Extra Moist Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cake (Refined Sugar/Corn/Soy/Dairy Free w/ an Egg Free option)

by Brittany on February 2, 2011

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Once upon a time in a land far FAR away- I made cakes that could give you tears of bliss. I was the cake lady- if there was a birthday party I was quick to offer to bring the cake- and on many occasions I would show up with two just for fun. They were miles tall- always 2-3 layers (sometimes more) and what was special about them- their moisture! They were soft and fluffy and tender- AND unbelievably moist.  This month marks my one year anniversary of giving up Gluten. I’m celebrating by sharing with you a cake recipe that I am incredibly proud of. A recipe that it literally took me a year to understand how to create once again.  I have made a number of cakes in the past year- and they weren’t bad- but they were just average nothing to write home about cakes. Which frustrated me to no end. I can’t tell you how many times I said to my husband “What is wrong with me?? I should be able to do this by now- all I do is bake!!”  Whats funny is that in every other aspect of my life I am pretty relaxed and go with the flow- but when it comes to my kitchen this odd level of perfectionism comes over me. It developed in the last few years- never have I been a perfectionist about anything before in my life! Usually I lack the focus to make this trait possible. At any rate- Im thankful for this focus- and I’m ok with being hard on myself at times- I think its healthy to challenge myself. Otherwise these recipes that make me so proud would never exist.

So *Cheers* to One Year of Being Gluten Less- here is my recipe for the moistest chocolate cake you will ever have.. People will often say ” My family didn’t even know it was Gluten Free”  Its my thought that they should NEVER know the difference. So may I present to you one of the best cakes I have ever made/had  in my entire life :)

For this Recipe I went the refined sugar free route- In my latest research I read that grinding larger sugar crystals can help aid in baking-  I had a big bag of sucanat in my pantry – so by default it was what I used.  I quickly ground it before adding it in with the other ingredients- and I was happy with the end result. You will notice that I also called for Raw Agave- you could also use honey or Coconut Nectar. My reasoning for using two different sugars is to create just the perfect moisture level. Agave can up the moisture level- so this is why I used less of it.  If you don’t do the refined free- sugar thing- feel free to just use regular white sugar.  Just simply combine the 2 sugar amounts- however give the batter a taste test- because I have found the refined white sugar creates a much sweeter cake- and you may want to use a little less than I have called for.  If you want to use another crystallized Refined Free Sugar- go to town. Try Using the Combination of Xylitol and  Raw Honey!

As you scroll through the ingredients list Im sure you all will stop dead in your tracks when you read “Avocado”. I know- it sounds really odd . Let me explain my reasoning for its use.  Moist cake happens when there is a high fat content. Back before I gave up Dairy- and more recently Soy I would have used Sour Cream or Pudding- even yogurt sometimes. I don’t know if you guys noticed- but I sure as heck scoff at the prices of the dairy free variations. And then of course- they all seem to contain Soy. So what does that leave us with? An Avocado. A creamy, high in healthy fats delicious Avocado. The avocado works in this recipe really well as the chocolate covers its mild flavor. Don’t even mention this hidden ingredient and I promise NO ONE will ever even begin to detect it. All you will hear is “Wow is this cake moist”.

If you are avoiding Corn- I just recently figured out that Vanilla extract contains Corn – I did some research and read that Bell Buckle Pure Vanilla Extract is safe. (You could also try making your own!- it quite easy to do)  Also make sure to check for Corn Ingredients in your Baking Powder.

The Eggs- Ideally I wanted to present to you a Vegan Recipe. This recipe was my starting point- Which I why I only allowed myself the use of 2 eggs. Im quite confident that using Ener-G Egg Replacer  in the eggs place will work well.(hence my tagging this as an egg free recipe) To do this just whisk together 4 Tbs of Water mixed with 1 Tbs  of Egg replacer.  I’ll be testing out this recipe egg free myself soon and will share my experience. I predict that the cake might rise just a little less- but will still taste just as wonderful.

I used a large Spring form Pan to make this cake- a 10 inch circular Whopper. Feel Free to go with 2 small pans- or even a square dish. Any cake pan will do. (Except for a maybe Bundt Pan) I noticed that the cake roughly doubled in size- from its batter state to the end product. Use that as your guide when deciding what pan to go with. I went as far as doubling this recipe and making a big 2 tier cake.

