This insanely easy chocolate almond flour cake is one you must have in your recipe repertoire.
It's perfect for the lazy baker, and this gluten-free chocolate cake is also low-carb, Keto-friendly, refined sugar-free, and beautifully chocolatey with moist crumbs.
I love simple, delicious dessert recipes, and if you are into super easy, not too sweet, healthy flourless baking, then this cake is for you.
Note: Baking flourless can sometimes be tricky. These cakes have a more fragile structure that often ends in a collapsed center. I wanted to develop a super easy method for baking a low-carb chocolate almond cake recipe with simple ingredients. Before I got it right, it took a bit of testing—well, 6 cakes and a kitchen full of cacao powder dust. But now, it always works out.
A confession: I'm not too fond of overly indulgent baked goods, and this dessert gives you that nice balance of fixing your chocolate cravings while staying within the realm of nutritional baking.
So let's make it.
Why you'll love this rich chocolate cake
- It's the easiest way to make a healthy yet delicious whole cake.
- You don't need any special equipment. You can entirely concoct this by hand with a bowl and a whisk.
- It's a fancy enough dessert for a dinner party or a special event.
- It's beautifully moist with a layer of strawberries.
- It can easily fit on a brunch table too. It's one of those healthy desserts to enjoy with your cup of coffee or healthy iced latte during Sunday brunch.
Let's gather the ingredients.
Ingredients & Substitutions
MASCARPONE CHEESE: There is such an ease in handling mascarpone, which adds a rich, naturally sweet component to this baked good.
I'm also relying on its fat content to help stabilize a flourless and gluten-free cake. Take the cheese out of the fridge for about 15 minutes before baking to soften.
Then whisk by hand until smooth and all clumps have disappeared. That's it!
Note: You can replace this with cream cheese if you can't find mascarpone—check out the section Cream Cheese instead of Mascarpone below for more info.
UNSALTED BUTTER: Another source of fat to help bake this moist chocolate cake. Count in a bit extra to grease the baking pan.
Note: despite these fatty sources, this is not your typical decadent cake—It's rich and smooth but with a reasonably light structure.
LARGE EGGS: Use three large fresh eggs loosely beaten with a whisk for best results.
Usually, I take them out of the fridge and leave them on the counter for about 15 minutes or until they no longer have the fridge's chill.
Note: Can you use cold eggs straight from the fridge? Yes, it will still work. Just know that your cake batter will be thicker, and you might need to count in some extra baking time.
ALMOND FLOUR: To obtain airiness in the cake, I recommend blanched almond flour made with almonds without the skin.
It has a light and fluffy texture and is a better choice for baking almond flour cake recipes than your regular almond meal (made from ground almonds).
CACAO POWDER: Instead of dark chocolate, I use unsweetened cacao powder to get that deep chocolate flavor. It also replaces regular flour.
Note: You could use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
BAKING SODA: Because of its acidity, cacao powder will react with a bit of baking soda, making this almond flour chocolate cake more stable.
SWEETENER: Erythritol & Monkfruit sweetener is a great low-carb sugar substitute that works well in this recipe.
And if you want to dress up the cake with powdered sugar, I recommend this powdered sugar replacement.
Note: always let the cake cool so that any aftertaste of low-carb sugar substitutes disappears.
FRESH BERRIES: Some sweet strawberries go into the baking batter. To garnish this flourless chocolate cake, I suggest combining any extra fresh berries of your choice.
Recipe steps with pics
For the full recipe and measurements, refer to the recipe card.
Prep the baking pan: Coat the inside of the 6-inch round pan generously with butter, then shake in a bit of cacao powder (coating all sides) and tap out any excess.
Note: a springform pan or an 8-inch loaf pan is also fine.
Combine the dry ingredients: The almond flour, cacao powder, and baking soda go into one large mixing bowl.
Note: Sometimes, alternative flour options can have some lumps or feel a bit compacted if stored for a while. Loosen it up by mixing them with a whisk. Then, if you still have a few stubborn bigger lumps left, you can disperse them with the pressure of the back of a fork.
Mix the wet ingredients and sweetener: The mascarpone gets whisked until smooth. Then the beaten eggs and low-carb sugar substitute get mixed in until well combined.
Mix the chocolate batter: Add the creamy wet ingredients to the dry flour mix. Whisk everything together until you have a smooth brown chocolatey batter. That's it.
Add in the Strawberries: It's totally optional but highly recommended. Most strawberries will settle at the bottom of the cake, creating a lovely sweet, subtle surprise.
Bake the cake:
Pour the batter into the pan. The first picture below shows that the top looks a bit mounted.
Tap the bottom of the pan a few times against the counter to even out the cake batter and eliminate any major air bubbles—it should look more evened out, like in the second picture.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 °F (180°C) until the top feels solid.
Alternatively, you could also use an 8×4 inch loaf pan instead. Again, you'll get the same cake texture in a different form.
Cream cheese instead of mascarpone
Mascarpone is made from heavy cream and will give this almond flour chocolate cake recipe a richer texture.
But you can also make this low-carb cake with cream cheese. I've done it many times myself.
The only way to soften the cream cheese quickly with no effort is by microwaving it in increments of 5 to 10 seconds until soft enough to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
But, if you have a stand mixer or an electric mixer, you can also beat the cream cheese straight from the fridge on medium-high until creamy (see picture below)—it should only take a minute.
It keeps well for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. But if it's very hot where you live, pop it in the fridge—it's good for at least 5 days.
You can serve it straight from the fridge.
More low-carb or almond flour recipes
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Low Carb Almond Flour Chocolate CakeMariska Ramondino
- 6-inch round cake pan OR
- 8-inch loaf pan
- 2.2 ounces mascarpone cheese 60 grams (or cream cheese)
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the baking pan 55 grams, melted
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup almond flour 100 grams
- ¼ cup cacao powder, plus more to prepare the baking pan 20 grams (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons Erythritol & Monkfruit sweetener (130 grams) or ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered Monkfruit sweetener with erythritol
- ½ cup chopped fresh strawberries depending on their size, about 3 strawberries
- Extra fresh berries of your choice and powdered Monkfruit sweetener for decoration and garnish.
- Before you plan to bake, take the mascarpone cheese and butter out of the fridge and leave it on the counter for about 15 minutes to soften. Do the same with the eggs until they no longer have the fridge's chill.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180°C)
- Butter the baking pan, then shake in a bit of cacao powder (coating all sides) and tap out the excess; reserve.
- Combine the almond flour, cacao powder, and baking soda in a bowl. I like to use a whisk to sift and remove any big lumps. Set aside.
- Add the mascarpone cheese and melted butter to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add the lightly beaten eggs, followed by the sweetener. Whisk until you have a beautifully soft, creamy texture.
- Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients—you can use the same whisk or fold with a spatula.
- Lastly, stir in the chopped fresh strawberries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared and reserved baking pan.
- Tap the bottom of the pan a few times against the counter to even out the cake batter and eliminate any major air bubbles.
- Bake for 45 to 47 minutes, or until the middle is firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool before removing it from the baking pan. It does not have to be thoroughly cooled but enough to have settled in its form. Otherwise, the cake will break.
- Dust with powdered Monkfruit sweetener (optional) and garnish with fresh berries of your choice (highly recommended).
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.