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Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe

User Rating 4 Star Rating (7 Reviews)


Chocolate Cake on Plate
Ray Kachatorian/The Image Bank/Getty Images

This cake is great for kids' birthday parties, as it is not only lactose-free, but soy-free and nut-free as well to accomodate a variety of allergies, intolerances and diets.

To frost a layer cake, allow the cakes to cool completely before leveling the tops of the cakes using a serrated knife. (It is often a good idea to place the cakes in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before icing to prevent crumbs.) Place one cake bottom-side down, spread with dairy-free frosting of your choice, then top with the other cake, bottom-side up. Using an offset spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake.

Makes 1 8" layer cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 ¾ cups white flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 ½ cups soy-free and dairy-free shortening, such as Spectrum
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cup rice or almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 T. vanilla


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil two 8” round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer at a high speed setting, cream the shortening with the sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Add the rice milk, maple syrup and vanilla, beating until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the wet in several additions until just combined.

4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting with dairy-free frosting of your choice (see head note).

**This recipe is suitable for dairy-free and lactose-free diets, but as with any recipe intended for persons with allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to read all nutritional labels carefully to make sure that there are no hiddendairy-derived ingredients (or other allergenic ingredients, if these apply to you).

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Better than the average butter-based cake!, Member lobo1101

I bake. A lot. I'm also married to a chef, and so have access to all his cooking and baking books, as well as access to his wisdom and helpful hints. I've recently been forced down the path of dairy and soy free eating, because of our infant son with allergies to these items. I've been jonesing for chocolate cake, and found this recipe online. I've never made a cake this tasty. I generally have problems/bad luck with cakes, either over-mixing or over-baking. They usually turn out a little dry and/or tough with a bad crumb. This recipe (other than the hit to the wallet from shopping at Whole Foods) is relatively painless to make, and is just plain amazing. Great texture, great crumb, great flavor. I did use chocolate rice milk to boost the chocolate flavor, and cut out the last 1/2 cup of sugar to balance out that substitution. I even over-baked it by a few minutes when my son's bath went longer than normal, but it still is moist and springy. I need to find a better icing recipe, but I will definitely make this cake again, and will probably keep making it even after I'm done nursing my son and can return to foods with butter. It's that good.

13 out of 14 people found this helpful.

See all 7 reviews

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