Vegan Sugar & Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

by Jill Dalton

Vegan Sugar & Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

Jill Dalton
Here it is finally, after many years of trying to make the perfect healthy chocolate cake without it tasting like a healthy cake and I know you all know what I mean there. You can either eat a vegan cake that isn’t necessarily good for you or you can eat a cake that looks like a cake but tastes like a healthy cake. Can’t we just eat our cake and not feel guilty about eating it or needing to take a nap an hour later? Yes you can! This cake will make you feel like you are cheating but trust me, it’s all goodness.
This cake is also to celebrate making it to the 10,000 subscriber mark! I would like to thank you all for helping us to get there by giving you this fabulous recipe to help us celebrate. Congratulations for choosing to eat plant based!
5 from 4 votes
Servings 10 people
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 1 hour

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  • Peel and cut up 2 sweet potatoes and boil in water until soft.
  • Drain and cool.
  • Add water, sweet potato, dates, balsamic and vanilla to blender and blend till smooth.
  • Add remaining ingredients to a bowl and stir.
  • Add blender mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir.
  • Pour into 2 parchment paper lined cake pans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and cool on baking racks.
  • Add all frosting ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  • Put one cake on a cake tray or plate.
  • Spread a layer of frosting.
  • Put second cake on top and spread remaining frosting.
  • Decorate as desired and Dig In!
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Nutrition info

Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 8gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 187mgPotassium: 743mgFiber: 8gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 4373IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 3mg

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Michele Theberge July 25, 2017 - 3:25 am

Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve been following your youtube channel. I don’t bake very often because being sugar free, gluten free and vegan most of the things I attempt aren’t smashingly successful and also because treats are something my body only wants once in a while. I am intrigued by banana and sweet potato flour. I have never seen those ingredients here in the US natural groceries. Thank you for all your wonderful videos!

Debbie July 18, 2020 - 11:58 pm

I used date paste instead of whole dates and the icing was so creamy. Love your recipes

Michele Theberge July 25, 2017 - 3:28 am

Oh! Just saw the links for the special flours – great! Also, if you have a nut free frosting recipe you like, I’d love to learn of that. I am allergic to all tree nuts, flax, hemp and chia seeds. I can do tahini, peanuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Thanks again! Love seeing your kitchen halfway around the globe! 🙂

Jill Dalton July 25, 2017 - 4:08 pm

Sorry, I don’t have a nut free version of the frosting but I’m pretty sure one of my daughters made this recipe with peanuts instead and it turned out good. I would give it a try. It would also make the recipe way more affordable. Cashews are really expensive here. Good Luck!

Manda August 28, 2017 - 3:52 pm

Raw sunflower seeds usually work instead of cashews.

Jenifer October 9, 2017 - 6:15 pm

Did you try it with sunflower seeds? If so, how did it turn out?

Trissy Riggs July 31, 2017 - 1:39 am

I used coconut flour and it was pretty dry.
I thought maybe a little zucchini would give it good moisture. The frosting was delicious! Thank you so much for your recipes!!!

journeyofafitchic August 13, 2017 - 4:18 pm

Looks delicious!

Julie Prodani August 16, 2017 - 9:13 pm

The recipe says 3/4 cup sweet potato but you also say cut up two sweet potatoes? How much sweet potato? Thank you 🙂 I love your channel!

Jill Dalton August 19, 2017 - 10:09 pm

I said two potatoes to boil. This is to cover any size discrepancies. Then when you make the cake you measure 3/4 cup.

Jena Smith March 8, 2018 - 10:35 pm

Hi Jill, this looks amazing and I’d like to try it this weekend. Am I wrong or does the recipe say 1 & 3/4 cups sweet potato, not just 3/4 cup?

