This easy to make gluten free chocolate cake might become your new favorite dessert because it’s fudgy, moist, rich, and so chocolaty! It’s a delicious vegan chocolate cake that is also perfect for birthdays! The recipe is not only gluten free but also plant-based (dairy-free, egg-free), refined sugar-free, oil-free, and quite healthy because it contains zucchini and sweet potato!
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Where do I begin? I think I just went to chocolate heaven after eating a slice of this delicious vegan chocolate cake. I am not kidding, this cake is so tasty even though it contains zucchini! The zucchini adds moisture, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Check out this article to read about the health benefits of zucchini.
Chocolate cakes have a bad reputation because normally they contain lots of sugar, eggs, and butter but not this one! Even though it’s a healthy chocolate cake, it tastes absolutely amazing. Also, would you guess that the creamy frosting contains sweet potatoes? I bet you wouldn’t! 😀
I love to bake but I actually never follow any recipes which I find online because most of them aren’t very healthy. A quick Google search for chocolate cake reveals lots of recipes that contain either butter or a cup of oil. I mean seriously, who wants to eat a cake with so much oil or butter?! Your arteries won’t be happy.
I do have some recipes which contain a few tablespoons of oil but sometimes, I try to completely skip the oil. Even though oil is plant-based it’s a refined food that contains 100% fat and no fiber at all. So whenever possible I rather consume the whole plant and not the oil.
For example, instead of avocado oil, I eat an avocado. Or instead of coconut oil, I eat coconut meat. Whole foods are always complete and contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. which makes them much healthier.
I am not saying that this gluten free chocolate cake is fat-free because it is not. Fat adds taste and a great texture to baked goods, furthermore, it’s important to eat a diet with healthy fats. However, you can get similar results with ground nuts or seeds (like almond flour, nut butter, etc).
How To Make A Gluten Free Chocolate Cake?
I promise that the recipe isn’t hard to follow. I also included step-by-step process shots for easy visual instructions. You can find the list of ingredients, measurements, nutrition facts, and instructions in the printable recipe below.
- Process the dry ingredients in a blender, then transfer them to a mixing bowl.
- Add wet ingredients and stir with a whisk or hand mixer.
- Grate the zucchini.
- Add the zucchini to the chocolate batter and stir with a spoon.
- Transfer the batter to a lined and greased springform or use two pans (read the thorough instructions below in the recipe card).
- Bake in the oven.
- Make the sweet potato frosting in a food processor or blender.
- Frost the cake.
You can use a different frosting, maybe you want to keep it simple and just use a glaze, like the one in my Healthy No-Bake Brownies.
Like all my recipes, this chocolate cake is vegan and gluten-free. The recipe contains brown rice flour and no “complicated” flour blend. If you aren’t gluten-free though, you can try out regular flour. One reader reported in the comments that she made the cake successfully with all-purpose flour.
Other readers reported that the cake came out fine with white rice flour or with a store-bought gluten-free flour blend. You can make your own brown rice flour (from brown dry rice) in a good high-speed blender, however, store-bought flour is typically finer and less grainy.
I don’t recommend using coconut flour because it’s very absorbent and would dry out the cake.
The Perfect Birthday Cake
If you were looking for an allergy-friendly chocolate cake for a birthday, then look no further. This vegan and gluten free chocolate cake is a wonderful birthday cake because normally everyone loves chocolate, not only kids but also adults. A moist and rich chocolate cake was always my favorite birthday cake. I mean, you can never have enough chocolate in your life, right?! I hope you will give it a try and surprise your loved ones with this eggless chocolate cake for their birthdays.
Tips And Variations
- Make chocolate muffins: Pour the batter into a muffin pan and reduce the baking time by about 15-20 minutes. Make a toothpick test after 25 minutes.
- Add some flavor: You could add orange zest to make a chocolate orange cake! It’s a nice and refreshing twist!
- Add chocolate chips: If you love chocolate as much as I do, feel free to add dairy-free chocolate chips for a triple chocolate cake.
Sweet Potato Frosting
You can make this chocolate zucchini cake with or without frosting. However, if you make it without the frosting it will be a little boring. The frosting is actually so rich, tasty and creamy, so I definitely recommend it. Furthermore, the sweet potatoes make the frosting not only thick but also pretty healthy.
This delicious gluten free chocolate cake is so simple and every chocolate lover will enjoy it. If you try it out, please leave a comment and rating below and tag me with @elavegan on Instagram and/or Facebook. Don’t forget to use #elavegan as well, otherwise, I won’t see your post.
For more delicious vegan chocolate cake recipes, definitely visit the following blog posts:
- Vegan Lava Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Pie
- The Best Vegan Brownies
- Flourless Brownies
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Cheesecake Brownies
- Caramel Chocolate Brownies
- Vegan Zucchini Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Muffins
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake With Zucchini
Sweet potato frosting:
- 2 small (300 g) sweet potatoes cooked
- 1 cup (240 g) sunflower seed butter or nut butter of choice
- 1/3 cup (105 g) maple syrup or agave syrup
- 4 tbsp (24 g) cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1/8 to 1/2 cup (120 ml) plant-based milk canned (amount depends on consistency / read instructions)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- I recommend using a kitchen scale for this recipe. Check the step-by-step process shots above in the blog post.
- Process all dry ingredients in a food processor or blender for a couple of seconds. Transfer the dry ingredients to a big bowl.
- Whisk the coconut milk and agave syrup together in a bowl and pour it over the dry ingredients. Give the mixture a good stir (you can also use a hand mixer if you want).
- Grate the zucchini and add it to the batter. Stir with a spoon (don't use a blender or food processor).
- Grease a 7-inch or 8-inch springform with some oil or line it with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the springform and bake it in the oven at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 45 minutes (check the center of the cake with a toothpick after 40 minutes to see if it's cooked already).Note: If you have two 7-inch or 8-inch pans, then split the batter in half and pour it into each pan. This way you won't need to cut the cake in the middle. The baking time will be less if you use two pans.
- Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. Then carefully cut cake layers with a large knife or use dental floss (like I did).
- Process all ingredients for the frosting in your food processor or high-speed blender until you have a thick, fluffy and creamy frosting. If you use white sweet potatoes (which are very starchy) you will need more plant-based milk (I used 1/2 cup but you might need even more). If you use orange sweet potatoes 1/4 cup plant-based milk should be enough.
- Frost the cake and enjoy! Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- The recipe was originally posted in October 2017 and the blog post has been updated in March 2020 with new step-by-step photos and helpful information.
- One reader reported that she made the cake successfully with all-purpose flour.
- You can use any granulated sweetener of choice, for example, cane sugar, date sugar, etc.
- You can use 66 grams of ground nuts or seeds of choice instead of shredded unsweetened coconut.
- I recommend using canned coconut milk, however, you can also use different plant-based milk with the addition of 3 tablespoons of oil.
- The Nutrition Facts are for one slice if you cut the cake into 12 slices. Calculation includes the frosting! Without the frosting, the cake has approximately 213 kcal and 6.8 grams fat per slice.
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