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
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
Triple layer Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake topped with fresh berries
4.87 from 113 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



  • 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*


  • 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)


  • 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.)


*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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My Rating:

  1. Mary says

    It was soooo goood! Everyone made comments and could not believe that it was a vegan and GF cake. I did cut the sugar and maple syrup amounts in half. I had to bake it 30 minutes longer. the toothpick was still not completely dry, but I figured that after baking over an hour it was cooked. Maybe it was because I used two 9-inch cake pans instead of three 8-inch?
    I used the vegan chocolate ganache recipe for frosting because I took the cake assembled to a picnic and figured that a ganache could keep its shape better than whipped cream. It worked out really well!
    Thanks so much

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it, Mary. Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

  2. Meera says

    I made this cake several times and it was a blast!!!. Thanks. Question pls. How would I adjust the dry ingredients to make it as a vanilla cake, pls?

  3. Sarah says

    I rarely leave reviews, but I had to come here and shout from the rooftops how wonderful this cake is! I’ve been gluten free for over 10 year and in that time baked and purchased many cakes and cupcakes. Every other gf and vegan cake I’ve had is dry and dense. Not this cake. This cake is moist, light, fluffy, decadent! You would never know it wasn’t a “regular” cake.

    I subbed liquid coconut oil for avocado oil, as it’s what I had on hand. Also made the minimalist baker vegan buttercream as frosting.

    Do yourself a favor and bake this cake!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you SO much for taking the time to leave a review, Sarah! We really appreciate it and are so happy you enjoy the cake! xo

  4. Leslie says

    If I wanted to replace the flax eggs for medium sized chicken eggs, about how many would be needed?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leslie, 4 small or 3 large eggs should work. It might bake faster, so we’d suggest checking with a toothpick around the 25-30 minute mark. Let us know how it goes!

      • Leslie says

        This cake turned out wonderfully! It had a great flavor. I switched the GF flour for cassava, added eggs, and a spoonful of homemade mayonnaise to it. Topped it with cream cheese frosting and edible flowers from my garden. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for this great recipe!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          That sounds SO pretty, Leslie! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  5. Fay says

    I am a little confused. Should I be using Almond Flour which your post on “How to Make Almond Meal” says is better to “where a more cake-like consistency and less prominent almond flavor is desired” or Almond Meal?

    Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Fay, good question! In this recipe, we used almond meal and it worked well. Almond flour should work here too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Fay, we haven’t tested that, but it might! Cane sugar does provide some structure, so just know the texture could be a little crumbly. Let us know if you try it!

      • Fay says

        Thank you. How about Cassava flour in place of the blended flour? I got Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour and found out my friend can’t have Sorghum Flour.

      • Fay says

        The erythritol and monk fruit sugar alternative worked perfectly! Did not find the cake to be crumbly. Really enjoyed the cake.

  6. Debbie says

    My daughter picked this cake for her birthday, since she’s vegan, and it was by far one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had. Everyone raved, and they’re not even vegan! One funny thing was that they commented how they liked the crunchy texture…oops, I guess I didn’t grind up the almond meal quite as much as I should have! But they all said they actually liked it that way (or they were just being nice…haha). In any case, it was so moist and delicious, I’m sure other family members will be requesting it for their birthday as well. The only thing I did differently was the frosting. I didn’t read ahead and completely messed it up (didn’t store the coconut cream overnight in the fridge, and mixed it too long so it separated….yuck!) so it was a complete mess. I scrapped it and went with a vegan buttercream recipe instead, which was amazing with the cake. Thanks for posting such a great recipe, I can’t wait to have it again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Debbie. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! xo

  7. debra viera says

    I’ve been making this 5+yrs bits been a hit I sub the almond flour for homemade sunflower seed flour and it is even more moist and amazing the best cake ever

  8. Rose says

    Omg I made this cake for my sons 2nd birthday this year and WOW!! Hands down the BEST gluten free cake I’ve EVER MADE!! My mom (who is SUPER sceptical of anything vegan or gluten free and doesn’t like chocolate) LOVED IT!! I even forgot to sift the cocoa powder (I used cacao actually) so there were these small cacao balls and no one noticed lol. I also subbed more gf flour and almond meal as I didn’t have oat flour. I’m making this cake for every bday now!

