gluten-free chocolate bundt cake

How can you not love someone whose name is Joy the Baker?

That’s what she is — Joy. Yes, her name is Joy, but I mean more than that. Joy Wilson is sunlight and goofiness, connected conversations, generosity and cookies, and a good amount of butter and sugar. I’ve been relishing her website for years. I bet you have been too.

Joy’s first cookbook, Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes, came out recently and I’ve been reveling in it as well. In fact, for the weeks of moving and unpacking and learning the new kitchen, I couldn’t bake much. Instead, I just flipped through Joy’s book and imagined what I would make. Buttermilk skillet cake with walnut praline topping? Chocolate bourbon spiked banana bread? Dark chocolate ganache tart with fresh berries and whipped cream? So many possibilities.

We’re mostly moved in now. There are still boxes in the garage, and this office needs organizing, but we feel like we’re home now. After years of dreaming of something like this, we have our baker’s rack in the dining room. It just makes me happy to see it.

Dear friends came over for dinner on Friday. Actually, I should write that differently: they came over bringing dinner. Tita spent two days making homemade tamales. She had a mess of spicy black beans too. The least we could do was make a salad. And cake.

After the tamales — so comforting and good — and the conversation, Tita and John were ready to push away from the table. “Wait,” I said. “The cake is cooled. Anyone want some?”

We sat together, forks working, in silence. “Shauna, this is REALLY good,” Tita said. Those two had to endure those first months of my experimenting before I started to bake some good gluten-free baked goods. Lately, I feel like I’ve really hit my stride. “I mean it. This is a great cake,” Tita said again.

Didn’t I tell you? Joy the Baker brings joy.

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE , adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes

As Joy wrote about this, “Coffee, cocoa, and sour cream are the magic ingredients in the cake. The result is a super-moist chocolate cake that tastes exactly what a cake mix cake would taste like if it didn’t taste so much like…cake mix.” 

Feel free to use 350 grams of any gluten-free flours that work for you here. However, I have to say, I think teff, sweet rice, and potato starch is a pretty magic combination here. It certainly brought us joy. Why not bake a cake today?

1 1/4 cups hot coffee (we use decaf for the kiddo)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
350 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar (we use organic cane sugar here)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil (we used canola here)

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 10″-bundt pan with a neutral-tasting vegetable oil. Flick some sweet rice flour onto the oiled surface, evenly.

Combining the dry ingredients. Whisk together the teff flour, sweet rice flour, and potato starch. Add the salt and baking soda and whisk all the dry ingredients together. Set aside.

Making the batter. Whisk together the hot coffee and cocoa powder until no lumps remain. Set aside.

Whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the sour cream and oil, stirring well.

Finishing the batter. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. If you’re  using a stand mixer here, let it run for awhile. Remember — you don’t have to worry about activating the gluten and thus making the cake tough! If you’re using a whisk and a bowl, use your biceps. Make sure the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the wet ingredients. You shouldn’t see any hint of flour.

Add the coffee-cocoa powder combination and stir, stir, stir until you have a smooth batter that is all one color.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Baking the cake. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top of the cake has an athletic jiggle to it, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Remove the cake pan from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes. Stop trying to steal a bite!

Carefully invert the bundt pan onto a wire rack and tap the bottom of the pan. The cake should slide out easily. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.


Makes 1 10-inch bundt cake


102 comments on “gluten-free chocolate bundt cake

  1. everton terrace

    Drat. I was excited at the thought of making a bundt cake but I do not like coffee. I suppose I could substitute but I don’t know what would work well. I do have friends (oh and a husband) who enjoy coffee flavor so perhaps I’ll do a good deed and try this one out for them 🙂
    Tamales sound great right now (and I haven’t had breakfast yet)

    1. Laura

      You will not taste the coffee it just makes the taste of the coffee bolder. A lot of chocolate has coffee in it. Can ‘t wait to try this one.

    2. Ken

      I also hate coffee with a passion. To me it’s equal to pouring motor oil in a recipe. I made this with tea instead of coffee. I also substituted chestnut flour for the teff flour (didn’t have any of that), yogurt for the sour cream, and it came out good. I only wish is wasn’t as crumbly. Still working on that!

      Thank you Shauna so much!

  2. Sami

    Hi Shauna, I printed out this recipe and baked it right after dinner and it´s just delicious! I used the rice, potato and chick pea flour as I don´t have teff.
    I think a lovely chocolate ganache would also go well on top.

    1. Erica

      See, this kind of genius? Speaking ganache onto this cake? This should be recognized with at least some sort of comment.

