along with him, fork in hand, shoveling in bite after bite as the crowd cheered “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!” (and Dana, Dana, Dana). But we don’t get everything we want as a child, just like I never got that fancy notebook Penny always carried around in Inspector Gadget. I had a rough childhood, clearly.

Mashing avocado and banana to make healthy homemade chocolate cake

But when you grow up you realize many things, like kids really don’t get punished in real life with chocolate cake, it will feel better when it stops hurting (so said my late grandfather), and eating mass amounts of cake will get you nowhere good (so says my mother). But the funny thing is, despite having this realization, the craving for chocolate cake (and lots of it) doesn’t go away. It’s simply accompanied by a guilt fairy that flutters around your head saying “Fatty McFatterson Two Face,” as you shovel in colossal bites.

Using a hand mixer to stir Chocolate Cake batter made with banana

My solution? Make the cake healthy with things like banana, avocado, honey and oat flour. Then you can flick the fairy away and say “Nuh uh, stupid face. It’s health food.” Problem rectified. Ugh, I hate bossy fairies.

Sifting gluten-free flour into chocolate cake batter

Bowl of gluten-free vegan Chocolate Cake batter

Empty measuring spoons and pan of homemade Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

This cake is the fudgiest chocolate cake you’ll ever have and I don’t say that lightly. The first bite in I thought, ‘Did I cook it long enough?’ But then as the texture and flavors rolled across my tongue I knew I’d done something right. Twelve feverish bites later I knew I’d done something very right. This gluten free chocolate cake will fool even the pickiest eaters into thinking it’s loaded with sugar, butter, flour, and eggs.

Pan of our Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake recipe

Fudgy Chocolate Pie Cake on a serving platter

The texture of this cake is so, so fudgy thanks to the banana and avocado, whose flavors go completely undetected. Honey adds just enough sweetness, and oat flour and gluten-free flour make it slightly spongy and light. We all know what cocoa powder does – it makes it taste like fudge. Hence the name “Fudgy Chocolate Cake.” Oh good glory.

Grabbing a slice of gluten-free Chocolate Pie Cake from a platter

I contemplated frosting but one bite in and I knew it was like frosting and cake in one! Trust me – just a dusting of cocoa powder is all you need…unless you want to add a scoop of vanilla bean or coffee ice cream. That, I suppose, would be acceptable.

Plate and platter of our Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe

Plate with a slice of Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake sprinkled with cocoa powder

Grabbing a bite of Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake from a plate

Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Fudgy, gluten-free chocolate cake that's refined sugar- and dairy-free. So fudgy, decadent, and rich you'll never guess it's healthy.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Slice of Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with a bite removed
3.93 from 28 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 (slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan (optional), Vegetarian
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (frost just before serving)
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground from gluten-free oats)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tsp each baking powder & baking soda
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 1/2 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 heaping cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave if vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and butter an 8 inch round baking pan (or 8x8 rectangular pan // adjust pan size if altering batch size) with vegan butter. Toss with some white rice flour (or other GF flour) to coat the edges and remove excess. Set aside.
  • Add avocado and banana to a large mixing bowl and mash.
  • Add honey (or maple syrup or agave), vanilla, coconut oil and stir. Measure out almond milk and toss in the vinegar. Let set for a minute or two then add to the mixture and whisk.
  • Next add baking soda and powder and mix vigorously to combine.
  • Add cocoa powder, salt, gluten-free flour blend, and coconut flour to a sifter (reserving oat flour since it's more coarse) and sift over wet ingredients. Whisk vigorously to combine.
  • Last, add oat flour and stir once more. Taste a bit to see if it needs more honey. Then pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 40-48 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cracks on the top are fine and actually good. The edges should be pulling away from the sides just slightly.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Then, loosen the sides with a knife and place a plate on top and gently flip over. Repeat with another serving plate so it's right-side up. Dust with cocoa powder (optional) and serve immediately. Refrigerate if keeping longer than a few days. Freeze for even longer storage. Frosting is really not necessary. It's very rich and fudgy on its own.

