My go-to gluten free chocolate cake recipe adapted from the original, Hershey’s chocolate cake. Fast, simple, and out of this world delicious – you’d never know it was gluten free!
I can’t believe it’s been an entire year. One year ago today, I did one of the craziest, most sensible things I have ever done in my life. I moved 5,000 miles to a new country to marry a man with more health problems than I have ever had in my entire life I that I also happened to meet on the Internet. But hey, that’s love am I right? Before you think it – yes we did meet in person before hand. So many people ask if we met first which I find insane. I may be crazy, but I’m not that crazy. Or at least not that kind of crazy.
After almost four years of doing the whole Internet dating thing-which by the way really sucked and I would not recommend it to anyone – we finally tied the knot….jumped the broom…got hitched…insert marriage cliché of choice here. Not unless you like being miserable and lonely because the one person you want to spend time with lives in a time zone with an eight hour difference. Not fun. So after years of wishing and waiting for a time when we could actually, ya know, be together I finally got to say ‘I do’ and begin my life as a Mrs.
On a somewhat related side note – I actually kept my last name. Most people assume that I’m now a Boyden-Hare, but I just really like being a Nevins. Also I’m a cheapskate and I so did not want to have to go through the paper work of changing my name, paying for a new passport etc. I also think that being so far away from my friends and family in Arizona, the only place I had ever known before moving, keeping my last name helps me feel a little more like myself. It’s nice having something familiar to remind me of where I came from.
I have so many feels (as the kids say – what kids, I do not know) when I think about my wedding day. Obviously, I am completely elated to have been so lucky to find someone I care so deeply about at such a young age. To be completely honest, I think I knew after about a month or two of talking to Mike so many years ago that he was going to be an important person in my life. Our relationship started as nothing more than a friendship in which we exchanged music and pictures of our pets, but as time went on I guess you could say that we both ‘caught feelings’.
I’m also a bit heartbroken about the fact that I wasn’t able to share my wedding day with my most of my friends and family. Obviously, getting married so far away from home meant that a lot of people who matter to me weren’t able to go. My mom and my cousin were able to go, and I am so happy to be able to share that with them, but I’d give a lot to be able to have my dad walk me down the isle with my brothers there to see…..*crushes feelings under heel back where they belong* Anyways…
More than anything, I look back on our anniversary, smile, and breathe a huge sigh of relief that our days of Skype chats and Facetime calls are long gone. Now I get to wake up everyday next to someone who gets me excited about waking up. *Sap over*.
I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys today – my homemade gluten free chocolate cake that I made for our wedding. I made an ungodly amount of cakes the weeks leading up to the day. I couldn’t exactly involve myself in the planning too much being that I was 5,000 miles away from the venue. Thankfully my now mother-in-law generously rose to the occasion to sort through the dirty details that is wedding planning. All I had to think about was cake – but I guess that’s nothing new for me.
I think when I finally settled on this recipe my mom was more relieved than I was because that meant that I could put a temporary end to making chocolate cake after gluten free chocolate cake. I had always loved baking growing up, but since Mike’s diagnosis of Coeliac disease, I had to begin learning the ins and outs of gluten free baking. It turns out gluten is kind of one of the most important components of baking which is why gluten free goods can sometimes come out a bit sad and dense if you don’t use the right stuff. Boo.
I wanted to make sure that I got the recipe just right because I have far too much pride than to associate myself with a less than perfect cake. My goal then and still is to make food so good that you wouldn’t think it was gluten free, and I’m pretty sure I accomplished that with this recipe. I mean, it’s not like anyone would be dumb enough to tell a bride that her homemade cake tasted like dirt, but I don’t think the compliments would have come quite as frequently had it not been a hit.
The recipe below is for a two layer, 8 inch round cake. What I essentially ended up doing was make three cakes altogether and split it between two 8 inch round cakes, 2 six inch round cakes, and cupcakes.