      1. Erica

        Ok, I made this with the ganache, and hot diggity dogg has it gone over well! Dinner guests, my neighbor best friend, and she took some to her dad, all of whom are following GF diets and all of whom are very happy.

        I was low on potato starch, so did a third of that, a third of arrowroot, and a third of tapioca starches. The cake baked up so tall and pretty and turned out of the pan just perfectly!

        The ganache I used was 4oz semi sweet chocolate chopped fine, 1 T light corn syrup, melted over med low heat, then 1/4 cup half and half whisked in until smooth.

        I may or may not have offered this cake with Bailey’s whipped cream as a garnish. Im just saying’. Full disclosure.

  3. Alexis

    i love the moistness and depth of flavor sour cream adds to baked goods! i haven’t made this one yet, but tracy shutterbean had a very similar recipe on her website recently, which was delicious. glad it came out well gluten free!

  4. Cynthia

    Cake sounds fantastic, might have to make it this weekend.
    The knife in the picture scares me though facing your little girl……

  5. Kelley

    Hi Shawna,

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time! Thanks so much for your wonderful work and dedication! I love that you’re GF, but eat “normal” foods – such a relief to not have GF tied in with “vegan” or “dairy free” or whatever else “free.”

    So, I almost bought Joy’s book, but am worried about all the flours. I’m intolerant to gluten, but still stay the hell away from it. Do you have a go-to flour substitution? I love to bake, but have to say that it’s been a struggle to adapt baked goods that I love to being GF.

    Thanks again!!!

    -Kelley in SF (p.s. I grew up in Seattle and went to the UW!)

    1. shauna

      Kelley, buy the book! Her recipes are wonderfully well-tested and easy to make. Converting is easy. You start with 140 grams of your favorite combination of gluten-free flours (we like our AP mix, which is based on 60% starches and 40% whole grains), and then you fiddle. Generally, gluten-free baking requires a little more liquid, maybe an extra egg, and some playing. Other than that, you’re golden.

  6. molly


    I mean, the chocolate bundt looks dreamy, and i should probably make one right now for my peeps, but priorities: Please. Dish. That rack.

    (PS: Welcome home. A cake well-earned.)

    1. shauna

      Molly! I know. I know! I almost didn’t want to leave on our trip because it arrived the day before. It’s okay. We’re home now. It’s still here.

      A carpenter friend of ours made it. If you’d like, I can put you in contact with him.

  7. Kathy C.

    Hi there, I just happened upon your blog while searching for info about Teff. I am a cake baker/decorator and wanting to offer some healthier options (organic/gluten free) to my well as my home!
    I am wondering if the 2 cups of sugar makes this an overly sweet cake? You say it tastes just like a “mix cake”..I’ve always thought mix cakes were too sweet, so can you give me thoughts on that? Or should I just go figure it out myself! LOL 🙂

    Kathy C.
    The Bluebird Bakery

    1. shauna

      Oh no, this doesn’t taste like a mix cake at all. I was worried it would be too sweet as well, but with all that coffee and dark chocolate, the sugar was just right.

  8. Nicole

    This looks delicious! I’ve been looking for a dessert to bring to a Gluten free dinner party, and i’m thinking this will fit the bill perfectly! my boyfriend is the only one who will be slightly disappointed. He dislikes chocolate (i almost fainted from shock when he told me that). One question, could this be made with vanilla yogurt instead? just wondering, but i’ll probably still buy the sour cream

    1. shauna

      Nicole, I’ve only made it with the sour cream. But play! I’d try thick yogurt at least.

  9. jas

    this looks delicious perfect for my bundt tin and I love Joy’s voice, you’re so right sunlight and cheekiness 🙂

  10. Gina

    Have had a major chocolate craving of late, so was ecstatic to see this post. Had ALMOST everything, so gave it a go. I’m also dairy free and didn’t have any dairy free sour cream, so subbed plain coconut yogurt (strained and mixed with 1 tsp of vinegar to “sour” it up some). The cake came out a little gummier than I’d hoped, so expect my sub wasn’t optimal. Flavor is great though and topped it with a dairy free ganache (1/4 c hot coconut milk over 1 c dairy free chocolate chips, stir until smooth) so my family is still devouring it! I’ll definitely get some dairy free sour cream when I try this next time.

    1. shauna

      Gina, it sounds good! I imagine the coconut yogurt wouldn’t be quite right. It’s the texture you want, more than the dairy. But keep trying!

  11. Julie

    Do you think the texture of this cake would suffer too much from switching out the sour cream for apple sauce (or maybe coconut milk yogurt). Fortunately, I can tolerate butter but no other form of dairy.

