The softest chocolate cake topped with gooey fudgy frosting that just screams comfort eating. My chocolate fudge cake is not only dairy free but also gluten free as well. And I bet you wouldn’t even be able to tell. If you love chocolate cake, this is THE recipe for you!
Why I Developed This Recipe
In my pre dairy allergy days, I was obsessed with chocolate fudge cake. It was always my go-to that I would buy from the store to cheer me up as the gooeyness of the fudgy icing never failed to hit the spot. For a few years I’ve been trying to recreate an allergy friendly version that had that same familiar comfort level. And this is it!
Why You Need to Try This
A lot of allergy friendly bakes often lack the consistency and texture that we remember from traditional bakes. But this cake is soft, moist, satisfying and has the most decadent, rich chocolate frosting. So much so that you will find it hard to resist more than one slice at a time. Whether you need a chocolate fix or simply a sugar pick-me-up, this is THE cake for you.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This is a dairy free and gluten free recipe that can easily be adapted for other dietary requirements. Read on for my substitution guide and check out my FAQ section for more questions about this dessert.
For the Chocolate Fudge Cake
Butter: I am using unsalted plant based butter in this recipe to add richness and fat. Ensure that your butter is at room temperature before you start baking. Sub with regular dairy butter if you are not dairy free.
Sugar: I adore using brown sugar in chocolate cake as it really helps to elevate the flavours. Sub with white sugar if you prefer.
Eggs: I am using 2 large eggs (roughly 100 grams). You can also sub with medium eggs if that’s all you have in your pantry. To veganise this cake, I recommend either using 100 grams of apple sauce or 2 flax eggs.
Milk: there is a multitude of plant based milk available so use whichever you prefer. My go-to is almond milk as I like the creaminess that it adds to my baking. Sub with dairy milk if you are not dairy free.
Flour: I am using two different flours in this recipe: gluten free self raising flour and almond flour (also known as ground almonds). Check out my handy tip to make your own gluten free self raising flour. Sub with regular self raising flour if you are not gluten free.
Flavour: we need a small amount of cocoa powder to add that great chocolate flavour to our cake. I prefer organic dutch process cocoa powder as it cuts back on the bitterness that cocoa powder can add to baked goods. Sub with regular cocoa powder if that’s what you have in your pantry.
For the Chocolate Fudge Icing
The fudge icing recipe is vegan as we are using plant based butter.
Butter: I recommend using unsalted plant based butter at room temperature. Sub with dairy butter if you are not dairy free.
Sugar: for a cleaner icing flavour, I am using white sugar.
Water: we need a small amount of water to loosen the icing. No specific temperature is needed as it will be heated up on the stovetop.
Icing Sugar: I use pre-sifted icing sugar. There is no real substitute for this as it is the main element of the icing.
Cocoa Powder: as with the cake, I am using dutch processed cocoa powder. Sub with regular cocoa powder if that’s what you have.
How to Make Chocolate Fudge Cake
Start by preheating your oven to 325F/160C and gathering all your supplies and ingredients. Ensure that your eggs and butter are at room temperature so that it will be easier to combine them into the cake and icing.
Cream together 100 grams (7 tbsp) of plant based butter and 106 grams (1/2 US cup) of brown sugar. The mixture will lighten as it incorporates. Ensure that there are no lumps remaining from the sugar. Top Tip: if your sugar is lumpy, warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave to soften it before adding it to the butter.
Next, let’s add in our 2 eggs. I prefer to add them in one at a time and mix in between to ensure that the mixture doesn’t get too wet.
And 62 ml (1/4 US cup) plant-based milk and 84 grams (3/4 US cup) of almond flour. I’m using almond milk in this recipe but you can use whatever plant-based milk you prefer or just regular milk if you’re not dairy-free. Mix until combined.
Finally, add in 90 grams (3/4 US cup) of Gluten Free self raising flour and 12 grams (2 tbsp) of cocoa powder. Check out my handy post to learn how to make your own GF self raising flour. It takes no time at all and makes a huge difference to cakes and cupcakes. You can also find a quick video here.
Mix everything together until fully combined. I usually scrape my bowl down with a spatula as well to ensure that I haven’t missed anything at the bottom.
Prepare an 8 by 8 inch baking pan by greasing the bottom and sides with butter (plant based) and then adding parchment paper. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and make it easier to remove it once it’s cooled.
Add the chocolate fudge cake batter and spread out evenly using a spatula.
