Gluten Free Chocolate Strawberry Cake

This chocolate cake with sweet strawberry buttercream frosting is the easiest and tastiest recipe you’ll make for a long time. This cake is so light and fluffy and topped with cute little red hearts. This cake is perfect to make for everyone you love on Valentines day or literally whenever you want cake. No one will even believe that the entire cake is gluten free and dairy free too, trust me.

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Your new favorite chocolate cake

I love this cake. No really, like looooove this cake. I’m literally so freaking proud of this cake and when you know I don’t want to share what I’ve made with the rest of my usual taste testers, you know it was just that good. I suggest running to the kitchen to make this cake right now… You might not want to let anyone know you’re making it though so you can keep them all for yourself 🙂

It has been my personal mission to make a cake that does not taste “healthified” in any way possible and I created that with this chocolate cake. This cake was so incredible and tasty that my family has declared it “the best thing I’ve made since starting my blog.” I would call that a success. I have a very picky family, so you know it’s real.

The best part? This cake requires just a handful of base ingredients and you probably already have them all on hand or you can easily find them at your local grocery store. Oh and this cake is on the healthier side made with simple, whole ingredients. Double win. Enjoy this amazing chocolate cake topped with vegan strawberry buttercream frosting and cute hearts too!

What to expect in this decadent chocolate cake

Gluten Free
Gluten Free

This recipe is made with all gluten free ingredients so it’s celiac safe. We opted for an almond flour base.

Dairy Free
Dairy Free

No dairy was used in the making of this recipe, just make sure you use dairy free products like almond milk.

Vegan
Vegan

Only the frosting is totally vegan. The cake requires eggs in the recipe and has not been tested with a vegan option.

Ingredients needed for baking

Chocolate cake is an easy recipe topped with an even simpler, few- ingredient frosting. Most of these items are probably already in your pantry, especially if you have a big sweet tooth or love to bake!

Made into a delicious 3-tiered cake, I love to leave this cake covered on my counter for easy access. Whenever I’m craving chocolate or need a little boost of sweetness, this amazing dessert does the trick! I love having this sweet treat right there on my counter, ready to enjoy.

Here’s everything you’ll need to make your delicious healthier dessert:

  • Almond Flour
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Almond Milk
  • Avocado Oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Baking Soda
  • Sea Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Strawberries (for the layers)

For the frosting

You can use any frosting recipe that you want! You can purchase a pre-made strawberry frosting to make your baking process even easier or google easy vegan frosting. I am no frosting expert, but below you can check out how I made my easy, vegan frosting. Please note that I would not qualify this frosting as “healthier.” I added lots of powdered sugar to create a sweet, creamy frosting that pairs perfectly with this cake.

Here’s what you need to make my vegan version:

  • 1 cup softened vegan butter
  • 4 oz dairy free cream cheese
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • dash of almond milk (may not be needed)

In a large bowl, cream together your softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Add the freeze dried strawberries at the end and continue to whip until only small pieces remain. I used my hand mixer, but if you have a stand mixer, use that! If you find that the consistency is too thick to spread, add a dash of almond milk and continue to mix until you reach desired consistency!

Kitchen tools needed to make chocolate cake

You only need a few kitchen items to start baking this cake! I love how simple this recipe is in both ingredients and kitchen tools. Little fuss and little mess is all I can ask for when I step foot in the kitchen. Can’t wait for you guys to test out this cake.

  • Parchment Paper
  • Small, Round Cake Tin
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Mixing Utensil
  • Large Knife (to cut cake into layers)

You will also need a few measuring cups to get baking: 1/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup!

How to make chocolate cake

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining your circular cake tin with parchment paper. I cut out a circle for the base and oiled the sides with a little avo oil to prevent sticking.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients. These include: eggs, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, almond milk, and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients well and be sure to break apart any clumps.

Then, add in your dry ingredient into the same bowl. Mix in the almond flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Be sure to mix until any and all clumps are removed.

Pour the cake batter into your lined cake dish and smooth out the top. Bake at 350 for about 50 to 60 minutes. TIP: poke a toothpick into the center, if it comes out clean, your cake if fully baked

While the cake is baking, prepare your frosting or be sure your store bought frosting is ready to go! If you want to use my vegan frosting recipe, do as follows: In a large bowl, cream together your softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Add the freeze dried strawberries at the end and continue to whip until only small pieces remain. I used my hand mixer, but if you have a stand mixer, use that! If you find that the consistency is too thick to spread, add a dash of almond milk and continue to mix until you reach desired consistency!

