One-Bowl Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free, vegan option}

This stupid easy, gluten-free, one-bowl chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting gets big flavor from roasted peanut oil, malty teff flour, brown sugar and buttermilk all crowned with swirls of salty frosting. Chocolate peanut butter cake perfection. Now with a vegan option! Thanks to La Tourangelle for sponsoring this post!

delicious One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}

A gluten-free chocolate cake for cake haters

Chocolate peanut butter lovers rejoice! I’m so excited to share today’s recipe because it changed my mind about three things I used to feel “meh” about: cake, peanuts, and frosting. In my book, cake is better than no dessert at all, but I’d take pretty much any sweet (pie, tart, crisp, cobbler, custard, ice cream, or good bar of chocolate) over it. Peanuts and their byproducts are only acceptable when chocolate is involved. And frosting has to have cream cheese in it to be rendered edible. And yet I would gladly eat this cake and all its offending components every day of my life and be perfectly happy.

eggs in bowl

Easy cakes for lazy people

In reality, it’s layer cakes that I used to loathe. This stems from the monstrosity of a wedding cake I had to assemble in pastry school, where I abused a perfectly decent carrot cake by hacking it into squares, layering it with an enormous amount of cream cheese frosting, and spackling it into a three-tiered monument. Several crumb coatings, basketweave frosting, and plastic pillars later, it crumbled into a pile of dry cake shards when we finally cut into it. “What’s the damn point?” I wondered.

pouring butter into bowl of chocolate chunks

Luckily for all of us, sheet cakes are the thing these days. Besides being quicker and easier to make, these single-layer cakes stay especially fresh because they need to be simply baked, then dressed in a layer of frosting, cut up, and eaten without much fanfare. You don’t need a stand mixer, springform pan, offset spatula, or piping bag. This bad boy can be in and out of the oven in well under an hour, then frosted and eaten soon afterwards. You can have cake on a weekday, no problem. And aren’t weekdays when we need cake the most?

chocolate mix in bowl

The best gluten-free chocolate cake recipe

Plus, I know the best chocolate cake recipe that happens to be a snap to whisk together, and gluten-free to boot. The base comes from GF baking maven and my very good friend and colleague Sarah of Snixy Kitchen. I first took a bite of her chocolate cupcakes several years ago, and I haven’t so much as looked at another classic chocolate cake recipe since. Super moist and tender, with a springy crumb and a bit of chew, it has a deep chocolate flavor and just the right amount of sweetness.

top down shot One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}

Teff flour chocolate cake

I’ve made Sarah’s chocolate cake many times over the years, and I’ve become especially fond of a teff flour version that I whipped up one night when I had some leftover boozy ganache that needed a cake to top. I love when an alternative flour bests its wheaty counterpart, as is the case here. Teff has an earthy flavor similar to malted chocolate milk (it smells exactly the way I remember Ovaltine tasting), thus it pairs beautifully with chocolate. It’s also very high in protein for a grain, and this protein gives pastry doughs and batters enough sturdiness to trap air pockets, enabling them to bake up light and fluffy. This cake batter only needs two flours – teff and sweet rice – to achieve a springy, slightly fudgy crumb with a touch of textural interest.

One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free} on table

Roasted peanut oil

When the folks at La Tourangelle asked me to bake something with their award-winning roasted peanut oil, it was this cake that popped into my head. Peanuts on their own don’t do much for me, but add chocolate to the mix (and preferably a hit of flaky salt) and it’s a whole other story. I knew the chocolate teff cake base would partner well with roasted peanut oil, but I wasn’t prepared for just what a game-changer the oil would be. To make the oil, fresh peanuts are roasted and pressed right here in California. Minimal processing results in a softly toasted flavor and golden hue.

Here the oil adds warm, nutty notes to the cake, blending seamlessly with the malty teff flour and earthy brown sugar.

Peanut Butter Frosting

Just three main ingredients go into this addictive peanut butter frosting recipe: butter, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. I use natural creamy peanut butter – no need for any additives here! Vanilla and salt punch up the flavors. Whipped into fluffy clouds of salty-sweet goodness, this peanut butter icing makes a luscious topping for chocolate cake (or for licking off spoons).