I recommend giving your baking pan a tap on the counter a few times to help level everything off and release any air bubbles. Pop the cake in the oven for 20-22 minutes.
How to Make Chocolate Fudge Icing
Now before you sit down and grab a cup of tea, we need to make the icing as it also needs to chill in the fridge before we can ice the cake. Add 40 grams (3 tbsp) plant based butter, 50 grams (1/4 US cup) white sugar and 30 ml (2 tbsp) water to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat, stirring continuously until the butter melts.
Once the mixture is smooth and all of the sugar granules have dissolved, you can remove the saucepan from the heat.
Pour into a heat proof bowl.
Add 100 grams (3/4 US cup) of icing sugar and 12 grams (2 tbsp) cocoa powder.
Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. You could also use a hand mixer if you prefer although this only takes about 20 seconds to combine.
And voila. The fudge icing is complete. Well, almost. Cover the bowl and pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes for it to chill. It will thicken up in the fridge.
Completing the Chocolate Fudge Cake
Once you have made the icing, invert the cake pan onto a cooling rack lined with parchment paper. The cake will need to cool completely before we can ice it, which takes about 15-20 minutes.
Don’t remove the bottom layer of parchment paper yet! We’ll be removing this once the cake has cooled.
Once the cake has completely cooled, you can turn it over.
Take the chocolate fudge icing out of the fridge and immediately whip it up with a hand mixer for 30 seconds. It will thicken up and whip into a gorgeous spreadable icing.
So much yum! This looks good enough to eat as it is.
Transfer the cake to a serving platter and liberally spread the icing over the top of the cake. I recommend using an offset spatula or you could use a spoon. Top with sprinkles or flaked salt if you desire.
Chocolate Fudge Cake Heaven
And there we have it. My easy gluten and dairy free chocolate fudge cake.
And yes, it tastes as good as it looks. I think this qualifies as the fastest eaten cake in our home!
This cake would be perfect for an afternoon tea party or as a special weekend dessert. Or even a ‘just because’ cake as we all know that chocolate cake fixes everything.
Approximately 16 generous slices, depending on how large you cut them.
Yes, simply replace the two eggs with your preferred egg substitute. I highly recommend either using 100 grams of apple sauce or 2 flax eggs.
Store at room temperature for 2-3 days. I usually cover the icing loosely with foil to prevent it from sticking and to stop the cake from drying out as well.
This recipe will make approx 12 cupcakes. Fill the cupcake liners to three-quarters and bake at 325F for 18-20 minutes.
If you loved reading about this gluten free dairy free chocolate fudge cake, let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to share what you think of it when you bake it.
Check out more chocolate recipes here:
- My Rocky Road Muffins are always a hit with our kids
- Indulge with my Red Velvet Donuts
- Go all out for chocolate with my chocolate ganache tart
Dairy & Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake
For the Cake
For the Fudge Icing
- 40 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (3 tbsp)
- 50 grams White Sugar (1/4 US cup)
- 30 ml Water (2 tbsp)
- 100 grams Icing Sugar (3/4 US cup)
- 12 grams Cocoa Powder (2 tbsp)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F/160°C and gather all of your ingredients and supplies. Ensure that your butter,milk and eggs are at room temperature.
- Grease and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
To Make the Cake
- Cream 100g of butter and 106g of brown sugar in a bowl.
- Add 2 eggs, mixing with each addition. Add 62ml milk and 84g of almond flour and mix until combined.
- Add 90g of gluten free self raising flour and 12g cocoa powder and mix to fully combine.
- Evenly spread the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20-22 minutes at 325°F until well risen.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a parchment paper lined cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before removing the parchment paper then turn over the cake onto a serving platter.
To Make the Fudge Icing
- Add 40g of butter, 50g white sugar and 30ml water to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
- Pour in to a heat proof bowl and stir in 100g icing sugar and 12g cocoa powder.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Finishing the Cake
- Remove the icing from the fridge and whisk for 30 seconds until it thickens into a spreadable icing.
- Using an offset spatula, liberally spread the icing over the top of the cake.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- This cake makes approximately 16 generous slices.
- Store at room temperature for 2-3 days. I recommend loosely placing foil on top of the cake to stop the icing from sticking to it and to stop the cake from drying out.
- This recipe will also make approx 12 cupcakes. Bake at 325F for 18-20 minutes.
- See the full recipe post for substitution information for other dietary requirements.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 slice per serving with approximately 16 servings per recipe. Please note that nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.