Delicious gluten free vegan chocolate cake with a rich chocolatey sponge. These mini cakes are easy to make and perfect for sharing.
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Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake – What? No Eggs?
Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake sounds a bit tricky. Indeed, there’s something about the idea of a ‘vegan cake’ generally which seems a little baffling to a non-vegan like myself… and that is the absence of egg. When I first learnt to bake as a child, egg was a fundamental component in cake, so I have always been intrigued by the idea of cake that is egg-free. Can an egg-free cake really be made to be as good as traditional ‘egg-infused’ sponge made by traditional baking methods?
Why make egg free or vegan cake at all?
Dairy free baking is really straight forward these days. Mostly, you can straight sub butter and dairy-based spreads, milks and yoghurts for dairy-free ‘copies’ with little or no impact on the resulting bake. And there are so many other fat alternatives too (such as coconut oil), which with a little knowledge can be used instead. I can happily offer many bakes on Gluten Free Alchemist as optional dairy free without any additional tweaking.
But if you are either egg-intolerant, egg-allergic or vegan… AND you want cake, egg-free is a very particular requirement. And let’s face it… who doesn’t want cake? Search and you will find some amazing egg-free cake bakers out there in cyberspace. As with Gluten Free Alchemist, the best of them have honed their free-from skills because they have to, for health or specific diet reasons. Some of my favourites are :
A word of warning though… When you start to add gluten free into the mix alongside dairy and egg free recipes, baking becomes a lot trickier. I would always hesitate to use any recipe that states a straight sub of gluten free flour for wheat flour in a vegan cake… Unless I am reassured by the writer that it has been successfully tried. In my experience, it rarely works, so I tend to avoid the possible disappointment of a dry/stodgy/crumbly/overly-dense result.
Choosing to make gluten free vegan chocolate cake…
If you don’t have to make cake without egg, then choosing to make one will likely be the result of a very conscious decision or the need to make cake for a specific egg-free occasion.
Enter my (newly designated vegan) niece-in-law… When I developed this particular cake recipe and made it for the first time, it was because she came to visit. I didn’t want to give her fruit for dessert (in my Coeliac world ‘fruit is NOT a pudding’). Instead, I turned to Mr GF and said… ‘No! This is a cake house and we will have vegan cake on the table when she comes to tea’. Specifically… gluten free vegan chocolate cake.
Replacing the egg for this Particular Gluten Free cake…
Whilst I am confident that I know what to do in substituting for dairy milks, yoghurts and fats, replacing egg is less familiar. I didn’t want to use a commercial ‘egg replacer’ or an obvious specific egg-substitute (they vary considerably and I have not always been happy with the results). So I challenged myself to bake a cake with a soft sponge that did not compromise quality and that even the most hardened egg-eating cake addict would love.
A bit of basic research on vegan baking later (actually there is nothing particularly ‘clever’ about it at all) and my very own gluten free vegan chocolate cake was born… There is no flax, chia, or any packet ‘egg free egg’ in this mix. I have relied entirely on some ground almonds, oils and yoghurt for structure (which I would often use in gluten free baking) and a careful balance of all other ingredients contained within.
I am not sure the bake would necessarily hold up to the weight of a large layer cake, but for these little bites, the crumb is just perfect. It is not too crumbly and held up well to slicing and filling without falling apart.
Who can eat this chocolate cake?
The great thing about vegan recipes is that they naturally fall into the category of both egg and dairy free. This makes them perfect for those who have to avoid either or both of these categories for other health or allergy reasons.
Although not nut-free, this vegan chocolate cake has been made and tested with my own gluten free flour blend. That means I can also be sure it is suitable for Coeliacs, as well as those allergic to wheat and gluten, or intolerant for non-coeliac reasons. So whether you are intolerant or allergic to any or all of these ingredients… rest assured that you too can have your chocolate cake and eat it!
For an added guilt-free bonus, I have made these cakes as healthy as possible by also using unrefined coconut sugar as well as coconut oil and coconut milk. The almonds not only add structure but goodness too.
How good is this egg-free, dairy free, gluten free chocolate cake?
