Gluten-Free Mexican Chocolate Cake (Vegan + Fabulous!)

Mexican Chocolate Cake Recipe
When vegans come to call, serve this rich and dairy-free 
Mexican chocolate cake. You'll score serious points.

Serious alchemy is afoot in the humble guise of a vegan chocolate cake recipe. You know what I'm talkin' about- those of you out there with me in spirit, baking your tender little hearts out, hoping to conjure edible bites of bliss without gluten, dairy and eggs. It ain't easy. In fact, I'd venture to say that to keep at this thing- this GF/CF and allergy-free baking thing- without losing your ever fragile sanity (never mind your sense of humor) is a heroic act.

Pure and simple.

To perseverate in the serpentine quest for good (if not fabulous) taste for your food sensitive lover, your vegan sweetheart, your celiac or sensory sensitive angels, for trying again and again to whip up smile inducing foods of love, birthday cakes, and holiday cookies that don't taste like you're licking yesterday's pizza box, I salute you. You (as they say in the parlance of our time) rock. You inspire me. You invigorate me.

And for that, Dear and Gracious Reader, I thank you.

In return I offer you a vegan chocolate cake you can bake without apology or caveat.

And you can eat it, too.

Mexican Chocolate Cake
Vegan chocolate cake with a hint of cinnamon.

Mexican Chocolate Cake Recipe

The list of ingredients may seem a little odd to the uninitiated, but don't be alarmed, Gentle Cook. It's all about chemistry. And finding deliciousness in the face of limitations. Kind of like painting with a limited palette. With only a few colors to choose from you dig deep. Creativity is not for the faint of heart.

The sweet potato in this cake brings a silky tenderness to the crumb (and no, you don't really taste it- the chocolate, vanilla, coffee and cinnamon flavors dominate).

Using your food processor makes this as easy as uno, dos, tres. I use this Cuisinart.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and dust a 9-inch cake pan or Springform pan with gluten-free flour.

Measure your dry ingredients into the food processor bowl (use standard blade).


1 cup buckwheat flour- or a mix of buckwheat, sorghum and brown rice flour
3 tablespoons tapioca starch (or arrowroot, or potato starch)
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Scant 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder (decaf is fine)

Pulse on and off to distribute.

Add in the wet ingredients:

1/2 cup white sweet potato puree or canned pumpkin
4 oz. melted Belgian dark chocolate
2 tablespoons Spectrum Organic Shortening
1/2 cup honey- or use raw agave nectar to keep it strictly vegan
3/4 cup chocolate hemp milk- or non-dairy chocolate milk of choice
2 teaspoons lemon or orange juice
3 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract

Cover and process the ingredients until a smooth batter forms.


Scrape and spoon the batter into the cake pan. Bake in the center of a preheated oven till firm- about 30 to 35 minutes. Please keep an eye on the cake and check it for doneness- I bake at high altitude; your mileage may vary.

Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill.

Slice and serve with organic powdered sugar, fruit or chocolate sauce.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Karina's Notes*

This isn't a super sweet cake- though I used unsweetened Belgian baking chocolate from Trader Joe's. If you prefer a sweeter cake, use sweetened dark chocolate and up the sugar a bit, to taste.

This recipe pairs chocolate, cinnamon, coffee and vanilla for a Mexican chocolate taste. If you'd rather go a more straight-up-chocolate route, eliminate the cinnamon.

Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day. 



Amy Sherman said...

I'm beginning to think you should write a chocolate cookbook! So many amazing things you have managed to bake...

Steph said...

You are a genius! I am so intruiged by the addition of sweet potatoes to this recipe! I tried to make a similar recipe a few months ago, and it flopped. But now I have my spectrum, and your awesome recipe! I'm ready to try round 2!
Here's a great topping/side to go with this cake - mexican chocolate bark:
(I'm making this bark for all my friends and family for the holidays. It totally rocks!)

Thanks for yet another incredible recipe!

Nirvana said...

Looks soooooooo good!!!!! Seriously, I'm loving all the chocolate recipes, keep them coming :)

Rach said...

That sounds super-fantastic! You are amazing!

lol - I have to admit then when I read this: "....don't taste like you're licking yesterday's pizza box..." I thought to myself, "If I hadn't just had the BEST gluten-free pizza that I have ever had, licking yesterday's pizza box would have actually sounded good!" :D

~M said...

YUM! I once baked a flourless chocolate cake with mashed sweet potato for a pareve passover dessert but it was bland - so the spices will be perfect. I could also imagine subbing the sweet potatoes with pureed chestnuts.

What are your thoughts on using balsamic vinegar as the vinegar? Balsamic goes well with chocolate, but I'm not sure as to its chemistry with the other spices and flavors.