  9. Sasha says

    I made the recipe as is and it’s very good! I’m going to add nutmeg/ginger/clove next time. I made the cashew tangy frosting with it and it was amazingly decadent.
    I baked it in three rounds 7″ pans for 30 minutes and it came out perfectly cooked.
    This cake is a little gummy but it is more likely to happen with any carrot cake.

    • Em Lewis says

      About to make this recipe. One question though. I’m assuming the 966 mg of sodium is a typo? (Please say it’s 96!) I’m compared to another one of your GF cake recipes and it seems like it is.

      Thank you so much for this awesome blog. It’s my go to when I’m in a pinch, and always reliable.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Aw, thank you for your kind words, Em! We’ll give the nutrition another look and update. 966 does look a bit high, but it’s likely higher than 96 g as the sodium is coming from the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. If you wanted to scale it back, you could use half the amount of salt. Hope that helps!

  10. Jenny says

    I found this recipe very easy to make and it came out great! I did sub with regular flour (3 cups in total) and I thought the cake came out nice and fluffy, which is exactly the consistency I was looking or vs. a more fudgy cake.

    I also subbed half of the sugar with coconut sugar (1/3 cup) and found that the cake was a tad less sweet than I would have liked. I’m not sure if that’s due to the coconut sugar.

    Next time I think I’ll just do all cane sugar or add more sugar to make it just a bit more sweet, otherwise a really awesome recipe, especially it being all in one bowl.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mike, we haven’t tried that, but if you do, we would recommend increasing the flour and vanilla. Or check out our vanilla cake here. Hope that helps!

  11. Regina says

    Hi there! I want to try using your chocolate and vanilla vegan gluten free cakes to make a 4-layered carved birthday cake for a friend. I’m currently trying to choose between this chocolate birthday cake recipe and the chocolate hazelnut cake recipe. Will you please let me know their differences, as well as your recommended recipe to follow for my project? Also, will using chia seeds in place of flax seeds make a substantial difference? Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Regina, they are very similar, but this one will be a little more light and crumbly and the hazelnut will be slightly more fudgy/moist (from the additional applesauce). Either would be lovely! Chia seeds should work, but you may need to grind them first. Let us know how it goes!

      • Regina says

        Thanks for the reply and the recipes! I couldn’t decide which to use so I tested both, dividing this batter by half instead of thirds and following the hazelnut chocolate cake bake times (+/- for doneness). I opted to use this birthday cake recipe rather than the hazelnut chocolate cake recipe. Because this is slightly airier and lighter, its crumb had space to become moist yet not overly sticky after 2 nights of refrigeration. I baked these sponges on Sunday, wrapped them in plastic wrap once fully cooled, then carved and assembled my cake on Tuesday. It was a hidden design cake and these sponges held together well. Also, I used ground chia seeds without issues.

  12. Meira says

    This came out amazing … swapped out the GF flour for whole spelt (made the cake a little crumbly but thats pretty expected with spelt)
    Topped it with chocolate butter cream frosting

    And as always with your recipe was amazing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Meira! So glad you enjoyed. xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rebecca, We don’t have any tips for high altitude baking but there was a comment below 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!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You could but we haven’t tried it and I’m not sure if it would work! Scan the comments to see if others have had success.

  13. Paula says

    Hi Dana! You’re an absolute rockstar and I love your blog. It’s my #1 recipe blog I go to when I need guidance.
    I’m making this cake for my bday party tomorrow and in Argentina coconut cream doesn’t even exist but I found some milk instead. I’m just not sure it’s as fatty as the ones you find abroad so I also bough agar agar and was wondering if I could add some to the cream to make sure it does yield. What would you suggest? I also have coconut oil that could work too?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks for your kind words, Paula! We would suggest scooping off and using the cream portion (and only bit of the more liquid part) of 3-4 cans of full fat coconut milk. Hope that helps!

  14. Tiffany Albert says

    This cake is incredible. I am gluten and dairy free along with my kids and I made this in May for my son’s birthday and it has been requested over and over again by family. It’s absolutely delicious. I didn’t have time to make the frosting so I bought vegan cool whip and added vanilla extract and it was delicious. The cake texture is unbeatable.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Tiffany. We are so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  15. Danielle says

    This looks delicious! Can I use something else instead of the gf flour ? More oat flour or a sprouted spelt flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Danielle, We haven’t tried it that way, but another reader used 1 ½ cups oat flour and 1 ½ cups spelt flour in place of all three flours. Hope that helps!

