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Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe – this cake is incredibly moist, with a rich chocolatey taste and a lovely drizzle of chocolate icing poured on top. Completely Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free, but nobody would ever know!

Gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe, anyone? Sometimes you just need a super simple recipe that’s easy to throw together in one bowl, yet tastes like pure heaven. And this is definitely it!

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)


In case you were wondering why this recipe suddenly looked a little different, then first of all… well done for noticing!

A year on from when I posted this recipe back during the first lockdown in England, I thought it deserved a few new photos. Especially as this humble cake most definitely helped me through may days and weeks spent stuck at home.

The only difference is that I decided to finish it with some colourful gluten-free sprinkles instead of flaked almonds. With a colourful makeover, I now feel like this cake truly represents all the joy it brought me during an otherwise scary and uncertain time!

Of course, you’re still welcome to finish it however you wish. Here’s a few reasons you need to make this if you weren’t convinced already…

Why make my gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe?

  • It’s a SUPER moist and chocolatey sponge cake, topped with an indulgent, thick, sweet chocolate icing, topped with colourful sprinkles. What more could you want?
  • Best of all, you’d never know it was gluten-free by tasting it or looking at it – it’s super soft and NOT crumbly or dry at all.
  • Loaf cakes are incredibly easy to make – there’s no need to construct it once cooled. Just bake it, allow to cool and top it!
  • This cake is super easy to make dairy-free, if you need it to be. Not that anybody would notice the difference!
  • You can easily make this recipe using one bowl – just give it a quick wash in between mixing up the batter and the icing.

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

So what does my gluten-free chocolate loaf cake taste like?

Firstly, you’ve got a soft chocolatey sponge that you’d never know is gluten-free. The sponge is incredibly moist and also packed with tons of chunky chocolate chips in every bite too.

(and no, they don’t all sink to the bottom either!)

Then, it’s topped with a super simple homemade chocolate icing which pours on like smooth, velvety, chocolatey bliss. Of course, those colourful sprinkles add a lovely, sweet crunch to every bite too.

Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – keep scrolling if you’re looking for measurements and method 👇🏻

Gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe: What you’ll need…

  • Caster sugar: Of course, sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it helps to achieve a lovely crisp exterior and helps the cake to form a crumb.
  • Butter: Butter is king in cakes and buttercream, but make sure yours is softened before you mix up the cake batter. Leaving it out of the fridge for a couple of hours should do it.
  • Eggs: I used larges eggs for this recipe, though medium eggs should be fine too.
  • Gluten-free self-raising flour: I use Doves Farm’s FREEE flour, which you easily find down the free from aisle in supermarkets. If you can’t find a blend like this where you live, you can always make your own using my gluten-free flour recipe.
  • Gluten-free baking powder: Though there’s a little of this in gluten-free self-raising flour, a little goes a long way to ensure a nice, perfect rise.
  • Xanthan gum: This helps to bind the cake crumb together so it doesn’t become crumbly, replacing the gluten that would otherwise do the same job. This is particularly important in a cake that uses ground almonds!
  • Ground almonds: Believe it or not, this isn’t for taste – ground almonds ensure a super moist cake, every time. If you’re adverse to using ground almonds, feel free to substitute with more flour.
  • Cocoa powder: The easy, instant way to a wonderful chocolatey flavour.
  • Milk: All the best chocolate cakes start as a lovely, wet batter and milk is the best way to guarantee this.
  • Chocolate chips: Use either milk, dark or white – it’s up to you! You can always leave them out if you’d prefer too.
  • Icing sugar: You’ll need this for the buttercream as caster sugar won’t cut it whenever it comes to creating icing.
  • Dark chocolate: You’ll need to melt this into the buttercream – don’t worry though, it doesn’t taste like dark chocolate. The butter and icing sugar help to balance it out to a more, rich, indulgent flavour.
  • Gluten-free sprinkles: Any will do, as long as they’re gluten-free!

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling.

But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time making this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!

Gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?

It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!

Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:

Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).

Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.

Can I make your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe dairy free?

You certainly can, using the simple swaps below:

To make the cake dairy-free:

  • Use dairy-free margarine instead of butter (I use Stork hard margarine).
  • Use dairy-free milk instead of regular milk.
  • Use dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips, if using.
  • Ensure your cocoa powder is dairy-free.

To make the icing dairy-free:

  • Use dairy-free hard margarine instead of butter (I use Stork hard margarine).
  • Use dairy-free dark chocolate.

That’s it!

Can I make your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe vegan?

Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.

Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.

  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba, pre-whisked until frothy. Aquafaba is simply the water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
  • Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten-free.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce.

