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gluten free chocolate almond cake on plate with whipped cream
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Everyday (Easy!) Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Cake

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. Be sure to whip the eggs for a full 2 to 3 minutes, until they’re doubled in volume and lightened in color (the whipped eggs are the only leavening agent in the cake). Also, for the best flavor, use a good quality chocolate with a 70% cocoa content. I like to bake the cake in a springform pan so that I can remove it before serving, but you could use a greased 9-inch cake pan instead. The cake can be served on its own with powdered sugar as a casual treat or snack, or you can dress it up with whipped cream and berries for an elegant dessert. I often make it the day before, as it gets even better with age.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Cooling time10 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate almond cake, chocolate almond cake recipe, gluten free chocolate cake
Servings: 8 people
Author: Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

  • Butter, coconut oil or cooking spray for pan
  • 4.5 ounces dark chocolate, preferably 70% cacao content, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • cup (143 g) natural cane sugar
  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.
Tips:
  • 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 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.
  • This cake gets baked in a 9-inch springform pan, but if you don't have one you can use a regular cake pan. Be sure to transfer the batter to the pan and pop it in the oven without procrastinating (the only leavening in the cake comes from the beaten eggs).
  • 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.