  16. Elsa says

    This looks so good! Since I don’t have gluten free flour or oat flour, could I add 2 cups of regular flour (oat and gluten free amount) and the almond flour instead? Thanks! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! Or for best results, we’d suggest keeping the oat flour. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Hailey! We haven’t tried this without the oat flour, but we are pretty sure it would work if you simply increase the almond flour and the gluten free flour blends (1/4 of each in place of 1/2 cup oat). Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

      • Karina Sawyer says

        Would this recipe work if I subbed the applesauce for mashed banana? The sweetness may mean I don’t need to add maple syrup/as much extra sugar?

  17. Celia Yarwood says

    The consistency of the cake was incredible. BUT the avocado oil I used must have not been right because we could taste it throughout the whole cake and it did ruin it. Next time I’ll try coconut oil like some other people have tested.

  18. Lindsay says

    Making this for my boyfriend’s moms birthday. I’m vegan and she’s gluten free but she also has an almond allergy- can I sub the almond meal with another nut like cashew? Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lindsay, we haven’t tried that, but we think it might work! Or hazelnut meal might be another good option. Let us know if you try it!

  19. Brittany Manley says

    Do I need to add in xanthan gum with making your flour blend? I see that it is optional in your flour blend recipe. Do I need it in the cake recipe? Or will it be okay without it ?

  20. Jessica says

    Seriously the best gf cake I have ever had. Thank you!!! I’d like to make this again without the chocolate flavor for my son. Is that possible? I have also made your 1 Bowl Vegan Vanilla cake and didn’t like the texture as much. Can this one be a vanilla flavor?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jessica! We haven’t tried making this a vanilla one so we’re not sure. You could maybe try increasing the vanilla and subbing more flour for the cocoa powder? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  21. Jaimee says

    I’ve made this cake a couple times and it has always turned out wonderfully. Do you know if it can be made ahead of time and frozen?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I do! I’d say bake (be sure not to overbake), freeze (well wrapped / sealed), and thaw 24 hours before serving. I wouldn’t add the whipped coconut cream until serving for best results.

  22. Lea says

    Made this cake yesterday for my partner’s birthday and it was a huge success! Definitely a new go-to. I was a bit nervous to dry out the cake because mine ended up taking closer to 60 minutes and the toothpick never ended up coming out perfectly clean as the recipe states. It ended up being a perfect, moist texture.

    • Mahnoush says

      Delicious!!! I’m dairy and GF (no one else in my family is), and wanted to make a birthday cake for my daughter that we could all enjoy. It’s such a pain always making separate food for myself. I gave this cake a try with a vegan chocolate frosting from one of your other recipes and everyone loved it… even my son who isn’t into chocolate cake at all (he asked for a second slice). I used 3 jumbo eggs because I had a lot of eggs to use up and didn’t feel like making flax eggs. Thanks for always putting out great recipes!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Mahnoush! Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review!

  23. Janet says

    My son cannot eat nuts. Can I substitute almond milk with Oat milk ? Also, what should I do about almond meal? Is there something I can use Instead? Many thanks!

  24. Emily says

    Alright I did make a couple substitutions, coconut oil instead of avocado, eggs instead of flax, whole milk instead of almond. And added a banana because I didn’t have quite enough applesauce… But consistency is PERFECT and flavor is great! Love this recipe. Will absolutely use it again. Thank you. My son’s 3rd bday is tomorrow and he will be so happy to have this cake! All your recipes are so good. Made your Blissed out Thai salad earlier tonight (not the first time). So good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Emily =) Thanks so much for sharing!

  25. Sofia says

    I’m planning to make this for a birthday this weekend. Do you think coconut flour would do well as a sub for the almond meal?

    • Vicki says

      Sofia, If you are needing a nut free cake, sunflower seed flour! I have substituted sunflower seed flour in this recipe with beautiful results. Just put raw sunflower seeds in a blender and pulse, scraping often. Be careful not to over do it, though. You don’t want to turn it into sunflower butter.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren, we haven’t tried it, but other readers have done so with success! Let us know if you try it!

