Gluten-Free Chocolate Birthday Cake (Recipe)


I created this recipe for my own 40th birthday cake.  I read and studied the chemistry of chocolate (alkali vs non-alkali) and baking powder vs. baking soda – I learned so much and the cake turned out great!  It is important not to make substitutions to these ingredients or you will change the cake significantly.  And may I say, “This cake is delicious!”  No one at the party knew it was gluten-free, except my gluten-free friends.  🙂

Diet Compliance: GFCF, Soy-Free, Nut-Free

1 cup sorghum flour
¾ cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca starch
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (non-alkali)
1 ½ cup sugar (or evaporated cane juice)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup of oil (melted ghee, sunflower oil, melted palm oil, etc)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup non-dairy milk
½ hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl.  Combine all the wet ingredients except hot water in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix using an electric mixer or stirring by hand.  Once dry ingredients are incorporated, add hot water and mix thoroughly. You’ll want to work swiftly to get it in the oven so the cake rises properly.  Pour into greased and floured pans.

Bake for 45-55 minutes.  Test cake by poking with a toothpick.  Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place cake pans on baking rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Then remove from pans and continue to cool on racks.  Once completely cool, frost cake.  (see Buttercream Frosting recipe or use your own).

Original Recipe ~ Created by Julie Matthews

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


  1. 1 cup of sorghum flour. Add extra water too. I just made this again – try 3/4 cup of water.

  2. # cup sorghum flour?

  3. Can I use regular milk? If not, what no dairy milk do you suggest?
    Thanks so much

  4. Julie! You’re chocolate cake was awesome! I made cupcakes out of it. Everyone loved them. The icing was good too. Thanks!

  5. Julie, I am going to bake this cake for my daughter’s 6th birthday this weekend. I’m going to try the frosting too. Looks and sounds yummy. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂


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