Gluten-Free Birthday Cake (Vegan)

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Three layer gluten-free vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream topped with fresh berries

A birthday cake? Yes, a birthday cake!

Why, you ask? Because it’s the eve of my 29th birthday and I’m feeling a little sappy (and vain).

Like whoa, 29 is almost touching 30. Look out world.

Using a hand mixer to make homemade Coconut Whipped Cream

First, let’s talk about the cake:

1 Bowl
Simple methods
Super chocolatey
Mega moist
Not too sweet
Adapted from this bad-boy
Summery
Brimming with coconut whipped cream
Loaded with berries

Who’s ready to party?

Coconut whip, fresh berries, and layers of cake for making homemade gluten-free vegan birthday cake

Second, in celebration of my birthday, I give you 29 things I’ve learned thus far in life:

  1. Sometimes, following your passion actually works. An obsession with food led me to create this blog (and it’s the best job ever).
  2. Ordering a double scoop ice cream sundae past high school is not sustainable.
  3. Life is about so much more than the way you look.
  4. Marrying your best friend is the best idea, ever.
  5. When in doubt, Indian takeout.
  6. (Cliche as it may be) dance whenever the mood strikes.
  7. Good friends make all the difference.
  8. Listen to your body and be your own health advocate – no one else will do it for you.
  9. Stop telling people what to do. It never works anyway.
  10. Always play with puppies. Especially the super tiny cuddly ones.
  11. Rainy days are underrated.
  12. Do the things that make you happy, even when you feel silly.
  13. Use your lady balls whenever necessary. You know what I mean, ladies.
  14. Travel often – it’s not good to live in a bubble. Besides, the world is pretty damn beautiful.
  15. Stand up for yourself even if it’s uncomfortable.
  16. Never go camping. Like, ever. (But do s’mores often.)
  17. Getting up early is overrated.
  18. Planning ahead really does help your workflow and sanity. (See my Editorial Calendar here.)
  19. Meeting internet friends in real life almost always works out.
  20. Writing a print cookbook will be one of the hardest (and most fulfilling) things I’ll ever do.
  21. Every summer, get in the water (at least once).
  22. When in doubt, go to the ocean (and order pizza).
  23. It’s OK to creep out on You Tubers (i.e. Vivianna and ImJenn). It’s my newest form of therapy.
  24. Dark chocolate > candy.
  25. Live where you love (e.g. Portland, Oregon)
  26. Life is too short to work at a job you hate.
  27. Brunch is always the answer.
  28. But first, coffee (so true).
  29. When it’s your birthday, always eat cake (it’s your one legit excuse per year – get on board).
Plate of gluten-free vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whip and Berries

I went with coconut whip “frosting” for summery vibes, but you could totally opt for a traditional frosting if you prefer. A few options include my Vegan Chocolate Ganache, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, and Vegan Buttercream. Or, keep it simple with a dusting of organic powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

The berries kind of make it, especially in summer! So whichever frosting route you decide to go, definitely consider these as a finishing touch.

Amazing gluten-free vegan summer birthday cake resting on a cake stand

Make this cake for your own birthday (like I did), or for family and friends. It’s the perfect treat everyone will be able to partake in and fully enjoy.

If you do, let us know what you think! Leave a comment below, rate it, and tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with. Happy baking, friends!

Slice of gluten-free vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and fresh berries
Plate of our 1-bowl gluten-free vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake with a slice removed

Gluten Free Birthday Cake (Vegan)

A moist chocolate gluten-free birthday cake made in just 1 bowl! Three layers of fluffy chocolate cake, coconut whipped cream, and fresh berries makes it the perfect summer birthday cake!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Triple layer Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake topped with fresh berries
4.87 from 111 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 (slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (frost just before serving)
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (DIY recipe)
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax eggs)
  • 10 Tbsp water (to make flax eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar (I subbed half with coconut sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour (finely ground from raw oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend*