Notes

*Nutrition is a rough estimate.
*When you pull the cake out of the oven, it will look like it's not done in the center. That's fine, it is. Plus, it's egg-free so it's fine if it's a little fudgy in the middle. However, cook for 5 minutes more if you're concerned. Cooling in the pan for 1-2 hours will finish "cooking" it and will let it set.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 slices Calories: 314 Carbohydrates: 48 g Protein: 6.5 g Fat: 14 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 10 g Sugar: 15 g

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  1. Cat says

    I bought vegan coconut raspberry ice cream today and wanted to bake a chocolate cake to go with it. This was perfect!

    I stuck to the recipe for the most part. I added a bit of maple syrup at the end because the bananas weren’t as ripe as I would like, so the maple syrup brought it the right sweetness.

    I used a food processor to ‘mash’ and combine the wet ingredients which made it a little easier to get it smooth.

    Definitely a recipe I’ll use over and over, so good!

  2. Nadia Tabassum says

    OO thank you soo much for sharing this recipe, I love the way you describe the recipe… I also make an easy recipe if anybody wants that please try that also…

    • Bess Hampson says

      I made this today for my friend’s birthday. I didn’t have a gluten free flour mix so substituted it with almond flour and used cashew milk and rice wine vinegar as I didn’t have almond milk and white vinegar! I also topped up the sweetness with coconut sugar. It turned out well and was liked – I did find it fluffier than I’d imagined and noticed a bit of an after taste from the baking soda and powder. My friend suggested maybe cutting back on them and using an egg?
      I served it with coconut yogurt – goes well together!
      Thanks for the recipe 😊

  3. Katie says

    I made this as a birthday cake for my mom and it did not disappoint! Made a few minor changes/subs based on what I had on hand: Used maple syrup instead of honey, plain unsweetened almond milk instead of vanilla, apple cider vinegar instead of white, and reduced the baking soda and powder to 1.5 tsp each (I was nervous about the after taste some reviews mentioned).
    It came out SO moist and fudgy and just perfectly sweet enough. There was no weird aftertaste from the baking powder/soda. The banana flavor was definitely noticeable, but I didn’t mind at all (perhaps my bananas were too big or maybe honey would cover the flavor more).
    Topped it with toasted hazelnuts and fresh strawberries – yum! Would definitely make this again .

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Those toppings- yum! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Katie! Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  4. Jenna says

    This turned out very yummy and a hit from everyone in the house “even though it’s healthy”. I was missing some ingredients so I subbed applesauce for avocado, almond flour for oat and coconut and I added two tablespoons of turbinado sugar. It’s a little bit banana-y, but this did not stop he from devouring my slice- or going back for another. I might try a combo of banana/applesauce/avo next time. I also had no issues with the amount of baking soda and powder like some readers suggested. Maybe measure out in grams if you’re unsure about tablespoon and teaspoon sizes- it’s not the same measurement as flatware…

  5. Erin says

    Do you think this would work with regular flour if not gf? I’m trying to find something I can make in quarantine with using ingredients I have on hand!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Erin, we haven’t tried it, but maybe? All purpose tends to be more absorbent though, so maybe start with less? Let us know how it goes!

  6. Emily says

    I made this and it was good, and oddly light. I think maybe it was less fudgy because I used spelt flour instead of gluten free flour, and almond flour instead of coconut flour? I don’t know but In any case it was light and kind of tasted like chocolate bananas.

  7. Lynda says

    Dana,
    I couldn’t wait to make this recipe and I finally did! It turned out just like yours and
    me and my husband are enjoying it. I told my father in law about your recipes and he’s going to start. He wants to be healthier at his age. My home ec teacher from middle school which was 43 years ago is oohing and ahing the pictures I send her!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the sweet story and lovely review, Lynda. We are so glad you enjoyed this cake! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  8. Chelsea Philgreen says

    Hi hi! I don’t usually keep that many different kinds of alternative flours on hand… could I get by subbing just one type of flour (perhaps almond flour?) for the gluten free blend? Thanks!!

  9. Magda says

    Just made this cake (2nd time) with chocolate orange frosting, topped with homemade candied orange peel. Heaven!! This is a really great base recipe for further flavor and layering experiments.

  10. Merlin says

    Made this with my daughter (11). I did add half amount of baking soda and baking powder, if I add these the amount in recipes, it will be just too much aftertaste. I think that in our country these things are somehow different, because every recipe from USA that I add the exact amount, I just can’t eat it. But in our own country these amounts are always smaller in recipes anyway.