  26. Ashley says

    Making this now. Hopefully it tastes better baked. Had a little lick of the spoon and it was just awful. Not good at all and I followed the recipe to a tee. Fingers crossed!

  27. Nikki says

    I made this for one of my son’s birthdays and it was amazing! I cut 1/3 cup of the agave because I paired it with a vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. Not everyone in my house eats gluten-free but everyone loved it! I don’t think my kids could tell that it was any different than the cake they are used to!
    For my other son’s birthday, I was going to make this recipe but at the last minute he decided he didn’t want chocolate. I didn’t want to look for another recipe so I made this one again, cut 1/2 cup of agave and all of the cocoa, and added 1/2 tsp more vanilla extract and it was just as wonderful! It tasted just like a graham cracker! I frosted it with a vegan vanilla buttercream and the reminded me of making graham cracker and frosting “gingerbread houses” when I was a kid! You could totally post this again as a gluten-free graham cracker cake!
    Thanks for the amazing recipe. It will be used for years to come!

  28. Sabrena says

    I’ve been gluten free for several years and had pretty much given up on having a decent cake, especially after going vegan. This cake is delicious! My kids and husband (not gluten free, not vegan) loved it. It’s moist, delicious and has a good texture.
    I made the ganache for the layers, and added berries.

  29. Cooking with Kyle says

    Loved the recipe thank you so much. If I give you proper credit for the recipe would it be okay if I make a youtube trying the recipe out?

  30. Melanie says

    This is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made – gluten-free or not! So moist! Thank you❤️❤️❤️

  31. Sarah says

    We had this today—it was delicious! Is there a flour we can use instead of the gf blend and oats? My mom can’t eat any grains…could we sub the grain flour for cassava flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Perhaps! We haven’t tried that but let us know if you do! Buckwheat or cassava are worth trying.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but it might work! Pumpkin or beet purée may also be options. Let us know if you try it!

  32. Anna says

    I am 11 years old turning 12! and I wanted to bake a cake for my birthday because I’m gluten-free and dairy free, it’s hard to find a good cake out there. So I went to your site and found this recipe! I think anybody could make this. This is one of the best cakes that I have ever tried! Thank you so much for giving out this recipe!! Do you have any recipes for Non-bread? I tried recipes before for non-bread and non-bread is really good. Now that I know your site I’m definitely going to make more at your site! Thank you again for putting up this recipe.

  33. Maria Visconti says

    Question. Do you think I can make the cake part a day in advance and assemble day of? I have to do a lot of cooking day of (Pizza party for 30) and I want to balance off my work a bit if I can.

  34. Malika says

    This looks SO GOOD! Can I sub the almond milk with another dairy alternative, say coconut milk or homemade cashew milk (we have to avoid any gums)? Also is there a grain free flour substitute for both the oat and gluten free blend flours? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Another non-dairy milk will work! We aren’t sure of a grain-free substitute that works well. You might be able double up on almond meal, and then search online for a GF blend without grains to sub for our DIY blend. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  35. Venus Bond says

    Hi there, love your recipes! I have a question about this GF Vegan birthday cake recipe. Could I use actual eggs instead of the flax eggs?

  36. Isobel Dixon says

    I don’t usually leave comments on recipes but I feel I absolutely have to. This cake is by far the best gluten free cake I have ever made! And the fact that it’s vegan too is a major bonus. I made it today for a birthday and everyone enjoyed regardless of whether they are vegan or gluten free or just eat an ‘ordinary diet’. My mum has been gluten free for well over a decade and finding good, reliablee gluten free recipes is like finding a needle in a haystack. This is definitely one of those needles and will be bookmarked for when I need a cake for an occasion! Thank you so much for posting it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Isobel. We are so glad you enjoy this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  37. Emily says

    I had to wing it a bit as I was a bit low on almond meal and maple syrup, but I topped off flour with more oat flour, and maple syrup with more coconut sugar. I then made your ganache recipe and spread 2/3 of it in the middle. Then I halved your buttercream icing recipe, and added the rest of ganache. What happened was the most amazing experience of my life. This was the best damn cake I have ever made, and I have made a TON! My husband and I couldnt even talk while we were eating it. Once again you knocked it out of the park. Thanks Dana!

