Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cake (Oil-free)

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cake (Oil-free)

Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Peppermint Cake. This cake is full of rich chocolate flavor and peppermint and is vegan, dairy-free, oil-free and gluten-free. Topped with a rich chocolate peppermint glaze.

I'm so darn excited to share this recipe with you today! I have created the most delicious Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Peppermint Cake for you all to serve your family this year for Christmas. Can you believe you can make an entire vegan chocolate cake (with glaze) that is also gluten-free and oil-free, for just 8 ingredients? Yup, this entire cake, including the chocolate peppermint glaze, is just 8 ingredients (+ salt). There is the optional espresso powder for extra chocolatey richness, but not required to make the cake, and I know many don't use espresso.

Are you all ready for Christmas yet? For the first time ever, I'm done with all my Christmas shopping the week beforeΒ Christmas....that has never, ever happened. Ever. Haha. I'm usually the worst procrastinator. But this year I was determined to enjoy the season and not stress quite as much. I love the holidays, how pretty everything is, I love design and love to decorate, and it's SO much more fun to decorate and enjoy these things with a child. I love to have my daughter help me with the tree and everything. She has so much fun and to me, a childhood should be about making amazing special family memories and bonding.

So, back to this vegan chocolate cake....nobodyΒ will ever believe it is vegan, gluten-free or even oil-free, for that matter. And it is rich, moist and soooo chocolatey, with the perfect amount of peppermint flavor. I don't like to use too much peppermint, because to me, Β you can easily go from it having a nice minty flavor....to it tasting like toothpaste. Um, no thanks.

This is the most simple vegan gluten-free chocolate cake to make too. It's done in about 30 minutes! I love, love the challenge of creating baked goods with such simplicity. When I used to write and create non-vegan cakes in the past, there was always eggs to beat, sugar to cream and a mixer involved. Nope, not here. Easy peasy. We all need a classic vegan chocolate cake in our recipe collection too, well here it is!

Would you just look at that soft, fluffy, moist chocolatey texture? Even more shocking that there is not one drop of oil added to this cake. It's totally oil-free. Gluten-free chocolate cakes have a bad rap for being dense bricks. In fact, the one I've tried from Whole Foods was one of the worst cakes I've ever had in my life. Dry, bland and kind of a joke, really. But this baby is incredibly soft, light and super moist.

As if the chocolate cake itself wasn't enough, it is topped with an intensely-rich chocolate peppermint glaze, for the ultimate chocolate dessert. I don't ever eat candy, but since this is the holidays, I couldn't resist adding chopped up peppermint candies on top. This is also great for presentation for guests, because it immediately lets them know the flavor profile of the cake. They've been sitting in my pantry foreverrr,Β so hey, perfect time to top onto a chocolate cake, right?

Butttttt, if you just want a traditional, classic, rich chocolate cake and no peppermint, see my note to just swap out the peppermint extract for vanilla and voila, regular chocolate cake! You can make a regular vegan chocolate cake and top it with my Strawberry "Buttercream" Frosting....I mean, how delicious does this look??

You can even make cupcakes with this recipe. To really impress guests, you can make my Vegan Chocolate Espresso Truffle Frosting that is whipped and is just like a buttercream frosting, but with no added butter or oil. Yes. The frosting makes enough for a single layer cake too.

I really cannot wait to hear what you think of this Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Peppermint Cake! You can also make these into cupcakes if you like. Be sure to leave me feedback below after you make it, that is really all I ask in return for sharing these recipes I create in my kitchen for you all. Thank you! If you take a pic, I'd love to see it, share it on my Facebook page or Instagram and don't forget my tag on Instagram #thevegan8, so I don't miss it!

Not in the mood for chocolate cake? Then make my Dreamy Vanilla Vegan Gluten-Free Cake instead!

Serves 1 slice

Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cake

Yes, it IS possible to make a to-die-for chocolate cake for JUST 8 ingredients (+salt) that is also vegan, gluten-free and oil-free. This cake is rich, chocolatey, moist, soft, fluffy and perfectly sweetened with peppermint flavor. It is finalized with an intensely-rich chocolate peppermint glaze.