So use one of those egg replacement options and you’ve got a gluten-free AND vegan chocolate loaf cake! I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below.

Can I make this recipe low FODMAP?

Yep, just ensure you use lactose-free chocolate/chocolate chips and lactose-free milk. One slice is a safe serving size during the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

Can I make your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe in a food processor or standing mixer?

Of course you can – and it’ll save you on elbow grease! I don’t use a standing mixer or food processor to make the cake mixture personally – I use an electric hand whisk like this.

As this recipe doesn’t require longer periods of mixing, I find that an electric hand whisk is the quickest and easiest option.

Can I make your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe by hand?

You can of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned silicone spatula will do.

Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent and might not bake properly otherwise.

Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe?

Certainly not! You will need a good quality 2lb loaf tin though, so here’s a link to the one I use.

Can I bake this using the all-in-one method?

In case you didn’t already know, the all-in-one method involves bunging all your sponge ingredients into a bowl at once and mixing them together. That’s instead of adding them gradually.

As there’s more dry ingredients than with your average Victoria sponge-style cake, as well as milk too, I would always advise adding them gradually, instead of all at once.

Trust me, you’ll thank me when you cake comes out and it’s not a total disaster. So no, don’t use the all-in-one method for this one!

Does this recipe need xanthan gum?

You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten-free baking. And that’s exactly the case here.

Though gluten-free self-raising flour has a little in it anyway, adding a little extra doesn’t hurt – especially when we’ve got ground almonds in there AND when factoring in that this is quite a tall sponge.

So yes, if you can tolerate xanthan gum, please ensure that you use it!

Can I make this recipe using other gluten-free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?

There’s a big difference between ‘gluten-free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten-free flour. When I say ‘gluten-free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten-free flours, not just one, singular flour.

Most gluten-free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!

In gluten-free self-raising flour, there’s usually even a little baking powder and xanthan gum in it too which always helps. So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten-free flour blend.

Do I need weighing scales to bake your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe?

In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any of my recipes without them.

A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.

I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

How long can I keep your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe for?

I’ve kept my gluten-free chocolate loaf cake for 3-5 days in an air-tight container in the fridge with no problems.

If you need to keep it any longer than that, I’d highly recommend freezing it (see advice below for doing that).

When the sponge starts getting a little dry, it’s probably starting to get past its best.

Can I freeze your gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe?

Of course! I’ve frozen it for up to 2-3 months no problem. Ideally, slice up the cake first before freezing. Then, you can easily defrost a few slices at a time instead of the entire thing.

When you want to eat it, each slice should take around 3 hours to defrost at room temperature.

How can I tell when my gluten-free chocolate loaf cake is done?

Grab a skewer and give it a poke in the centre. If it comes out clean, then it’s done!

But if the skewer comes out moist and cake-like, it’s best to pop it back in for a bit longer.

Gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe Recipe: Method

Oh and here’s a printable version of my gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️ Feel free to leave your written reviews in the comments below this post.

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)
Yield: 12 slices

Gluten-free Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Gluten free chocolate loaf cake recipe! It's super moist, chocolatey and easy to make - you can make it just using one bowl!


For the cake

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g butter, softened (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • 3 eggs
  • 135g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 100ml milk (dairy free if necessary)
  • 65g chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)

For the icing

  • 45g butter (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • 60g dark chocolate, I use 54% dark (dairy free if necessary)
  • 80g icing sugar, sifted
  • boiling water (until you get to the right consistency)
  • gluten-free sprinkles


For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Cream together your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I use an electric hand mixer).
  3. Add in your eggs, flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, sifted cocoa powder, ground almonds and milk. Mix together until combined using your electric hand whisk.
  4. Fold in your chocolate chips carefully.
  5. Spoon the cake mixture into your tin. Ensure it's as even as possible. Place in the oven for about 50 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

For the icing:

  1. Wait until your cake has fully cooled before starting the icing. Either in a microwave or on the hob, melt together your butter and dark chocolate until smooth in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add in your sifted icing sugar carefully, mixing all the time so that no lumps form.
  3. The mixture might be a little thick so very gradually add in some boiling water until you get a smooth dripping consistency. You can have it as thick or thin as you like really. It should also have a nice shine to it.

To assemble:

  1. Drizzle the icing/glaze all over the cake, it will drip down the sides too if you have a similar consistency to me.
  2. Sprinkle on top some colourful gluten-free sprinkles.
  3. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 333mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 6g

Nutritional info is estimated and not always accurate.

Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free chocolate loaf cake recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!

Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!


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