This Chocolate Sprinkle Cake is a soft gluten free chocolate cake filled with rainbow sprinkles surrounded by layers of chocolate fudge frosting. It’s the perfect twist on a funfetti cake for all you chocolate lovers! Best yet, it’s also eggless, nut free and easily dairy free (vegan)!
There is so much to love about this soft chocolate cake with sprinkles! It can be easily vegan, making this the most decadent allergy friendly cake! No one would ever guess!
Reasons To Love This Cake
- Allergy Friendly- This cake is gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
- Soft & Fluffy- The cake is super soft, decadent and delicious.
- Triple Chocolate- It has chocolate cake, frosting and drip!
- Rainbow Sprinkles- Add that gorgeous color and a nice crunch!
- Easy to Make- The batter mixes up in just one large bowl with a whisk just like my Gluten Free Birthday Cake!
For the Cake
- Gluten Free Flour- If you also have nut allergies, make sure to use a brand that’s made in a nut free facility. I really love to use this one because it’s nut safe but it does contain dairy.
- White Vinegar- We use this along with the baking soda to help the cake rise.
- Vegetable Oil- This cake uses oil instead of butter/vegan baking stick to help it stay moist.
- Cocoa Powders- I like to use two types but if you only want to use one, use Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
For the Frosting and Drip
- Butter/Vegan Baking Stick- Make sure to use softened not melted or your frosting will be a runny mess.
- Water- This frosting uses water instead of milk.
- Heavy Cream- This is used for the drip but I discuss ways to make it vegan later in this post.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
How to Make this Vegan
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy.
- Read the label on your sprinkles to make sure they’re gluten free, nut free and vegan.
- Make sure to use vegan baking sticks instead of butter.
- Use allergy friendly chocolate chips such as these.
- Only use a vegan heavy cream or use my vegan ganache recipe from my strawberry red velvet cake.
This recipe has not been tested with these substitutions and/or variations due to celiac disease and food allergies. If you change any of the ingredients, please let us know how the recipe turned out in the comments below!
How to Make Chocolate Sprinkle Cake
Here are the step by step instructions to make this cake!
Step 1: Whisk Together all the Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powders, baking soda and kosher salt.
Step 2: Make 3 Wells
In the dry ingredients, using clean hands, make 3 wells for the wet ingredients to be poured into.
Step 3: Pour in the Liquid Ingredients Minus the Water
In one well pour the oil, in the other pour the white vinegar and in the last, pour the vanilla.
Step 4: Pour Cold Water on Top
Pour the cold water on top of all the ingredients.
Step 5: Whisk to Combine
Use a whisk to mix everything together until fully combined. If it gets too thick for the whisk, switch to a spatula.
Do not over mix.
Step 6: Add in the Sprinkles
Pour the sprinkles into the batter and use a whisk to fold them in.
Step 7: Scoop the Batter
Divide the batter evenly into two greased and parchment lined 8 inch cake pans and smooth the tops with a butter knife.
Step 8: Bake the Cakes
Bake the cakes in the center rack at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 minutes until the top is slightly springy when carefully poked.
Step 9: Cut the Cakes
Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool in the cake pans.
Once the cakes have cooked completely, take them out of the pan and slice them in half horizontally to create 4 thinner layers of cake.
If the tops of your cakes have domes, you can very carefully slice them off to make the tops flat.
Make the Frosting
Step 1: Cream the Butter/Vegan Baking Stick
In the large bowl of an electric mixer or using a hand held mixer, beat the softened butter or vegan baking stick until smooth and creamy. About 2 minutes.
Step 2: Add in the Vanilla
Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
Step 3: Whisk the Cocoa Powders
If using two types of cocoa powder, put them in a bowl and whisk to combine.
If using only one type of cocoa powder, skip this step.
Step 4: Add in the Remaining Ingredients Half at a Time
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in half the confectioners’ sugar, half the mixed cocoa powders and half the water. Beat until combined.
Then add in the second half of the ingredients and beat until combined again and smooth.
Assembling the Cake Tips
Step 1: Divide the Frosting
Separate the frosting into 5 equal sections.
Step 2: Frost One Layer
Place one layer of cake on a cake plate/stand. Scoop ⅕ (about 1 cup) of frosting on top of the layer and use an icing spatula to spread it around.
Step 3: Repeat the Process
Place another layer of cake on top; repeat this same process. Do this with 3 layers of cake.
Step 4: Keep the Top and Sides Thin
Once you get to the top layer of cake, place it bottom (or flat) side up so the top of the cake is nice and flat.
Use an icing spatula to frost the top and a thin layer on the sides
You should only use ⅕th of the frosting on the top and sides combined.
Step 5: Chill the Cake
Pop the entire cake in the fridge uncovered for 15-20 minutes. This will make it more stable to work with.
Step 6: Add the Sprinkles at the Bottom of the Cake
This part if not needed but if you want, frost a 1 inch high ring around the bottom edge of the cake.
Take your sprinkles and push them into the wet frosting so they stick.
The sprinkles shouldn’t stick to anything but that ring since the other frosting is hard from being in the fridge.
Step 7: Chill the Cake Again
After adding the sprinkles, pop the cake back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
Make the Ganache
Step 1: Place the Chocolate Chips in a Heat Safe Bowl
Set the bowl with the chips aside.
Step 2: Heat the Heavy Cream
Set the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.