15 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (150 g, use a scale for accurate results, do not use regular almond meal (with the skins), it is not light enough and will not produce the same results)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch , not potato flour (80 g)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (35 g)
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder (8 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (4 g)
  • optional: 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso (I use Illy brand , this makes the chocolate richer)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (210 mL)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened pumpkin puree (92 g)
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (I found this to be just enough to not overpower the peppermint flavor, because there is peppermint in the glaze too)
  • Chocolate Peppermint Glaze
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/16th teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • optional: crushed peppermints for presentation purpose
  • Note: It is crucial to not sub these ingredients for best results. I cannot vouch for results if you change the recipe. It's necessary to use blanched almond flour because it is what makes the cake so moist and light. I don't recommend Bob's Red Mill blanched almond flour for this cake. It is never finely ground enough and there is always little bits of almond still left and it doesn't produce as light, fluffy results. If you must use it, make sure to grind it down a bit further in a vitamix. I highly recommend King Arthur Flour or Honeyville, Simple Truth brand from Kroger, or if you are in Texas, use the HEB brand, it's perfect and what I use for my cakes.
  • Note 2: This is the chocolate cake version of this amazing birthday cake ! To make this a regular chocolate, omit the peppermint extract and replace with 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Instructions

  1. Make sure your pan is ready before preparing the ingredients. You will need to line a 9 inch round metal pan with parchment on the bottom. I cut a round circle of paper for the bottom. The best way to make the perfect circle is to place the pan on the paper and draw a line around the edge of the pan. Lightly spray only along the inside sides of the pan and place the parchment paper circle down on the bottom. Add some cocoa powder to the inside sides and swirl the pan around over the sink, with the cocoa powder covering the spray well on the sides as your rotate the pan. Turn the pan over and tap hard the excess powder out. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make sure to weigh all your ingredients for accurate results. I can't stress the importance of this enough. Fluff your almond flour with a whisk first to break up any lumps, as it tends to lump in storage. To measure, scoop your cups into the dry ingredients, pat down well to make sure there are no gaps and then level off, or simply use the scale for accuracy, making sure your bowl is on the scale and zeroed out before adding the ingredients. Add the almond flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and espresso (if using) to a large bowl and whisk everything together really well until there are no lumps remaining. Really make sure it is smooth.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, add the syrup, pumpkin (make sure to level off), aquafaba and peppermint extract. Lightly beat the liquids with a handheld mixer just until smooth and slightly frothy. Pour over the dry ingredients and beat again until completely smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center (may have a few DRY crumbs, but shouldn't have wet batter), I removed mine at exactly 25 mins, but yours may take longer. Make sure it is cooked through. Let cool in the pan 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Then place your serving platter on top and flip it over, so the flat side is facing up. Cool completely before adding glaze or eating, as it will still be cooking through as it cools. To make these as cupcakes, they will make 12 tall cupcakes or 14 regular size. They should cook about the same time, just check for a clean toothpick or a few dry crumbs, not wet batter.
  5. For the chocolate peppermint glaze, simply whisk the ingredients until smooth and drizzle over the top. It will take a few minutes because of all the cocoa powder. Garnish with crushed peppermints for presentation, if desired. Keep cake stored in a sealed container to retain it's moisture, at room temperature. Cake is always best and the freshest the day made.

 

And a BIG congrats to Alicia who won the KitchenAid Food Processor! Thank you to everybody who entered and your continued support and making my recipes each day! πŸ™‚

73 Comments

  1. Oh my word that looks incredible. Chocolate and mint go together so well. I am sure this cake is out of this world amazing. Wow. If I have time I might make this for my family. What beautiful pictures and a beautiful cake.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thank you so much Christina! You are so incredibly kind, thank you for the compliments!

  2. This looks amazing! What are the amounts to replace the almond and potato flours with regular flour?

    • Also, is the chickpea juice necessary, or could it be subbed with a nut milk?