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM + BERRIES

  • 2 14-ounce cans coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk* // chilled overnight in the refrigerator)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6-8 Tbsp organic powdered sugar
  • 1 cup fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and butter three 8″ round cake pans (or line 24 muffin tins with paper liners // adjust number/size of pans if altering batch size). Dust pans with gluten free flour and shake out excess.
  • Measure out almond milk in a liquid measuring cup and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.
  • Prepare flax eggs by mixing water with flaxseed meal in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Next, add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir. Set aside.
  • Add the oil, cane sugar, and maple syrup to the flax egg and beat/whisk to combine.
  • Next, add applesauce, vanilla, and salt and beat/whisk to combine. Then add almond milk mixture and whisk again.
  • Lastly, add baking powder, cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour, and gluten-free flour and beat/whisk to combine, making sure no large clumps remain.
  • If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect. It should resemble a semi-thick batter that’s pourable.
  • Divide batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans (or muffin tins). Bake cakes for 30-40 minutes (cupcakes for about 28-35 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean and the edges appears dry. (Time will vary if you subbed ingredients, as well as depending on the size of your pans.)
  • Let cake rest in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the edges and invert onto cooling racks. Let cool completely.
  • In the meantime, prepare your coconut whipped cream. Follow these instructions to make a double batch, sweetened to taste (I found 6-8 Tbsp | 42-56 g to be the right amount // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Set in the refrigerator to chill/firm up while cake cools completely.
  • NOTE: Assemble just before serving so the whipped cream doesn’t over-moisten the cake.
  • To assemble, lay down one cake bottom side up on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread on a semi-thick layer of coconut whipped cream and top with second cake, also bottom side up. Frost with another layer of coconut whipped cream.
  • Carefully top with remaining cake (also bottom side up) and frost the top generously with remaining coconut whipped cream. (You may not use it all, which you can reserve for serving). Top with berries and serve immediately (or cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving).
  • Leftovers will keep covered with a cake stand or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh. (The unfrosted cake will keep covered at room temperature for several days.)

Notes

*For the gluten-free flour blend, I’ve tested both with my DIY Blend and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Blend and found that I slightly preferred the Bob’s blend in terms of the cake’s texture. However, both will do!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with generous amounts of coconut whipped cream and berries (calculated using coconut cream, not coconut milk).
*Prep time does not include chilling coconut cream or cooling cake.
*Adapted from my 1-Bowl Chocolate Hazelnut Cake.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 518 Carbohydrates: 58.8 g Protein: 7 g Fat: 31 g Saturated Fat: 16.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 10.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 484 mg Potassium: 342 mg Fiber: 5.9 g Sugar: 29.8 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 7.8 mg Calcium: 122 mg Iron: 2.3 mg

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  1. Leah says

    With regard to flax eggs, I have yet to be successful at this and I wondered if you have any tips. I am new to GF and vegan baking and it might be because the Flax Meal I bought was on a clearance rack a while back. By the way I live in the OC, just southeast of PDX. If you teach classes I would be interested in attending.

  2. Danielle says

    This recipe sounds delicious! just a question about the sugar. Can I sub all the sugar for coconut sugar ? Also wondering if I can use all oat flour and coconut milk if I want it to be nut free

  3. Michelle says

    So you have a suggestion for how to make this nut free? My bf is on an elimination diet and can’t eat eggs, dairy, gluten, or nuts, so this cake is great other than the almond meal.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle! I’d recommend subbing rice milk for the almond milk, and for the almond meal, sub a 1/2-1/2 mix of gluten free oat flour and gluten free flour!

  4. Carolina says

    Best vegan gluten free chocolate cake! Didn’t expect much from it but wow so fluffy and moist and tastes amazing. I love your recipes so much I bought your cooking book!
    Only thing I changed was the frosting. Not a big fan of powdered sugar so I just made a coconut cream + chocolate chip frosting and yumm best cake I have had since i turned vegan. Thank you!!

  5. Lilly says

    this is my favorite cake. I bake it in 9 x 13″ oblong cake pan and slice it with teeth floss and make Melt vegan butter with almond flour and maple syrup for frosting or cashew and some fruit with maple syrup or cashew with vegan butter dates and maple syrup or with out dates
    really love this cake…..thank you

  6. Sabra says

    Have you tried this with almond flour instead of almond meal? Would you recommend it? Or should I make a trip to the grocery store?

  7. Sana says

    This was a trial cake for my daughter’s birthday and it turned out beautifully! Moist and chocolaty and an absolute hit.

    I used AP flour in place of GF and went with buttercream frosting from one of your other recipes. Will be making it again in a week’s time!

    Thank you!

