Chocolate Fudge Cake

Dairy and gluten free chocolate cake, an indulgent treat with a mouthful of chocolatey heaven.

Gluten and dairy free
Gluten and dairy free chocolate cake

DF: Dairy Free

GF: Gluten Free

  • 220 g Gluten free flour or 240g normal flour for non GF option
  • 20 g Cornflour (Omit for non-gluten free version)
  • 200 ml Vegetable oil
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 60 g Cocoa powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 10 tbsp Boiled water
  • 4 tbs Milk or DF milk alternative
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 3 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum omit for non-gluten free version
Chocolate fudge cake ingredients

Recipe Tips

Dairy and Gluten Free Recipe

I take pride in crafting recipes that can accommodate various dietary needs, including gluten and dairy-free options like mine, as well as those who can consume any food. Consequently, my recipes often offer different variations based on your dietary preferences. This particular recipe is highly versatile and can easily be adapted for dairy-free and gluten-free diets, while also catering to those with no dietary restrictions. Over time, I’ve discovered some clever tricks for substituting regular or gluten-free flour in nearly any baked good.

Gluten and dairy free chocolate cake with slice

How to Use Gluten Free Flour

I’ve discovered a few tricks for substituting gluten-free flour for regular flour:

Plain or self-raising flour?

I always use plain flour, whether it’s gluten-free or not. This allows me to control the amount of raising agents I add, ensuring I only use what’s necessary. It also means I only need one type of flour in my pantry, saving space and preventing flour from sitting around too long, which can encourage bacterial growth. This is why eating raw cookie dough isn’t advisable!


When using gluten-free flour instead of regular flour, I use about 10% less flour and add 10% cornflour or cornstarch. Cornflour is tasteless in cake batter but has several benefits. It acts as a thickening agent and helps stabilize the eggs in the mixture, which helps hold the structure together. Gluten-free flour can often be crumbly, and cornflour helps counteract this. It also helps remove the grainy texture that gluten-free flour can sometimes have. Finally, cornflour helps make the cake light and fluffy.

Xanthan gum:

Like cornflour, xanthan gum is a thickening agent. In baking, it’s often used with gluten-free flour to bind the cake together and prevent crumbliness. You only need a small amount, as too much can make your cake heavy. However, even a small amount can make a big difference! You don’t need to add this if you’re using regular flour, and be sure to check the ingredients of your gluten-free blend, as xanthan gum is sometimes already included (especially in gluten-free self-raising flour).


Sometimes, when substituting gluten-free flour, it can absorb more moisture and make the batter a bit dry. If this happens and you find the batter is a bit stiff, just add a splash of milk or dairy-free milk to loosen it up a bit.

Slice of chocolate cake

Why Use Oil Instead of Butter or Margarine?

In my chocolate fudge cake recipe, I use oil instead of butter to enhance its moisture content. Oil is also naturally dairy free! Oil is a fat, and fats play a crucial role in keeping baked goods moist.

Unlike butter and margarine, which both contain water which can lead to a denser texture in cakes, oil is 100% fat and doesn’t contain any water. This means that when oil is used in a cake recipe, it coats the flour particles more evenly, preventing the formation of gluten and resulting in a more tender and moist crumb.

Additionally, oil has a higher smoke point than butter, which means it can be heated to a higher temperature without burning, allowing the cake to bake evenly and retain its moisture. The neutral flavour of oil also allows the chocolate flavour to shine through without any interference. Overall, using oil in my chocolate fudge cake recipe ensures a moist, tender, and flavourful cake that is sure to be a hit with everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Gluten and dairy free chocolate cake

Why Add Boiling Water to Cocoa Powder?

Adding boiling water to cocoa powder before incorporating it into cake batter is a technique that enhances the flavour and richness of the cocoa. Cocoa powder is made from roasted and ground cocoa beans, and its flavour is activated by heat. By adding boiling water to the cocoa powder, you are essentially “blooming” the cocoa, which means you are releasing its full flavour potential. The hot water helps dissolve the cocoa powder, allowing its flavour compounds to fully develop and infuse into the water. This results in a more intense and robust chocolate flavour in the cake. Additionally, the hot water helps to create a smooth and lump-free cocoa paste, which ensures even distribution of the cocoa flavour throughout the batter. Overall, adding boiling water to cocoa powder before incorporating it into cake batter is a simple yet effective technique that elevates the chocolate flavour of the cake.

Try The Recipe

Indulge in the rich, decadent flavours of my gluten and dairy-free fudge chocolate cake. This luscious dessert is a testament to the fact that dietary restrictions don’t have to mean sacrificing taste. Made with a blend of gluten-free flour and cornflour, this cake is moist and tender, with a velvety crumb that melts in your mouth. The addition of xanthan gum ensures the cake holds together beautifully, while a splash of dairy-free milk keeps it perfectly moist. Whether you’re avoiding gluten and dairy or simply looking for a delicious chocolate treat, this fudge cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Gluten and dairy free chocolate cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Indulgent treat with a mouthful of chocolatey heaven.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 509.65 kcal


  • 220 g Gluten free flour or 240g normal flour for non GF option
  • 20 g Cornflour Omit for non-gluten free version
  • 200 ml Vegetable oil
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 60 g Cocoa powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 10 tbsp Boiled water
  • 4 tbs Milk or DF milk alternative
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 3 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum omit for non-gluten free version

For the Icing

  • 200 g Dark chocolate
  • 150 g Margarine
  • 40 g Icing sugar
  • 1 slash Milk or DF milk alternative


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C or 180°C fan.
  • Whisk together the sugar, oil and eggs.
  • Boil the water and add it to the cocoa powder, allow to cool and add to the oil mixture.
  • Weigh out the dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Sift in the remaining dry ingredients and mix gently into all the other ingredients by hand until fully incorporated.
  • Divide the batter amongst 2 8 inch round baking tins. Bake at 190°C/180°C fan for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool before icing.
  • To make the icing, melt the chocolate and stir into room temperature margarine, beat in the icing sugar and cocoa and add a little of your milk of choice to loosen up if needed, continue to beat together to get a smooth consistency.
  • Once fully cooled, ice and stack the cakes. Enjoy…


Nutritional information is an estimate and exact values may vary. Nutritional values without icing.
Keyword chocolate cake, chocolate fudge cake, dairy free, gluten free

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