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Gluten Free VEGAN Chocolate Orange Cake - the perfect Christmas or holiday cake!

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake

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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x



For the Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour (or traditional flour if not GF)
  • 1 cup Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 23 tsp fresh orange zest (from about 1 orange)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

For the Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup nondairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk), warmed slightly
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly.
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Orange Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I like dark or semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (can sub 1/41/2 cup other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray or a thin layer of coconut oil.
  3. Optional, and recommend for easily removing cake from pan: Cut 4 (1-2″ wide) strips of parchment paper long enough to hang over the edge of the baking pan. Place them in an “X” across the bottom of your greased pan. Cut an 8″ circle (I trace the pan to get it right) of parchment and place that on top of the “X”

For the dry ingredients:

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Rub with your fingers until the sugar is coated with the orange oil from the zest and the whole mixture is very fragrant. Add GF flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set bowl aside while you mix your wet ingredients.

For the wet ingredients:

  1. Slightly warm your milk (so it doesn’t harden the coconut oil into clumps). It shouldn’t be steaming hot, just slightly above room temperature. Pour into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and well combined.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently pour mixture into your prepared baking pan. Smooth out the surface a little if needed. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until completely set and only a few moist crumbs come out when a toothpick or cake tester is inserted in the center.
  2. Let cake cool for 4-5 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a cooling rack or cake stand. If you’ve added the parchment paper “X.” you can use these handles to help you lift the cake out. If you prefer, you can place a plate over the top of the cake pan and (working carefully with oven mitts) flip the cake out onto the plate. Then, repeat the process by flipping the cake off your plate an onto the cooling rack or cake stand.
  3. Let cake cool completely before adding the ganache.

For the ganache:

  1. Fill a small saucepan with about 1-2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place a medium bowl over the top of the pan to create a double boiler, which will gently melt your chocolate. Add chocolate chips, coconut milk, coconut oil, and orange zest to the bowl and stir until almost no lumps remain and mixture is glossy. Remove bowl from the pan and continue to stir until very smooth. (The residual heat will melt the remaining lumps).
  2. Pour ganache over the top of the cake and gently smooth out over the top, allowing ganache to spill over the sides. Serve as is, or top the cake with sugared cranberries, orange slices, etc.