    1. shauna

      It wouldn’t be the same texture as well. But maybe you’ll like the texture you find! You have to make the cake you can eat.

  12. Jill S.

    I made the buttermilk skillet cake for my visiting niece last weekend, it was delicious! And I met Joy when her book tour came to New York, she was as lovely in person.

  13. Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom

    I just found your blog and am thrilled to see Joy the Baker’s new cookbook being featured. A double treat! Such a delicious book. I’m really enjoying your blog and I’m bookmarking it. You have a wonderful writing voice and an infectious joie de vivre! PS…I want chocolate bundt cake. Now. 😉

  14. Megan M

    Oh, it’s been a long week and the wind is howling outside and this cake is now sitting in the kitchen cooling and it smells like a big hug in here. I added some candied ginger because I had extra. Thanks for adapting and posting!

      1. Megan M

        It was lovely with the ginger! Next time I’ll be adding some dried sour cherries.
        This cake fed so many people and they had no idea it was gluten free. I feel so much more confident about trying recipes to share with others thanks to your site.

  15. gluten free gift

    I have always found that this pan shape (or any where there is a hole in the middle) makes for a more successful GF cake …. perhaps there is less surface that needs to rise. I’m all over this – and have a big event to celebrate including adults and kiddies – this should work great!! claudine

    1. shauna

      I love bundt cakes, gluten-free. This new pan of ours (by Nordicware) is particularly great.

  16. Kate

    WOW! That cake looks perfect. As an artist though lol I MUST protest- the knife is pointed outward and in the direction of your little one’s arm, was your photographer having an off day? Very much love though, keep up the good work 🙂

    1. shauna

      Oh Kate, I’m the photographer. It’s all in the moment around here. There’s no wrong way. As for Lucy, she’s fine. She’s been raised in the kitchen and has learned to respect sharp knives. Thanks for your concern but she’s good.

      1. Mary

        I’m so glad to hear about you teaching little bean about safety in the kitchen- especially as we know how involved she is! Just seeing that post makes me hear my little guy’s voice “this knife is sharp, Mama- it’s only for grownups” 🙂 I just picked up a smaller bundt pan so I may try what doesn’t fit into muffins.

  17. Joanna

    Hi there, I made this beautiful cake today, thank you for the recipe! One question — while cooling my cake shrunk a good inch or two, which was disappointing because it was so statuesque to start with. It still tasted great and wasn’t too heavy at all, just curious if there’s something I could do to prevent this the next time I make this. And yes, there will definitely be a next time!

    1. shauna

      Hm. There are a lot of things that could have happened. Is your oven temperature accurate? Did you start with room temperature eggs? Also, it does lose some height, naturally. That’s just part of the process.

  18. Merideth

    This sounded so perfect that I made sure to include sour cream on yesterday afternoon’s shopping list. And made a pot of coffee, decaf, special just for the baking. Thank you, and congratulations on your new home!

    1. Merideth

      And now it’s baked and absolutely delicious- used coconut oil instead of canola, but otherwise followed your recipe entirely. Who could miss gluten with this cake…

  19. Wendy

    I was really excited until I saw the coffee.
    I really hate the taste of coffee. I might try using hot water instead, with vanilla and orange extract to round out the flavor a little.

  20. Lisa C

    This cake looks super yum. I have a question about flours. I saw someone post that they used chickpea flour in place of the teft flour. How do you figure what flour replaces what? So far I’ve only stuck with using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose flour. I’m really clueless about how all these other flours work and rice flour can’t be used for my girls as they have a rice allergy.

    1. Mary

      Lisa, Shauna has lots of great articles in her blog about how to replace flours. The biggest key to success seems to be subbing by weight instead of cup-for-cup. Then you can look at properties of each type of flour once you get the hang of that. Dig through the blog and enjoy what you find!!

  21. Malisams

    i bought a bundt cake pan over the weekend just to make this. i can’t wait.

    also, i’m sure lu’s pretty accustomed to being all up in the mix in the kitchen and knows how to be safe around various utensils, dangerous and not. she’s grown up in the kitchen with her parents (who i’m sure were watching her). not that i think kids and knives are a worry-free combo or anything, but i doubt there’s any need here to worry about the knife near her little arm in the picture.

    1. shauna

      Thanks. Yep. We wouldn’t ever do anything to put her in danger. But we both feel that it’s important to raise her around the real stuff, to give her respect for it all.

  22. Linda

    This looks delicious. I need help though, I don’t drink coffee – what could I substitute? Thanks.

