Gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Mocha Buttercream – an unusual wedding cake

When I had my bakery, I would get a few requests for wedding cakes. I always tried to refer the bride and groom to be to other bakers in the area, who I knew had extensive training in cake decorating and would create beautifully crafted wedding cakes. I never mastered piping to the level required for a multi tiered wedding cake. My approach is more bucolic and simple, and given that a wedding is such an important day, I am usually happy to bake only for friends who know what I can present them with, and whose expectations meet my skills. Here are a couple of wedding cakes that I have baked during the years.

A few weeks ago, I friend of mine was officiating a wedding. In the time of COVID, though, the couple wouldn’t have a reception and my friend wanted to bring a cake for the newly weds so that they could celebrate. She asked me if I would bake one. I accepted, and asked what kind of cake the couple would like. She reported back that chocolate would be their choice, so I offered mocha buttercream as frosting. It got the groom’s ok and I got to work.

Once again I referred to The Cake Book by Tish Boyle to find the right layer chocolate cake recipe and the mocha buttercream. I chose her Devilish Moist Chocolate Cake and adapted to gluten-free baking. Then I adjusted the buttercream for her Opera Cake to create a luscious Mocha Buttercream. Here is the recipe for this outstanding gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Mocha Buttercream, wedding style.


Gluten-free Chocolate Cake with Mocha Buttercream – a wedding cake

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: DessertDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the two layer chocolate cake
  • 240 gr 240 Simona’s Flour Mix – 1 1/2 cup and 1 Tbsp

  • 90 gr 90 Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 cup

  • 2 tsps 2 Baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp 3/4 Baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Salt

  • 500 gr 500 Granulate sugar – 2 1/2 cups

  • 120 gr 120 Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup

  • 3 large 3 Eggs

  • 120 gr 120 Whole milk – 1/2 cup

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Vanilla extract

  • 2 Tbsps 2 Glycerin

  • 240 gr 240 Boiling water – 1 cup

  • Mocha Buttercream
  • 6 large 6 Eggs

  • 600 gr 600 Unsalted butter, softened – 2 1/2 cups

  • 375 gr 375 Bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled – 2 1/4 cups

  • 450 gr 450 Granulated sugar – 2 3/4 cups

  • 240 gr 240 Water – 1 cup

  • 1 1/2 tsps 1 1/2 Vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 Instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tsp hot water


  • Position the oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°; grease bottom and sides of two 9″ round cake pans; line the pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.
  • Add the vegetable oil and mix a few seconds, until the dry ingredients are crumbly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs until blended. Add the milk, glycerin and vanilla extract until blended.
  • With the mixer at low speed, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until blended, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.
  • Gradually add the boiling water and mix well until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into cake pans, dividing equally. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a pick comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack. You can bake the cakes a couple of days earlier and refrigerate them while still in their pans, wrapped in plastic wrap.
  • For the Mocha Buttercream
  • In a small heavy saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat to high
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until the sugar syrup is ready.
  • Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. It will seem as if it takes forever to pass the 230 degree temperature, but once it does, it climbs quickly, so don’t leave it unattended.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and with the mixer running, pour the hot syrup over the eggs, steadily and paying attention not to hit the whisk, or it will splatter.
  • Continue to beat at medium-high speed until the egg mixture is completely cool.
  • At medium speed add the softened butter 1 Tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla extract, the melted chocolate and the espresso mixture until well blended.
  • To assemble the cake
  • I recommend using a turning table to best decorate your cake. Place one of the layers of the chocolate cake in the center of your plate. If you use a doily, add a tablespoon of buttercream in the center of the plate and another in the center of the doily, so that the cake is stable. Also, I suggest you cut stripes out of your parchment paper to place around your cake, so that the edges remain neat.
  • Spread a generous amount of mocha buttercream on top of the layer and to the side of the cake. Place a second layer of top and refrigerate for 15/20 minutes before adding more buttercream and finishing decorating your cake.
  • As I said in my introduction, I am not very skilled in cake decorating, but if you are, you should have enough buttercream to enjoy decorating your cake. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can freeze it for up to three months.

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