  38. Laura says

    It’s hard to find a GF Vegan recipe that’s not dry or a weird texture. We had this cake for my son’s birthday and loved the flavor, texture and moistness. Just a small note, I’m sensitive and did notice the flax flecks in it, but no one else in my family did. And I still thought it was the best GF V cake I’ve ever had.

  39. Kit says

    STOP LABELLING OAT BASED RECIPES AS GLUTEN FREE. It’s so dangerous! As someone with celiacs who had the worst gluten experience of her life thanks to oats this is INFURIATING. This lax attitude to gluten issues is insane.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      A 9 x 13 pan should work. It may take longer to bake- perhaps 45 minutes? Use a toothpick at 35 minutes and adjust bake time accordingly. Let us know how it goes!

      • Lyndsey says

        It was amazing! I increased the recipe by 50% and used a 12 x 18” baking dish for 50 minutes. I also substituted aqua faba for the flax eggs. It was the best cake I’ve made so far. Super moist and fluffy!!!
        Also, my daughter (4yo) has celiac and she’s just fine with certified gluten free oats in recipes. No problem!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Emily, yes, real eggs should work just fine! 1 small chicken egg per 1 flax egg. Hope that helps! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  40. Gabriela Monge says

    This is my go-to cake. My non-GF, omnivore family says this is the best cake they’ve ever had TO DATE including all types of cake they’ve ever eaten. It’s always requested.

    My question is….. can I make this same recipe as a cupcake? (Not layered)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gabriela! We’re so happy to hear this! Thanks for sharing! You can make cupcakes with this recipe. Cook time for cupcakes is included in step 9. Hope that helps!

  41. LM says

    This cake was a huge hit! I made it for a launch party for our gf/v option and everyone loved it. The texture is perfect–sometimes GF cake is beany or gritty or dry, but this was soft, moist, and held together well. I refrigerated it after icing and before transport (I added skewers for stability during the drive). Thanks for making our event awesome–I’m going to post pictures on my blog soon with a link.

  42. Stephanie Jones says

    I made this cake for my husbands bday and it was heaven! I want to make it for my daughter this weekend, do you think I could sub the almond meal for more oat four?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stephanie! So glad you enjoyed it. We haven’t tried that substitution – we find the nut meal adds a bit of crumble / airiness to the cake. But if you try it let us know!

  43. Naomi says

    Holyyyyy cow! I was so hesitant about this (gluten free baking is not my forte) but this exceeded EVERY EXPECTATION. Everyone said they never would have guessed it was gluten free, leg alone gluten free and vegan (so moist! so good!). I used your flour blend for the first time and I’m never going back! I did a layer cake with peanut butter frosting in the middle and chocolate on the outside and it was out of this world good. THANK YOU for this amazing, moist, undetectably gluten free and vegan recipe!

  44. Stephanie Letzring says

    Love all of your recipes. You are my go to for most things. Is there a good substitute for oil? When I make cookies I usually use a avocado blended with aquafaba but not sure if it would be right for a cake

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that! Liquidy nut butter would be our preferred substitute for oil. But I wonder if you could modify this cake by swapping out some of the almond flour for cacao?

  45. Ana says

    Hi! I have I question about coconut cream. How long doest it keep on room temoetarure before it starts melting? My cake will be probably at room temoerature about an hour before serving. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ana, we would estimate that it would start melting after about 20-30 minutes, give or take a little depending on the temperature of your space.

  46. Claudia says

    I made this cake for a gluten-free friend’s birthday. I made my own frosting, but the cake itself was incredible. Moist, decadent, but not dense. And not at all tasting vegan, or gluten-free! Other bakers asked me for the recipe, and I directed them here. A few of them said, “I love that site!”

    Thanks again for being my go-to recipe site. Your recipes are always dependable and delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for your kind review, Claudia! We are so glad you enjoy this recipe and our site! xo

  47. Ilise says

    I’ve made this cake several times. It always gets raves and requests for the recipe. Love how moist it is. No one can tell it’s gf!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Isabelle, we haven’t tried that and aren’t sure how it would work! We would love to hear how it goes if you do some experimenting!

