When I first started playing with paleo baked goods, I used a lot of coconut flour, which requires using a lot of eggs. I don’t have a problem with egging up my baked goods, but when I quadruple (or more) the recipe for a party I’m catering, it gets a little crazy, and expensive, considering I’m extremely particular when it comes to my eggs.
Let’s talk about that for a moment, shall we?
You may have noticed that the vast majority of egg cartons boast the words “vegetarian fed” Sounds good, right? But is it? Are chickens supposed to be vegetarians? Pretend for moment that you are lucky enough to have chickens in your backyard. What are they pecking at back there? Corn and soy? Hmmm… Probably not. The truth is this: Chickens are not vegetarians. Based on what I’ve been told by chicken owners, they’re essentially the pigs of the bird world. They eat everything, and especially love the bugs and grubs that they find in the ground. (also pizza crusts, but we won’t go there) This begs the question: If free range chickens are vegetarians, where (and what) is this range they’re so free on? They aren’t vegetarian by choice, which means they’re kicking it on some pretty impenetrable concrete, outside of tiny cages perhaps, but not much of a step up.
Phew. Now that we’ve covered that, you’re probably wondering which eggs to buy. My first choice is the pastured eggs I get at the farmers market. Pastured eggs such as these are more expensive than the free range organic ones you find at your supermarket but to me, it’s worth it. If you have a farmers market near you, find a farmer who sells eggs and ask them about how the hens spend their days. My second choice are pastured eggs from a larger company, such as Vital Farms. They supplement with corn and soy, which I’m not crazy about, but it’s still a better option than the rest. At least their chickens get some quality outside time and as many bugs and grubs as they can find.
Well, I bet you never saw a big lecture about eggs coming on a post about chocolate cake, did you? I honestly didn’t either. This is what happens when I write first thing in the morning while still drinking coffee. Apologies. Now, on with the cake.
No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake
Feel free to make this as complicated, or as simple as you’d like. This cake would be perfectly lovely plain, no frosting, with some berries. For a birthday or other special occasion, Go all out! Chocolate whipped cream filling and ganache glaze makes this cake one to remember.
This recipe made 2 small spring form pans. If you plan on making a large (10″ or so) cake, double the recipe.
For the Cake:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (plus more for greasing pans)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate whipped cream filling:
3/4 cup heavy cream (or equivalent in coconut cream, from the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the ganache glaze:
4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon honey
Make the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350 and grease and line 2 small spring form pans (I used 6″, but you could use 8″ or 9″ and make a 2 layer cake instead of 4) Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Sift dry ingredients (almond flour through cocoa powder) into a medium sized bowl
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir to combine and add to the dry ingredients.
- Beat until well combined by hand, and pour into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your pans. If using larger ones, check after 20 minutes.
Make the chocolate whipped cream filling:
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water.
- Beat your cream until it’s fairly stiff.
If you’re using coconut cream, it may not get as stiff, but that’s okay.
- Add the melted chocolate and give it another quick whip, and scrape down the sides of the bowl so it’s mixed in well.
Make the ganache glaze:
- Melt the butter, unsweetened chocolate, and chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. (you can use the same bowl you melted the chocolate in for the whipped cream, scraped out)
- Once it’s melted, stir in the honey and turn off the heat.
- Here’s where patience and attentiveness comes in: Remove the bowl from the heat and allow it to come to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. You want the ganache to thicken, but not get so hard that you’ll have to spread it on the cake. You want to be able to pour it. It will probably take about 1/2 hour to get to the right consistency, a good time to do all of the dishes you just made dirty.
Put it all together!
I made a small 4 layer cake out of this recipe, but could have easily kept it simple and made it 2 layers instead.
- If you’re going for 4 layers, cut each cake in half, and arrange the bottom layer on a plate with parchment paper tucked in around the edged to keep the frosting from getting all over the plate.
Plop 1/3 of the chocolate whipped cream in the center and spread it out to the edges.
- Stick the cake in the fridge to allow the filling to harden a bit.