4 slices of One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}

The cake that tastes like a chocolate peanut butter cup

This chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting is like a big gooey chocolate peanut butter cup that you can wash down with a cold glass of milk (or my favorite – almond milk). Thanks to the roasted peanut oil and salted peanut butter frosting, you truly get peanut goodness in every bite. I’ve made this cake four or five times now between testing and shooting, and I still can’t keep my paws off of it.

Slices of this cake are good conversion therapy for cake haters other than myself. The other day I brought some to a friend’s birthday brunch and another friend at the table, food writer Laura Fraser, wrinkled her nose. “I don’t like peanuts,” she said, “and I’m not too fond of cake either.”

She had seconds.

Gluten-free vegan chocolate cake

My dear friend Emma tested a vegan version of this cake! I’ve added the substitutions to the recipe below.

More chocolate cake recipes:

slices One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}

*Thanks for reading! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, I’d love to see! Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and  #bojongourmet.*

One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}
5 from 9 votes

One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}

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Chocolate peanut butter lovers rejoice! This super moist, easy peasy chocolate cake topped with salty peanut butter frosting tastes like a giant, gooey peanut butter cup.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings



  • 1 teaspoon softened butter, for the pan
  • ½ cup (80 g) GF teff flour
  • 3 tablespoons (23 g) sweet white rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) tapioca flour/starch (or an additional tablespoon sweet rice flour)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (35 g) dutch-processed cocoa powder (such as Rodelle or Guittard)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (150 g) organic light brown sugar
  • cup (80 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) La Tourangelle Roasted Peanut Oil (or neutral oil such as sunflower oil)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup (80 ml) hot water
  • 1 large egg


  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g) pwd sugar, sifted (more as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) natural salted or unsalted creamy peanut butter, well-stirred and at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • flaky sea salt such as Maldon, for sprinkling (optional)


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the teff, sweet rice, and tapioca flours with the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and hot water to the batter. Add the egg and quickly whisk the batter until smooth and no lumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top springs back to the touch, 18-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan, peel away the parchment, and place on a wire rack to cool completely, 20 minutes. Transfer the cake to a serving board or platter.
  • To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl with a wooden spoon) beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute. Spread the frosting over the cake.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle the cake with pinches of flaky salt, cut into wedges, and serve. The cake keeps well for several days; I like to store it airtight in the refrigerator, but be sure to serve it at room temperature so the frosting softens.


Vegan Variation: Use 1/4 cup aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas or other white beans) in place of the egg. Thin plant yogurt (such as cashew) with plant milk (such as oat) until it's the consistency of buttermilk and use in place of the buttermilk. Use vegan butter in the frosting in place of the dairy butter (I'm partial to Miyoko's brand), decreasing or omitting the salt if the butter is salted. The cake may need a slightly longer bake time, so be sure to test it with a toothpick for doneness. 
Roasted peanut oil is the secret ingredient that gives the cake extra peanut flavor without the textural bother of nuts. But if you don't have any on hand, feel free to use sunflower oil in its place.
Cake recipe adapted from Snixy Kitchen.
To turn this into a layer cake, double or triple the recipes and stack two or three layers atop each other. Or double the recipe and bake in a 9x12-inch pan to feed a crowd, increasing the baking time as needed.
I've added a vegan variation above!
Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!

More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes:

sliced One-Bowl Teff Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free}

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49 thoughts on “One-Bowl Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting {gluten-free, vegan option}”

  1. Oh man this cake looks delicious and that fluffy peanut butter topping…heavenly! Now I know just what to do with that unopened bag of teff I bought awhile ago.

    BTW, just want to let you know I was lying in bed reading your fabulous cookbook last night. I love going back to it from time to time to re-read your very detailed descriptions of all the different flours to inspire me in my own gluten free baking journey. Thank you for so much inspiration and information!

  2. I never comment on recipes because until now I had no reason to. This cake is AMAZING! As soon as I read it I bought peanut butter and ran to my kitchen. I was not disappointed. I recently discovered your blog and had to purchase your book, which I have almost read cover to cover. Your pictures are gorgeous and your recipes are captivating. I will be making many more of them. As someone who has to eat gluten free, but loves desert, thank you!!

    1. Aw, this sweet note completely made my day! I’m so glad you liked the cake and that you’re enjoying Alternative Baker. That means so much to me!