And finally I wanted to note that this cake can be make with Arrowroot in place of the Tapioca- which is what I usually recommend as Arrowroot is much easier to digest-  BUT- I will tell you that in this case the Tapioca is going to yield a better cake  as it imparts more texture than the arrowroot will.

For the frosting I went with a glaze- I have been playing around with frosting’s that do not use powdered sugar- this is what I came up with. In the future I plan to come up with something a little simpler.. I used 2 different sugars- as I ran out of sucanat and had no other choice. Feel free to tamper with this AND Feel free to use any of frosting you love- A buttercreamwould be excellent here. Check out my recipe for Gluten Free/Vegan Buttercream for some additional fun ideas.


  • 1 cup Sweet Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch Flour
  • 1 cup + 3 TBS Unsweetened Dark ChocolateCocoa Powder
  • 2 cups Milled Sucanat Sugar (Use a coffee grinder)
  • 1/2 cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum (Or Guar Gum for the Corn Avoiders)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Organic Eggs (or Egg replacer- see note in text)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil (Or other mildly flavored oil)
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (Any Variation of Vinegar will do)
  • 1 Avocado- peeled and core removed.
  • 1 (13.66 oz) Can Heavy (full fat) Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Dairy/Gluten Free Chocolate Chips (Such as from the brand -Enjoy Life)

Chocolate Glaze Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup Sucanat Sugar (or other sugar) (No need to mill it this time)
  • 3/4 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 8 TBS Earth Balance Butter Or 8 TBS of Coconut Oil (for the Corn Avoiders)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Heavy (Full Fat Coconut milk)
  • a tiny pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbs Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Cup Tapioca Flour or Arrowroot


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and spray cake pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a Large Bowl combine all the dry ingredients- mix well.
  3. In a Food Processor or Blender combine the Can of Heavy Coconut Milk and the Avocado until pureed and creamy.
  4. Pour the avocado/Coconut mixture into the flour mixture and then add all the other wet ingredients (the order does not matter :) )
  5. Once the batter is fully mixed- Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into the prepared Pan and place on the top shelf of the preheated oven. Bake 50 minutes. Note: this time may be slightly shorted if you are using smaller pans- but I highlight the word slightly- as the moisture in this cake will require that it has some good quality oven time)
  6. While the cake is baking- prepare the Chocolate Glaze Frosting. In a Sauce Pan Over medium-low heat Melt the Butter (or Coconut Oil) Stir in the Heavy Coconut Milk and Sucanat and Raw Agave Sugars. Allow the sucanat to dissolve. Add to the mixture the Vanilla extract, Tiny pinch of Cayenne (optional) and whisk in the Cocoa Powder. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Then Whisk in the Tapioca Flour.  Give the Glaze a taste- if it is slightly bitter add more agave- if you want it more chocolatey add a bit more cocoa powder. If you want it thicker add more Tapioca. Place the glaze in the fridge to cool. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
  7. Test the cake for doneness with a toothpick- and then remove it allowing it to cool. Once it and the Glaze have cooled completely drizzle the glaze on the cake.

I topped my Cake with a few raspberries and spinach leaves just for fun!

A Super Obnoxiously BIG XO,
(I’m Feeling an extra amount of love today)


Update: A very kind reader sent me photos of this cake made and decorated! Big thanks to Sterling! The Strawberries look Gorgeous!  I love feedback! & receiving pictures makes my year!

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine February 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Yum! I haven't been a fan of chocolate cake until recently and this looks amazing. I love how allergen free this recipe is and I have definitely bookmarked this for later!


Lexie's Kitchen February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Beautiful! The perfect treat : )


Brittany February 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

Thank you Lexi! Thats a huge compliment coming from you :)


Alta February 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Omg yum! This looks incredible. How do you store the cake? Refrigerator?


Brittany February 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Normally with Gluten free goodies I avoid the fridge long-term as it tends to dry them out. However I LOVE cake slightly chilled so I recommend storing this cake in the fridge a few hours before serving it. This cake is so moist that it will take a long time in the fridge to get to the point of drying out- So I think its safe the say the fridge will do or room temperature. Whatever your preference is :)


Kris W February 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Hi, this looks awesome!! Was wondering what I could substitute for the potato starch, I don't do corn and am sensitive to potatoes as well. Thanks!


