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Easy Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake

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Those who are gluten-free understand the struggle of having to forgo most desserts. Almost all baked goods contain wheat flour, and wheat does not agree with many people’s stomachs. Imagine seeing a decadent cake on a dessert table and not being able to enjoy it with your friends.

Now imagine you have just learned that decadent cake is gluten-free! Delicious gluten-free cakes are possible, and this Easy Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Coffee Cake with Espresso Frosting proves that. It is a tender, melt-in-your-mouth cake that is super chocolatey and has intense flavors of coffee in both the cake and the frosting.


Navigating gluten-free flours can be tricky. There are tons of options out there, and each of them has its pros and cons. For traditional baking, it’s best to use a flour mix that is a 1:1 ratio between the gluten-free flour and wheat flour. This means that you can substitute for gluten-free flour in any wheat flour recipe with the same measurement and the recipe will come out perfectly.

Although the flour used in this recipe is gluten-free you can still overwork the batter. An overworked batter equals a tough cake, so be delicate when swift when mixing the ingredients. You can use either a hand mixer, a stand mixer, or mix it by hand using a whisk or spatula.

This intensely chocolatey cake not only has coffee in the cake but is topped with a homemade Espresso Frosting! It is made simply with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and instant espresso powder. The frosting takes on a light latte color and is topped with chocolate-covered espresso beans for decoration.

How to Make It

  • Prep Time20 min
  • Cook Time40 min
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Serving Size16
  • Energy490 cal


For the Espresso Frosting:



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.


In a large bowl, sift the sugar, gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Make sure there are no lumps in the dry ingredients.


In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, being extra careful to not overmix the batter. Once it has just come together, pour in the hot coffee and whisk until just combined. Be careful, the mixture is hot!


Pour the batter evenly between the two cake tins. Bake 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven until a cake tester comes out completely clean.


Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to rest for 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.


Once the cakes are cooled, make the frosting. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until they are light and fluffy. Add the espresso and vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is incorporated, then add in the powdered sugar in stages. Once mixed, the cake is ready to frost.


Set your bottom cake layer on a plate and frost the top with ¼-inch of frosting. Place the top cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top layer and add big spoonfuls of frosting to push over the sides and frost all around the cake. Smooth over with a clean knife. Decorate the top with chocolate-covered espresso beans.


Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size16
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories490
  • % Daily Value*Standard DV
  • Total Fat20.3 g78 g26.03%
  • Saturated Fat7.2 g20 g36%
  • Cholesterol60.2 mg300 mg20.07%
  • Sodium490 mg2300 mg21.3%
  • Total Carbohydrate81.9 g275 g29.78%
  • Dietary Fiber0.4 g28 g1.43%
  • Total Sugars61.6 g
  • Protein6.1 g50 g12.2%
  • Calcium129 mg1300 mg9.92%
  • Iron4 mg18 mg22.22%
  • Potassium42 mg4700 mg0.89%
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