Gluten Free Chocolate Beer Cake Recipe

Gluten Free Chocolate Beer Cake Recipe

There is hardly a combination of 3 words that excites more than gluten free Chocolate Beer Cake. Ok, there are a few other three word combinations that are pretty great, but when I say “I Love You Chocolate Beer Cake,” I truly mean it!

This light, airy, chocolatey gluten free cake is like no other. It’s not made like a regular cake: you make it on the stove-top (click for video). It doesn’t taste like a death by chocolate cake or any kind of hit-you-on-the-head chocolate explosion.The dark chocolate undertones really highlight the cocoa here without weighing the cake down. It’s hard to describe how fluffy and softly chocolatey this cake actually is. Its flavor is subtle but deep and unforgettable.

It’s the kind of recipe you will want to print and hold onto, to make again and again!

gluten free chocolate beer cake

I offered this gluten free chocolate beer cake in Denver at a food show 8 or 9 years ago now, and I still hear from readers who met me for the first time at that show and remembered how amazing this cake was. That’s really saying something about a cake! I didn’t even frost it for the show samples — cake without frosting that still makes an impact? That’s a rare commodity.

But the frosting on this cake does top it like a rich head of the beer and it’s so pretty! Don’t be daunted if you’re dairy-free – it’s just as delicious made dairy-free, even with the cream cheese frosting!

GF chocolate beer cake

A lot of people are scared off by the “beer” portion of the gluten free Chocolate Beer Cake title. Don’t be. You don’t even have to use beer. You can use a cola instead (one reader even shared that she used Diet Coke in place of the beer in this recipe with great results!). But if you want the full flavor of this cake to really shine through, I encourage you to try a gluten free dark beer in this cake for next-level impact.

I’m linking to my popular article on gluten free beers here for those who would like some recommendations on brands and for those who inevitably are concerned or confused about how a beer could be gluten free. There are actually three kinds of beers in the world: barley beers (NOT gluten free); naturally gluten free beers made from gluten free grains; and gluten-reduced beers (NOT safe for celiacs). Find out the skinny on all of the above, plus find one that’s just perfect for this cake or for your Friday night in my article.

One other note about this cake: you do not have to bake it in a bundt pan. It’s actually delicious baked in layers, and even makes an impressive birthday cake!

A few years ago I actually make it just that way for fellow celiac Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s birthday.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jules Shepard with her birthday cake on FOX and Friends.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jules Shepard with her birthday cake on FOX and Friends.


To transform it into a special birthday cake, I doubled the recipe and made 3 layers, the remainder of the batter going toward extra cupcakes which I left at FOX and Friends for the other anchors and crew. I always make this cake with Green’s Dubbel Dark Ale and it always receives wows (today’s was no exception!). Click here to watch the video of the cake surprise on Fox and Friends!

dark chocolate beer cake

Watch the video below to see HOW-TO make this incredibly easy, most delicious of all cakes!

making gluten free chocolate beer cake

If you really want to try the real deal though, ask your favorite local store to carry naturally gluten free beer for you!


Gluten Free Chocolate Beer Cake Recipe

GF chocolate beer cake

5 from 1 reviews

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(*Note- you will need a large saucepan for this recipe, not a mixer and mixing bowl!)

Preheat oven to 350 F (static) or 325°F (convection).

Prepare a 9-inch springform tube or bundt pan or two 8-inch rounds by buttering and dusting lightly with gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.

In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla.

Measure out 1 cup of beer and let the head settle to be sure your measurement is correct. Pour the beer into a large saucepan (you can drink the rest!). Add the butter and heat just until melted over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and the sugar until smooth.

Add the egg mixture into saucepan mixture and whisk. Add the flour and baking soda until mixed.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out fairly clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then invert to remove from pan onto a cake plate.


Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

To bake this 3 tiered cake, follow along with the directions in this how-to post!

The gluten-free beer in this chocolate cake makes this a light, airy, fluffy, spongy and softly chocolate cake without being overly sweet.

35 thoughts on “Gluten Free Chocolate Beer Cake Recipe

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  1. This is the best gluten free cake recipe I’ve ever made! It’s rich, chocolaty, and moist. It rose perfectly in my bundt pan and held its shape on the cake plate. I frosted it with the cream cheese frosting, which is excellent. I served this cake to a gluten-eating crowd, and no one could tell that it was gluten free. This cake is better than the gluten cakes I remember. I’ll definitely make this one again.

    • So happy you loved this cake, Lucky! It’s definitely an unusual recipe but everyone seems to love it. So light and airy. I’d take another slice right now, actually! 😉

  2. Sounds wonderful but I was wondering. Does it have to be a dark beer? I’m not a beer drinker and my husband prefers lighter beers. Could something like an amber beer or a light beer work just as well?

    • Hi Christina, as long as it’s gluten free, you can use any beer. Just the richer, dark beers are more like chocolate themselves, so they have a smoother flavor with the chocolate. Using a lighter beer will still produce great texture, but there may be some bitterness with the chocolate – not necessarily bad, and you might even find that you like it!