  8. Laura M says

    This cake looks ah-mazing! Thanks for sharing. Do you think the layers would be freezable? I tend to bake my layers in advance and freeze to save time; however, I’m new to gluten-free baking so not sure if it will work. Thanks :)

  9. Christine P says

    2 Questions – I am planning on making this cake for my 60th this weekend. Is it possible to substitute for real eggs (just looking for GF)? We are at 9000′ altitude what if any adjustments would I need to make to the amounts in the recipe or do you even suggest attempting?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, real eggs should work just fine! 1 small chicken egg per 1 flax egg. We don’t have any tips for high altitude baking but there was a comment above regarding that: “I wanted to share an adjustment I made for high altitude- I live in Boulder, CO, which is about 5000ft. I added and additional 1/4 cup of gluten free flour and 1/4 cup of water. This is what most box cake mixes suggest for high altitude baking, and it worked well for me with this recipe.” Hope this helps!

  10. Rhea says

    I made this cake and followed the exact recipe and it is disgusting. Tasted like burnt liquor. I don’t know why.

  11. Jessica says

    Hi there! I just made this for a party tomorrow – should I store the baked cakes on the counter or in the fridge tonight?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It will keep covered with a cake stand or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh. (The unfrosted cake will keep covered at room temperature for several days.)

  12. Xiadani says

    Hi, Dana! I am planning on making this cake for my husband’s birthday.
    Could I substitute all purpose flour instead of the gluten-free flour blend?

  13. Jaime says

    Looking forward to trig this one! Can I sub whipped aquafaba for the flax eggs as I’ve seen in your other recipes? Thanks!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried for this recipe, but it should work! Report back if you give it a try!

  14. Rose Davis says

    I made this cake yesterday for a vegan friend. It was easy to make and turned out perfectly! I wasn’t sure how it would turn out as baking can be tricky sometimes, and without all the traditional ingredients, wasn’t sure how it would bake and how it would taste. I was so pleasantly surprised–everyone at the birthday party loved it. The taste was awesome–chocolatey without the traditional over-sweetness. The frosting was perfect–light, fluffy and tasty.
    I will definitely make this again.

  15. Rebecca says

    This was incredible–I used Bob’s Red Mill eggs instead of flax and earth balance instead of vegetable oil.
    When I tried to put the 3rd tier on, it started to break though!! I let them cool for quite a while and this still happened. Do you know how I could stop this from happening in the future?

  16. Marie-Pier says

    I made this for a coworker for their birthday. I could only do 2 layers, but Wow! Best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. Vegan, and non-vegan! You are a genius! :D

  17. Maria says

    I made this cake today for my mom’s birthday. It was great….delicious, healthy. My sister has Hashimoto thyroiditis, so this cake was perfect. The only thing I didn’t add was the baking powder. The cake puffed up great without it. My kids enjoyed it as well. Love it!

  18. irene says

    hi Nana, i hope everything is going great for you. I am leaving this comment to let you know you save my life now. i got make this kind of dessert for my boss and I didnt have any idea for that. so i ll bake it and let you know how was that . thanks

  19. Antoana says

    Hi,

    I have a lot of ripe bananas and no apple sauce – do you think I can substitute them? Would it be the same amount of banana?

    Thanks!

  20. Melissa says

    I have so many Enjoy Life chocolate chips. How would this recipe do if I, instead of using cocoa powder, melted down the chocolate chips and used that instead? I know they contain sugar and cocoa butter so I’m afraid it’ll throw off the cake some, but not sure. What do you think?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Melissa! For one tablespoon of cocoa powder use one square of melted chocolate or .33 ounces and reduce the fat by one teaspoon and the sugar by one tablespoon if the chocolate is sweetened. Hope this helps!

  21. Sara says

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday, he’s not a big fan of sweets, so I wanted to make sure the family could help him eat it. Our son is lactose intolerant & I have Celiacs Disease. I was so happy to find this recipe& grateful for how amazingly yummy it was! My husband appreciated it more than he normally would a cake, it wasn’t too sweet for him. Our kids LOVED it. My mother-in-law thought it was beautiful, as well as tasty& my father-in-law ate & finished it never even knowing it was vegan & gluten free(he is not a fan of these types of eating). Thank you so very much!

  22. Anca says

    Just made this for New Year’s. Skipped the cocoa and used wheat pastry flour. Great results! Made a vegan chocolate ganache and decorated with compote sour cherries. I think I will skip the maple syrup next time and see the result.

  23. Alicia says

    Made this for my husband’s birthday dessert and it was a hit! I used the frosting from the funfetti cupcake recipe. My husband commented it was the best gf cake I’ve made! Thank you!! I give it 5/5 stars (it’s only allowing me to choose 4).