- Once the ganache is at the right consistency, pour it over the top of the cake and push to the edges so it falls over. If the sides of your cake are prettier than mine, leaving it dripping might look nice. My cake was was a bit wacky, so I tried to spread the ganache to cover the sides. It didn’t really work. But like I’ve said before, I’m a chef, not a baker!
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I have a backyard flock. And boy do those suckers love meat. I always scoff at the veg fed eggs. Ridiculous! I wont give them soy feed…who wants second hand soy? I get offal from my grass fed cow and pastured pork and I give it to my girls. For the life of me I can’t stomach liver but the chickens go CRAZY for it. I also make raw milk kefir for them…after I’ve stollen the cream from the top 🙂
I will always and forever love you for bacon jam!
This made me giggle. I love that you love me for bacon jam! If we were neighbors, I’d definitely trade you bacon jam for some of those eggs 🙂
I’m definitely trying this recipe next month for my husband’s birthday. Thanks for sharing – you’re awesome! Love your writing style, and I enjoyed your egg lecture. Preach it!
If you take some dental floss you can easily “cut” the rounded top part of the cake off by wrapping the floss around the cake, corssing it and pulling it until it comes out. The cakes stack better this way and then would look nice dripping ganache 🙂
Then you have bits of ugly cake leftover so you can taste test the whipped cream and ganache
Oh yeah! I always forget about the floss trick! Thanks for the reminder. Here’s to hoping my next cake is less funny looking 🙂
Sam Griffiths says
This looks amazing and I will definitely try it out! Confused re the flour used though. You mention at the top of the post that it’s all coconut flour and therefore quite dense, but the ingredients list almond flour?
This cake is a blend of flours, the cake I have made in the past from a different blog (Paleo Spirit) used just coconut flour.
Ahh, thanks for the clarification!
I’m new to paleo baking. Do you use the same test for doneness – toothpick in the middle? Thanks.
Yup! This cake turns out strikingly similar to “normal” cake- the toothpick test works great
I just discovered your blog and can’t find the subscription button. You have that feature, right?
I do now! Thanks, I recently moved my blog (to here) and didn’t realize I forgot to add that feature. Thanks for the heads up, Sara!
Christine Damm says
We have a pastured flock of layers and they lay all winter but obviously aren’t eating pasture in Vermont! I have explored non-soy/corn feeds and they are ridiculously expensive– even going to our local coop and buying the grains in bulk is exorbitant. So we are planning to raise fly maggots next summer for the little carnivores (surprising how many of them want to snack on each other!) and I like the idea of the offal from the butchering of our Red Ranger meat birds. Gotta check out that “bacon jam”. Glad I found your blog (via Nom Nom Paleo).
LOVE!! I have been searching and searching for a great ‘Paleo-type’ GF cake recipe for my daughter’s wedding and this looks to fit the bill! I am highly allergic to so many things!! I have tried many recipes that just fell short! I will try this soon and see how it goes but it certainly looks incredible! Thanks so much for coming up with something so amazing!!!
You’re so welcome! I hope you love it!
I know it won’t come up as fluffy, but I’m going to give this a go without eggs – we’re grain-free, and my daughter is allergic to eggs! Makes it tricky to bake 😉 but I’ll have a go! Might use flax gel.
Have you tried Ener-g egg replacement? I have no idea if it’s paleo friendly, but it works wonderfully in place of eggs.
Sara Chambers-Moss says
I’ve used Ener-G egg replacer in baking for years. I didn’t have good results until I realized that you have to actually create an egg-like consistency by mixing it and water together before you add it to your recipe that calls for eggs. Ingredients (from their web page):
INGREDIENTS: Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, Leavening (Calcium Lactate, Calcium Carbonate, Citric Acid), Cellulose Gum, Modified Cellulose.
How is the moistness of the cake? That’s been my number one complaint w gluten free baking. Looks awesome though!
It’s super moist. It has a lot more fat than the average GF cake due to the almond and coconut flours. I hope you love it!