  23. Terri T

    Looks so good! Quick question – what is a good replacement for potatoe starch? I am allergic to potatoes as well as gluten, corn, and tomatoes. Keeps life interesting! Thanks.

  24. Lucia

    Holy moley I’m excited! I’ve been craving some baking, and thinking ‘what can I do with the thick creme fraiche I’ve got left over?’ And I have all the ingredients! That IS a fluke, gosh this has made my day 🙂

    Just for the benefit of others who might find it useful: I’m intolerant to a lot of gluten-free starches (as well as gluten), but the one I’m safe with is rice. I use mostly rice flour with a little bit of ‘sticky rice flour’ – it’s made from sticky rice. It’s sometimes called ‘glutinous rice flour’ but this refers to the texture: it doesn’t have any gluten in it. Buy it from asian stores – it’s really cheap here (NZ). I find it really safe for myself, and it works well once you figure out the proportions. For a recipe that’s already quite sticky (like banana cake) I only use maybe a tablespoon of sticky rice flour to a cup (with the rest regular rice flour). I increase this to maybe 3 tbsp for other recipes (again to a cup, the rest filled with regular rice flour).

    Gluten-free baking is all about the proportions of ‘stickiness’ – a lot of gluten-free flours lack the stickiness of gluten, so you add it in the form of starches or other sticky stuff. There’s such a range, and everyone’s got their own preferences, so just start with one person’s suggestion and play around. Or: see what flours and starches are available cheaply near you, and google til you find a suggestion that matches. Also some gluten-free flours have very little taste (like rice flour) and some taste more strongly (like chickpea flour in my opinion). Google it all.

    It is a shame that you have to play around with it first, so you can’t ever guarantee something will work first time, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of at least one combination of flours, so don’t despair! It’s SO worth it once you can just bake any recipe you want!

    1. Terri T

      Thanks so much! I will have to make some purchases so I can start experimenting. Love to bake and still do for the rest of the family – can’t wait to be able to make something I can enjoy with them. 🙂

  25. Sondra Lord

    Shauna, Baked this yesterday for my Husband’s 82 birthday. No Bundt pan. Used Angle Food Pan. For my oil I used Grapeseed oil. Should have waited longer to get it out of the pan, I was in a hurry to frost it, so it lost some of the top. Then when I frosted it it ran off and dripped all over the cutting board it was sitting on. So I sat it on a cookie sheet to save my table from getting messed up. My Husband and our two guests just raved about how wonderful the cake was. They aren’t Gluten sensitive, know that is how I cook.
    This Morning, my Husband said “That was the best cake ever”
    Thank you, Thank you.

  26. Jen

    Used buckwheat flour and my kids were loving it! I liked it too:) I also cut the oil to 1/2 cup and the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and added another egg.

  27. Janet

    Could you recommend a substitute for the potato starch? I am also allergic to potatoes 🙁 This recipe sounds so yummy!

  28. Lee

    After one bite of this cake my 13 yr old son was in tears. Momma had made him a “chocolate” that he could eat. We are a gluten, corn, soy, and chocolate free family. I used carob instead of cocoa and the results were divine! Thank you so much! The last piece will be in the lunch box tomorrow and a request for another cake has already been made 🙂

  29. Lisa

    Can’t wait to make this! By the way, how many cups of flour would be used? Not sure of the metric conversion. Thanks.

    1. shauna

      Sorry, Lisa. You have to buy a scale. Believe me, it’s worth it. You don’t need to convert at all!

  30. Lenae

    Just wanted to say this cake is amazing! My husband and friends could not believe it was gluten free. It was great even several days later (though the hot-out-of-the-oven cake was melt-in-your-mouth-good). Thanks for such a great recipe!

  31. sarah

    I made this last weekend and it was the best cake I have had in a long time. so moist and delish! thank you so much. you rule.

  32. Vanessa

    My great grandmother made a similar chocolate bundt cake with sour cream. I can still taste the rich, tangy sweetness of it now. I will have to try this recipe and see if it brings me back….

  33. Natalie


    What was the consistency like of the mixture before you baked this? I’m after a GF chocolate bundt recipe that I can use to make a frangipane ripple cake with, but it would need to be a fairly thick mix to stop the frangipane all sinking to the bottom!


  34. Esther

    I made this yesterday and can confidently say that it is the best chocolate cake I have ever baked. Period.

    To make it non-dairy, I used tofutti sour cream, and for the cocoa powder, Ghiradelli natural cocoa powder, which is deliciously intense. While I’m lucky to have no problems with dairy, we keep a kosher house so I wanted a cake we could enjoy after a meat meal.


