This easy gluten free chocolate almond cake comes together in under an hour using only a handful of ingredients!
This gluten free chocolate almond cake is my go-to, everyday cake. It comes together in under an hour and is the kind of thing I can whip up on a weekday as a special treat (think: Mid-week birthdays! Valentine’s Day! School celebrations!). It’s rich and chocolatey, and yet simultaneously light. Almond flour and dark chocolate give the cake its opulence, but since it doesn’t contain any oil, the cake is surprisingly demure. It’s not too sweet, and it’s incredibly versatile. In other words, it’s my kind of cake. (New video below!!)
Gluten free chocolate cake
But let’s back up for a minute. James’s favorite food is chocolate cake. He blames his older sister for this, as she apparently fed him chocolate cake as a baby before he was supposed to be eating solid foods. He’s been hooked ever since. But cakes aren’t exactly my bag. Maybe it’s because I grew up celebrating birthdays and special occasions with pie à la mode, or maybe it’s just the tedium of having to measure an armload of ingredients, but I’d much rather make a tart, stew or stir-fry any day over baking a cake. So while I have no problem whipping up this chocolate quinoa cake a few times a year for James (which is honestly still way easier than most cakes!), for the more everyday celebrations, like when Valentine’s Day falls on Thursday, or when the school report cards come home, or when we’re celebrating a work achievement, this is the cake I turn to. It’s simple and quick and uses only a handful of pantry staples.
Flourless chocolate cake
This gluten free chocolate almond cake uses just almond flour, chocolate, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. With the help of the stand mixer (you could also use hand beaters), the process is simple: whip the eggs and sugar, add the melted chocolate followed by the almond flour, and YOU’RE DONE. Since there are no leaveners aside from the beaten eggs, it’s important to beat them for a full 2 to 3 minutes, until they’re light and doubled in volume. Also, be sure to transfer the batter to the pan and pop it in the oven without procrastinating, as you don’t want those air bubbles to pop (that being said, it is a thinnish cake by nature, but that’s to its benefit—it has a divinely moist but soft crumb).
You can serve the cake on its own with a dusting of powdered sugar, or dress it up with some whipped cream and berries (or, try frosting it with the chocolate whipped cream frosting in this recipe—HEAVEN!). The cake is just as fitting at a fancy dinner party as it is as an afternoon snack!
Chocolate Almond Cake Tips:
- This is a gluten-free, dairy free and oil-free sponge cake, made with six simple ingredients: eggs, sugar, chocolate, almond flour, vanilla, salt.
- There are no leaveners in this cake aside from the eggs, so it’s important to beat them thoroughly with the sugar, until they double in volume and turn light in color (a full 2 to 3 minutes). I use my stand mixer for this so that I don’t have to stand there with beaters, but you could use hand beaters instead. Once the batter is ready to go, get it into the pan and into the oven without dally, as you don’t want the air bubbles to all deflate.
- I couldn’t live without my kitchen scale, as it makes baking a hundred times easier (no messing with measuring cups!). It also makes baking much more precise and foolproof, as the weights of different flours can vary drastically according to how they’re measured – especially almond flour! If you don’t have a scale (get one! j/k, kind of), then you’ll want to lightly pack the almond flour in the measuring cup for this recipe.
- Almond flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour) tends to clump up, so it’s important to whisk it before adding it to the batter to break up any lumps. I actually like to get in there with my fingers to break up the lumps.
- The cake will sink slightly after it comes out of the oven, and that’s okay! That sinkage is going to give the cake a richer texture.
- You can either store the cake at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If refrigerated it will have a slightly denser and richer texture. It gets even better with age, so I often make it the day before serving.
- While I usually eat this cake simply with powdered sugar or whipped cream, go ahead and turn it into a frosted cake if you prefer!! It’s outrageously delicious with the chocolate whipped cream frosting from this chocolate quinoa cake recipe.
Watch the video!
Get the recipe!
Everyday (Easy!) Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Cake
- Butter, coconut oil or cooking spray for pan
- 4.5 ounces dark chocolate, preferably 70% cacao content, coarsely chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (143 g) natural cane sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (90 g) lightly packed almond flour, whisked to remove any lumps
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- Berries, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and grease the paper.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and microwave it in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted (alternatively, melt the chocolate on the stovetop in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water or in a double boiler). Let cool for five minutes.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat on high until light in color and doubled in volume, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the salt and vanilla. With the machine running on medium, slowly pour in the chocolate. Stop and scrape down the sides, then add the almond flour. Mix on low until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the top looks dry and a toothpick inserted comes out with few damp crumbs (the toothpick shouldn’t come out clean).
Set the pan on a cooling rack and let cool 10 minutes—the cake will sink slightly and the top might crack as it cools. Run a sharp knife around the sides and remove the outer ring. Let the cake cool completely.
- Before serving, dust the cake with powdered sugar. If you’d like to dress the cake up, serve it with whipped cream and berries.
Do Ahead: The cake can be made a day in advance (in fact, it gets even better with age!). Once cooled (before adding the powdered sugar), cover it tightly and store it at room temperature. Dust with the sugar before serving.
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