When it begins to simmer around the edges, immediately pour the cream over the chocolate chips.
Step 3: Let it Sit
Do not whisk the heavy cream and chocolate chips together yet!
Let it sit for one minute and then whisk until combined and smooth.
Make the Drip
Step 1: Spoon the Ganache
Take the cake out of the fridge and immediately spoon almost all the liquid ganache on top of the cake.
Step 2: Push the Ganache
Using an icing spatula, push the ganache around the edges of the cake so it drips down the sides.
Work quickly because the cold cake will quickly stop the ganache from dripping too much.
Decorate the Top
Step 1: Make Swirls
Put the remaining ⅕th of the frosting into a piping bag.
Make swirls all around the edge of the top of the cake.
Step 2: Add more Sprinkles
Sprinkle some more gluten free/nut free/vegan rainbow sprinkles on top of the fudge swirl.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use 2 Types of Cocoa Powder- The 2 types of cocoa powders give the cookies their dark hue. If you only have one type on hand, use natural unsweetened or dutch...just know their color will not be as dark as mine. DO NOT use dark alone; it will make your cake too dry and bitter.
- Smoothing the Batter- Many gluten free flour batters have a way of staying exactly as they are placed, when baked. If you leave it misshapen, that’s how it will remain when baked. When the batter is in the pans, gently smooth the tops with a butter knife.
Most gluten free baked goods are best made the same day, but you can make this cake the night before and then do the ganache and pipe the extra buttercream in the morning.
If making the night before, keep the cake in the fridge under a dome or wrapped in foil until ready to decorate.
This recipe will make 24 regular sized cupcakes.
Bake them for 25-28 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To decorate the cake, if you don’t have a piping bag you can use your icing spatula or butter knife or the back of a spoon to make swirls or marks all over.
See my Vegan Vanilla Cake for inspiration.
Storing and freezing
Since gluten free and eggless baked goods are best the first day, we want to try to keep this chocolate sprinkle cake as fresh as possible.
Once the cake is cut into, it’s best to cut the entire cake into slices, wrap each slice in foil and store in a zip top bag in the fridge.
This is if you will be eating all the slices the next day.
When ready to eat, let the slices sit on the counter, in the foil for about an hour or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
I like to warm each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
If not eating all the extra slices the next day, take the slices wrapped in foil and in the zip top bag and freeze them.
You can keep the slices frozen for up to 30 days.
When ready to eat, put the slices in the fridge the night before or leave them out on the counter for 2 hours prior to eating or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
Warm each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Other Sprinkle Recipes You'll Love
Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!
Chocolate Sprinkle Cake
For the cake
- 3 cups gluten free flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder I use ¼ cup Dutch or Natural Unsweetened and ¼ cup Dark
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 cup rainbow sprinkles
For the frosting
- 3 sticks 1.5 cups softened unsalted butter or vegan baking stick
- 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cups cocoa powder I use 1 cup of Dutch or Natural Unsweetened and 1 cup of Dark
- 1 cup water
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the ganache drip
- 6 oz about 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
For the decorations
- More rainbow sprinkles
- For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 8 inch cake pans with vegetable oil, line with parchment paper and then lightly grease again with vegetable oil.
- In a large bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powders.
- Make 3 wells in the dry ingredients.
- In the first well, pour the vegetable oil.
- In the second well, pour the white vinegar.
- In the third well, pour the vanilla.
- Pour the cold water over everything and whisk together until just combined. If it starts getting thick, use a spatula instead of a whisk.
- Add in the 1 cup of rainbow sprinkles and mix to combine with a spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two 8 inch pans and smooth the tops with a butter knife.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for 48 minutes until the cake springs back at you when gently poked.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely in pans. Once cool, remove from pans and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once cool, slice each cake in half horizontally to create 4 thinner layers of cake. If the tops of your cakes have domes, you can very carefully slice them off to make the tops flat.
Make the frosting
- Make the fudge frosting while the cakes are baking: In a large bowl of an electric mixer or using a hand held mixer, beat the softened butter until it is smooth and creamy. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
- Whisk both cocoa powders together in a small bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the half the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powders and water and beat until combined and smooth and creamy.
- Add in the second half of the ingredients and beat until smooth.
Assemble the cake
- Divide frosting into 5 equal servings.
- Place one layer of cake on the cake stand. Take ⅕ of the frosting and frost the top. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat. Do this process 3 times.
- Frost a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake and sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper or an icing spatula to scrape excess frosting off the sides of the cake. Pop in the fridge uncovered for 15-20 min to harden.
- Frost a 1 inch high ring around the bottom edge of the cake. Press the sprinkles into the wet frosting so they stick. They shouldn’t stick to anything else since the other frosting is hard from being in the fridge.
- Chill the cake again for another 15 minutes.
Make the ganache
- Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. Place heavy cream in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the edges begin to simmer. Immediately pour on top of chips and do NOT mix! Let sit 1-2 min then whisk until fully combined and smooth.
Make the drip and decorate
- Take the cake out of the fridge. Spoon almost all of the liquid ganache on top of the cake. Take an icing spatula and push the ganache around to the edges of the cake so it drips down the sides. Work quickly since the cold cake will harden the ganache fast.
- Put the rest of the fudge frosting into a piping bag and pipe swirls all around the edge of the outside of the top of the cake.
- Place rainbow sprinkles on the fudge swirl.