If you’re looking for a dessert that’s easy, and delicious that will will impress a crowd? This gluten-free chocolate gooey butter cake will be a hit!
Gooey butter cake is the best. My mom found a recipe when I was a kid – and back then we knew it as French butter cake, which is why my other gooey butter cake recipe is called gluten-free french butter cake – and made it frequently afterward.
My daughter and I have fun making this recipes together because it uses two bowls – one for her and one for me – which frankly, keeps me from hovering over her bowl, wringing my hands, and taking over when I shouldn’t. Recovering control freak here.
But the other reason we love this recipe is just because it tastes so darn good.
The cream cheese kind of gives it away doesn’t it?
It’s like the best of both worlds. A dense, moist, chocolate cake, topped with a gooey, chocolatey cheese cake layer.
Not to make this story too long, here are a few notes before we get started with the recipe:
You can sub a cake mix for the dry ingredients. Either gluten-free or not – and any flavor. I think strawberry cake mix bottom topped with the chocolate cheesecake later would be da bomb. Just make sure that if you’re using a gluten-free cake mix, you get one like Pillsbury, intended for a 9×13 inch baking pan. You can also use 3 cups of homemade gluten-free cake mix.
Make sure to omit the xanthin or guar gum if you’re using a mix that already includes it. Most pre-mixed flours include xnathan gum or another binder. I like to mix my own and control the binder, but that’s up to you. Almost any gluten-free flour mix will work with this recipe as long as the flour is ground finely (some cheap flours can be rather coarse.), but I prefer my homemade gluten-free flour blend, because in my opinion, it has the perfect, mild flavor for a cake like this.
If you’re baking by yourself (as opposed to side-by-side with a child), you can get away with dirtying only one bowl by mixing the cake layer, scraping the mix into your baking pan, and starting with the cheesecake layer in the same bowl. Don’t worry too much about a little leftover cake in the bowl as long as you’ve scraped it out well.
You can intensify the chocolate flavor by adding a half teaspoon of instant coffee powder to the bottom later, and a quarter teaspoon to the top layer. You’ll be surprised how it doesn’t taste like coffee – just more chocolaty! Of course, if you want that mocha flavor, experiment with adding more instant coffee.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake
For the Cake Layer:
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix
- 1 teaspoon of guar or xanthan gum IF your mix does not already contain it (read ingredients!)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Cheesecake Layer:
- 1 brick (8oz.) Cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour mix, xanthan gum (if using), cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- Add butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until completely incorporated.
- In a second large bowl, combine cheesecake layer ingredients and beat until smooth.
- Press cake layer mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Pour cheesecake mixture on top, and spread evenly.
- Bake in center of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until cake no longer jiggles when moved (the toothpick test won’t work on this cake!)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Once cake is cool, cut into squares and serve.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.