My vegan niece was really chuffed that I had made a special effort for her. But actually, everybody else (including the most sceptical around the table) also really enjoyed them too. In fact, they were so good, that they have made several appearances in my kitchen since…
This gluten free vegan cake has a sponge which is deliciously chocolatey with a good punch of cocoa… Although the crumb is quite tight, it is by no means over-firm or over-dense, with a texture that remains soft and perfectly cakey. Sandwiched with a contrastingly fruity red cherry conserve and topped with whipped coconut cream, these mini sandwich cakes are as decadent as they are tempting… Beautifully flavoured and sumptuously pretty.
Topped with a few blueberries, a sprinkle of dark vegan chocolate and a little glitter, they are sure to put a smile on the face of all who are lucky enough to eat them.
Another great idea for Valentines? I think so! As always… let me know if you make them! I love seeing my readers amazing pictures and hearing their baking stories. Contact me by leaving a comment, via email or through social media xx
Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake (mini cakes)
- Kitchen scales
- measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
- mini cake tin and baking paper or cupcake liners/cupcake tray
- saucepan & hob or microwave
- mixing spoon/spatula
- wire rack
- can opener
- 140 g plain gluten free flour mix with no xanthan gum I used Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A (see link in notes)
- 45 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1 tsp GF baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 240 g coconut sugar or soft light brown sugar
- 90 g coconut oil (melted) equivalent to 80 ml
- 200 ml/g almond milk or light coconut milk or mix a combination of the two as preferred
- 3 tbsp dairy free yoghurt equivalent to 45 ml
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 400 g canned coconut milk (left upside-down in the fridge overnight) or 250 ml carton coconut cream – chilled
- 1½ tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar or 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla paste (or powder) don't use liquid extract
- 200 g (approx) red cherry jam (or alternative favourite jam)
- 60 g dark dairy free chocolate
- 150 g fresh blueberries
Prepare First :
- Pre-prepare for making the coconut cream, by placing the tin of coconut milk (or the coconut cream) in the fridge overnight (place coconut milk upside-down).
- Prepare your cake tins/cases. I used a mini sandwich cakes tin (which I base lined with baking paper), but you may prefer to make cupcakes.
- To make the coconut whipped cream : Remove the tin of coconut milk from the fridge and turn the right way up. Open the can and pour off the liquid (which should now be at the top of the can) into a glass (enjoy as a drink or add to a smoothie).
- Scoop out the coconut cream into a medium-sized bowl and add the sugar/syrup and vanilla.
- Whisk the cream until thick, then set aside in the fridge for at least an hour or until ready to use.
To Make the Cakes
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and thoroughly mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa powder and sugar in a bowl/container and set aside. I weigh into a large airtight container, close the lid and shake vigorously.
- In a small heat-proof glass bowl, melt the coconut oil either over a pan of steaming water or in the microwave on medium (30 second bursts until liquid).
- Put the milk, yoghurt, vanilla paste and vinegar in a large bowl, add the melted coconut oil and whisk until well combined. If the coconut oil begins to solidify and go lumpy, place the bowl over a dish of steaming water and whisk, to enable it to remain liquid and smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients and whisk all together until completely combined (whisk over a dish of steaming water if there is any hint of oil solidification, so that your batter stays really smooth).
- Spoon the batter evenly into the cake tins or cupcake liners (about two-thirds full) and bake for about 20 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cakes are cold, slice in half or (if you have made cupcakes) core a small hole from the middle (saving the cake cap) and fill with red cherry conserve or your favourite jam.
- Top each cake with a spoon of coconut cream, fruit and a sprinkle of grated chocolate.
Gluten free AND Vegan (or thinking of heading that way?) – check out my post on Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond. And for lots more recipe inspiration, we now have an amazing photo Recipe Index!
Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake shared with :
- Full Plate Thursday #468 with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- Cook Blog Share with Cooking With My Kids
- Fiesta Friday #312 with Angie and Frugal Hausfrau
This post was originally published on 20.01.2016 and updated on 22.01.2020