A Hug in Cake Form – Now Gluten-Free

I wrote about a favorite chocolate cake almost two years ago, during the early days of the pandemic. I called it “A Hug in Cake Form” and it remains my most-used chocolate cake recipe. I’ve been wanting to adapt it to gluten-free and finally did so last weekend. I had another recipe I was planning to post today but I switched up my schedule for this cake because it is so good, so needed, and truly like experiencing a wonderful hug while you eat it.

For the flours I did a mix of buckwheat, almond, and sweet white rice. I also reduced the sugar in the original recipe and swapped in coconut sugar and maple sugar. Olive oil and yogurt keep the cake fluffy and tender, but not delicate. (I do like a sturdy chocolate cake.) It’s frosted in a thin layer of chocolate buttercream that’s lightly sweetened with homemade coconut powdered sugar. Buckwheat flour is wonderful here, giving an unexpected flavor note, but if you don’t care for the taste of buckwheat, try substituting sorghum flour by weight.

Times continue to be a bit tough, cake and hugs are certainly welcome. Hope you get lots of both this weekend.

Til next time – N x

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Recipe by Nicole Spiridakis



I like to bake this in a tube pan but have also done it as a layer cake or as cupcakes; it will result in 2 9-inch layers or 24 cupcakes if you go that route. Again, if you have time to let the batter rest for about 30 minutes, please do so!


  • For cake
  • 3/4 cup/125 g buckwheat flour

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon/100 g sweet white rice flour

  • 1/4 cup/25 g almond flour

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar

  • 3/4 cup maple sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

  • 1 cup hot coffee

  • For frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (or 20 seconds in the microwave)

  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted

  • 1/4 cup homemade coconut powdered sugar

  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk


  • Cake
  • Note – if resting, preheat oven in the last 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a tube pan. Have a baking sheet ready.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the olive oil, vanilla, and maple syrup if using. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Then add the coffee and whisk lightly or stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Let batter rest for 30 minutes if possible.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place the pan on the baking sheet to catch any drips, place in the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven, place on a rack, cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then carefully turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.
  • Frosting
  • In a large bowl, whip the butter with a mixer until it is smooth and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and the powdered sugar and whip to combine, then add the milk (more if needed) to make a smooth, fluffy frosting. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting.
nicole spiridakis © copyright 2023