Jill Dalton March 8, 2018 - 10:38 pm

It is 1 3/4 cups sweet potato. Hope you love it as much as we do =)

Jill Dalton March 8, 2018 - 11:50 pm

Sorry if this is a duplicate reply. Not sure if the last one went through. It is 1 3/4 cups. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Mark August 19, 2017 - 4:03 pm

I tested out my Boxiki 9-inch silicone baking pan for the first time with your chocolate cake! No parchment paper required, just turn over and the cake falls right out, no residue left in the pan. The cake tastes very good, but mine came out VERY dense, like a brownie. It felt so heavy in fact, that I just had to weigh it: 3 lbs 10 oz, which seems a lot for a cake about 2 inches tall. I even used a thermometer, left in the pan the whole baking time, so that I knew exactly when the center of the cake reached 210 F, which is supposed to be the ideal temp when a cake is done. It took 48 minutes @ 350 in my oven to reach that temp. Anyway, should the cake come out as I described, dense like a brownie? Or should it have come out more light and airy? Thank you for your recipes.

Jill Dalton August 19, 2017 - 10:08 pm

Yes, it is a bit dense. For some reason my first three cakes were a little lighter. Since then I have been getting a denser cake☹️
It is still pretty tasty though.

Mark September 8, 2017 - 9:26 pm

FYI – Organic Green Banana Flour can now be found at Walmart in the spices/baking aisle.

Jill Dalton September 8, 2017 - 11:26 pm

That is great news!

Jenifer October 9, 2017 - 5:49 pm

Do you think I could use rice milk instead of almond milk in the frosting? We have a nut allergy in our family.

Jill Dalton October 9, 2017 - 9:52 pm


Melissa October 16, 2017 - 3:52 am

Will this work with all-purpose flour for those of us without gluten issues? 🙂

Melissa October 16, 2017 - 3:55 am

Will this work using all-purpose flour if we have no gluten issues?🙂

Jill Dalton October 16, 2017 - 1:31 pm

I haven’t made it with regular flour. I honestly don’t know. Sorry

Alexandra November 20, 2017 - 5:22 pm

If I can’t get sweet potato flour as I have to make for birthday cake today! What may you suggest I use in place of. I found a flour at the Asian market called green bean flour ….hmm? I have coconut flour and gluten free flour kicking around as well. Love your channel Jill. We’ve been plant based for quite sometime now. Keep the good stuff coming .

Jill Dalton November 20, 2017 - 6:22 pm

The gluten free flour will probably work the best.🤗

Richard December 20, 2017 - 12:35 am

Tried this out yesterday and also encountered a density problem (like, really dense). The frosting is great but I feel like there might be a ratio issue in the recipe for the sponge.

Jill Dalton December 20, 2017 - 2:15 am

Hmmm. I’ll check it out. Thanks RIchard

Richard December 21, 2017 - 12:10 am

Thanks Jill 🙂

I’ve also tried your chocolate cheesecake, which is totally amazing.

Jill Dalton December 21, 2017 - 1:39 am

Awesome! I’m so glad you liked it🤗

Marilyn December 24, 2017 - 6:52 pm

I’m about to make this, and I am going to try whipping it together with a mixer (kitchenAid with large blade) and see if that will help with density issue. Like with corn bread, or pancake mix, the more you stir it, the denser it gets. I will be using gluten free flour instead of the sweet potato flour, but all else the same as the recipe. I’ll let ya’ll know how it turns out. Where’s Alton Brown when ya need him, ha ha.

Larissa March 29, 2018 - 3:52 pm

Hi is this cake spongy or fudgy?
Can’t wait to try this. Love all your recipes. Thanks!

Jill Dalton March 29, 2018 - 6:09 pm

It is spongy and dense but more dry than fudge🤗

Michele October 29, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Hi there, I’ve made this cake before and absolutely loved it. (Thank you 🙂 ) This time I’m wanting to leave out the cocoa powder. Do you think I should replace that with anything or just simply omit it?

Jill Dalton November 1, 2018 - 9:41 am

Hmmmm that is a good question. I’m really not sure what would happen. My guess is that it would still work without it.

denise February 24, 2019 - 3:10 am

Use carob powder – lightly roasted or raw would be good substitute for cocoa powder

Mikee Inoc November 26, 2018 - 12:57 am

What could be a good alternative for dates?

Jill Dalton November 26, 2018 - 9:01 am

Raisins or prunes

Mikee Inoc November 27, 2018 - 2:22 am

Thank you!

Martin January 19, 2019 - 7:42 am

I would like to make your cake
Do you have
E your measures in gras?

eunediuol April 12, 2019 - 10:11 pm

My favorite cake recipe. This has become a staple in my kitchen.