Slice your strawberries! Simply remove the green and cut in half down the center.

Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and let cool completely. It is super important that your cake is cool before cutting or frosting! If it’s not, the cake could break while cutting or the frosting could melt when placed on top.

Once cool, cut your cake into thirds or even half if you prefer! I just used a knife and cut as evenly as I could, or you can use toothpicks and floss to create smooth, even layers.

Spread a thick layer of frosting on each layer and press on a few strawberry slices to cover each layer. Once the layers are stacked, add the rest of your frosting on top of the cake. I used a spatula to spread a thin layer on the sides for a cool effect (see image below). Once frosted, let set in the fridge!

A healthier cake recipe

Every single ingredient used to make healthy chocolate cake was hand selected to create the healthiest dessert possible while still keeping the best cake flavor and texture. Together, these ingredients create a flavor that is unmatched!

Almond flour: I often use almond flour in place of white flour to create a gluten free recipe. Almond flour is packed full of nutrients including healthy fats and even protein. 

Maple syrup: By now, you’ve probably seen me mention maple syrup once or twice or a million times. It’s just the best all-natural sweetener I’ve ever tried! It tastes delicious and doesn’t include nearly as much sugar as processed white sugar.

Applesauce: Applesauce is my favorite oil replacement. It adds a natural sweetener to your baking and gives an amazing texture to this cake.

Sea salt: Finally, my last healthy swap comes with the salt! Though sea salt and table salt contain similar amounts of sodium, table salt is highly processed and therefore void of most nutrients. Sea salt is the ideal option!

Chocolate cake recipe ingredient swaps

If you find yourself wanting to mix and match the ingredients in this recipe, you may be interested in these ideas!

  • Tapioca Starch: If you don’t have or can’t find tapioca starch, you can use arrowroot flour.
  • Maple syrup: If you don’t like or have maple syrup, you can use molasses or honey in its place.

Gluten Free Chocolate Strawberry Cake

This chocolate cake with sweet strawberry buttercream frosting is the easiest and tastiest recipe you’ll make for a long time. This cake is so light and fluffy and topped with cute little red hearts. This cake is perfect to make for everyone you love on Valentines day or literally whenever you want cake. No one will even believe that the entire cake is gluten free and dairy free too, trust me.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
  

For the Cake

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (for in between the layers)

For the Frosting

  • 4 oz dairy free cream cheese
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining your circular cake tin with parchment paper. I cut out a circle for the base and oiled the sides with a little avo oil to prevent sticking.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients. These include: eggs, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, almond milk, and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients well and be sure to break apart any clumps.
  • Then, add in your dry ingredient into the same bowl. Mix in the almond flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Be sure to mix until any and all clumps are removed.
  • Pour the cake batter into your lined cake dish and smooth out the top. Bake at 350 for about 50 to 60 minutes. TIP: poke a toothpick into the center, if it comes out clean, your cake if fully baked.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare your frosting or be sure your store bought frosting is ready to go! If you want to use my vegan frosting recipe, do as follows: In a large bowl, cream together your softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Add the freeze dried strawberries at the end and continue to whip until only small pieces remain. I used my hand mixer, but if you have a stand mixer, use that! If you find that the consistency is too thick to spread, add a dash of almond milk and continue to mix until you reach desired consistency!
  • Slice your strawberries! Simply remove the green and cut in half down the center.
  • Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and let cool completely. It is super important that your cake is cool before cutting or frosting! If it’s not, the cake could break while cutting or the frosting could melt when placed on top.
  • Once cool, cut your cake into thirds or even half if you prefer! I just used a knife and cut as evenly as I could, or you can use toothpicks and floss to create smooth, even layers.
  • Spread a thick layer of frosting on each layer and press on a few strawberry slices to cover each layer. Once the layers are stacked, add the rest of your frosting on top of the cake. I used a spatula to spread a thin layer on the sides for a cool effect (see image below). Once frosted, let set in the fridge!
Keyword cake, dairy free, frosting, gluten free, pink, strawberry