    This recipe was amazing!!! We ate it with strawberries and it was just amazing for mommy and daughter quality time :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah! I think so, but haven’t tried it so I am not totally sure. If you give it a try, report back on how it goes!

  11. L says

    After making this cake today, I am regrettably disappointed. I followed the recipe and used the correct pan, but after 10-15 minutes of cooking the cake overflowed and spilled on the oven floor, making a mess and setting off the smoke alarm. I have made a dinner recipe from this blog before and enjoyed it, but I probably won’t try any more desserts.

  12. Pan says

    woohoo~~~ I made this at the weekend and IT WAS BEHIND AMAZING~~~ So moist and fudge, my husband devoured almost half of the cake in once…I had to stop him from getting more! lol
    I added 50% more amount of the agave, probably the one I used was “light blue agave”, it probably tastes lighter. but the cake was still not too sweet, just perfect.
    Love it love it love it!!
    thank you again, for your amazing creation.

  13. Caroline says

    I just wanted to leave a post because I made this and it’s delicious! I saw the mixed reviews and was uncertain, but I love your blog and all your recipes and trust you! I used a mixture of almond flour, oat flour, coconut flour and applesauce instead of avocado. It’s great!! Will definitely make again. :)

  14. Aisha says

    Hello. I’ve made many of your recipes, Minimalist Baker is my go to site for all things vegan and delicious, also enjoying the book immensely. I made this cake today, texture is fabulous and it had a lovely deep chocolately flavour. I do think there is a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste of baking soda though. Would the cake still work with half the amount? Thanks much.

    • Pan says

      ohhhh…I thought that little after taste was the raw cocoa powder i sprinkled afterward… humm.. would love to see what Dana says.

  15. Roya says

    I just made this cake and it looks amazing and has a perfect texture but tastes so strongly of baking powder, are you sure its meant to be 2 of each baking powder and soda?

  16. Noa says

    Looks delicious. Do you think if I use regular whole wheat or spelt flour instead of GF it will lead to the same fudgy result?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would think so, but I haven’t tried it that way. Let me know if you give it a try!

  17. Adriana says

    Do you think bobs all purpose gluten free flour would work in substitute of your gf mix, oat flour and coconut flour?

  18. Brenda says

    I made this last week for my birthday.

    Here’s how mine turned out:

    I did it without avocado – Result: the banana flavor was definitely noticeable but that wasn’t a problem for me.

    I feel that with the amount of baking soda/ baking powder of the recipe my cake rose a bit too much.

    The texture was indeed fudgy, but a little crumbly. I guess the avocado would have helped to prevent that!! If you’re not using avocado, definitely cut down on the rising agents.

    I enjoyed this as my birthday cake! and then as my pre-breakfast for the next days…. :P

  19. Amanda says

    Made last night yum, amazingly moist cake the only thing was the avo it was over powering would use something else instead next time. Would definitely make again. It was a hit with the kids.

  20. Tara D says

    Thank you for this! It was great, even though I didn’t have an avocado on hand, or coconut flour, and some tweaking down the maple syrup content. With all those modifications, it still came out as a delicious cake. I didn’t find it bitter at all. Maybe people who find it bitter are not used to using cacao powder vs melting down chocolate bars with sugar in them already? I was hoping to find a recipe as lovely as a flourless chocolate cake I once made, but that was with butter, and possibly egg, so quite a different texture. Still, I really enjoyed this!

    • Lata says

      The proportion of baking soda and baking powder killed the recipe with a very strong bitter aftertaste. Would not recommend this. Total waste

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Lata, We’re so sorry to hear that was your experience! We’ve heard that baking soda can taste stronger to some people than others, so we wonder if that was part of the issue? Either way, we’ll take a look and see about making improvements!

  21. Victoria says

    Fantastic!! My son is GF/CF but was just diagnosed with high level egg sensitivity too so this cake ticks all boxes. The avocado and banana make it super moist. I use 1 cup of GF plain flour as he’s also sensitive to oats and it works out perfectly. If I want it a little sweeter I just add 1/2 cup rapadura so it’s not bitter at all. Perfect for lunch boxes or even for breakfast when I’m in a rush : ). Thanks again.