  35. Stephanie

    Made this recipe today as cupcakes. Makes just under 3 dozen. I learned I need to “overfill” a little to compensate for the bit of natural deflation post-baking. Filling to just about 1/4″ from the top of the paper liners seemed best. Also, I didn’t have coffee so I subbed hot water with a scant tbl of instant espresso. They were fabulous! Light, fluffy texture and plenty chocolaty without being too sweet. Many thanks!

  36. Malisams

    I finally made this cake over the weekend, and DAMN. Everyone there (none of whom were GF) all said it was incredible. Super moist, super flavorful, amazing texture. I didn’t have teff flour on hand, so I just used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour for all 350 grams…I had my doubts, because Bob’s really isn’t my favorite, but it turned out wonderfully. I also ran out of vegetable oil and had to use olive oil for the last 1/8 cup of the oil, and again, turned out fine. Finally, I made a glaze to drizzle on top out of cream cheese, butter, a little milk, powdered sugar, and kahlua. It was to die for. The whole thing. There was much moaning around the table. 🙂 Thank you, Shauna!

  37. Cheyanne

    I made this for Father’s Day 2012. I accidently added a little too much coffee but easily corrected it with a little extra teff flour and ended up baking it at 375 degrees for 65 minutes. I topped the whole thing off with a peanut butter glaze & mini peanut butter cups. My family said to add this to the “keep” pile for gluten free recipes.

  38. Joanna

    Those who are asking about a non-dairy substitute: I used So Delicious plain coconut milk yogurt instead of the sour cream and it was divine.

  39. Ashley

    Hi I’m recently a new gf eater and a good friend refered me to your website! However I am also lactose intolerant is there some thing I can substitute the sour cream for? I would really appreciate the feed back thanks!!!

  40. Madeleine

    I’ve been dying to make this for a special occasion. Finally an excuse to make it my mother in law’s birthday. Served it with vanilla whipped cream for frosting. My husband’s family don’t really get the whole celiac/gluten free issue but they thought it was the best chocolate cake they’ve ever had. They couldn’t believe it was gluten free because the texture was perfectly airy, but moist cake! Next time I may substitute some chestnut or hazelnut flour b/c I love the nutty flavor those flours impart on the finished product.

    Thanks so much for sharing another fool proof and awesomely delicious recipe!!!! Kudos to you for your talent in the kitchen!!!!
    Can’t wait for your new cookbook!

  41. Liz

    Just a suggestion: Canola (rapeseed) oil is almost always genetically modified, so perhaps a substitution would be called for?

  42. Tricia James

    cake looks great and want to try it! I could only find stone ground white rice flour at the store….no sweet rice flour. Can I use this? Should I sub with something else? Would appreciate any feedback!

    1. Carol

      Hi Shauna and company. I am just learning how to combine the new flours. Would a combo of 100 g of white rice flour,and 150 g of sorghum work to replace sweet rice and Teff? I’m thinking Sorghum giving the sweet from sweet rice and the lightness of teff, and white rice would supply the starchiness of sweet rice. What do you think?

    1. Joy Murphy

      I know this is too late.. When I make a cake I can’t write on, I make a little banner and attachment to wooden skewers. I attached it to both sides and let it be tall enough that the candles didn’t catch it on fire

  43. netty

    so true! I finally made this for Thanksgiving and it is an awesome cake!!! YUM! I used the flours suggested but did Toufutti sour cream to make it dairy free and coconut oil as my oil. Then I made a ganache of chocolate chips, coconut oil and some coconut milk (boxed kind–not the thick stuff) and poured it on top. YUMMMMM! Will certainly make again!

  44. Juilie

    Hi! I would love to make this recipe for a great friend but sadly I let someone else borrow my scale for the time being. Would anyone by chance be able to tell me how many cups of GF flour equals the 350grams called for in the recipe? This would be much appreciated. And thanks for sharing this recipe! Julie

  45. Katelyn

    Has anyone substituted honey for sugar in this recipe? I will likely be doing that this weekend for some sugar-free guests soon. I know to reduce some of the other liquids slightly, but was curious if anyone has sub’d the sugar? If so, how did it turn out?

  46. Joy Murphy

    This recipe all but mimics a cake I used to make, before, well you know…. It was all my 10 yr old daughter wanted for her birthday. I figured I’d give it a try. Didn’t hurt we had the same name. It was fabulous! My daughter loved it.
    What I use to “frost” is nutella. I melt it in a pan and add cream. Then I ladle it over the top. It is incredible.

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