  3. Sounds wonderful but had a question. I’m not a beer drinker and my husband prefers a lighter beer to dark beer. Could, say, an amber ale work just as well since it’s mainly the carbonation that’s key?

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  5. Made this absolutely delicious gluten free/dairy free cake. Tastes better than what I remember “regular” cakes tasting like. The non-gluten free people loved it as well. It was so moist and rich tasting, I will definitely be making this again. Found the Greene’s beer at Wegmans.

    • Thanks so much for letting me know, Deb! I’m glad you and your friends loved it as much as we do – definitely a recipe keeper!

    • Hmmmm … I’d start testing the cupcakes with a toothpick after about 20 minutes for smaller sized ones; 25 or 30 minutes for larger ones. Enjoy this recipe, Amanda, it’s so yummy!

  6. Made it yesterday with the only substitution being for the eggs (used 3 tbs of applesauce and 1 of egg replacer), but the dough turned out extremely dry. I added extra vanilla at the end, but it was still way to dry. I put it in the oven anyway and it turned out like a brick. No rising at all. Amazingly, it tasted good even as a very dense cake. But any ideas on getting the light, airy, rising you describe? How about adding baking power in addition to baking soda?

    • Hi Robert, the batter in this cake is definitely not dry — it’s the consistency of brownie batter. Double check all your measurements when you make it again because the egg replacers you used, while no doubt contributing to the density of the cake, should not have made it markedly drier. There is also a full tablespoon — not teaspoon — of baking soda, so the rise shouldn’t be an issue. Did you use gluten-free beer? The carbonation also contributes to the rise. I’d recommend a different egg replacer if you try this cake again. Read my egg replacer article and look at #1 and #2 on the list; I would guess those might be better suited for this recipe. Applesauce is very heavy, so that would definitely make the cake more dense. Let me know how it goes when you try it again. I’m glad it still tasted good! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Gluten Free Beer Tasting Notes - Gluten free recipes - gfJules - with the REAL Jules

  8. Pingback: Jules on Fox & Friends 5/28/15 - Gluten free recipes - gfJules - with the REAL Jules

  9. I would like to make a chocolate cake but I don’t want three layers and I don’t want to have to go out and buy beer to make it. Any suggestions on what to substitute the beer with? Could I just use your yellow cake recipe version except add cocoa?

    • Hi Lyn,
      I only made 3 layers and some extra cupcakes because I wanted 3 layers. If you want to bake in a bundt pan or tube pan, or just use 2 layers, don’t double the recipe, which is what I did to get the 3 layers + cupcakes. Another reader reported that she used Coke instead of gluten-free beer and it turned out great, so why don’t you try that? Let me know how it turns out!

  10. MADE TWO CHANGES instead of beer I used coke. I also added half a package of Andes mints in the cake. Then on top of the cream cheese icing I drizzled melted andes mints and chopped Andes mints. SO AWESOME JULES! Of course, it has Jules flour!


  11. I bought the ingredients to make this later tonight. Our local party shop only carried Green’s Amber Ale, so that is what I bought. I was wondering if a coconut based “yogurt” would work as a substitute for the sour cream?

    • Hi Mary, absolutely the coconut yogurt will work in place of the sour cream. Let me know how you like the cake!!!

  12. Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet’s restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods. If you can’t find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or go online. ..

  13. Holy cow. This sounds and looks delicious! I am definitely trying this recipe at some point in the next week.

  14. I made a gluten free Guinness type Dubbel Dark Chocolate Cake for my son’s birthday in March. Love how flavourful and moist a GF beer cake comes out. I plan to attempt a Dubbel Dark layer cake for fathers day :)

    Can you tell me why you heat the beer, butter, cocoa and sugar?

    • Hi Laureen, heating these ingredients helps to begin the sugar breakdown and melts the butter too. Mixing them at that temp assures they will be well mixed, as well. Hope you get to try this recipe soon — it’s super delich!

  15. HI Jules!!!

    Great to see you comment on one of our shared favorites! I have to say, from a beer perspective, it will be extremely hard to beat the dubble dark for a chocolate cake. We use it in chocolate brownies as well and although there are other gluten free beers I enjoy, the dubble dark is the bomb for chocolate! :-)

    Again, great to see your comments and post on one of my favorite subjects … Gluten Free Beer! :-)


    • Luv gluten-free beer Joey!!! Just did a beer tasting in the UK with Derek Green himself — so awesome! They have so many more choices in the Green’s line in Europe, as well. Even a “light” Green’s! So ingenious and so delicious!

  16. My wife has tried this recipe. And I really like it. She also said that she like Judy’s idea about changing beer with soda. You should post another cake recipe, my wife and I are really enjoyed it.

  17. I made this cake yesterday for my birthday. It turned out really well! Was able to cut the cake in half to make it a two layer cake (used springform pan). Thank you. What do you think about using cola instead of the beer for a different flavor?

    Take care,

    • Hi Judy- I love the idea of using a soda! The carbonation is key, but you may want to cut back on the sugar if you’re getting a lot of that syrup from the cola. Please let us know how it turns out! I love recipe innovation!!!