by Olena

Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

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This healthy Almond Flour Chocolate Cake is dense but fluffy, moist with a tender crumb, and a delicious gluten free chocolate cake recipe. Made with just 7 ingredients, naturally sweetened and oil free, no one would guess this flourless chocolate cake is healthy OR gluten free!

This chocolate almond cake recipe is a delicious chocolatey cross between my almond flour vanilla cake and whole wheat chocolate cake.

Almond Flour Chocolate Cake dusted with icing sugar

Tender Chocolatey Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

When it comes to baking chocolate treats, I’ve tried all the ‘alternatives. There are recipes here for chocolate zucchini bread, chocolate chia pudding, superfood chocolate bars, and healthy chocolate bread (among many others). However, with my love for all things almond flour, this almond flour chocolate cake was inevitable.

I’ve already shared over a dozen almond flour goodies, including almond flour chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies , even Instant Pot cobbler – so it’s about time to enjoy an almond flour chocolate cake. This cake is denser than wheat flour yet remains fluffy with a tender crumb and mildly nutty flavor that compliments the chocolate without taking over. This ‘flourless’ chocolate cake is also enjoyed by everyone, with or without dietary restrictions. No one will ever guess that it’s gluten free!

Best of all, this gluten free chocolate cake is wholesome enough that you could even have a slice for breakfast! It contains just 7 ingredients (salt included), no oil, and is naturally sweetened. Not to mention that almond flour contains several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Boosted further with the rich antioxidants within cacao powder, you really can have your cake and eat it too!

Once baked, enjoy this almond flour chocolate cake in several ways – with berries (or berry sauce) and Instant Pot yogurt, healthy frosting (linked below), or made more decadent with a rich frosting – the choice is up to you! You can even use the cake within other recipes like trifles.

a slice of gluten free chocolate cake on a plate with work

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Eggs: You’ll need 4 large eggs. It’s best to use them at room temperature.
  • Cacao powder: You can use cacao or cocoa powder. Cacao is the least processed of the two and contains almost 4x the antioxidant level; however, it’s also more expensive. For a darker, more decadent cake, you could use dark cocoa powder. Just avoid Dutch-processed as it is an alkali, and the baking powder won’t react with it to provide lift.
  • Sweetener: You can use maple syrup or honey. Other liquid sweeteners will work but the flavor will vary. Dry sweetener might work but I haven’t tested with this almond flour chocolate cake recipe. However, it works with almond flour banana bread.
  • Baking Soda: To provide lift and fluffy texture to the final result.
  • Almond flour: Use superfine blanched almond flour for this gluten free chocolate cake recipe. If you use almond meal, then the texture will be quite different (read FAQs).
  • Butter/coconut oil: For greasing the baking tin. I’ve tried with cooking spray, and it never seems to yield great results with this gluten free chocolate cake recipe.
  • Salt: Just a pinch to enhance the cacao flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract: Or vanilla paste will work. I try to avoid the artificial stuff when possible.

Optional Add-Ins

This almond flour chocolate cake is easily adaptable with no fuss. Below are just a few optional add-ins:

  • Espresso Powder: Adding a little espresso/coffee grounds to any chocolate cake helps add depth to the chocolate flavor and won’t taste like coffee (I do so with black bean brownies and even sirloin tip roast). I suggest adding between ½ – 1 1/2 tsp. If you want the cake to have a ‘mocha’ flavor, add around 1 tbsp espresso powder. You could also serve the flourless chocolate cake alongside a mocha whipped cream (or coconut whipped cream) combining the cream with a bit of vanilla, powdered sugar (or sugar-free alternative), and espresso powder.
  • Chili: Chocolate and chili are a popular combination for a reason. Feel free to add a finely chopped (fairly mild) chili or some chili powder to the cake batter with ¼-1/2 tsp chili flakes. You can also add chili flakes to the chocolate ‘frosting’ of your choice.
  • Spices: Alongside chili powder, several other spices will work well with chocolate; Cinnamon, candied ginger, gingerbread seasoning, pumpkin spice, chai blend, etc.
  • Flavor Extracts: I prefer to use only natural flavorings like mint, coffee, ginger, rose, orange, etc.
  • Citrus: Use the zest of one orange and/or some natural orange extract for a delicious chocolate orange cake.

How to Make Almond Flour Chocolate Cake 

  • Preheat the oven: To 350F/125C and line the pan with parchment paper, making sure to grease the pan and top of the parchment paper well.  
  • Mix the cake batter: In a large bowl, beat the eggs well until combined. Then add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt, whisking well to combine. Add the cacao powder and whisk until there are no lumps. Finally, add the almond flour and gently fold it into the batter until well incorporated.
  • Bake the chocolate almond cake: Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and bake on the middle rack for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (with a few crumbs is fine).
  • Remove it from the pan: Allow the cake to cool for around an hour in the pan before using a flat spatula/knife to help release it from the tin’s edges and flip upside down to release the cake onto a cooling rack. Peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, and then allow it to cool before decorating and/or slicing into 10 pieces – enjoy!

If you’d like to top this gluten free chocolate cake with a healthy coconut whipped cream and berry topping, check out the how-to on my almond cake recipe. Alternatively, you might enjoy this healthy yogurt cacao cak topping from my healthy chocolate cake recipe. Of course, feel free to also use a traditional buttercream frosting if preferred!

How to Store, Freeze and Make Ahead

Storing: Refrigerate leftover almond flour chocolate cake for between 3-4 days, covered.