  24. Jahnavi says

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times now both as chocolate and vanilla cakes. It turns out great every time and people don’t even know it’s gluten free. I generally use chia eggs instead of flax and it works just the same.
    I have a question about sweetener. Can I replace the sweeteners with stevia??

  25. Daniella says

    Hi! Making the cake now, don’t know if you’ll have a chance to answer, but my almond milk isn’t curdling. Not sure what to do, don’t want it to affect the outcome of the cake. Couldn’t find any info online. Thanks!

  26. Jahnavi says

    This cake turned out amazing! I’ve baked it twice now and have loved it both times. Do you have a vanilla version?? I am desperately looking for a vanilla vegan gluten free cake recipe! Thanks!

  27. Jennifer Zouak says

    Thanks, this was delicious and just like a traditional cake. It’s moist and doesn’t turn into crumbles on day two!

  28. Mariam says

    Hey Dana small question how do I make this a nut free recipe. Meaning what can can substitute this almond flour for. Baking for a friend

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! I would recommend a mix of GF flour and oat flour to compensate for the almonds! Otherwise, you could try subbing a ground seed, such as sesame!

  29. Jen Ferrara says

    Hey! love your recipes, so great to have blogs like yours that offer so many amazing options! Quick question though, as for flax eggs, can you make a 1:1 substitution with whole eggs? We are dairy free and have many friends who are gluten free but we all eat eggs. I’ve noticed that flax eggs are in most of your baking recipes so just wanted to see if you’ve experimented or heard of someone who has come out with good results using whole eggs? for this recipe? and as a general rule of thumb? Thanks!

  30. Mariam says

    Hi Dana love ur recipes and the looks of those cakes.. i have made this quite long ago but i need to try this in cupcakes may I know how many large size cupcake does this batter yield.

  31. Lynda says

    Daughter made this yesterday for family birthday. Absolutely delicious!!! The texture and flavor of the cake itself are terrific. We had with the coconut icing and berries, which is quite yummy. However, I can well imagine it with a different frosting. This recipe is a keeper.

  32. Laura says

    If I want this to be just a vanilla cake is omitting the chocolate all I need to do? Is there more I should do to get that vanilla cake flavor? Thanks!

  33. Jenn says

    Hi Dana,
    Was hoping to make this for my husband’s birthday tomorrow, but there are a couple of people in my family that have a nut/oat allergy. Wondering if it turns out as well with just the GF flour mix, or if I should be adding in some other texture somehow. I saw the sub for almond meal was to add more of the GF and oat flour, and to use the rice milk…
    Thanks!

  34. Peggy thompson says

    I made this (twice) for both of my adult children for their birthdays in August 2017. Huge success! Thank you for sharing your recipe. It is a keeper for sure. ❤️

  35. Valentina Sounds says

    I made this, followed the recipe to the letter and it came out perfect! If you’re short on round baking pans a large cookie sheet will do and you’ll get a two layers cake (that’s what I did). If you want to make it into a white cake I suggest subbing the cocoa powder for more gluten free flour. Thank you Minimalist Baker !

  36. Chia says

    Hi, I made this cake for my son’s birthday party. He is allergic to nuts, wheat, dairy and egg so I replaced the almond meal with half sunflower seeds meal and coconut flour; also used soy milk instead of almond. It turned out so good and he is very pleased. I feel that I finally can give him a proper birthday cake that not even himself but the guests enjoyed a lot. Thank you very much.

    p/s: My husband who has no diet restrictions at all asked for the same birthday cake after, that says a lot.

  37. Amy says

    Hi Dana,

    I’d love to make this recipe (for me!) and I try to follow a very low/sugar free diet

    Do you know what I could switch the cane/coconut sugar out for? Would stevia work?

    Thank you – I hope I can modify and make soon! X

  38. Elisha Ford says

    I am so thankful to have found this recipe. I found out just weeks before my daughters third birthday that my newborn can’t have dairy, eggs or gluten. As I was searching for a good cake recipe, a friend suggested your blog. The cake was fantastic! Everyone loved it and no one could tell it was vegan/gf. An added plus for my three-year-old: She LOVES berries!

    As someone who is new to GF/V baking, I especially appreciate how easy this cake was to make!

  39. Obaid says

    Hi Dear,
    I was searching something else relate your topic. Recently, I’ve seen your article and read it. You’ve explained very good. I really liked it. In my view you are a perfect article writer. So, keep up the good work.