Brittany February 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

If you can safely do tapioca and Arrowroot then I would think those 2 starches would work here.. 1/2 cup of each in addition to the sweet rice flour of course :)


Kris W February 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

great thanks, will be trying it hopefully tonight! I see you put guar gum by xanthan gum citing corn avoiders... Is xantan gum made from corn? Didn't know this and have been using it, thanks for the alert!!


Brittany February 3, 2011 at 12:03 am

Hope you love it!! You will have to let me know how it turns out for you :)
Xanthan Gum I believe is derived from the fermentation of Corn Sugars. There is some debate on this- and to be honest I know very little about the subject. But I would say if you have an allergy to just avoid it to be safe.
If you don't have any Guar Gum in the house- you might try using a TBS of Flax Meal Instead. While I have not experimented much with replacing the gums- I do know that flax is a super hero when it comes to Binding/holding things together.

It is SO hard to keep track of all the ways that food allergens can be hidden.You will think you are doing great and then figure out something you totally missed! It will get easier- I promise :)


Maggie February 3, 2011 at 1:02 am

Oh my goodness, this sounds and looks perfect. I love it! Congratulations! It's quite the feat, especially given the lack of refined sugars - woo hoo! Let me know how the egg-free version goes please :)


Brittany February 3, 2011 at 1:09 am

Thanks Maggie! It feels like a milestone - perhaps only because it's been a project for awhile. I need to find another excuse to make a cake soon!


Sophie February 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

Waw, Brittany!!

Your layered chocolate cke looks so tasty & fantastic & that glaze looks so apart, special & ooh so fab too! Tha layered cake looks huge & pretty too!



Ricki February 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Wow, what a gorgeous cake--and it sounds SO good! I have to admit that avocado in chocolate cake doesn't sound unusual to me at all! I use it in my Ultra Fudgy Brownies and love the moistness it provides. I also think it's a perfect match wtih avocado (as in "chocomole" or choc-avo pudding). Wish you had included a shot of the inside of the cake--would have loved to see a slice cut from it! Now I am craving chocolate (and avocado!) ;)


Brittany February 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Ricki! I wish I had taken more photos- I brought this cake to my best friends for her son's birthday- and once it was cut into things got busy and it was eaten fast.
Next time I make it Ill be so to take some additional photos :)
Im finding Avocado and chocolate are my favorite!! It was also the inspiration for my Chocolate-Raspberry-Avocado smoothie that I put together for Detox january :)
I'm going to go check out those brownies of yours right now! :)


Aubree Cherie February 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Oh my goodness, WOW! I am chomping at the bit to try this cake. YUUUUMMM!!! But I just couldn't help myself, I've linked this recipe in my Fav Top Ten Recipes of last week post. Thanks!

~Aubree Cherie


Brittany February 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

You are the greatest!! :)


Heather @Gluten-Free February 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I've made my final decision. I'm making this amazing cake on Friday! I have a gluten-free support group meeting to go to, and they are going to LOVE this! I'm going to try to incorporate a raspberry puree for the Valentine's theme. Maybe in the layer between the cakes? Thanks for an amazing recipe!


Brittany February 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Yessss! I think.. you will love it :)
I think a layer of Raspberry Preserves or Jam in the center would be amazing! Let me know how it turns out :)


Jen May 8, 2011 at 2:50 am

A cup plus 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder seems like a lot. I could be off base here, but that is the only thing that is making me hesitate to try this recipe. Am I reading that correctly?


Grace January 4, 2012 at 3:35 am

Just made this cake tonight-- it was superb!!!! Rich and decadent to say the least. Did some adjustments due to lack of ingredients, but it still turned out wonderfully. I used just 1 1/2 cups white sugar in the batter and 2/3 cup in the glaze, and it wasn't very sweet, but completely satisfying.

Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration to do more experimenting with allergy-free baking! :)


Wandoo February 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Hi Brittany,

I'm so excited to have happened by your blog. I recently went gluten/diary free and its almost impossible to find good recipes.

