Gluten-Free Devil’s Food Cake with Mocha Buttercream Frosting

You can make this recipe into a fancy two-layer cake or cupcakes, depending on the occasion.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hour 35 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 3⁄4 cup softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 1⁄2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1⁄4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1⁄2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup gold-colored sugar pearls


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 round cake pans (9 inches) with 1 tablespoon butter, line bottom with parchment paper, and then grease parchment. Dust with 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder and tap out excess.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder, coffee, and milk. set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 3⁄4 cup butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix until nearly blended. Add cocoa mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide the batter between the two pans.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Beat 1 cup butter, 1 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, espresso powder, and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly add enough water to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. Frost cake with frosting and sprinkle with sugar pearls.