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This easy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake is a showstopper! It’s incredibly moist, made with almond flour and topped with the most delicious chocolate buttercream.
You know I love a good cake recipe. In fact, my brother recently asked me what my favorite kind of dessert is, and I said CAKE. There’s just something about it that I love so much, and I’m excited to share this gluten free chocolate cake recipe with you.
- The cake is made in two 6″ cake pans, so it’s the perfect smaller-sized cake
- It’s moist and covered in the most delicious chocolate buttercream
- I pinky promise your friends and family will never know it’s gluten free!
Almond flour: This cake has been tested with almond flour, not almond meal, though I do believe you can use almond meal if you’re in a pinch
Sugar: I always have a bag of cane sugar on hand, so that tends to be my preferred sugar in baking. Substitutions: granulated sugar or coconut sugar
Eggs: No substitutions here. I haven’t tested this cake with flax eggs, so if you can, I say stick with regular eggs
Maple syrup: I would NOT sub honey — maple syrup is richer in flavor, and pairs better with chocolate in this cake
Butter: I used grass-fed butter, but you can use dairy free butter if you prefer
Chocolate: Go for your favorite kind of chocolate. If you love 85% dark, go for it, just know that the icing may be a little more bitter tasting. I used a 60% chocolate bar and thought it was perfect.
Step 1: In one bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla together.
Step 2: Combine the wet and dry ingredients by hand. Since we’re using a gluten free flour (almond flour), we really don’t want to over-mix the batter, so I recommend doing this by hand with a spatula.
Step 3: Line your cake pans with parchment rounds (see “tips” below), then distribute the cake batter evenly into the pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, then wait at least 1o minutes before carefully inverting the cakes onto a cooling rack.
Step 4: Make the icing. Start by melting the chocolate, then pour the warm chocolate over the softened butter and wait a few minutes for the butter to melt a bit. Then, add the powdered sugar and, if needed, a little milk and whisk with an electric mixer until everything is combined.
FAQs and Tips
- How to make your own cake pan liners: Place your cake pans on top of parchment paper, then trace the pans. Cut the round paper out with scissors, then place the parchment round in the bottom of your cake pans. Be sure to add a little coconut oil to the paper as well so it sticks to the bottom.
- For the chocolate: I mentioned this above, but the chocolate is the main component of the icing, so choose your favorite kind! I like using 60-70% dark chocolate, because it still tastes like dark chocolate but it isn’t bitter.
Can I use different size cake pans?
I haven’t tested it, but I’m pretty sure you can use two 8″ cake pans as well. The cakes will be a little bit thinner since the pans are larger, but it should still bake the same. Alternatively, you can use a muffin tin and make cupcakes if you don’t have 6″ pans.
How long will this cake last?
This cake will stay fresh for 1-2 days at room temperature, or 2-4 days in the refrigerator. I always prefer fresh cakes, so I wouldn’t make this too far in advance if possible.
Can I make this cake vegan?
I’ve never tested this cake recipe without the eggs, but you’re more than welcome to try it with flax eggs. With that said, you can easily make it dairy free by using dairy free butter and milk in the icing.
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below!
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
for the icing:
- 3.5 oz. dark chocolate chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp milk optional
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together and then add syrup and vanilla.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer.
- Line two 6" cake pans with cake liners* and then pour batter evenly into the pans.
- Place pans in the oven and bake cakes for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave cakes in the pans for 10 minutes before carefully inverting them onto cooling racks. Wait until cakes have completely cooled before icing them.
- For the icing: combine chocolate and oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until chocolate has melted; set aside.
- Add butter to a bowl and then pour the melted chocolate overtop; let this sit for 3 minutes or so, then mix with an electric mixer before adding the powdered sugar. Continue mixing until icing has formed--icing should be fairly thick. If it seems too thick, add the milk.
- To assemble: Once cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to cut off the domes of the cakes. Ice one of the cakes and then place the other cake on top. Ice the top of that cake and then spread icing all around the cakes until it's covered to your liking.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in May 2017. It was updated with new text and photos in May 2020.