I want to make this cake, however i do not have avocados on hand and I have lots of bananas I'm trying to get rid of. If I substitute banana for avocado, i assume it will be one for one-ai? Also will it be just as moist?


Brittany February 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I suspect it may work! Though I haven't tried it myself- so I can't promise perfect results. I would start with a 1:1 ratio. The flavor may taste a bit more like banana bread- but I for one don't consider that a bad thing :) good luck!


Liz February 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Hi! This looks wonderful! Thanks so much for your hard work putting this recipe together! My mother in law loves chocolate cake, and I'm making this as a surprise for her birthday. One quick question though: Do you think that I could substitute honey for the agave nectar? I'm not sure that I can get my hands on one that's unrefined, doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup, etc. I do, however, have a great source for local raw honey (yum!). Thanks again!


Liz February 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

OOps, I'm so sorry, I just saw where you addressed the agave-honey issue... Never mind!!! :) But seriously, thanks so very much for creating and sharing this recipe!!!


Wandoo March 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Thanks Brittany! I finally got around to baking this amazing cake. I used 1/2 a banana instead so the flavour wasn't altered. OMG! The best chocolate cake EVER! Thanks for sharing. My friends did not believe me when I told them the wholesome ingredients that went into making the cake. lol. Sometimes healthy tastes better.
Also could you please pull out a basic chocolate cake recipe from your hat. As much as I love this recipe, I won't ordinarily always have all the ingredients in my pantry. That way I'll save this recipe for special occasions. And I can just bake the basic chocolate cake when I need a snack for the week.


Erica March 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I came across your recipe and can't wait to try making it for my son who has several food allergies , and is in need of a yummy chocolate cake! Is there something I can substitute for the sucanat sugar...I can't find any in the stores where I live? Thank you!


Brittany March 19, 2012 at 12:51 am

Any granulated sugar should work!! :)


Liz March 28, 2012 at 3:48 am

Have you tested this out with egg replacer yet? I'm going to try it for a birthday soon. If you haven't tried it yet, I guess I'll cross my fingers and let you know how it goes!


Liz April 6, 2012 at 3:15 am

Okay, it took three failures to get it right, but fourth time's the charm, I guess! Here's what I did:
-Subbed honey as recommended instead of agave
-Subbed chia meal for guar/xantham gums
-Subbed chia meal "egg" for the egg (1 Tablespoon chia meal and 3 Tablespoons water per egg, for a total of 2 Tablespoons chia meal and 6 Tablespoons water. BTW, when making your "eggs", measure water into the cup, THEN stir in the chia meal. Otherwise it's a lumpy mess :(
-Realized after the third failure to rise that my baking powder had expired in 2007, so got some fresh powder that said "double acting" :) Check the dates, ladies, it DOES make a HUGE difference, especially when there aren't real eggs in it to help it along!
-Increased both the baking powder and soda by 1 tsp, for a total of 3 tsp.s each.

And it turned out AMAZING!!! Hubby was beaming with pride, Gluten-intolerant mother-in-law was in heaven, dairy/egg intolerant nephew gobbled it up, and French father-in-law with a highly developed palate gave it his seal of approval, and he doesn't even usually like chocolate cake. Not grainy at all (NO MORE CHOCOLATE CORN-BREAD-TASTING CAKE FOR US!!!), moist, and just dense enough to slice into lovely thin layers. I can't go on enough about this cake, and can't thank you enough for this WONDERFUL, better-than-gluten-tasting recipe!!!

PS my frosting was a "butter-cream" I used from mypetitechefs.com - turned out creamy, thick, and glossy:
1/4 cup Coconut oil (to replace butter)
1 lb powdered sugar + extra to get it thicker if desired
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream off the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but I used more, just till the consistency was right).
To get it extra smooth and fluffy with no lumps, I pulsed mine in the food processor!

Don't be tempted by the icing-like quality of the pureed avocado/coconut cream mixture in the cake recipe to think, "Maybe I'll try to make this into icing by adding powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract". I'm ashamed to say I actually tried it. It was one of the grosser things I've tried in my life. Slimy, slightly gelatinous, at first it tastes great... then the avocado comes through. NOT cool.
Also, I tried the cake with milled coconut crystals, and it made the cake even denser and tasted funny. Don't waste your expensive coconut crystals like I did!