  40. Carolyn says

    Fantastic recipe! I made this for my son’s birthday. We don’t have Celiac’s so instead of gluten free I used .75C plain floor, .75C spelt. I baked to he cake a week early and after it cooled completely, I froze the separate layers to take to grandparents house. I made the whip while the cake thawed. It was a HUGE hit. Thank you!

  41. LauraLynne says

    I was so excited to find this because I was looking for a cake that I can share at the office while meeting the dietary restrictions of my co-workers (gluten free & dairy free). There’s just one problem… I’m allergic to flax seed!! Is there something I can substitute for the “flax eggs”? It’s the only think in the world that I’m allergic to. I know, it’s weird. Hoping you have some ideas!

  42. Lyndsay says

    I made this recipe for my meatatarian friends over the weekend (I made you “buttercream” icing from your chocolate cake recipe to go with it ) NO ONE could believe this was gluten free and vegan!!! Literally everyone raved about it. For a gluten free cake it was actually so moist and delicious! I am super impressed and will definitely be making it again. You never disappoint Dana!!!! Thanks

  43. Beth says

    I am just wondering if I can use my own gf flour blend along with the oats, how much xanthan gum should I use for the total cups of flour called for in your recipe? Thanks!

  44. Jessie McDaniel says

    I made this for a co-worker who has gluten, egg, and dairy sensitivities. Got soooo many compliments on the flavor, texture, and look of this cake! If I hadn’t told anyone, they would never have know it was gluten free and vegan! I followed the recipe exactly and my only issue was that there wasn’t quite enough coconut cream for my taste, I just whipped up a quick ganache and everything was great.
    This is a keeper for sure!

  45. Carla says

    Yum, what a delicious recipe! Thank you so much! For the DIY flour, I only had brown rice flour and tapioca flour (starch), so doubled them to make up for the white rice flour and potato starch. With the added almond meal and oat flour, it worked out beautifully! A little crumbly but so light and moist! Topped with vegan chocolate ganache. I often refer to your recipes, Dana, so thank you so much!

  46. Jacky says

    I just made this Friday for my birthday. It was quite ambitious for my first bake in years and my first ever cake.

    I did make a few modifications. I used actual eggs (I’m not vegan, I have trouble supporting that diet with my health issues, but I can’t eat gluten, dairy or most legumes. Also I had eggs and I did’t have flaxseed). I couldn’t find baking powder so I had to add extra baking soda and vinegar (I looked up the conversion ratio) and GF oat flour, of even GF oats don’t seem to exist here on the Island of Hawaii, so I made some quinoa flour instead. On top of that I forgot that the brand of coconut milk we get here needs to go in the fridge (the brand I got on the mainland was completely seperated at roomtemp) until the morning of, so it only got about 6 hours ish in there and didn’t seperate well. So instead of coconut whipped cream I got some pretty tasty coconut vanilla icing. To top it off I had decided to top it with local fruit such as champane mangoes, papaya, banana and pineapple, since the berries here taste like sacrilige after growing up in the Pacific Northwest. However I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market, and with the failed whipped cream I decided to have between the layers a mango, orange and passionfruit jelly we happen to have in the frigde, and I topped the cake with the coconut vanilla icing.

    It was delicious. Utterly, beautifully delicious. My roommate had a slice with Irish Creme Liquor last night (he has no qualms with dairy) and assures me it makes a lovely booze cake that soaks up all the alcohol and flavor without getting soggy. I might try a small slice with rum tonight.

  47. Laura says

    I want to make this for my daughters birthday, which so happens to be during passover. Do you think I can sub regular milk for almond milk , and real eggs for the flax eggs?

      • laura says

        So I made the cake, will assemble it tonight! Do you think that by using real eggs and milk changes the bake time and consistency? I baked at 350F for about 40 mins, but it had a tough time coming out the pans, and I’m unsure if it cooked through. Poking it came out with a bit of crumbs at 40 mins, and tops cracked. Cake tastes good though, a little dense. Also, if I were to make this again but vanilla, do you know how I can change it?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Using milk and eggs should not change the consistency at all, Laura! If you’re wanting to adapt this to a vanilla cake, leave out the cocoa and you may need to add slightly more flour. Hope this helps!

    • Jacky says

      I just made this a couple days ago with actual eggs and that worked beautfully.

      As for the dairy, I think buttermilk would probably sub in better, and you wouldn’t need nearly as much or possibly any applecider vinegar. But I can`t have dairy, so that’s based off when and how the almond milk is used more than me testing it.