I bet this recipe would be awesome with Mexican vanilla. And I may have to bite the bullet and get some Ener-G egg replacer and Spectrum shortening for this recipe. :)

VeggieGirl said...

EPITOME of perfection.

Kathleen said...

This is awesome! I would like to one day open up a bakery one day that is dedicated to these kind of food sensitivities, any suggestions? And do you have a bread recipe that has egg replacer instead of eggs?

glutenfreeforgood said...

You are an absolute GF/DF doll. This looks wonderful. Have you ever added a touch of cayenne to the mix? I might have to try that one of these days, but I'll start with your recipe first.

And you inspire me. You are the one who rocks, girl! Happy holidays, Karina!


Emma said...

Can you taste the sweet potato? Could you substitute applesauce, do you think?

Valadev said...

Karina, this cake is incredible, made it last night!! I think it is the best chocolate cake I have ever had. I am not celiac, but my 10yo is, with recipes like this I would quite happily go GF too!!!!

I ran low on buckwheat but a mix of buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum and white rice flour worked a treat.

Thank you for all your great recipes!!!!!!!

Karina Allrich said...

Amy- You're the best. xox

Steph- Sweet potatoes add so much to the texture- especially when you're baking without eggs and dairy.

Nirvana- Don't worry. Chocolate and me = a forever kind of love.

Rach- Lucky dog! I need to make a gluten-free pizza. Soon.

~M- If you can do eggs- eggs would be fab in this. Balsamic? I'm not sure. You don't really taste the vinegar or the sweet potato in this cake; it's very Mexican chocolaty- with cinnamon and coffee and vanilla... If you try it- report back, please!

VeggieGirl- Aw. Muchas gracias!

Kathleen- Suggestions for opening a bakery? Hire me as a consultant.

Melissa- I haven't because chili pepper/cayenne don't agree with me; but if you like *heat* in your chocolate- and you try it- please stop back and share!

Emma- No- with the recipe I created here I do not taste the sweet potato- no one would ever know. As for applesauce in a chocolate cake, I personally am not a fan. But if you like that combo... give it a try. I think the cake texture will be different, though.

Valadev- Oh yay! Actually, I was just saying to Steve that I'd try a mix of flours next time. Thanks for your note on your flour combo- I will add it as a note into the recipe. :)


Marnie said...

you are my hero.

i was joking with the chef of our (excellent) neighbourhood restaurant about trying to bake a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake, and both of us said at the same time "so, chocolate and...air?" ;-)
This sounds sooooo much better than chocolate and air.

p.s. thanks for making my transition to gf (i'm vegan) so much less painful than it could have been....

babystace said...

I think I'm going to thank God for you when I go to bed tonight. Just look at that cake!

Furthermore, I went veggie a few months ago, then went vegan a few weeks ago and I'm going to be learning the GFCF diet for my daughter. It's a lot to take in all at once. On a serious note, I'm so glad that you made this site.

Vegetation said...

Sounds and looks absolutely heavenly!

Barbara said...

This sounds so good. Does the choclate have any dairy in it? I have not found many that are dairy free. Enjoy Life has very good GF and dairy free chocolate chips. Would that work? Really want to try this. You are the best....

Karina Allrich said...

Marnie- Exactly- chocolate and air? I'm also working on a recipe with even less "flour". Stay tuned.

Babystace- Yes- it *is* a lot to tackle. Hang in there. We're here. ;)

Vegetation- Aw- thanks!

Barbara- I am strictly GF/CF and soy-free as well, so no, the Trader Joe's Unsweetened Belgian Chocolate I use has no dairy.

That said- I don't see why you couldn't use the Enjoy Life chips- or their Boom Boom bars. I might use a little extra, though, to keep the chocolate taste intense.


Carrie said...

My dear karina -- HOW did you know that I needed a gluten free, casein free, egg free, and nut free dessert for a reader of my blog? I had no idea where to start! I did come up with a carrot spice cake, but OH this looks SO much better!! And you are so advanced in allergen free baking! Thank you SO much for sharing this today! My reader will be very pleased!! You're the best!

Barbara said...

Made this last night. I was in need of holiday chocolate and this was going to be my new food adventure. It is great! Easy to make, (it actually looks as good as yours) not killer sweet and a big hit. This is a great recipe filled with yummm.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I'm making this for our dessert with our (belated) holiday celebration with my husband's parents later this week, and I'm so excited!

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Made the cake last night. I used sweetened 71% dark chocolate and had to use sweetened sweet potatoes since that's all I could find late at night when I realized we hadn't bought the organic sweet potato mash. Anyway, the cake was very tasty. I added dried orange peel and a bit of orange extract. I want to play around with making a more dense version of it, as well. We served it with a choice of cappucino coconut milk ice cream and an orange sauce. Both paired with it nicely.