Hi! I just wanted to ask you about how to make this cake a bit more moist. It’s really good, but a tad dry and I followed it to the T using only the best ingredients. I’m not complaining because I really do like it, but my kids thought it was a bit on the dry side. Maybe a little extra honey or oil or maybe an extra egg? Just thought I’d ask your thoughts before using more of my expensive flours. 🙂
Also, have you frozen this?
Thanks so much! I voted for this one!
Thanks for your vote, Mindy! I can’t really give you a for sure answer to this without making a bunch of batches of this cake, but off the top of my head: one more egg, a slight increase in oil or butter, and/or cooking it in smaller pans, with less cooking time have potential to yield a moister cake. Let me know if you try and how it turns out!
I would bet that if you bake if 5 minutes less (all ovens are different), you’ll find the cake to be more moist. I’ve made it several times and had to adjust the baking time. Now it’s perfect.
Sara Chambers-Moss says
Absolutely love this gluten-free recipe and the care you took to write out all the steps! I’ve shared it on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SimpleDailyChange. Can’t wait to try the recipe!
This cake looks DIVINE. Question though – can you use almond meal instead of flour, or do you need the finely ground flour in order to achieve the right texture?
I think almond meal would work! I’d make a single batch, though, and not double it until you’re sure it comes out right. It might be a bit heavier.
Jen Boyd-Morin says
Do you have an almond flour that you recommend? I have Bob’s Red Mill at home, but while it says flour on the package, it’s really very coarsely ground and has been a disaster in everything I’ve tried so far from a coating on meat to pancakes.
And thank you for this recipe! I found the link on Nom Nom’s site. It’s perfect timing as I have been scouring the web searching for a paleo chocolate cake or brownies to make for an upcoming dinner club and this looks like it will be perfect!
A finely-ground almond flour? Honeyville seems to be the gold standard. Although it’s only available online, as far as I can tell.
Ginger Boden says
Both Honeyville and Benefit Your Life are great almond flours. You have to order them online. One of them you can get through Amazon, but I cannot remember which.
Regarding eggs, I found Vital Farms because of this fantastic list:
It shows (depressingly) that pretty much every national brand of eggs is junk. So it’s Vital Farms or trustworthy locals!
The chickens were being chickens and acting dumb….you’re hilarious! Thanks so much for all that you are doing to get the word out about this awesome lifestyle.
I plan on making a cupcake version of this tonight. Any suggestions as to bake time at 350F? Much appreciated!
Hmmmm I made cupcakes for the test batches of this cake and wish I noted the bake time! I’m guessing you’d want to check them after 10-12 minutes, and go from there.
Christine Damm says
I used to use Honeyville almond flour but it took so long to get here that I switched to Nuts.com and am SO happy with their product and lightning-fast shipping! Great product and awesome customer service. And lots of great products besides the flours.
If I wanted to cut some of the maple syrup down would I need to substitute anything else?
The texture might be a little bit drier, but no, it should be fine. For the first test batch of this recipe, I used half the amount of maple that’s in this final version. I definitely thought it needed to be sweeter, but the texture wasn’t all that different. It does seem like a lot of maple, but it was barely sweet at all with 1/2 cup, and I prefer my baked goods to be on the low end of sweet! I think a happy medium would be 3/4C- let me know how it turns out if you try it!
Is there anything i can use instead of arrowroot powder?
You could try tapioca. I can’t promise it will turn out the same, b/c I haven’t done it for this recipe but it’s the closest thing to arrowroot texture wise.
Bacon Jam?? Really?? OMG I have to make that!!! My husband loves bacon..he says bacon makes everything better..lol
Found you via Shirley’s All Gluten Free Desserts….newest follower! Many a paleo cakes/muffinsI have simply not attempted because of all the eggs…they taste more like custard to me!
Oh my heart… oh my. Oh yes. Your recipes make me want to get up and cook RIGHT NOW, despite all the work I should be doing instead. And lack of eggs in the fridge. And no chocolate. I better get on that!