  3. I recently have had to omit gluten, dairy and soy from my daughter’s diet and bought your book The Alternative Baker. I would like to know what milk substitute to use for buttermilk?

    1. I usually try equal parts plant milk (I prefer a fresh almond milk) and plant yogurt (my favorite is Forager cashew yogurt). Every recipe is a little different, so it’ll work better some places than in others. Please let me know what you end up trying! :)

      1. The cake turned out amazing🤗Thank you for the substitutions. I used 40 ml almond milk and 40 ml cashew yogurt. For the frosting I used butter flavored crisco and there wasn’t a slice left at the end of the night!

        1. Yaaaayyyyy I’m so glad you liked it! If you ever see Miyoko’s vegan butter at your local grocer, I highly recommend it as a butter substitute. :)

        2. Oh, thank you for being the first to test the blend. Dairy gives me hives and I dream of chocolate amd peanut butter.
          Will def make this now.

  4. This is the first time I’ve been to your blog and I must say, not only does this recipe look incredibly delicious, but your photography is breathtaking! I might just have to try this recipe this weekend!

  5. I made this last night (just the cake – the icing is a bit indulgent for a weeknight). It worked beautifully with macadamia nut oil (I’m in Australia). Thanks heaps for an easy 1 bowl cake that is soooo yummy.

  6. So…. how did you guess that peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite combination of all time?! I can’t resist anything that has those two things in it. I’ve been known to hoard pb cups. And made into a cake, yes please. Love the use of teff and sweet rice, but also – I had no idea that roasted peanut oil was a thing. I can see how it would lend it’s hand to sweets so well, and asian inspired cuisine as well. Beautiful photos, as always! xo

  7. I feel the same way as you do about cake vs. other desserts … until this cake! It is amazing! I baked it to share with my teachers as one of the treats at a training we had yesterday. They loved it and couldn’t believe it was gluten free! I’ll be making it again for a party tomorrow. I want to thank you for always creating and sharing such wonderful GF recipes. Your blog and cookbook have made my life with celiac SO much easier. And more delicious!

    1. Oh my goodness, that means so much to me to hear! Thanks a billion for the sweet note – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes. There’s so much mediocre GF baking out there, I try really hard to make my recipes worth the effort. What lucky teachers you have!

  8. Mmmm this looks and sounds delicious!! I may have to make this for Father’s Day!!! :)

    What are your favorite recipes, what do you find yourself making over and over again?!? What recipes on your website or in your book are a “must-try”?? I’ve really enjoyed every one of your recipes I’ve tried so far!

    1. Aw, thank you so much for the sweet note – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

      Some favorites from the book that I make a bunch (in order of appearance, haha):
      -Blueberry Corn Flour Muffins
      -Apple Buckwheat Gruyere Puff Pancake
      -Pumpkin Cranberry Nut and Seed Loaf
      -Cherry Chocolate Hempseed No-Bake Oat Bars
      -Mesquite Chocolate Cakes with Whipped Creme Fraiche and Berries (you can sub almond flour for mesquite)
      -Chestnut Plum Financiers
      -Ginger Peach Pie
      -Lemon Buttermilk Pie
      -Coconut Cream Raspberry Tart
      -Peach Brown Butter Creme Fraiche Tart
      -Chocolate Truffle Tart
      -All of the cobblers
      -Baked Grits with Sweet Corn and Berries
      -Coconut Tres Leches Cake
      -Cherry Chestnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
      -Teff Oatmeal Cookies (especially love the chocolate variation!)
      -Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies
      -Chestnut Brownies
      -Cashew Lime Blondies

      Your question prompted me to look through every blog post this morning and pick my all-time favorites to compile into a post! So stay tuned for that. :)

      1. Ooooh Awesome!!! :) :) Thank you!

        Everything I’ve made from your recipes rings true to my own personal taste. What first brought me to your blog are your pie/tart recipes… I am a pie fiend, and thereby a very discerning pie eater. Most times when I order a pie or tart from somewhere, I think… “Hmm.. I make it better.” Haha. And your recipes are freaking YUM, and I love the pastry chef expert advice you include.

        Yay!! I am looking forward to your upcoming post with your all-time favorites from your blog! ;)

        Now if you excuse me, I will be making (or baking) my way through this list of favorites from your book… !