      • Isabelle says

        It came out fantastic, thank you! Subbed cassava flour for the gf blend. I added a smidge extra apple sauce in hopes that it wouldn’t be too dry. My husband does not eat treats like ever, but he ate about 3/4 of the cake on his birthday, so it was a win!

      • Isabelle says

        Hi! Yes, It worked fine. Maybe just slightly less than 1-1 sub, but close to it.

        I’m glad I got an email notification about this comment.I made this for my husband for his bday in 2019 and he is the healthiest eater I know. But, he ate like half the cake. It was very memorable because we were temporarily living far from our “home “ for work with a 1 and 2 YO.

        I’ve made it each birthday for him since and now my kids are very into helping make it. We sometimes even forgo dinner and just have this cake on his bday and the kids think that is so special and amazing. So actually this cake has really become such a family tradition for my husband’s birthday and my kids always look forward to it.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          What a special tradition! We’re so glad you and your family have been enjoying it, Isabelle. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! xo

  48. Julie says

    I am SO amazed at how delicious this cake is!! People at our party couldn’t even tell that it wasn’t a regular egg-dairy-gluten-filled cake! Next time I make it I will coat the greased pans with cocoa powder instead of flour though. I had to frost the whole cake (instead of just the tops) bc the sides of the layers were white from the flour. Oh – and the coconut whipped cream…. yummy! Thanks so much for this recipe!

  49. Anna Viehbeck says

    Made it, bomb results! The tweaks I made:
    1. Sub maple syrup with sugar syrup (cane sugar+some water);
    2. Sub GF blend with AP flour
    3. Sub almond milk with 10% cream+water
    AND I also made a mistake, fixed it, and it did not affect the cake — I mixed the batter and put it to the pan, but then saw that I forgot the milk mix! So I scraped the batter back into bowl and added the milk mix.
    Overall, a magically tasty cake. After overnight in the fridge it was even better — melt in your mouth goodness! I had to force myself to stop eating it!

  50. Anna Viehbeck says

    Hey Dana! Thanks for amaze recipes:) a question — can I use honey instead of maple? OR maybe make a sugar syrup (brown sugar+water)? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anna, we haven’t tried those sweeteners, but we think honey should work. Let us know if you give it a try!

  51. Kadiann says

    Thank you so much for the inspiration. I made this cake for my 5 year old’s birthday and it was beautiful. The recipe was so easy to follow and it turned out perfect. Thank you so much for sharing. I love your site! I come here all the time to be inspired.

  52. Monica says

    My husband and I made this today for our daughter’s 6th birthday. We all love chocolate cake and have tried other gf/vegan recipes and dare I say this is possibly the best one! Compared to the others there was nothing to fault, it was just perfect. And to think we didn’t make the cream as we didn’t want to bother with the powdered sugar. So it was just the cake and it was perfect! It is not overly sweet (just the way we like our desserts); it is very light and moist (what a combo). Our girls had theirs with smooth pb spread on top ? If you have a sweet tooth definitely make it with the whipped cream – we’ve made it to go with the vanilla cake and it should complete it nicely.
    As for substitutes we used coconut oil instead of avocado oil. I also
    didn’t have enough apples to make the full amount of applesauce so whatever I lacked was substituted with coconut oil.
    We really enjoyed this, thank you! Looks like we’ve found our favorite go-to cake recipe.

  53. Amanda says

    Hi! I can’t have apples :/ and several other fruit purees right now. What is the applesauce for in this recipe? Could I just do more sugar and fat? Looks great!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amanda, it helps provide moisture. You could try a veggie puree such as beet or pumpkin and use this recipe as a guide. Hope that helps!

  54. Pari says

    Can I replace the gluten free flour mix with a normal all purpose flour whiteor wholegrain flour? I just went out and bought all ingredient and saw the GF flour mix… I don’t have GF intolerance but want to make sure it will work since I’m making this for my husband birthday tmrrw. Thanks a lot.

  55. Josh says

    I made this for my wife and friend for their birthdays and it was a big hit. I made the recipe exactly as described, using two 9” pans and buttercream frosting (used Miyoko’s butter).

    Thanks so much!