Sorry that I’m not helping your motivation, but I absolutely love that my recipes make you want to get in the kitchen. That’s awesome! I hope you get the ingredients you need to make something fabulous. 🙂
I’m new to Paleo and love to cook but most of all LOVE choc cake. It’s so awesome to find your recipe and I love that you bring choc cake goodness hope to Paleo peeps! Thanks!
🙂 Everyone should have chocolate cake, at least once in a while!
I made this cake for my birthday and it was delicious!!!! Definitely will make it again for other special occasions!
I’m so glad! Happy belated!
Jen Boyd-Morin says
Thanks for the flour recommendation. I have one more question. Do you think this cake could be made a day ahead? Or parts of it? And how long before serving would you remove from the fridge if you’ve only made it that day versus making it the previous day? I’m doing a multi-course dinner and like to get as much done in advance as possible, but of course want the cake to taste fresh and not be cold. Thanks! I’m so excited to make this!
I have made it ahead, and it works just fine. A couple things to consider: The ganache gets quite hard in the fridge, but should be soft after 2 or so hours out. It stays somewhat firm, which makes it quite decadent. The filling should hold up fine for a few hours out of the fridge, so no worries there. 2-3 hours at room temp before you serve it is probably about perfect. If you’re concerned with the different components, this cake is also lovely made in a single layer and served with fresh whipped cream and berries, or just the ganache. I served it recently at a multi course dinner as a simple square on the plate with coconut whipped cream on the side and candied bacon dust sprinkled over it. It was a hit!
Jen Boyd-Morin says
Great, thank you! I’m planning to serve it with with maple bacon coconut ice cream so depending on how much time I have, I may halve the recipe and do a single layer with just the ganache. But, that just seems wrong. Especially because this is my chance to show my non-paleo friends how great paleo eating can be. 🙂
omg that ice cream sounds amazing! And good chocolate cake is THE perfect way to show your friends how incredible paleo eating can be! Let me know how it all goes with your party!
Candied bacon???? Please tell me how to make candied bacon dust!!
I dipped bacon in maple syrup and sprinkled it with coconut sugar, Then baked till very crispy. Once it was cool, I broke it up and ground it in a coffee grinder. It’s a pretty fun condiment!
I did a little talk at my church about why I went Paleo, and I made this cake to share after the talk to convince people Paleo can be delicious. The cake was a huge hit, everyone loved it and couldn’t believe there were no grains. The chocolate flavor was nice and strong, just how I like it. This will be my go to party cake from now on. Thanks so much for sharing with us!
Jen Boyd-Morin says
The verdict is in. This cake is amazing and no one will ever know it’s paleo! I blogged about the results (with photos) here: http://balancedbitesbalancedlife.blogspot.com/2013/03/paleo-dinner-club.html.
Also got a request for your bacon jam recipe. 🙂
I made this cake tonight for my husband’s birthday. He is a chocolate fanatic and was sad that he wouldn’t get a chocolate birthday cake this year, since we went paleo a few weeks ago. Well, this cake was DELICIOUS and easy to make. We both loved it. As others have said, no one would ever be able to tell that it’s paleo. It was so rich and tasty. We couldn’t even eat much of it because of how rich it was. So, there will be plenty leftover for dessert tomorrow night. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!
Yay! Comments like this make me so happy. I’m so glad you and your husband loved it!
Melissa Hill says
I just wanted to brag on this cake! I made it today in a hurry for my husband’s bday. It was AWESOME and sooo easy! I even doubled the recipe to fill two 9 in pans. Everyone loved it! They didn’t even know it was paleo. I want to try it next time as cup cakes so my kids continue to think I’m cool! I chose this recipe because you combined the flours. What a treat! Thanks for making my day! I happily shared it w all my fb friends!!
Hooray! Thanks, Melissa, I’m so glad the cake worked out and made your family happy! 😀
Hi do you think this would work with rice malt syrup instead of half or all of the maple syrup?
I think so because the consistency is similar… Should keep the texture about the same. Let me know how it turns out!
