Celebrating National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27) can be tricky if you’re gluten sensitive. Over 15 years ago, Ali Graeme discovered she and her young son had Celiac Disease, the body’s inability to process gluten. Back then, there weren’t many gluten-free recipe options, so she started fiddling in the kitchen and came up with recipes that her friends and family loved so much they encouraged her to start a business. Thus was born Sweet Ali’s Gluten-Free Bakery in Hinsdale, Illinois. Ali shared Sweet Ali’s story, and chocolate cake recipe — below, made easy with Sweet Ali’s Chocolate Cake Mix — with Steve Alexander.

Sweet Ali’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

Sweet Ali’s Chocolate Cake Mix

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup canola oil

1 cup milk (or dairy-free alternative)

Directions: In a mixing bowl, combine 4 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup canola oil and 1 cup milk (or dairy-free alternative). Add Sweet Ali’s Chocolate Cake Mix and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Pour into two (greased with parchment on bottom) 8-inch round cake pans or 24 cupcake holders. Bake for 26 minutes (cupcakes 18) at 375 degrees or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Top with a buttercream or dairy free frosting of your choice.

Chocolate Buttercream

4 sticks butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

2 T milk 

Directions: In a mixing bowl, beat butter; add salt and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar and cocoa powder alternating with the milk; beat well after each addition. Add additional milk if needed. Spread as desired on cake or cupcakes.