  56. Michelle says

    Hi! This cake looks amazing! Oats, however, upset my stomach. Is there another flour or blend you’d recommend I replace the oat flour portion with?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle, we haven’t tried it, but you may be able to sub additional almond meal in place of the oat flour. If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  57. Debra Julin says

    Hi, I can eat eggs. How many eggs is 4 batches of flaxseed eggs? I’m assuming it will work ok with real eggs. Thank you for the insight.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Debra, yes, real eggs should work just fine! 1 small chicken egg per 1 flax egg. Hope that helps! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  58. Julianne says

    I am planning on making this cake for a two tire wedding cake. Do you think it will be dense enough? If not do you have any other chocolate GF/egg free recommendations?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Julianne, we think that will work! We would suggest using a firmer frosting such as ganache. Hope that helps!

  59. Ann Aislabie says

    Made this yesterday. Both daughters vegan and rest of the family not vegan. Everyone loved it and one of the best cakes ever made. I omitted the oat flour and used 2 cups gluten free flour from the local health shop. I also substituted the vanilla extract for peppermint essence which added a lovely additional element to the taste. Perfect and vegan or not – I’ll be making again.

  60. santhipriya says

    I like this very much. I made it for my sister ’s birthday last night, everyone loved it! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  61. Kasha says

    I made this with a mix of coconut flour, and quinoa flour and wheat flour (we are not GF). I had to add more almond milk but it was delicious. Thanks for the great directions.

  62. Rita Wilcox says

    I have made this many times for my kids’ birthdays and it’s always a hit! I just got distracted and added the almond milk and vinegar to the egg without the baking soda… is it better to scratch it and start over or will it affect the outcome if I add it in now? (I imagine it will be fine but I don’t want to get done and have any surprises.) Thank you for your time and wonderful recipes!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It should be okay, but let us know how it turns out! We’re glad you have enjoyed this recipe many times!

  63. Jenessa Hall says

    I made this as written with your vegan chocolate ganache recipe and also did a layer of pureed raspberries with the chocolate ganache between layers and also on the top, on top of the chocolate ganache. (I just threw a whole bag of frozen raspberries in a saucepan with some unmeasured amount of sugar and stirred them up/cooked them down a little.) It was the best cake I’ve ever eaten in MY LIFE. I made it for my birthday and I also happened to have a baby a week before my birthday so I’ve been ravenous and really craving chocolate cake while nursing and I was sort of worried this wouldn’t turn out because I wanted it to taste amazing because I’ve been sending my husband out to get vegan/gf cake slices from bakeries all week and they were not doing it. Anyway, this did it, it was so damn good and rich and moist, I could cry. Also, it was easy. Which is just as important. YOU’RE THE BEST! I love you forever. And I’m making this next week for my vegan bro-in-law’s birthday ???

  64. Jo W. says

    This cake was AMAZING!!! You are always my go to for vegan and gluten free and you never disappoint! This cake though, truly amazing! Most, rich but light, the coconut cream frosting and the fruit combined perfectly with the cake. It was even a hit with the non-vegan gluten eaters! Thanks girl!

  65. Rebekah says

    I just finished making this cake and something went terribly wrong. I followed all the directions as written and bought all new ingredients to make it so that I wouldn’t worry about my baking powder or soda being too old. My only guess is that the metric conversions aren’t accurate. The cake didn’t rise at all. So sad!

  66. Rafaela says

    I am trying to convert everything in ml an gr as I am not using US measurements.
    I can see that you are saying 4tbsp flax seeds equal 28gr? Google gives me 56.7gr.
    I just want to make sure I am using the correct scale (conerted everything using google) so I can do the recipe correctly.

    Many thanks,

  67. Janice says

    Is the almond meal different from almond flour made from blanched almonds? Can’t wait to make this for my daughter’s 11th birthday coming up this Saturday.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Almond meal and almond flour are both finely ground almonds and there is no huge difference between the two. The terms can be used interchangeably. Almond meal can be blanched (skins removed) or unblanched, while most products labeled almond flour are blanched.

  68. Tatjana says

    Hey I want to suprise my mom for her birthday and she recently switched her diet up which is vegan orientated but she also doesn’t want to eat anything with soy in it so my question is if the cake is also soy free? I hope you can help me quick because the cake looks bomb