      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

        The chickpea juice is absolutely necessary. It is what holds the cake together and acts as the eggs, it will not work the same with milk unfortunately.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Megan! I have only written this recipe with the above listed flours, if you change them, it will completely alter the result and I unfortunately can’t give advice on other flours, since I haven’t tested any other versions. The almond flour, as I noted, is crucial since it gives a lot of the moisture to this cake since it is an oil-free cake.

  3. Wow, Brandi you it again! I could see ask myself when you are coming again with a new cake recipe and I’m so excited to see this new recipe. First, I love that used almond flour which adds the right nut flavor to the cake. What a fantastic idea to use aguafaba I have to admit never used it before, so I can only imagine how brilliant it works. Hmm, and that chocolate peppermint glaze I’m so intrigued with the peppermint extract. Your pictures are just festive, so beautiful and inviting, love the holiday setting.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thanks so much Florian! You are always too kind! So glad you love the photos! The aquafaba is just a fantastic ingredient, no other way to put it, I will never use flax again for the “egg”. Aquafaba is miles better and makes things lighter too, whereas flax makes things more gummy.

  4. It looks so good!

  5. Well I love the chocolate peppermint combo! In fact, I think it’s my favorite of the holiday season. Love how pretty the dark chocolate color is against the red and white peppermint!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I like it too, it’s not my favorite, anything would cinnamon or ginger would be, lol, but I still like it! Thank you! I like how it turned out too!

      • I’m with you on the cinnamon for sure…the ginger I can pass on except for a really good gingerbread. That I like! But up the cinnamon because I’m going in head first…MMMMMM

  6. Thank you, this is so inventive and looks delicious. Can’t wait to make it!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      So sweet of you Sherry, thank you so much! So glad you like it!

  7. A slice? I don’t think I’d be able to stop myself from consuming the whole thing at once!!! Chocolate and mint is my FAVORITE combination!! Question though…do you think this could be made with coconut flour and potato starch instead of the almond meal? I am just not a huge almond meal fan! Let me know! πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Kaila! No, unfortunately as I mentioned in the recipe, the almond flour is crucial to this recipe, it is the main ingredient. There is zero oil in this recipe, so the almond flour gives a lot of the moisture. Coconut flour performs very differently in baking and would turn this into a dry hockey puck, lol! If you are worried about it tasting like almonds, then don’t, it tastes nothing like nuts, just tastes like a rich chocolate cake. I served it to people who devoured it and had NO CLUE what was in it. The combo I use of almond flour and potato starch yields a very similar result as all-purpose flour, so give it a try!

  8. It is perfect! The drippy glaze, the sprinkles, that awesome fluffy texture, all just stunning! No one would want to eat the meal after seeing this…or maybe that’s just me, I would definitely go straight for cake πŸ˜‰ Lots of surprising ingredients hiding in here, but you definitely nailed the light fluffy texture. And I agree on vegan baking, so much easier in a lot of ways, plus little tweaks and additions of starches and different flours can make such a big difference. And I’m cracking up at the thought of toothpaste cake πŸ˜€ Props to you for getting all your christmas shopping done already, i’m definitely not there yet, but I hope you have lots of fun times with family this week <3

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wow, thank you so much Natalie! You are so sweet! I recreated this after my Dreamy Vanilla Cake and it took 4 trials to get it just right, but it’s soft, light, tender and really moist, so I’m super happy with it. It was a hit with my taste testers too! I would definitely say vegan baking is easy, but gluten-free is quite the challenge, and stressful, haha! Yes, glad to be done. I’m completely and utterly exhausted!

  9. A beautiful festive and CHOCOLATE cake! Yum! Peppermint isn’t my favorite flavor, but I do like it paired with chocolate. Love that espresso addition too…I would definitely add that in!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Jenn! Yes, super chocolatey! Peppermint is definitely best with chocolate for sure! πŸ™‚ Oh I agree, espresso is the most amazing thing for chocolate, but so many avoid it, so I definitely kept it optional πŸ˜‰

  10. So….I’m going to eat this for breakfast, mmk? πŸ˜‰ Christmas morning deserves choco/mint cake!!

  11. That looks “almost” too pretty to eat. Man, that’s amazing, and I can’t believe you kept it under 8 ingredients. Bravo!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thanks so much, challenge for sure, but I’m so happy with the result!