I made this for my girlfriend’s birthday yesterday…I used Strauss cream for the filling and Enjoy Life chips for the ganache…I didn’t have any other chocolate. Omg…it is absolutely unbelievably delicious. The non-Paleos even thought it was the best cake they’d ever had. Thank you SO much for being so generous with this recipe. 😀
Hi, Im making this cake right now! Im really excited. I plan on serving it for my dads birthday. I wanted to make the cake now cause im worried wont have enough time the day of, to do it. If i put the cake portion in the freezer for 3 days then take it out and once its room temp do up the frosting and serve it that day / the next day, do you think the cake would still be fresh? or is it a bad idea to bake it now…
Jen Boyd-Morin says
FYI, I refrigerated mine and felt the cake was better before I did, but I suspect freezing might not have the same effect, especially if you let them cool completely then wrap really well. I’m no expert though.
i ended up freezing it fully cooled after i frosted it, although i usedmy own frosting recipe. im hoping this way it will keep fresher once it comes out of the freezer and it wont by dry and cold… but i hope i didnt ruin it by making it 3 days ahead. eek!
I actually like it after it’s been refrigerated… As long as you wrap it tightly, the texture should still be great! I’m not sure about freezing, I haven’t tried it yet.
Caiti Jayne says
Thanks, we’ll see how it goes! I used a different frosting than this recipe so I guess there isnt much way to tell. I think it should be okay. The cake I made was this chocolate cake (two layers cut in half) with vanilla oreo frosting and crushed oreos on top for garnish.. the vanilla frosting recipe came from Paleo Indulgences book but I processed some gluten free oreos into crumbs and folded them into the frosting. i froze it cause i didnt want to let the crumbs get soggy and ive been checking on it and theyre still crunchy and fresh, so i ~think itll be okay! haha
I just made this tonight and it turned out great! thanks so much for the recipe.
I used Enjoy Life chocolate, but once it melted it quickly turned into a thick paste. Did that happen to you?
Also, how would you recommend storing left overs? In a previous comment you said to refrigerate it if you were to make it ahead of time, and that you should take it out about 2 hours before serving. But two hours seems like a lot of time to wait before eating a left over slice 🙂
Caiti Jayne says
Ive melted enjoy life chocolate lots of times before and it shouldnt turn into a thick paste, it should melt like regular chocolate…maybe your chocolate seized ?
I use very thick pans that hold heat for a long time, so even though I used all Enjoy Life chips, it took a really long time to come down in temp for me to put it on the cake. I don’t use a double broiler either…just VERY carefully and slowly melt the chips on the stove. I never did put it in the fridge and we had leftovers for two days after…
I agree with Caiti Jayne that your chocolate may have seized up. It’s happened to me, I think it might have something to do with water getting into your chocolate. Just one drop will do it!
If the cake is filled with the chocolate whipped cream, you should refrigerate it. And feel free to eat it straight out of the fridge. I recommend letting it get to room temp if you’re serving it to guests, but as far as leftovers go, it’s delicious cold!
I made this for a dinner club this past weekend and everyone LOVED it. They couldn’t believe it was Paleo. It was seriously soooo good! Thanks for the great recipe!
This was delicious!! I have made it twice in the last week. I made the chocolate cake and served it with whipped honey and strawberries. I blogged about the cake here: http://oremland.blogspot.com/2013/03/paleo-chocolate-cake.html Paleo and Non Paleo friends alike loved it!
Yum! That whipped honey looks and sounds incredible, I’m going to have to try it. I’m so glad you loved the cake, and thanks for sharing it on your blog!
Searched high and low for a recipe that would be worth the splurge on my birthday, and this did not disappoint!! My non paleo friends were sold! Thank you!!
Caiti Jayne says
Just coming back to write an update or how the cake fared being frozen for 5 days, frosted and all. It turned out perfectly fine! it was a major hit and I would make this cake over and over again for any upcoming birthday that requires a chocolate cake. My dad loved his oreo cake so much and although it would have been EVEN MORE perfect if it had been eaten the day it was made, it still was pretty great frozen and nothing happened to it.
That is great to know, Caiti, thanks for coming back to report! I’m glad it helped make a birthday happy!