Thanks for another tasty one, Karina. :)

Karina Allrich said...

Carrie- I'm happy to please.

Barbara- Yay- so glad. It's not *too* sweet, you're right.

Sally- Glad it turned out- and the chocolate-orange combo sounds brilliant!

Happy + Healthy New Year, all!


Melinda said...

Thank you for this recipe. I am searching for a birthday cake recipe for my almost 2 year old son who is allergic to just about everything. His favorite food is sweet I am thrilled to find this recipe that incorporates his favorite food into a yummy chocolate cake. Thank you for the amazing help you give to me!!!

Karina Allrich said...

Melinda- I'm glad! I have quite a few recipes featuring sweet potatoes- from savory shoestring fries to enchiladas, to a coffee cake. You might find you need to add a bit more sweetener to this cake for it to be kid-friendly- unless your child is used to a little less sugar. Let me know how it works for you. You'd need to double this recipe for a layer cake.


j.cro said...

Hi Karina!
I've made this cake three times, most recently yesterday (Sunday) to take to a dinner party. Everyone at the party LOVED it, including my husband, who is a very selective eater. Thankfully he was already eating it when he learned I used pureed sweet potatoes. He laughed.

I had to use a mix of flours, since I only had a half cup of buckwheat - so like you suggested, I also used brown rice and sorghum.

I tweaked the spices - using not only cinnamon, but also cayenne, ginger and cumin - I also used lemon juice this time instead of OJ and I left out the coffee, for my dearest won't go near the cake otherwise.

Thanks so much for working this out so the rest of us don't have to. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.


gram11 said...

I am gluten free living in Copenhagen, and it is often challenging to find ingredients I need--but most of the time, it works!! Thank you!!
I love chocolate, and had missed it so!! This cake was soooooooooo good. I did use the eggs which required a longer baking time, but cake was still very moist. Thank you for always giving us the various options!! It was great with a raspberry sauce!

cv said...

Karina, I nearly burst into tears when I saw that this vegan, gluten-free cake actually ROSE!!! It was a first for me. Thank you so much for your awesome recipes. You're a genius!

AJK said...

This is an EXCELLENT cake! We LOVED it! My son is allergic to gluten, eggs and dairy so this cake was perfect. We have made countless other chocolate cakes, but this surpasses all the rest in texture and flavor by far! The adults loved it more than the kids, since it was less sweet, but who cares! It was really awesome! You are a genius and thank you so much for sharing your love of cooking/baking and your concern for those with gluten and other allergies!

Alyson said...

This looks fabulous - I want to make it as the base of my bf's ice cream cake (with homemade coconut milk ice cream, caramel sauce and chocolate frosting) next week. At the moment, canned sweet potato seems to be in short supply in my neighborhood... would canned pumpkin work texture-wise, do you think?

Katie said...

My boyfriend is coming in from France for the weekend and I just made this cake for his arrival! I licked the beaters clean...The only thing is I made my own sweet potato puree and there were a few strings in it, so I hope they won't be too noticeable! Thank you for providing me with delicious gluten-free/dairy-free recipes even a Frenchman enjoys!!

veronict said...

I made this last night and it was delicious. Karina, do you think the recipe would work as muffins?

Marcella said...

I'm so happy I found your blog and this recipe. My daughter is allergic to milk, egg and wheat and the thought of making a vegan gluten free cake makes me want to stab my eyes out. Your recipe sounds spectacular! I'm going to be making this, along with anther flavored cake for her first birthday. I can't wait!

m said...

hi karina! i've been trying to bake gluten free vegan FOREVER, and this is probably the first recipe that has turned out DELICIOUS from scratch! so thank you! i did have to make a few subsitutions because we weren't quite prepared with all of the ingredients (i made it on a whim), like i used only 3oz melted chocolate and added 1/4 cup cocoa powder... i had to use brown rice flour, teff flour, and garbanzo bean (mostly brown rice) instead of buckwheat), i did 1/2 the amount of agave and used applesauce to supplement. i think it was not as chocolatey as i would have liked, so i was thinking of adding some chocolate chips or something like dried cherries to give it a mint more sweetness next time. but thank you for the amazing recipe!

Anonymous said...

I made this yesterday for my birthday cake (hey, it's okay to make your own birthday cake, right?) and it is absolutely delicious. Great texture. But, it didn't fully rise. It didn't dome up. The oven temp was okay according to the thermometer and it passed the toothpick test for doneness. I turned it upside down on the serving plate so no one could tell, but it makes me wonder what happened. The only thing I changed in the recipe was leaving out the coffee.

mamatron said...

I realize this may be a bit off subject, but I searched around on your blog (and others) for gluten free/vegan sopapillas with no luck. I've been craving these honey-dipped delights for so long -- any suggestions?

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