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 before 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....nobody 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, 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, 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!
- 1½ 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)
- ½ cup potato starch, not potato flour (80 g)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (35 g)
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder (8 g)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (4 g)
- optional: 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso (I useIlly brand, this makes the chocolate richer)
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (210 mL)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened pumpkin puree (92 g)
- ½ cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- ¼ 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
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/16th teaspoon peppermint extract
- ⅛ 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 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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! 🙂