A Happy 4th Birthday and Rich, Dark Chocolate Cake (Gluten free or Regular)

I found a recipe online for a rich, dark chocolate cake and decided to make it for my daughter, Mercy’s, 4th birthday party. She wanted a chocolate cake with pink ruffled frosting and I wanted it to be perfect. I browsed tons of cake recipes and settled on this one from Sweetapolita. It was all I had hoped it would be and the guests at the party loved it. I have now made it gluten free and regular and you cannot tell the difference.  It is delightfully moist and holds up great to layering. I have also made it into cupcakes and they turned out great too. I just lessened the baking time a bit.

I am going to give you the gluten free version. You can go to Sweetapolita and get the regular version. For my frosting I made a cream cheese buttercream because I don’t like doing meringue frostings. I’m just not good at them yet and end up quite frustrated when they don’t whip up correctly.

You really should try this cake next time you need a good chocolate fix.  Would love to hear back from you if you do! 🙂

Rich and Dark Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)


1 cup rice flour (I have used brown and white and gotten the same results with no discernible differences)

1/2 cup Potato starch

1/4 cup tapioca flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Hershey’s Special DARK Cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (I used 1 cup of milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ( I actually omitted this b/c I didn’t have any)

Directions: (from Sweetapolita with my notes in itallics)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9″ (or 3 x 8″ for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. (I buttered my pans and dusted them with cocoa powder. They came out beautifully). In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaning ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy. (I seriously couldn’t believe how liquidy this batter was, both regular and gluten free.  I was pretty freaked out that  there was no way this cake would bake up correctly. I was pleasantly surprised!)

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean–approximately 35 minutes. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

*If doing the ruffly cake, you will likely want to increase the cake recipe to add a third 9″ layer.

*This cake is sturdy enough to be used under fondant, stacked, etc. but also moist and tasty enough too go on its own with almost any type of frosting, glaze, etc.

Wanna see the inside of that girly ruffle cake? I thought you might. 🙂

And just for fun, here are a few more pics of the birthday party. I sure do love my little girl! I can’t believe she is 4!!!

Thanks to my friend, Sarah Mcclendon, for the great pictures!


9 responses to “A Happy 4th Birthday and Rich, Dark Chocolate Cake (Gluten free or Regular)

  1. This cake is simply gorgeous! Thanks for submitting to GFF too 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your recipes. The bd party looks wonderful.

  3. Hi! I’m surprised the cake recipe doesn’t need xantham gum but I’ve noticed other GF recipes recently that also do not have xantham gum. Any idea why that is when other recipes needs it to keep from breaking up? Thanks! Sue

  4. Yes, more and more I am seeing GF recipes leaving out the xanthan gum and guar gums… here is an interesting post from a blog I really enjoy about learning to cook without the gums.
    This cake turns out great without them. Hope you enjoy!

  5. I tried baking this wonderful cake and had to keep it in the oven well over twice the baking time which resulted in a rock hard crust. The taste was fantastic, though. Every time I tested, I used a fork- It came out gooey. I did follow the ingredients faithfully and rotated it, too. The only difference was that I used a hand mixer. My new stand mixer is on the way ; D This is the first gluten free cake I have made not using a mix. I had hoped to make it for a new mom with celiac… for her shower. Since my testers–my family loved the taste of the cake, could you please tell me what went wrong? Thank you!!!

  6. Pingback: Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake | The Good Food Diaries

  7. Pingback: Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Cake | This Is Mommyhood

  8. Pingback: Gluten Free Birthday Cakes | Style My Party

  9. What a beautiful birthday! Looked like one fun occasion and the birthday cake looked scrumptious! I’ve featured it on my blog post and shared it with my gluten free readers http://www.stylemyparty.co.uk/blog/gluten-free-birthday-cakes/ hope that’s ok with you, hope you like the post? 🙂

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