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Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

Introducing Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake! SO moist. Soft. And chocolatey!

You guys asked for a chocolate cake. Here it is. I can assure you no one would believe this chocolate cake is vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free. It’s incredibly soft and comes with a chocolate cashew frosting.

For the little story, the first chocolate cake I made was when I was about fourteen. I was doing an internship at a small hardware store, and the owner had a small kitchen upstairs. Each and every morning (and afternoon) break, we would have a piece of chocolate cake with some fruit juice. It was not very healthy, but I just didn’t care at the time as long as it was delicious. Plus, who would refuse a break like that? Anyway, the cake was going so fast that the owner had to show me how to make it very soon to meet the demand. This is when I made my first chocolate cake at the hardware store. Now, let’s go back to this awesome chocolate layer cake, which is a lot healthier than my first one but just as delicious. If not more.

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

The gluten-free batter relies on a mix of rice flour, some tapioca starch, and almond flour that makes the cake moist and tender. I also tried the recipe with cashew meal, and it worked very well too. So if you don’t have almond flour on hand, just process some raw cashews in your food processor until you get a fine meal and use it as a substitute for the almond flour.

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

To sweeten the cake, I went with coconut sugar and maple syrup. Both add a rich flavor that pairs very well with the chocolate. Then comes the applesauce and coconut oil that brings the fudginess. Applesauce really has superpowers.

I divided the batter into 2 cake pans, so I got one layer of chocolate frosting between the two cakes. Now if you want to make it a three-layer cake, you can! Just divide the batter into 3 cake pans and multiply the frosting by 1,5X. You will also have to reduce the baking time by 7-10 minutes.

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

The frosting is easy. I tweaked the cream recipe from these Ho-hos, adding unsweetened cocoa powder, reducing the amount of coconut cream, and leaving out the lemon juice. Oh, and increasing the salt, of course, because salted chocolate is the best. If you are not a fan of coconut, don’t worry. You can’t taste it. This cake is so chocolatey it covers the coconut flavor.

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)
Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

This chocolate cake is great for birthdays, internships, or any other occasion when a chocolate cake is welcome. So basically, all the time. If you are looking for a rich, moist, and soft chocolate cake that is not only delicious but also vegan/gluten-free/refined sugar-free, look no further and try this one!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)
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Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake (Vegan + GF)

4.89 from 9 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Super moist chocolate cake that comes with a rich and creamy cashew frosting. Perfectly sweet, soft, and chocolatey!
Servings 14 slices
Calories 495 kcal


Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Frosting


Chocolate Frosting

  • Drain the soaked cashews. Transfer to a blender and add the maple syrup, coconut cream, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic film and place in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Start by making the flax eggs. In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seeds and almond milk. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, almond flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, mix the flax eggs, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, applesauce, and almond milk together. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Cakes must be cool, otherwise, the frosting will melt.
  • Place one cake upside down on a large serving plate or cake stand. Top with about 2/3 cup of chocolate frosting and spread evenly. Place the second cake on top. Spread the remaining frosting on top of the second chocolate cake and on the sides.
  • Top with chocolate shavings and chocolate chips. The cake will keep covered for up to 3 days at room temperature or 5 days in the refrigerator.


I recommend assembling and frosting the cake the day you plan to serve it, as refrigerating tends to make it slightly firmer.
If you want to make cupcakes, cut the recipe in half and spoon the batter into the cupcake liners (2/3 full).


Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 495 kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.5 g | Protein: 7.9 g | Fat: 31.1 g | Fiber: 6.2 g | Sugar: 23.8 g
Course : Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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OMG, this looks absolutely gorgeous! I love a good chocolate cake – and the ingredients in this one are great!!

I am surprised your ingredient list for the chocolate cake just listed baking powder. Why go to the effort to make this a vegan, egg/ milk/ gluten/HF free recipe and not specify a scource of non aluminum containing baking powder?

4 stars
Non-aluminum Baking Powder is easy and accessable to everyone… Why would it need to be “listed”? Sort of obvious, imo. This recipe looks great and I look forward to trying it, with or without the added Aluminum. 😉

Wow your chocolate cake looks amazing! I’ll definitely try it!

5 stars
Delicious!! Will make again.

5 stars
Beautiful cake! Not too sweet but perfect. Nice texture and intensity. Great job, Thomas! Thank you for this one.

Hi! I love all of your recipes 🙂 since I’m not fussed about gluten, would you say this is doable with regular flour? As much as I’d love to as a student I struggle to afford all the different flours. Many thanks!

I’m allergic to coconut, how would you substitute the coconut cream?

5 stars
My first success with a cake. Soft and tasty, I would never had imagine that I could do that myself.

Can I replace maple syrup with something else?

5 stars
Delicious and moist cake that tastes like a non gluten free cake! Thanks for the great recipe.

5 stars
This looks so great, I can’t wait to try it! Can I replace the flax meal eggs with real eggs? If yes, how many?

Was wondering you use fan or conventional oven?

[…] If you are looking for more cake recipes, check out Vegan Cream Cheese Banana Bread or this Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake! […]

Hi. Can I substitute white rice flour for brown rice flour? I don’t have brown. What would happen if I used normal flour instead of the two rice flour ingredients?

Thank you for responding, Thomas. Much appreciated.

Can i bake the whole batter in one cake pan and then cut it into half for frosting?
If yes , will the baking time vary and lastly do I need to change the baking time for your recipes when I am using oven with fan ON with both the heating elements.


5 stars
Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!!!
Could you freeze the batter? I made more than I needed


Great recipe, excited to try this out. Is there any substitute for apple sauce? Can i use mashed banana or yoghurt?


Could I substitute coconut flour or cassava flour for the 1 cup of almond flour?

5 stars
Another exceptionally good recipe Thomas. Rich, moist and uber-chocolatey. Thank you 🙂

5 stars
This cake is incredible! The texture is spot on. Personally, the next time I make it I will add salt to the batter. I think it does a good job contrasting the flavors. It felt just a tad dull without the salt.

For reference, my dad, who has no allergies and for the 11 years I’ve been vegan, pronounced it incorrectly for like the first 7 years, *went to town* on this cake while it was still cooling after I took it out of the oven. So sadly my cake is a bit mangled since he cut one of them in half and just served himself a slice like it was no big deal! He really loved it and I don’t think he even knew it was vegan/gf!

Look forward to trying this recipe! I loved the story about your internship, living above the hardware store and sharing cake at break time!

Hello Thomas!

I am new to your site, and just tried to make this today. Mine didn’t come out quite like the picture, and the texture was a little gummy or smash-able? Sorry it is hard to describe. The flavor wasn’t the best. I am no baker, and have really struggled with GF baking so it is probably something I am doing wrong unknowingly. If you have any advice, I’d appreciate your help. Thanks! 🙂
Oh, and also, I didn’t substitute anything just fyi.