This easy Almond Flour 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. This almond flour chocolate cake is kinda sorta like my vegan chocolate cake (because they're both topped with buttercream), but it's gluten free!
Lately, I've been really into using almond flour in baked goods. Like in these almond flour blueberry muffins and of course my paleo waffles, too. It's versatile and provides a light, fluffy texture that will make you forget all about all purpose flour.
- The cake can be made in one 9" cake pan or in two 6" cake pans, making it 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 include: 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 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 pan(s) with parchment rounds (see "tips" section below), then distribute the cake batter evenly. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, then wait at least 10 minutes before carefully inverting the cake 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.
Tips and FAQs
- Be sure to stir the cake batter by hand with a spatula rather than with a stand mixer -- we want to gently fold everything together so the cake stays nice and moist.
- 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.
- If you're more of a visual learner, Eat the Love has a nice post on how to make parchment rounds.
- 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?
Yes! I've tested this recipe using one round 9" cake pan, and also using two round 6" cake pans, and both ways worked.
Alternatively, you can use a muffin tin and make cupcakes if you don't have the correct size pans. If you're making cupcakes, I recommend checking them after 20 minutes.
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 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. Thanks!
Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups almond flour
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the icing:
- 3.5 oz. dark chocolate chopped
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoon 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 one 9" or two 6" round cake pans with parchment paper (see notes) and then pour batter evenly into the pan.
- Place cake in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave cake in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully inverting it onto a cooling rack. Wait until cakes have completely cooled before icing them.
for the icing:
- Combine chocolate and oil in a saucepan over medium-low 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 3-5 minutes, 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.
- Once the cake has cooled, place a large dollop of icing on top, then use an offset knife or spatula to smooth icing overtop. Cut and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in May 2017. It was updated with new text and photos in January 2021.
CAN it be frozen?
Yes! Make the cake but don't ice it -- wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it up to 3 months.
Thanks and can’t wait to taste it after reading everyone’s comments
Let me know how it turns out!
Delicious! Although, I had to add an extra cup of almond flour to achieve the consistency of batter shown in the photo.
Carolyn A. Smith says
This is quite possibly the best chocolate cake we have ever eaten. I did substitute corn syrup for most of the maple syrup, because I was very low on maple. Other than that, I followed the recipe. As soon as we ate the last piece, my husband was asking when I will bake another one!
I made this cake over the weekend and it was delicious! Thank u for the recipe.
I'm so happy you liked the cake, Christy!
Janet Wee says
Amazing cake! Made it a few times n it turns out perfect every time. Simply love it!
I'm so happy this has become a favorite!
Leena S says
Thanks a million for this recipe!!
It is best cake ever and is a hit every time I make it. I always skip the icing and just do a simple sugar/berry decoration. And it is so easy to make; prepped and baked in less than an hr.
I baked it for a bachelor party that my son organized and the (to be) bride loved it so much that she included the recipe in the bridesmaids gift basket.
I attempted to bake it for my mom in India. It was somewhat of a disaster since I used glass baking dish and convection oven for the first time without any adjustments. Finally had to just microwave the half baked cake to cook it - it got a brownie like texture and everyone including my mom loved it. And I got a funny cake saga story to boot!
This is such a wonderful compliment! I'm happy everyone enjoyed the cake so much (even the "messed up" version lol)
Terry Fowler says
I made this cake for my daughter in laws birthday. She has celiac disease and can’t have gluten. Used a springform pan. I did not frost it but made a raspberry/blueberry/orange compote sauce to spoon over. Easy. Moist. Everyone loved it. I’ll definitely make it again.
I'm so glad everyone enjoyed the cake! Thanks for the review 🙂
Romeo Elizabeth says
Great to use up almond meal with the husk (the brown flecky one). You can’t notice them in the chocolate.
Can I replace the cocoa powder in the recipe with more almond flour to make this a vanilla cake?
Thanks in advance!
I haven't tried it myself, but I do think that should work. Let me know how it turns out!
Hi Erin , wanted to try this cake and my question is, is it possible to use oil in place of syrup or sugar substutes?
Hmm.. you mean using oil and NO sugar? I wouldn't recommend that. Almond flour can be a bit finicky, so you don't want to alter the recipe too much.
Diabetic. Which artificial sweetener works best?
Hi! I'd try either coconut sugar or Monkfruit (or possibly even Stevia) in place of the cane sugar, and then if you need to replace the maple syrup, honey or agave should work.