Sorry for the long post, but thought of all the other bakers out there and I'm hoping this will be helpful. Thanks again, so much, for this recipe!


Brittany April 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

Congrats on cracking the code!!! I'm impressed with your dedication! Thank you SO much for coming back and sharing how you did it! Xxoo


Liz April 6, 2012 at 3:23 am

PPPS I've got some lovely pics of the cake (5 layers!)... If you'd like them, how do I send them to you?


Brittany April 6, 2012 at 11:47 am
Liz April 14, 2012 at 2:28 am

Sorry, forgot to add that I also left out the chocolate chips for the egg free version I did, but I doubt that makes any difference.


Kristin May 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I'm making this on Saturday for my b-day and have been dreaming of it all week. I play to fill and cover with butter cream, throw it in the fridge for an hour to harden the butter cream and then pour the glaze on top (once it's cooled for 10 minutes) to make a tuxedo cake. Then it'll have to go back in the fridge to harden the glaze I guess for another hour. Is that much time in the fridge going to dry it out?


Kristin May 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm

NM, I see you answered the refrigerator question above. Do you have any tips for me regarding making this into a tuxedo cake?


RE August 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I guess I have finally found THE very first cake my son will try - for his First Bday :) I'm so excited.

I try to avoid chocolate even though I am slightly addicted bc I notice it makes me sick ... So I have carob powder but have never used it. I wonder what would happen if I used it here?

Maybe for his bday well use real chocolate?


Kimberly August 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm

This is the most amazing cake I've ever had. It even surpasses professional versions. I used about 1 1/3 cups of sour cream instead of the avocado and the cake turned out super moist. My whole family loves it. Thank you, Brittany, for creating and sharing this delicious recipe.


Nicci November 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

This looks great. I've recently been poking around your recipes because my brother-in-law's girlfriend has a lot of allergies and I want to make things for her. Basically, she eats steamed fish/chicken and vegetables every day salt and pepper.

One question I have for this is, she's allergic to vinegar (also dairy, gluten, tomatoes, yeast, many "exotic" fruits, corn--BIG allergy, etc.). Would it be possible to substitute lemon or orange juice for the vinegar to activate the baking soda/powder? Thanks!! :D


Brittany November 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Orange Juice, Lemon or Lime Juice should work! ;)


Jamie November 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

This looks so delicious! My kiddos will go bonkers! Just curious..... can I do this in the form of cup cakes so we can take them to school parties?


Brittany November 16, 2012 at 12:12 am

It will work great as cupcakes!!


Jannelle December 14, 2012 at 7:54 am

Hey! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes with the world! They are great!
Baking powder contains corn starch. A great subsitute is featherweight baking powder(made from potato flour) or 1/2 tsp cream of tarter, 1/4 tsp baking soda for every tsp of baking powder. This substitute works just like the baking powder. You won't taste or see a difference. Also, Bob's red mill products are packaged on a facility that cross contaminates with soy. just be aware when cooking for allergies! Thank you again!


Kacey Bostrom January 20, 2013 at 2:59 am

Hi! I am looking at making a few of your recipes and am wondering if you have a brand of coconut milk that you recommend. Also, is there a big difference between coconut milk and cream?
Thank you for any help you can offer.


Danielle February 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm

You have some great recipes! I've also been gluten free for the past year and it has helped me immensely as well. I would guess that a chocolate ganache would pair well with this cake too! I have a standby recipe for a dairy free dark chocolate version that I love on my gluten free cupcakes. I just melt dairy free chocolate with dairy free chocolate chips and a dash of vanilla rice milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract. If you pour it over a cake and chill the cake it solidifies into a lovely dense ganache.


Michelle August 28, 2013 at 2:03 am

As I was looking for a wheat, soy, corn, dairy and sugar free cake for my birthday this week I happened upon your blog and all I can say is THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! You have no idea how much better I am feeling just looking at all the yummy things I can make and still be on my required diet :D
The only sweeteners I can have though are stevia and xylitol, how would I substitute for the agave nectar?
Thank you so much for making my life so much better :)


Elizabeth September 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I made this for my mothers birthday and it was excellent! I am making it again for another birthday today. Thank you so much for this recipe!


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{ 5 trackbacks }

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