The origin of this quick-and-easy, moist, dark, vegan chocolate cake goes back to World War II butter and egg rationing. For years at Moosewood, we’ve referred to it as Vegan Chocolate Cake, but the overwhelming opinion of our customers is that this cake isn’t just for vegans. It’s so popular that we have it on our menu every day. This new gluten-free version topped with chocolate ganache can be enjoyed by everyone. Yields one 9 x 13-inch cake or two 9-inch round cakes
Our Favorite Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Cooking and Prep: 1 h 10 m
- Serves: 12
Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a nine- by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or oil and dust with cocoa powder. Or spray or oil two round layer cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, spray or oil the paper, and dust with cocoa powder.
Mix together white and brown rice flours, potato starch, and tapioca starch. (See note for other flour options.)
In a medium bowl, stir together the cocoa, flour mixture, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add the vegetable oil, hot water or coffee, and vanilla, and using an electric mixer or a whisk, mix well until thick and smooth with no lumps. Add the vinegar and stir briefly, just until the batter is evenly colored. Without wasting any time, scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan(s).
Bake in a nine- by 13-inch pan for about 45 minutes; round cake pans for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the pan midway if your oven heats unevenly. When the top feels springy and the cake pulls away slightly from the sides, remove from the oven. Cool on a wire rack.
In place of the white and brown rice flours, potato starch, and tapioca starch you can use three cups of a commercial gluten-free flour mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill. If you want to use wheat flour, use three cups and omit the xanthan gum.
Make the Ganache
While the cake bakes, make the ganache: Place the chocolate chips in a blender and pour in the boiling water or coffee so the chocolate is just covered. Wait a couple of minutes and then blend until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into a wide, shallow pan or large plate and let cool to a spreadable consistency.
When the cake is cool, spread the chocolate over the top, or between the layers and on top for a layer cake.
Serving and Menu Suggestions
Our Favorite Chocolate Cake is our go-to dessert when some of the guests at a dinner party avoid gluten. It’s not a rich, heavy cake, but it is a wonderful chocolate indulgence after a light salad meal. Baked as a layer cake, it’s a perfect birthday cake with a dark glossy icing.
Recipe excerpted from The Moosewood Restaurant Table (St. Martin's Griffin, 2017). Reprinted with permission.