Chocolate cake, oh how the chocolate lover in me rejoices at the thought of sinking my teeth into a moist, rich, chocolaty slice.
And I know…it’s not the healthiest thing for you, we all know this, but that shouldn’t stop us from treating ourselves and indulging in a decadent slice every so often, now should it? Even better if said cake is homemade and clean-eating. But that’s not the only reason why this cake is so amazing…
💕Here’s why you’ll love this cake:
- It’s rich, moist and bursting with chocolate flavor.
- It’s made using almond flour which makes this recipe gluten-free!
- It uses natural sugars (namely maple syrup) to sweeten it.
- There are no added fats to it thanks to the naturally high-fat content of almond flour.
- This recipe is high in protein thanks to the almond flour and protein-rich eggs.
- It calls for only 9 ingredients and takes just 10 minutes to throw together with no special equipment needed!
- It’s delicious on it’s own even without the frosting.
To make it we’ll need to gather our 9 ingredients. They are:
- Blanched Almond Flour: I highly recommend using a super fine grind of blanched almond flour over unbleached almond flour (aka almond meal) since the finer grind gives you a much fluffier cake with a finer crumb texture. Almond meal may make your cake’s texture a bit coarser.
- Cocoa Powder: Use a high quality cocoa powder for the best results as this is the main ingredient to add flavor and depth of richness to the cake.
- Raw Cane Sugar: I’ve finely blended my raw cane sugar since the crystals tend to be larger which makes it harder to melt and incorporate into the cake.
- Salt: I’m using a pink Himalayan salt but a sea salt works just as well.
- Baking Soda: Our rising agent. It will interact with the cocoa powder to give our cake an even rise.
- Nutmeg: An optional ingredient that you can omit or sub with cinnamon, or baking espresso if you like. It’s purpose is simply to add an extra undertone of flavor depth.
- Eggs: This recipe calls for 6 large chicken eggs which I’ll agree is a lot of eggs for a single cake, but it makes up not only the bulk of the liquid in this recipe but it adds to the cake’s rise, texture, and richness.
- Maple Syrup: This is our main sweetener and the other liquid portion of our cake. The maple adds a lot of flavor to our cake.
- Vanilla Extract: This amplifies the flavor of our chocolate and adds a great depth of flavor to our cake. Don’t omit it!
Sweeteners and subbing:
This cake uses 2 sweeteners, maple syrup and finely blended raw cane sugar.
If you want to omit the raw cane sugar: I recommend adding an extra 2 tbsp of almond flour (making for a total of 2 cups of almond flour) and an additional 2 tbsp of maple syrup in addition to the 1 cup the recipe calls for.
If you want to use only honey: You absolutely can. I recommend replacing the maple syrup and sugar with 3/4 cup of honey. Note that the texture of your cake may be a bit denser and stickier/moister due to the thicker viscosity of natural honey.
If you want to omit the maple syrup: Create a simple syrup by simmering 1 cup of water with 1 cup of raw cane sugar for 5-6 minutes and then cooling completely. You should ideally have 1 cup of simple syrup once cooled. Optional: you can add in a splash of maple extract to mimic the maple flavor.
Here’s how easy this cake is to make:
To a large bowl add and combine all your dry ingredients.
In another smaller bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients.
With both wet and dry ingredients thoroughly combined…
…Add your wet ingredients to your dry mix and stir to incorporate everything into an even batter. Using a whisk or spatula work quickly to break up any major lumps. Your batter will seem very liquidy and wet at this point, don’t worry, this is normal.
Pour your batter into a well-greased cake pan (I’m using a 9″ springform pan generously greased with coconut oil). If preferred, use a liner on the bottom to make unmolding easier.
Once your cake is poured into the pan, immediately place it into a pre-heated (325°F) oven for about 45 minutes. Notice that immediately is bolded? The reason for this is to ensure that we’re capitalizing on our rising agent that is baking soda. Unlike baking powder which is dual acting (aka it reacts to moisture and to heat when baked), baking soda reacts immediately to the cocoa powder and liquid and starts creating bubbles of carbon dioxide, if we don’t get it baking right away, these bubbles will simply collapse on themselves and we will lose our rise and the cake may be dense and take longer to bake.
Your cake should bake up with a relatively flat top and the sides will naturally pull away from the pan (so be sure you greased it well!). To tell if it’s done, gently jiggle the pan and if the middle jiggles it’s not ready, give it 5 more minutes, if the middle is set, check it with a toothpick or skewer in the middle. If it comes out clean then your cake is done! Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool before attempting to cut or unmold it from the pan.
And there you have it, a simple and easy cake that can be thrown together without much hassle! Doesn’t it look amazing?
But we can take it one step further and make it even more decadent by frosting it with this simple clean-eating Chocolate Frosting…it’s…(oh boy this is gonna be a terrible pun so I’m sorry in advance) it’s the icing on the cake! (Yeah, I’ll see myself out now, don’t worry 😅)
And if the frosting isn’t enough, you can even top your frosted cake with any of the following:
- Chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Grated or shave curls of dark chocolate.
- Mini dark chocolate chips.
- Edible flowers.
- Fresh peach slices.
- Fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries).
- Fresh strawberries.
- Lightly toasted shredded coconut.
- Simple Salted Butterscotch drizzle.
If there are any other clean eating toppings you like, let us know below and I can include them in the above list. ^^
Honestly guys, that’s it for this post. You know you want a slice of this goodness, so what are you waiting for? Give this recipe and my Chocolate Frosting recipe a try, and when you do, be sure to let me know how it turned out!
The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 325°F and thoroughly grease a 9-inch round cake pan with extra light olive oil or coconut oil. (I like using a springform pan).
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (almond flour, cocoa powder, finely blended cane sugar, baking soda, salt, and, if using, nutmeg) together.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract) in another bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until fully combined and the batter is free of any major lumps. (Note that the batter is going to be very wet and runny, not at all like a standard cake batter, that's normal)
- Immediately pour the batter into your pre-greased cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until it passes the toothpick test in the middle, and the sides have pulled away from the pan.NOTE: If after 45 minutes your cake still has some wobble in the middle bake it for 5 minutes longer and check again. Repeat until your cake's middle is set and passes the toothpick test.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before attempting to remove or slice your cake.
- To frost: bring the cake to room temp and then chill it for 15 minutes in the fridge. Frost as desired.
- Store any leftovers, covered and in the fridge for up to a week.
- To maximize on the baking soda's potency, work quickly to combine, pour and place your cake into the oven. Don't let the batter sit or rest once mixed because you will lose vital rising power which will affect the cake's texture and bake.
- Add a handful of mini dark chocolate chips over the top of the cake before baking for a little extra kick of decadence.
- You can also replace the nutmeg with 1/4 tsp of baking espresso powder to really amplify the chocolate flavor.
- Use a high quality cocoa powder for the best flavor results.
- The nutritional information does not include the frosting.