  48. Patricia says

    What an amazing cake. Sincerely the best cake I’ve ever made/had. Hands down. Like, if I could have 1 last piece of cake before I die, this would be it! Made it for kiddo’s first Bday and my parents in-law loved it so much, they had seconds (and they are NOT desert fans)! Haven’t been able to make the coco whip though, so I had to buy the frozen coco whip I found at the grocery store. But I will try it again! The frozen stuff was pretty good, but I’m sure the homemade whip must be SO much better! Thanks for sharing this delightful recipe! Cheers!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tamar! Not yet, but you could probably tweak the recipe to achieve that flavor! If you give it a try, report back on how it goes :D

  49. Lori says

    Hi, could I use regular eggs instead of flax egg? Im out of flax and we don’t have egg allergies (not vegan either)…if so would I use 4?
    Thanks! Looking forward to trying this!

  50. Angela says

    Hi – love your – always reliably delicious. I’m a novice baker so for this recipe if I wanted to make into cupcakes – are their any changes I’d need to make to ingredients? Bake time would be different – do you know approx?

  51. msmarymack says

    Hi, I am making this cake for a crowd in a 9″ x 13″ metal pan. Would I double the recipe? How much longer should it bake? Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! You’ll be good in terms of having enough batter! Bake at the same temperature and let it cook a little longer. It will be ready when a toothpick comes out clean! Hope this helps!

  52. Wendy says

    This looks like a great recipe, but I would substitute coconut oil for canola,which is not a healthy oil. Please research; we’ve been brainwashed.
    PS: Happy Birthday! Wish I was 29 again.
    Wendy

  53. Lauren says

    I admit, as I was mixing this up I had my doubts. But when you need a gluten free, dairy free, and but free treat for 12+ people, this was the best recipe I found. And my doubts were COMPLETELY unfounded, as they came out fabulously with oat flour and soy milk. And paired with your vegan chocolate ganache and strawberries…they got rave reviews from everyone that tried them. I didn’t even get any to take home, sadly!!

  54. Jen says

    I made a modified (non-vegan) version of this and it was AMAZING! The texture & density were absolutely perfect – flavorful, light, and cakey! Modifications to ingredients, using what I had on hand, were: whole milk in place of almond milk, 4 eggs in place of flax eggs; I also used grape seed oil and maple syrup.

    I baked three layers (dividing batter between two round 8″ pans & one 9″ round pan that I trimmed to 8″ size after baking/cooling) at 350 for about 30 minutes.

    For a dairy whipped cream topping, I made a chocolate version using: 1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream, 3 Tbsp. cocoa, 3 Tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, whipping with a stand mixer until thick. I then topped each layer as shown in the original recipe.

    If memory serves, I also followed your recommendation by using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Blend.

    Thank you for giving me another *keeper* for my gluten free recipe box!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! You could either turn this into a 4-layer cake with 6-inch pans or keep it 3-layer and pour a little more batter into each to make the layers thicker (as you will have more batter left over in using 6-inch pans rather than 8-inch) Hope this helps!

  55. Swarna says

    Hi Dana,

    Cake looks yum! Would you happen to have an alternative for a vanilla birthday cake recipe by any chance? My son is turning 6yrs next month and he is egg free, dairy free and GF…and not very fond of chocolate cake. Please advise if this can be converted into a vanilla cake by omitting the chocolate powder. Thanks in advance! And thanks for sharing such wonderful recipe! Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! How about these? You could either make them as cupcakes or as cake.
      For cake: I would recommend splitting this batter into two round pans and baking for slightly more time than the cupcakes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the tops are slightly golden brown. Then cool, frost and layer as desired! Hope this helps!

  56. Gemma Agustines says

    Hello Dana,

    I’ve recently become dairy free and gluten free due to thyroid concerns. I am allowed to eat eggs though. If I were to do this with eggs instead of the flax seeds, would that be 2 or 3 eggs? Can’t wait to try it for my daughter’s bday:} She is mostly dairy free too and doesn’t mind eating what I make since she has noticed her skin is better without eating dairy:}

    Thank you,
    Gemma

  57. Sarah says

    Hi, I tried out the recipe for my son’s birthday cake and was generally pleased with the end result. They were ok. The coconut cream was the best part!
    As I was going through it, I had some questions about the quantity of the ingredients. For examps, I used 1 Tablespoon of the baking soda as stated but that was 14g (recipe shows 7g); I had to use almost 2 cups of cocoa to equal the grams shown in the recipe.
    I’m very new to your blog but loving the recipes. Please let me know in the future should I follow the recipe based on the volume or mass? Thanks!

