Devil’s food cake with cream cheese frosting – dairy free, gluten free

Dairy free recipe

Gluten free recipe

Devil food cake with cream cheese frosting - dairy free and gluten free

A few weeks ago I began telling you that Mr LTT is currently undergoing somewhat of a dietary reformation and we are cutting dairy out of his diet. Over the past year or so, he has gradually been getting worse – stomach cramps and all those sorts of nasty things when eating cheese etc. The last time we went home to my parents, we ate dairy free (my dad has quite severe food intolerances) and was not ill for the whole time we were there. As a result, he has swapped to soya milk, ice cream etc. Fortunately we discovered that parmagiano reggiano is actually naturally lactose free, and sprinkled modestly onto pasta he seems to be ok. Lactose free milk does not seem to be ok weirdly. I thought it was the end of the world but really it doesn’t seem to have affected our daily lives too much; we don’t eat a lot of creamy stuff except for coconut milk based things and actually things like Green & Black’s 70% cocoa chocolate is made with soya not milk.

Close up of Devil food cake with cream cheese frosting - dairy free and gluten free

In preparation for our wedding next year, I’ve been working on ideas for the cake. I hate fruit cake, so sponge cake it is. I don’t want a normal sponge so have been playing about with a few flavour ideas. One of them was devil’s food cake. As I had one tub of Tofutti left over from my New York Cheesecake, I wanted to see how it would work with buttercream. And I have to say, it was marvellous. If you’ve ever tried to make cream cheese frosting, you’ll know that cream cheese is very fragile. One minute it’s ok and the next it’s a sloppy mess. Not with dairy-free cream cheese! As you can see I managed to pipe pretty swirls onto my cake.

Slice from Devil food cake with cream cheese frosting - dairy free and gluten free

The cake itself, was delicious – I modified the recipe with a little more bicarb because I find gluten-free flour just doesn’t rise as well. A really good double or triple sift from on high will add some extra air into the flour too.

Devil's food cake with cream cheese frosting - dairy free, gluten free
Gluten free - Dairy free. Adapted from red velvet cupcake recipe by Hummingbird Bakery.
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 240ml full fat soya milk
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 120g margarine (room temp)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 20g coca powder
  • 300g gluten-free flour (like Doves)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1½tsp bicarb soda
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
Cream cheese frosting
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 100g margarine (room temp)
  • 1 tub Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese
  • ½tsp vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
  2. Grease and line the base of 3x 20cm/8" round springform cake tins
  3. Place soya milk and lemon juice in a jug, stir together and leave for 15 mins.
  4. Beat margarine and sugar on medium speed until it has a creamy texture.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla bean paste.
  6. Sift the cocoa powder and gluten-free flour together a couple of times.
  7. Turn down mixer speed to low. Stir the soya milk mixture and add half the soya milk to the cake mix, Beat until just mixed, then add half the flour mix and mix again. Repeat with the remaining soya milk and flour.
  8. FInally, add the salt, bicarb and white wine vinegar.
  9. Once incorporated, turn up the speed and beat for a couple of minutes.
  10. Evenly distribute the cake mixture between the three cake tins.
  11. Bake for 20-25 mins, checking the cake at 20mins. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  12. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then remove from tins and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. To make the buttercream, beat the margarine for a couple of minutes, then add a quarter of the icing sugar. Turn the mixer on low and cover the mixer with the tea towel to prevent clouds of icing sugar. Then add the remaining icing sugar, covering the mixer again and beat until mixed.
  14. Add the Tofutti and vanilla bean paste and beat for 5 minutes until really smooth creamy.
  15. Take about 6tbsp of the frosting and set aside to pipe on the top later.
  16. Spread frosting evenly over the three layers of cake - you don't need to use all of the frosting, there's quite a lot. Stack the layers, then pipe decorative swirls on the top layer if you want.


  1. Kathy says

    Hi Becs – Have you any idea how long this will last before being eaten? A friend has been asked to make a non-fruit cake for her son’s wedding but it has to be made in France then taken to Holland, arriving two days before the wedding so all in all it has to last for about 5 days.
    Any ideas?

    • Becs says

      Hi Kathy, very sorry I didn’t see a notification for the reply. If you wrapped the individual cake layers really tight in cling film, then made the frosting when you got there it could work, or you could make it and store it in an airtight container then put it together on arrival. Ideally, using ground almonds helps stop a sponge going stale.

    • Becs says

      Hey Teffy, yes I’m sure you could do both of these things though with the coconut oil you will end up with a coconut flavour (I love that personally!). According to vairous sources you can substitute it at the same ratio. Good luck! Will you let me know how it turns out?

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