Chocolate Cake

I’ve never been that inspired by chocolate cake, but I’m beginning to realise it’s because I’ve rarely had a really good one. I often make a dense, more-of-a-dessert one. It’s a flourless nut based cake, and I usually use ground hazelnuts instead of ground almonds. But that’s really a pudding.

But sometimes what Ian (my husband and the other half of the Gluten Free Flour Co) wants is an old fashioned proper chocolate cake, sandwiched together with buttercream. So I made one, and then I realised what I’d been missing!

This is not dessert, not a brownie – it’s proper cake. And it’s gluten free and you just wouldn’t know. It is moist, chocolatey, not too sweet and definitely not dry and gritty!

I also made ours dairy free. My favourite dairy free margarine for baking is Tomor (from Ocado), but any of the dairy free spreads would do. I used our brilliant plain flour blend, with ground almonds to make it moist and a little bit dense, but you can just add another 40g flour if you also want it nut free. 

I added a little Isabel’s Baking Fix which really helps gluten free cakes be more moist, but you can leave it out if you haven’t any. I buy it direct from

The chocolate buttercream has proper 70% dark chocolate in it – do use a good one.


  • 180g dairy free margarine or butter
  • 180g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 140g Gluten Free Flour Co Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum
  • 1 tsp Isabel’s baking fix (optional) 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tblsp milk or dairy free milk
For buttercream filling and topping:
  • 60g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 90g softened butter or dairy free spread 180g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 2 tblsp milk or dairy free milk

Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 19cm sandwich tins. Serves 8


      Cream the butter or margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and lighter in colour. This is easier using a mixer.

      Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly.

      Now add the egg little by little, whisking each time into the mixture.

      Weigh out the flour and add the ground almonds. Sift in the cocoa powder and add the xanthan or guar gum, sea salt, baking fix (if you have got it) and baking powder.

      Add the vanilla extract and beat thoroughly, followed by the milk until a thick dropping consistency is achieved.

      Divide the mixture between the 2 tins, and lightly smooth surface with a wet spatula.

      Bake in oven for approx 20 minutes.

      Cake should be dark brown, risen and a skewer should come out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

      When they are cool, make the buttercream filling and icing.

      Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave on medium. Allow to cool a little.

      Beat the butter until soft. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder. 

      Gradually mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the butter. Now add the vanilla essence. Fold in the melted chocolate and mix well. 

      Add 1-2 tblsp milk or non dairy milk until it is smooth. Sandwich the 2 cakes together with half the buttercream and ice the top with the remainder. Use a knife dipped in hot water to smooth it out.

      Download the recipe PDF here

      Watch our YouTube video here

      Find our flour here