Gluten and Dairy-Free Chocolate Walnut Cake


Skip the gluten and dairy, but none of the rich flavor in this chocolate walnut cake. Simple substitutions create a delectable dessert that features buttercream frosting, candied walnuts, and fluffy chocolate cake perfect for any occasion.

Total Time
3 Hrs, 37 Mins
Serving Size
1 slice of cake

Total Time

Prep Time
1 Hr, 27 Mins
Cook Time
2 Hrs, 10 Mins
Total Time
3 Hrs, 37 Mins


1700 cal
Total Fat
123 g
Saturated Fat
43 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
48 g
Monounsaturated Fat
26 g
140 mg
1,640 mg
93 g
Dietary Fiber
8 g
Total Sugars
57 g
23 g
Vitamin D
1 mcg
190 mg
4 mg
620 mg



  • 2 1/4 cups walnuts

  • 1 cup brown rice flour

  • 1/2 cup potato starch

  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour

  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar

  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1 cup Walnut Butter

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup full fat walnut milk (or oat or coconut milk)

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Walnut Butter

  • 2 1/4 cups walnuts

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon coconut oil

Caramalized Honey Buttercream

  • 24 ounces dairy-free butter, chilled

  • 6 egg whites

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Candied Walnuts

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts

  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 6” pans with parchment paper. Spray the paper and sides of the cake pan with non-stick spray.

Make Walnut Butter:

  1. Toast walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet in preheated oven until fragrant and just golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to blender and pulse to break up until walnuts begin to form a chunky paste. Stream in oil and blend on high until as smooth as possible, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times. Add a little more oil if necessary to blend smooth.

Make the Cake:

  1. Combine brown rice flour and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Process until walnuts are finely ground with the flour. Sift through a fine mesh sieve or tammis to make sure there aren’t any lumps.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, starches, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until no clumps remain. Set aside.

  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the sugars, coconut oil, walnut butter, eggs, milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract until well combined.

  4. Mix the dries into the wet ingredients until well combined.

  5. Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared cake pans, 1000 grams per pan.

  6. Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes until risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely, preferably in the refrigerator for a few hours, before frosting.

Make the Caramalized Honey Buttercream:

  1. Place egg whites and cane sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a water bath. Whisking constantly, mix the egg whites and sugar until warm to the touch and sugar dissolves. Remove bowl from water bath and place on standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin whisking on low speed.

  2. Meanwhile, place coconut sugar and honey in a small saucepot. Cover with a little water to make sandy. Cook to 240°F over medium high heat.

  3. When thermometer hits 230°F, increase speed on standing mixer to high and whip whites to soft peaks. At 240°F, begin slowly streaming sugar syrup into whipping whites. Continue whipping until light and fluffy and room temperature to the touch.

  4. Begin seeding in butter a little bit at a time until all is added. Continue beating until butter is combined and mixture is silky smooth.

  5. Mix in vanilla and salt.

Make the Candied Walnuts:

  1. Place sugar and salt in sauté pan. Add water to make sandy.

  2. Cook sugar until water evaporates and turns syrupy and bubbly. We are essentially cooking the sugar syrup to soft ball stage, around 240°F, but there won’t be enough to read on a thermometer.

  3. Remove pan from heat and add nuts, stirring constantly using a wooden spoon, until sugar begins to crystalize around the nuts.

  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To Assemble Cakes:

  1. Cut rounded tops off of both cakes and cut each cake into 2 even layers.

  2. Build the cake by spreading 125 grams of buttercream over one layer cake and top with another layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining 2 layers to make a 4 layered cake. Cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream for the crumb coat. Place in refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

  3. Cover the cake in another layer of buttercream and decorate as desired with the remaining buttercream and candied walnuts.