Freeze: You can freeze the unfrosted cake tightly wrapped in a few layers of plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for a few hours.

Make ahead: The baked almond flour chocolate cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 2 days in the fridge before frosting and serving.

FAQs

What is almond flour vs. almond meal?


The truth is almond flour is simply blanched almonds that are ground down into a floury consistency. However, there is still a difference between flour and meal in that the meal usually uses whole almonds, skins included, and is often coarser in texture.

Likewise, there is ‘leftover almond pulp,’ which is a byproduct of processes like almond milk. This is often dried out and used as flour too, with lower fat content.

All three products are different and will affect bakes in different ways. I like to use fine blanched almond flour for this as it produces the fluffiest results. Almond meal chocolate cake will be denser.

How to make your own cake pan liners?


If you’re unable (or don’t want) to purchase ready-cut cake tin liners, this will be a step that’s often needed with homemade bakes.

To do this, place your cake pan/s on top of parchment paper and trace the shape with a pencil, then cut it out with scissors. For multiple tins, you could use enough parchment paper to fold into layers, trace the pan once on top and cut out all the layers in one go.

Can I adapt this to almond flour chocolate muffins/cupcakes?


I have yet to try either with this recipe – I actually don’t have an almond flour chocolate muffin recipe on the blog (yet) either. However, I do have healthy chocolate muffins (not GF), chocolate quinoa muffins, and chocolate coconut flour muffins.

If you want to experiment with this recipe, I’d use parchment paper liners in a muffin/cupcake pan and bake at the same temperature for between 15-25 minutes. The time will vary based on the size of the cakes and your oven, so check at 15 minutes and continue until a toothpick/skewer comes out of the center of the cupcakes almost clean (a few crumbs are fine but not wet).

almond flour chococlate cake dusted with icing sugar and slice

More Tips

  • Make sure to use the spoon and level method: When measuring the almond flour (rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour bag). If you use too much flour, the almond cake will end up dense. However, for the best results, measure your almond flour by weight, not volume.
  • Avoid springform pans: They can affect the cake shape and make it very ‘thin’ looking (tried and tested several times.)
  • Be careful not to overbake the cake: It will continue to cook slightly as it cools, so a toothpick coming out ‘fairly clean’ (with a few crumbs but not wet) is enough before removing it from the oven.
  • For a paleo version of this almond flour chocolate cake: You may be able to swap the sweetener for a paleo-friendly option like coconut or date sugar. However, I haven’t tried this, and you will likely need to add a little liquid to the batter to make up for the lack after omitting the syrup/honey unless you can find a paleo liquid option.
  • To help the cake unmold easily: You can dust the greased pans with a light dusting of cocoa powder to further help it rise evenly, release easier, and create a barrier between the ‘grease’ to stop it melting into the almond flour chocolate cake batter!

More Healthy Chocolate Recipes

If you enjoyed this healthy almond flour chocolate cake recipe, you might like some other healthy chocolate bakes and treats!

You might also enjoy this list of 20 almond flour recipes!

Almond Flour Chocolate Cake on a platter
Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

This healthy Almond Flour Chocolate Cake is dense but fluffy, moist with a tender crumb, and a delicious gluten-free chocolate cake recipe. Made with just 7 ingredients, naturally sweetened and oil-free, no one would guess this flourless chocolate cake is healthy OR gluten-free!
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour 6 oz
  • Butter or coconut oil for greasing
  • Icing sugar optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cake pan on a parchment paper, circle with a pen and cut out a round. Grease bottom and sides of the pan with butter or coconut oil really well. Place round inside the cake pan and grease it too.
    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
  • In a large bowl, add eggs and whisk well. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt; whisk until well combined.
    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
  • Add cacao powder and whisk well until all incorporated and no lumps. Add almond flour and mix with spatula until well combined.
    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
  • Pour batter into previously prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in a pan for an hour or so. Using a flat spatula carefully separate edges of the cake from a pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar, cut into 10 slices and enjoy.
    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3-4 days.

    Freeze: You can freeze cake tightly wrapped in a few layers of plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for a few hours.

      Notes

      • Cacao powder: You can use cacao or cocoa powder. Cacao is the least processed of the two and contains almost 4x the antioxidant level; however, it’s also more expensive. For a darker, more decadent cake, you could use dark cocoa powder. Just avoid Dutch-processed as it is an alkali, and the baking powder won’t react with it to provide lift.
      • Sweetener: Other liquid sweeteners will work but the flavor will vary. Dry sweetener might work but I haven’t tested.
      • Almond flour: Use superfine blanched almond flour for this gluten free chocolate cake recipe. If you use almond meal, then the texture will be quite different (read FAQs).
      • Butter/coconut oil: For greasing the baking tin. I’ve tried with cooking spray, and it never seems to yield great results with this gluten free chocolate cake recipe.
      • Do not use springform pan: I highly recommend no to do it because it deforms the shape of cake and makes it very thin looking.
      • Make sure to use the spoon and level method: When measuring the almond flour (rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour bag). If you use too much flour, the almond cake will end up dense. However, for the best results, measure your almond flour by weight, not volume.
      • Be careful not to overbake the cake: It will continue to cook slightly as it cools, so a toothpick coming out ‘fairly clean’ (with a few crumbs but not wet) is enough before removing it from the oven.
      See Recipe Post for more Tips and Variations.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1slice | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      3 comments on “Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

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      1. 5 stars
        Excelente receta yo siempre que preparo un pastel de chocolate agrego un toque de un café especial que le da un sabor único, eso lo leí en excelentes articulos sobre el cafe

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