  58. Sophia says

    Any suggestions for a substitute for the almond flour? Making it for a birthday and one of the kids has a nut allergy…
    Thanks!

  59. Jocelyn says

    Hi Dana,

    I made this cake for my sister’s birthday in November and the whole family LOVED it. And they are all people who quite frequently eat milk, dairy, eggs, etc. And my sister is gluten free, so all were happy :) THANK YOU! YOU ARE A BAKING QUEEN!

    Anyways, I am making this recipe as cupcakes for a huge crowd tonight. What’s the best way to make this NOT gluten free?

    Thank you much,

    Jocelyn

  60. Lynda Morris says

    My daughter & her best friend just made this cake for my 50th birthday and it was DELICIOUS!!!! With a laundry list of allergies, including wheat, dairy, eggs and more, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had something so tasty. Thanks for this… it’s going to pop out of our recipe files on our special occasions from now on!

  61. Jessi Chadd says

    I love this cake! It meets my dietary needs (no wheat and no eggs) and tastes so good. I was wondering if I can make this a traditional “white” cake by just leaving out the cocoa powder. Making a “cinnamon roll” cake and need a more plain base. Thank you for this recipe!

    Jess

  62. KL says

    Amazing recipe thank you! This has become my go to cake and I’ve made it loads of times, both chocolate and vanilla. I’ve tried it with eggs instead of flax and it works great. For vanilla version I just omit the cocoa and reduce the liquid / add a bit of flour blend.

  63. Megginoregon says

    This is possibly the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. Fantastic job!! If I wanted to make this a vanilla cake, could I omit the cocoa powder, increase the gf flour blend, and double the vanilla? In my mind that would work but I’m not sure.

  64. Chris says

    This might be a weird one but… Can you use Masa for the flour?

    Love the recipe, just also love playing around and experimenting!

  65. Lauren says

    This recipe looks awesome! But could I use 2 deep dish cake pans instead? Should I be adjusting bake time and/or oven temperature? thanks :)

  66. Debbie says

    OMG! Made this for my hubby’s birthday….sooooo yummy! The coconut cream transcends it to another level! Love it. Can’t believe it’s vegan and gluten free. I used coconut flour and the rest of the called for ingredients. I cut the sugar a little and put stevia in my coconut milk vs. powdered sugar. LOVE! Thank you for the recipe…onto the treadmill to burn it off.

  67. Ana says

    Hi Dana! This cake is absolutely delicious! I followed your recipe and the cake turn out moist and spongy better than any other recipe I’ve tried for vegan chocolate gf cake. The coconut whipped cream and berries go perfect with the cake. I used strawberries from my garden and local bluerries on top like yours, looked beautiful! Hope I could send you a pic.

  68. Kristie says

    Forgive me, I am neither vegan or gluten-intolerant so I have no experience in this but… The first instruction says to “butter” a cake pan…. I’m assuming you mean vegan butter? Is there such a thing??

  69. Nicci says

    Looks amazing for me to make for daughters 16th BUT I am allergic to apples & nuts, can I replace them is with yoghurt and extra gf flour?

  70. Amy says

    This looks amazing! I love baking but felt like a hit a road block when my husband developed a gluten allergy this past year, the xanthum gum everywhere is daunting. His birthday is in a few days and I fully share your sentiment so I have to overcome my fears and I think I found the perfect recipe to do it.
    I’m wondering if your coconut frosting would hold up to the traditional frosting method of doing the sides or if it would be too runny?

  71. Tatiana says

    Delicious cake recipe! I made it for my baby’s first birthday last night, everyone loved it! Thank you so much for sharing.

  72. Dawn says

    I can’t say enough good things about this recipe! Everyone I’ve made it for has absolutely loved it!

  73. Marie-France says

    Yay, thanks to your recipe, I made a really yummy cake!!! I opted for homemade regular bday cake icing as I wanted it iced the night before and it tasted great! I love your recipes!

  74. Catherine Patin says

    My older daughter made me this amazing cake per my birthday request, since I hadn’t partaken in a birthday cake in years! We all agreed it was not only one of the most lovely looking cakes, but also the most incredibly moist and flavorful ones any of us had ever eaten! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe Dana. I have the feeling it will be one made time and again, for our future dessert needs.