  12. Brandi!!! Marry me! I love peppermint combined with chocolate, it’s heavenly combination!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hahaha Hedi! Thanks girl!

  13. I’m loving this holiday cake! Peppermint and chocolate has been a favorite in our house this month, and i know we’d love to take a bite into this cake! Hopefully i’ll get a chance to make it after the holidays since we’re away! Awesome post before xmas Brandi! And Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Anjali! Merry Christmas!

  14. Oh, MY!!! I have been on such a peppermint-chocolate kick, so when I saw this email come through today, it got my attention. What a gorgeous cake!!! Looks so moist and delicious! Your pics are so festive and that must feel so good to have the Christmas shopping all done and just being able to enjoy the moment. This was my first year being way behind! Haha!! Still haven’t shipped gifts to the nieces and nephews…oops! But back to this cake. I’m loving the ingredient list and pretty much anything chocolate is a winner in my book. Happy Holidays, sweet friend! XOXO

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thanks so much my friend! So kind, thank you for the compliments on the photos! xoxo

  15. I will be making this over the weekend….yum….THANK YOU, BRANDI !

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay Carol! Be sure to come back and let me know how it turned out please!! Thank you!

  16. I am 100% completely totally in LOVE with all things chocolate and peppermint right now! this cake looks SO drool-worthy! I need it! I bet it was incredible!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      It was sooo darn delicious and a hit with everybody! Thank you so much Michele!

  17. You + Me in the kitchen….. FIREWORKS! ha ha!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Haha thanks girl!

  18. The batter is to die for. Just the right of peppermint.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      So glad to hear, thank you so much!!

  19. Wow that looks great. Those crumbled candy canes look so pretty on top of that rich chocolate glaze! I am not a candy fan either but I think I could quite happily eat a slice (or two) of this cake!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Mel!

  20. I love that this is oil-free and gluten-free – it’s perfect for a party!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much kathy!

  21. love the flavor combo

  22. Man, that looks delicious. For years my chickpea allergy was no big deal.. but the recent surge of recipes using them leaves me all excited (vegan, YES! gluten free, YES!), and then sad when I get to the chickpea part. Not to say people shouldn’t want to, because really, they are amazing and so healthy… and I hated finding out I was allergic. It’s just one more thing in a line of frustration when I’m already soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free…

    So thank you for sharing this cake, for all those who can eat it, and your dedication to the cause. I have enjoyed many of your recipes and wish you and yours a happy holiday season.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that Beth! The aquafaba helps so much to make it light and fluffy. You could try a flaxseed and water combo, but it will make the cake much more dense. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  23. I just have to tell you, that this was a big win for my gluten free M & D in-loves. I’ve made other “healthy” desserts that I enjoyed but not-so-much- for the others. Sooo I was told to keep this recipe πŸ˜‰ Definitely a repeat! I used coconut cream for icing with a touch of peppermint oil and maple syrup and crushed peppermints. πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! So happy to hear that Celeste! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback! That is always my goal with my recipes, I don’t want them to “taste” healthy and only please health-conscious eaters or vegans, but to please anybody! So, that feedback is wonderful to hear, thank you!

  24. So happy I made it and it was not hard at all! πŸ™‚ Did weight everything…

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yes, super easy and I know providing exact weight measurements make everything precise and easy, thank you Celeste!

  25. Oh Wow! This looks incredible! Pinning! and definitely trying this out πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Vanessa!

  26. Wow! Just made theVegan Double Chicolate Sunflower Brownies…FANTASTIC! My husband and I are new to the vegan way of life as we had to change our diet due to his recent heart attack. He cannot have any oil of any kind in anything so it makes it a little challenging to find good tasting recipes. My girlfriend introduced me to your sight and I now see light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you so much for your dedication in the kitchen and for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful! I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for the feedback!

