Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rich Chocolate Cake - Vegan, Gluten-Free, Allergy Friendly

This chocolate cake is shockingly moist, dense and satisfying. It's still hard for me to believe it is both vegan and gluten free, even after testing the recipe repeatedly over the past year or so. Reviews from the chocoholics in my life, who aren't keen on vegan or gluten free diets themselves, have all been raves. The best proof of that is the fact that when I make this cake, it never lasts more than 2 days before being consumed entirely.


The gluten free flour blend I used is this lower fiber version. I have not tried this with other all purpose gluten free blends, so mileage may vary. In my usual version, I use Grand Marnier liqueur, balsamic vinegar and olive oil (not extra virgin). If you don't have these ingredients on hand, good substitutes are any dark liquor - rum, whiskey, or vanilla extract. For the vinegar, you can get by with plain white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar would be even better. For the oil, any mild liquid vegetable oil could work. The cocoa, sugar and coffee that I use are all fair trade and organic. If this isn't in your budget, fear not - it'll work with conventional versions.


I generally bake this in a bundt style pan, but have had success using small loaf pans, regular loaf pans, and even 8-inch round pans. It's a heavy cake, like a pound cake texture, so keep that in mind. Baking times will vary, so make sure you check at around 40 minutes or so if you're using a smaller type pan than a bundt. We eat this cake plain, with no glaze or frosting, but it works well with either - it's versatile, and lends itself to experimentation. One version that was a big hit was to use cherry jam and whipped ganache as filling and frosting for round layers, but that is not vegan as the ganache uses heavy cream. If you want extra chocolate, you can add 1/2 cup of cacao nibs, or semi-sweet chocolate chunks, to the batter before baking.

Rich Chocolate Cake - Vegan, Gluten-Free, Allergy Friendly

Serves 16

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups fresh black coffee , slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bundt pan, set aside. Brew fresh coffee, 2 cups, and set aside.

Sift together the dry ingredients, and place in mixer bowl.

Mix the liquid ingredients together, then add to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Combine until smooth. On my stand mixer, I just use the whip attachment instead of the paddle, it does a nice job of getting everything together and smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or knife in the center – you want it *mostly* clean, but with a little bit of crumb clinging. Not totally clean – it'll be too dry, but not covered with goo, because, c'mon – goo? Yuck. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Store at room temperature, covered to retain moisture. It also freezes well, you can pre-slice or leave whole. Just make sure it's cooled completely before eating, or storing.

Disclosure: the links are affiliates, and if you use them I get a small percentage to help cover my chocolate budget.