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Gluten-Free Bourbon Chocolate Cake

The key to making a delicious gluten-free cake is to make sure you have a load of flavor layers (see: bourbon + coffee) as well as using a high quality gluten-free, all-purpose flour. I like to use Cup 4 Cup but experiment and see what works best in your kitchen.

A note: Sifting the powdered sugar in the icing is key—don't miss that step.

Photograph by Daniel Montoya

RELATED: Gluten-free summer desserts

RECIPE: Bourbon Joe Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Yields 16 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes



  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals


  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons brewed coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat granulated sugar, butter, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat lightly just until combined.
  3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. Stir together milk and 1/4 cup bourbon; stir in coffee crystals. Add gluten-free flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the chocolate mixture, beating by hand after each addition.
  4. Pour into a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  5. While it’s cooling, make the glaze: Stir together 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon bourbon, and 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in 4 tablespoons brewed coffee. Glaze the top of the cake and cut into portions to serve.
  6. Optional: Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Photograph by Daniel Montoya

This recipe courtesy of "The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet" by April Peveteaux (Perigee/Penguin 2015)

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