  27. Blanched almond flour! Never heard of it , but it sounds really good. Looking at the texture, it’s difficult to believe that this cake is vegan!! Amazing stuff Brandi!! πŸ˜€

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      What?? You’ve never heard of blanched almond flour? Omg, it’s everywhere, haha. It’s just blanched almonds ground up. Thank you Howie!

  28. Gin

    I love peppermint and chocolate for the holidays! The cake looks delicious, and I love the sound of the chocolate drizzle too. Yum!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Gin!! So glad you like it!

  29. This sounds like the perfect holiday cake. I’d love it for Valentine’s Day as well. Thanks, Brandi!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Linda!

  30. Oh goodness, this cake looks great. Please tell me I can consider it dinner! πŸ˜‰

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Ummmmm, no comment, haha!

  31. This recipe came through at the most ideal time. The girls and I were deciding what to do for Christmas dessert. Only needing the peppermint extract, this recipe was the winner! This was one of the most easiest recipes to make. We did some major taste testing along the way, hoping we wouldn’t end up with a thin cake πŸ˜‰
    Definitely a must if you like chocolate cake, the peppermint is just the right flavoring not overpowering at all. The end result is a decadent moist, fluffy slice of goodness that will be enjoyed by your guests. OH, and the glaze to drizzle over!!! There seemed to be quite a bit that missed the cake and somehow ended up on my fingers πŸ˜‰
    We don’t keep any candy in our house and I was shocked the kids didn’t come home with any candy canes from school, so my daughter had a couple peppermint Joe Joe cookies from Trader Joe’s, we crumbled those on top of the cake and I did not use any salt or the espresso. This was a dessert that will be made again. THANK YOU!! Brandi for yet another fantastic recipe, you are a frequent guest in our kitchen πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so very much Tami, for such AMAZING feedback, it truly made my night to read this!! So funny to read it too!! Haha! So happy to hear my recipes are a frequent guest in your kitchen, I love hearing that, thank you again!

  32. Hey Brandi! I made your fantastic cake! It was just stunning & wonderful in yummy flavors in the mouth! xxx

    Happy 2016 filled with joy, culinary experiments & some really good food! πŸ™‚ xxx

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Sophie! That is wonderful to hear!

  33. Wow what a party in your mouth this cake is. Surprisingly this stayed moist for the 5 days we had it sitting on the counter in a Cake cover. It is all chocolate and that perfect kick of peppermint. If you area fan of these two, you will fall in love with this cake.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! So happy to hear that Estee! Yes, we let ours linger (so we didn’t gorge ourselves, lol) a few days and was amazed at how moist it stayed too! Thank you for the feedback!

  34. So delicious!!! One of our faves!!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy to hear that Angie, thank you for the feedback so much!

  35. Good flavor, but my family didn’t like the odd texture. I weighed everything. We aren’t used to gluten-free cakes. I used unsalted Sprouts brand for the aquafaba, if that might’ve made a difference.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Marlene! This tastes just like a regular cake to me and the many people who’ve made it who aren’t gluten-free, so I’m curious, what do you mean by odd texture? This has been such a hit with readers all above who’ve made it and my taste testers, so I just want to help you out if I can. Did you sub any ingredient?

      • Thanks for offering to help! I didn’t sub any ingredients. It wasn’t dry, wasn’t fudgy, wasn’t fluffy, and definitely not a traditional cake texture. Maybe mushy is a better adjective?? I didn’t use a mixer, just whisked it by hand vigorously…do you think that made the difference? I REALLY wanted to love this cake!

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          That’s so odd, I make it often and it’s light and fluffy and moist, not mushy at all. My only guess would be the almond flour, every brand is so different and I’ve had some where baked goods turn out mushy and not light, it’s such a finicky ingredient. Here is another one of my chocolate baked good recipes that have been huge hits with readers and the ingredients are a bit different and the texture is different, so you may prefer that more…I know we all have different tastes when it comes to textures sometimes πŸ™‚

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