    • Liesl says

      We found this to be a very delicious fudgy chocolate cake indeed! My boys loved it, all had second helpings.
      My only criticism is that we could still taste the banana and avo, but it is not unpleasant. It such a healthy recipe, I will definitely make it again

  22. Laura says

    Just made this today. TO-DIE-FOR <3
    Could have eaten the entire thing in one go, had to stop myself. Absolutely delicious.
    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.
    (All my family loved it too, will definitely make again)

  23. Mia says

    Oh, sorry, I didn’t notice all the spelling mistakes – I meant cocoa POWDER of course, not cocoa butter or even “cocoa bitter”. That’s what you get from typing while sleepy ;-)

  24. Mia says

    I would say the reason why people have such different results with this recipe must be in the quality of ingr fients, especially the cocoa bitter. If the cake comes out bitter, most probably the cocoa butter wasn’t high quality. It’s a common issue.

  25. Emma says

    I made this yesterday and it tasted distinctly like…ripe banana and day-old avocado mashed up with some cocoa powder. I’ve tried many desserts with “alternative” ingredients – I’m on a gf/sugar free/dairy free diet – but if someone served this to me, I would most definitely guess that this cake is “healthy”, and not in a good way. It does not give “healthy” desserts a good name. Your photos do look delicious though.

  26. Sophia says

    Now mind you I have made many recipes from this blog and love them! This one however, well I hate to say this, but it’s not the sweet fudgy brownie cake that I thought it was. I made it and was not at all blown away at its deliciousness. I was blown away because it was bitter and totally not fudgy. This is one of the few recipes that I would not recommend from this blog.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Sophia! Definitely one of my first GF recipes and I have many more to offer now! Especially this one. Hope you’ll give it a try and thanks for the feedback!

  27. Josie Katt says

    I’ve been looking for a gluten free vegan cake recipe since my mom and sister are vegans and my mom won’t eat anything that’s not gluten free, so this is great! :D I don’t really think avocados should go in a cake, but I’ll try the recipe without changing anything. It looks really good so I hope it turns out well :D

  28. Sophia says

    Well this sure looks delicious…but it taste very bitter and not at all like chocolate cake. I did tweak the recipe a little bit however…My coconut flour will more like super course grainy coconut bits (my food processor wasn’t work right) and I didn’t use your gluten free flour blend. When I tried the batter, it taste sweet though I added just a bit more honey just in case ( I was worried cause there was no sugar in the recipe) When I tried a piece after it was cooked, it taste very tart. Is it supposed to taste like this or am I doing something wrong?

  29. Julie says

    Oh my! I think I can make this!! My BFF’s Bday is tomorrow & we are trying SO hard to be healthy. I hope I don’t mess it up! This sounds amazing…..thank you for sharing :)

  30. Mike says

    The last comment is way wrong,
    Made this tonight and it is lovely. Smooth Soft Chocolatey Bliss.
    Very Nice! Not Too Sweet…but easy to make sweeter if you want. Very easy to make.
    Recommend it to anyone with an open mind.

  31. Thaddeus says

    I made this cake and followed the recipe word for word. I used agave instead of honey. Honestly, it was the worst dessert I have ever made. I took two bites and tossed the cake out. It tasted very salty and bitter. A definite loser!

    • Tina says

      Unfortunately, I have to agree. It’s really bitter and all in all just seems off. I had to throw it away. :(

  32. Eva Robertson says

    Thank you for a great recipe. I realize I didn’t add the salt because while it is on your ingredient list, you did not call for it in the recipe. I’m thinking it would have been good to add . . . .

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would just reduce the cooking time by 10-15, keep an eye on them and then check every few minutes through the oven door with the light on. Hope that helps!

  33. Tara says

    I just found your blog and this looks so goodd. But I was wondering if i can sub plain flour for the gluten free flour, the oat flour and the coconut flour or whether they’re essential.

  34. Sharon says

    Thank you so much for this deliciously healthy recipe! I am a college chemistry laboratory instructor and I teach my students how to write a scientific flow chart by using a recipe. I hope I have your permission to use this one. (With credit of course) :) Often my students go home and try it out! I know yours will be a healthy hit!
    Thank you again!!

  35. Evelyn says

    I have made this cake twice now and it’s amazing! What makes it even better is a raspberry or mango coulis. I thawed some frozen mango cubes about half way, pureed them – didn’t add sugar or anything, and topped the cake with it while it was still half frozen. It was kind of like sorbet on top. To die for!!! Thank you for your recipes! Still learning to eat gluten and dairy free . . .