So I made the cake once as is. I made it again, but this time divided it into two 6inch tins and poured the spare batter into cupcake tins. I made one final batch of cupcakes using the recipe below. I used this guide here that demonstrates cake sizes based on the number of guests . I wasn’t sure how many people were going to be attending, but I knew there would probably be at least 30 guest, so I used the picture below to determine how big I wanted to make the cake, and what size cake tins to use. Based on the guide I would have been fine with a two tier cake (one 8inch cake and one 6inch cake), but to be on the safe side, I decided to make extra cupcakes as well. And who doesn’t like having extra cupcakes?
I would definitely recommend going the DIY wedding cake route for any baking enthusiasts, but first I think that it’s really important to ask yourself whether or not you have the time or patience for the entire process. I spent the night before and part of my wedding morning polishing off the finishing touches of my cake. To me that was perfectly fine – baking is something I’m so familiar with. It was perfect for keeping me cool, calm, and collect. However, as somebody who used to do wedding makeup for brides to be, I know that a lot of women spend the hours, days, and weeks leading up to their big days incredibly busy and stressed out. If that sounds like you it may not be the best idea to add one more thing to worry about to your list. For anyone planning a small, intimate wedding and hoping to have an affordable wedding though I think it’s a great idea!
All in all, making that cake is one of the things I’m most proud of. It may not be the healthiest cake, and it may not be the most impressive cake, but it was my cake that I made for a very important day that will always mean a lot to me. It was me putting something of myself into that day that I was able to share with new family and friends and I would do all of it again in a heart beat.
- 1 3/4 cup (235 grams) gluten free flour blend*
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your gf flour has xanthan)
- 2 cups sugar (400 grams)
- 3/4 cup (85 grams) cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk (I always use dairy free milk like almond or coconut, but you can use cow milk)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (25mo ml) hot coffee (or hot water)
- 1/2 cup (95 grams) shortening/ vegetable fat** see notes
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) butter softened
- 3/4 cup (85 grams) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (500 grams) powdered sugar/ icing sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons (45-60 ml) cold coffee (or milk)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients: the sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine. Then add the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Finally, stir in the hot coffee until combined. You will have a smooth, runny, batter
- Evenly distribute the cake batter between two, greased 8 inch cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins and and transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make into cupcake: Fill lined cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way full and bake for 22-25 minutes. This will make about 30 cupcakes. To make into two six inch round cakes bake for 25-30 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the shortening and the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the cocoa and vanilla. Begin adding the powdered sugar and coffee one at a time, alternating between one cup of sugar and one tablespoon of coffee. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep covered and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
I used to make this only with vegetable oil, but since I stopped using vegetable oil I have since made it with coconut and it works just the same
*If you're outside of the US, look for Flora White or Trex for the vegetable solids which can be found near the butter at your major super markets. It's a lot more solid than shortening in the US, so allow it to reach room temperature on your counter to get it to mix properly. You can also just use all butter and no shortening.
I highly recommend using Cup4Cup’s gluten free all purpose flour blend if you need a fail proof flour. It is much more expensive than regular gluten free flour though, so I only use it on special occasions – like, ya know, weddings. As far as gluten free flour blends go this one can literally be used cup for cup to replace regular flour in most recipes. They also have a range of Cup4cup flours (pizza dough, brownies, etc) if you’re looking for something a little more specific. The thing I really like about this flour blend is that you don’t get that same slightly grainy texture that you get from most other gluten free blends. There were several times throughout the wedding reception that guests commented on how they would have never guessed they were eating gluten free cake. Just sayin’.
At the time I was able to find mine at Whole Foods for the same price it sells for on Amazon. Since you can’t buy it in the UK (sad) I actually packed a 3lb bag in my hang luggage when I flew to England with all my belongings because I was so afraid of losing it. I carried my wedding dress and this flour. That’s how much I was not messing around with my cake.
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