  75. ika says

    Wonderful! I am always tempted to substitute, but having little experience with gluten free I followed Dana’s recipe. Guests at my 2-year-old son bday party enjoyed it very much – all kids included. Thank you!

  76. Julia says

    Hi Dana
    Thankyou so much for this recipe. My coeliac daughter has been vegan for 6 months and I have never suceeded in baking her anything edible since then. All those yummy gluten free Nigella recipes are no use anymore with their 6 eggs. But this was superb, I made it for her 16th birthday today and it was perfect. Followed it exactly, even managed to get hold of bob’s red mill flour thanks to Wholefoods now being in London. It was delicious, i used the low end of sugar for thefrosting and it was not too sweet, smothered with raspberries and blueberries, it looked as good as it tasted. Not really minimalist, and more than one bowl but so worth the effort for a special occasion. Thankyou

  77. Natalie says

    This may be an obvious question but, I want to make this for my sons first birthday. I want a white cake instead of the chocolate. I am assuming I can just omit the cocoa?

  78. Bettina says

    thank you! I totally want to try this for an upcoming party!! do you think I could use coconut oil or ghee instead of the mentioned oils? I’m always a little bit worried with geating other oils..

  79. Libby Neves says

    I made cupcakes with this recipe for my granddaughter’s pre-birthday celebration today. We love it! We used a dollop of Chibani vanilla yogurt with mature blackberries on our individual cupcakes. Both batches of 12 were done, but “sad” on the bottom.
    I like crisp texture so after they had rested and well cooled, I broiled all 24 upside down on a cookie sheet. 500 degrees with the cookie sheet in the middle of the oven for five minutes. Perfect.
    And this is real food!
    I am 64, a 3 time cancer survivor, yoga doer, gardener, running around with my grandchildren. Food is very important to our family.
    Thank you, Dana.

  80. Shayna says

    Super duper awesome. My quick cake story: I took on the anxiety-inducing task of making a cake for my best friend’s surprise birthday party, but needed more than just an 8″ 3 layer cake (expected around 30 people). So I multiplied and made 1.5x the recipe and divided between two 9×13″ cake pans. I accidentally overbaked it a little because I thought the toothpick wasn’t coming out clean enough. It would have been good at around 50-55 min and just not get a totally clean toothpick right in the center. So I trimmed the edges as they were a little crispy (but still tasty), then realized my coconut cream still wasn’t hard enough to whip yet (I totally did not plan my day well). In a rush I ended up filling it with raspberry jam and covering it with a super quick imperfect chocolate ganache made with melted enjoy life chocolate chips + a few spoonfuls of coconut cream. Then I panicked because I didn’t think it would be enough cake for everyone so I stopped at whole foods and bought ANOTHER regular round tuxedo cake! Despite all the feeling crazy and worried about it on my end, everyone at the party still PREFERRED the vegan + GF cake and I got a ton of compliments on it (for which I totally credited your blog)! Major win. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  81. Courtney says

    This recipe is easily the best gluten free cake I’ve had! (Honestly one of the best cakes I’ve had, period!) Thanks so much for sharing!

    Out of curiosity though, if I wanted to play with the flavor, could I substitute more GF flour for the cocoa powder to give me a “blank slate” to add different flavors to? I’ve had this work in traditional baking, but would it be a complete disaster with this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Courtney! You can certainly try it that way, but I haven’t done any testing on cocoa to flour ratio. Let me know how it works if you give it a try!

  82. Marie-Christine says

    I have to tell you something very shameful: I’ve been following a vegan-GF diet for 2 years now and I’ve never been able to bake correctly a cake. No need to tell you I had very low expectations when I tried this birthday cake but… it has been a REAL SUCCESS this time. Thank you so much Dana! I am eternally grateful, either is my stomach! This recipe is a little miracle :-)

  83. Michele B says

    Don’t you find Bob’s Redmill gf flour having a severe garbanzo beans flavor for baking anything? And having a heavy texture. It is awful. I tried and tried to use that flour for baking. But from biscuits to scones, it was not at all tasty. I have found through trial and error that rice flour, gf oats and a small amount of coconut flour thrown in my food processor for a couple of minutes on high makes way better baking flour. You can add tapioca starch to this mix to eliminate the gums usually found in gf flour.

    • Gina says

      If you buy bob mills baking flour blend with the blue label…it is delicious. It is different from the garbanzo blend