  36. Talia says

    I’m about to make this cake for my husband’s birthday, but I don’t have any coconut flour. What is its purpose in this recipe? Can I substitute something for it? Thanks! I can’t wait to try it. :)

  37. Meaghan says

    Hi there! I’d like to make this for a friends birthday, but she has a sensitivity to avocados…are they vital, and is there a substitute?? Thanks so much!

  38. Lisa says

    I’m looking forward to trying this! Must I use all the different flours? Can I just use 1 cup + 2 T GF flour? I admit it – I’m a lazy baker! Also, can I use rice milk instead of almond? Thanks!!

  39. Jenifer says

    Wow! Looks rockin’! I’m about to make this with almond flour instead of GF & oat flours and see how it goes. We’re paleo,and so far,most recipes have worked great with just using almond flour, so we’ll see how this one goes. I’ll let you know! Thanks for the beautiful photos and fantastic recipes. Just ran across your blog and will try more of your recipes soon. Thanks!

  40. Alison Romano says

    Any thoughts on flour mixes here to make the cake more fluffy and less dense like a brownie? This is no doubt a brownie not a cake. Yum yum though!

  41. Amy Fothergill says

    Thank you for the recipe. It worked out well for me. We are gf and our guest who came tonight is vegan so it was perfect. Just for future reference, it would be easier to put the ingredients in the order in which they are used. Since the dry ingredients were all together, I put those in a bowl and then read I was supposed to add the soda and powder separately. I ended up sifting the oat flour since it was already in the flour and it was fine. Big hit. Thanks again.

  42. Pauline says

    This looks really yummy! I just have a question : i don’t have any coconut oil, so what could i use instead? :)

  43. Laura says

    On behalf of all children’s book sticklers, I feel it’s my duty to correct you: Bruce Bogtrotter DID commit the crime. Please amend your statements accordingly.

    Just kidding. Well, I mean he really did steal the piece of cake from the larder, but all your recipes are so great I can overlook it. :)

  44. Carlyn Berghoff says

    You are hysterical – thank you for that afternoon laugh and flashback to all my favorite movies! I cannot wait to try this cake and see the look on my kids face after I tell them what’s in it :)

  45. Alexis @ Hummusapien says

    10 grams of fiber?? Holy moly! I love the addition of avocado…I bet it adds the best texture. This look absolutely wonderful!

  46. Mariam says

    Ugh I wanna make this now! I have ripe bananas and an avocado sitting on my bench but I made a sweet potato chocolate fudge cake just yesterday and there’s still half the cake lying around! Yours totally looks better!

  47. Jess says

    Whoa, Dana, whoa – the texture of this cake looks absurd. I can’t wait to try this! I have such strong memories of that scene from Matilda. I remember being torn – do I feel bad for the kid because he starts looking so woozy when he’s nearly all the way through that thing OR am I jealous because I would like the chance to dive into a giant fudgy chocolate cake myself? ;)

  48. Michelle @ Michelle's tiny kitchen says

    I totally remember thinking that cake punishment in Matilda was AWESOME! The fudgier, the better. 100% MAKING THIS THIS WEEK!

  49. Alanna {The Bojon Gourmet} says

    Haha! Matilda is totally my favorite Roald Dahl book for that cake scene, and I too wanted to be Penny from Inspector Gadget (and I would throw a fit if I missed a single episode, even though I’d seen every one at least three times). This cake looks awesome, and I’m glad to finally know how to deal with those obnoxious, bossy fairies. Can’t wait to make this lovely and healthy cake. :)

  50. Nicole says

    Great minds think alike! I just posted a gluten-free fudge cake recipe on my blog yesterday, except I used applesauce instead of bananas and avocado…excellent idea though! I may have to try your version too :)

  51. Julie @ Harvest Moon Kitchen says

    You made me laugh out loud with this post… bossy fairies are totally the worst. :) The cake looks magnificent, and I definitely will be trying it out!

  52. Leah says

    looks great! If frozen, would you suggest defrosting in fridge, or on counter…or what? :) Thanks for another healthy treat!!

  53. Elizabeth says

    This looks AMAZING! I’m about to start a health kick (I have a bridesmaid dress situation…), but I just can’t/don’t want to give up cake.