        1. Aw, that means so much to me! Pies are so time consuming, and so much can go wrong… so I try to make sure my recipes are solid. I’m really glad you’re enjoying them! Please come back and let me know what you try from the book. :)

    1. Great question! I use brown teff. It’s so much more common than ivory teff that I don’t specify, but thanks for asking! I think ivory would work fine too. :)

  9. I made the vegan version of this recipe using aquafaba as an egg replacer and the cashew yogurt/oat milk mix as buttermilk replacer and it worked PERFECTLY! I’ve made the non-vegan version as well, and both are major crowd pleasers. The vegan version is slightly more dense (but very still cake-like!) and does take an extra few minutes to bake, as Alanna lists. This will be my go-to cake time and time again…literally crave it daily :)

  10. I’m going to have to double the recipe next time because one cake is not enough for us. It was just sooooo good! I ran out of vanilla while making the cake so I threw maple extract into the frosting, and the rest is history. Happy birthday to me!

  11. Do you think I could substitute regular rice flour for the sweet rice? If so, I have everything to make this cake! Looks uh-may-ZING!

    1. Aw thanks! I worry that regular rice flour won’t be sticky enough to keep the cake from crumbling. BUT you could either use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour (which is based on sweet rice) or you could try using some regular rice flour and tapioca flour (say 1 part tapioca to 3 or 4 parts rice). Please let me know what you try! :)

  12. Made a dairy-free version of this for my husband’s birthday and it was a huge hit (even among gluten and dairy eaters)! Wonderful flavors and texture, and not too sweet.
    To make it dairy free, I thinned Forager Cashewgurt for the cake and Miyoko’s butter for the frosting as Alanna suggests. My frosting wasn’t completely smooth — I don’t think I let it warm enough before mixing, so there were little dots of butter, but it didn’t affect the end product much in my opinion
    I only have 9-inch round pans, so I ended up tripling the recipe and divided between the pans, then used a double frosting recipe to stack it. It worked really well!
    Yet another stunning recipe. Thanks as always, Alanna!

  13. Okay, I have made it twice. The first time, I didn’t have any roasted peanut oil, so I used regular peanut oil. This time, I bought the roasted peanut oil as soon as I spotted it, and I thought I had teff flour, but I didn’t. So, after consulting Alternative Baker, I subbed in chestnut flour and followed the rest of the recipe. And it. Is. Amazing. I now understand why mug cakes exist (never made one, and didn’t understand the point, but if they were this good, I might) – I am not a cake person, but this dang thing smelled so good baking I couldn’t wait until it cooled. I hacked into it on the cooling rack. I am eating it. Lucky for me, it is still delicious. I was afraid of my chestnut flour swap out, but it was delicious! I wanted chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, but talked myself into making this cake instead. It comes together so fast, and I was able to clean it up in a second too – love it. Thank you!!!!

    1. Using chestnut flour in place of teff was genius! I can imagine the lovely earthy/smoky flavor that it adds. And the texture is so soft, I bet it made the crumb extra tender. I know what you mean about the smell of the baking cake – it’s brutal! Hooray for warm cake fresh from the oven with a glass of milk. :D

  14. Just to report back, I happened to need a cake in a hurry prior to leaving town a day early unexpectedly, for someone who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter (*gasp*). I used sunflower oil in the batter and subbed in Amaretto Liquor into the frosting for some flavor.

    I actually weighed everything into a quart jar and added the buttermilk, egg, and hot water once I arrived at our hotel, which happened to have an oven. And then I managed to make the buttercream with a microwave and a spoon. Certainly not the highest class presentation I’ve ever made, but being able to bung it together in ten minutes before dashing out the door, and then being able to bake it at a Residence Inn hotel felt like a super-win. Thanks!!

  15. I wanted to make this dairy free, so I subbed oat milk for buttermilk. And I couldn’t find roasted peanut oil, so I used roasted hazelnut oil to give it a “Nutella” flavor. Subbed hazelnut butter for PB in the frosting too. Cakes turned out a little crumbly but so delicious!

    1. That all sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing your substitutions. So the crumbliness might have been due to the lack of acidity (and protein) in the oat milk as opposed to buttermilk. Acidity makes sweet rice flour more sticky which helps hold the cake together. You might try adding a half teaspoon or so of lemon juice or vinegar next time, or using plant yogurt milk thinned with oat milk. If you try it again, let me know!