Melissa June 15, 2019 - 1:25 pm

Ok, so I messed up and didn’t get to my Health Food Store and they’re closed Saturday. So I have Sweet Potato Flour but no Green Banana Flour.
I see my Dillons has Tapioca Flour. Could I substitute that for the Green Banana, and if so to what ratio? Thanks in advance!

From the never on top of my time management new Vegan Baker 😉

Jill Dalton June 16, 2019 - 5:43 pm

Not really sure. I haven’t really tried any substituting with this recipe. Sorry

Melissa June 11, 2019 - 3:41 pm

I’m new to baking and cooking vegan style, and wanted to try this for Father’s Day. I’m confused as to what kind of cocoa powder to use with this. I’m trying to stay away from inflammatory foods more so now, and that’s why vegan recipes seem to be working better for the most part. However, I don’t want to sacrifice the taste of the cake if one kind of cocoa tastes better than another. Thank you for your help!

Jill Dalton June 12, 2019 - 8:32 am

Just regular cocoa powder from the grocery store works great. We really like Hershey’s Special Dark but the regular kind works too.

Melissa June 12, 2019 - 9:04 am

Thanks so much for your quick response. I’ll be trying it out this weekend!

Melissa June 15, 2019 - 1:26 pm

Ok, so I messed up and didn’t get to my Health Food Store and they’re closed Saturday. So I have Sweet Potato Flour but no Green Banana Flour.
I see my Dillons has Tapioca Flour. Could I substitute that for the Green Banana, and if so to what ratio? Thanks in advance!

From the never on top of my time management new Vegan Baker 😉

Elisabeth October 22, 2019 - 2:09 am

Are the Tsp. teaspoons or tablespoons? I’m used to the tablespoons being capitalized but also with a b in it like Tbsp. I want to make one of your cakes for my husband’s birthday and want to make sure I get it right.
I love your recipes for baked goods using whole foods. Thanks for making them available!

Jill Dalton November 6, 2019 - 3:57 pm

Hi Elisabeth, sorry for such a delayed reply. The Tsp is teaspoons. good point about the capitalization. The program we use automatically capitalizes it.

KAte February 23, 2020 - 10:35 pm

You’re cake looks AMAZING and totally fits in with our style of eating, however… I’ve literally just discovered my little one shouldn’t eat sweet potatoes (causes a lot of inflammation for him). Any suggestions for alternatives as this is a whole new thing for me?

Jill Dalton February 25, 2020 - 11:36 am

You could try butternut squash

Tami April 11, 2020 - 10:18 pm

looks delicious and the batter smells great but I must have done something wrong, my batter is more like thick playdough – cannot pour it into the pans. I had to add more water to get all of the dry ingredients to mix with the sweet potato mixture, suggestions for a better outcome next time? will see how it bakes! thanks!

Jill Dalton April 12, 2020 - 5:02 pm

Yeah, the batter is pretty thick, definitely not pourable. I may have to revisit that recipe and see if I can do better =)

Kay July 25, 2020 - 2:34 pm

Can I make my own green banana flour using a dehydrator and how?

Janet August 1, 2020 - 9:12 pm

Is it ok to use Japanese sweet potatoes or are they not moist enough?

Jill Dalton August 2, 2020 - 11:57 am

I think they would work ok. If it seems too dry when you mix it you can always add a couple tablespoons of plant milk or water.

John Wietfeldt February 15, 2021 - 5:12 pm

I have tried several of your recipes, all are good, but this one is a home run. I call it a chocolate brownie cake. Made it for Valentines Day. Thanks!

Vardhini July 11, 2021 - 4:11 pm

This turned out pretty hard. Do you have any suggestion? I followed recipe to T

Jill Dalton July 12, 2021 - 11:10 am

Hmmm, not sure. Sometimes, if you overblend the oats it turns really dense.

Dee September 6, 2021 - 11:42 pm

I cannot use baking soda or baking powder what would be a natural healthy substitute for those ingredients?

Jill Dalton September 11, 2021 - 12:23 pm

Honestly Dee, that is a question I have never had. Not sure there is a substitute for both, sorry


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