Thanks for the great looking recipe! Would it be ok if I used regular round pans instead of spring form pans to bake it in?
It should work just fine, just make sure they’re greased so the cake doesn’t stick. I find it pulls away from the sides a bit when it bakes, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I prefer spring form because I have some pretty serious removing-cake-from-pan anxiety 🙂
Was your batter very thick? My cake is in the oven I hope it turns out
I wouldn’t say very thick, somewhere in the middle… How’d it turn out?
Omg!!! I just made this today for my family and my husband loved it (so did everyone else). I used two layer cake pan rounds and baked for 18 minutes. Perfect….I had to redo the whipped cream filling though because the instructions didn’t say when to add the vanilla….so I added it to the coconut cream before whipping and it curdled. Thankfully I had another can of coconut cream (Trader Joes full fat coconut cream). This time I left out the vanilla entirely. It was heavenly…what can be better than chocolatey whipped cream???!?! Then while making the ganache I think next time I will try with half the amount of coconut oil. It was quite runny but turned out delicious regardless. I sprinkled some unsweetened coconut flakes on top…yummy!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It will be a favorite go to at my house!!!!
Thanks Anna! I love the addition of coconut flakes, sounds yummy. In regards to the whipped cream curdling, I’ve added the vanilla at the beginning with good results, but I use the cream that settles at the top of the can of coconut milk (unshaken) I think that might be different than the coconut cream from Trader Joe’s, which might have other ingredients added to it? Either way, I’m glad it turned out the second time, but sorry about the wasted ingredients 🙁 The ganache could definitely thicken quicker with less coconut oil added, but I think it’s also what helps it solidify into almost a candy like consistency when it’s cold, which I love… Let me know how it turns out if you try it again with less!
My chickens eat bugs, worms, and I have witnessed them eat a field mouse whole, when one was lucky enough to catch one.
Jan W says
Regarding the search for healthy eggs, I have started ordering pastured eggs from Tropical Traditions. They are the only soy-free eggs I’ve been able to find, and they are supplemented with feed made from coconut–which, I believe, only adds to their healthy qualities. I usually wait until they offer free shipping on the eggs, and order 8 doz at once. The price is comparable to what pastured eggs cost in my area… They are packaged in such a way that I have only ever had ONE egg arrive cracked.
Thank you for the info! I can’t believe how hard it is to find pastured eggs where I live…near Santa Cruz in CA. Some of the farmer’s markets have them, but I’m not sure how “legit” they are…and for the price, I don’t want to take any chances. Simone, if you know of a poultry source in the area, I’d love to know about it…
I’m surprised there aren’t more pastured eggs in that area! I will ask my veggie farmers if they know of any legit sources, they’re in your neck of the woods. I’ll let you know…
Made this tonight for my son to see if he would like it for his birthday. It was a huge hit. We are new to this way of cooking and I was glad to find something the kids and I really enjoy.
So glad to hear it, Mandy! Happy birthday to your son 🙂
I saw this come across Facebook today and decided to make it with my girls as a treat for watching Food Inc with me. LOL Trying to have a teaching moment and the movie was not something they wanted to watch, BUT this cake made it all worth it! Thank you for a delicious recipe!
Do you think this will sit out on the counter covered for a few days or because of the cream, I should put it in the fridge? Also, I used two nine in pans and it didn’t rise very much, but the brownie texture was delicious. I probably should have cooked them a little less or put all the batter in one pan and then cut the cake in half?
Thank you so much! HUGE hit!
So glad you and the girls loved it! I would store this cake in the fridge, due to the cream. It’s good cold, but you can always let it come to room temperature if you like it better that way. I suggest walking away if you do… 🙂
LOL, I trid to walk away, but the effort is futile. 🙂 We ate it in less than 24 hours and they are begging me to make it again! Thanks for the tips. I did store it in the fridge and we took out slices an hour before dessert time, which unfortunately, was all day!
I’m thinking I’d like to use this recipe to make cupcakes. Have you tried it for that?
Yes! This recipe makes great cupcakes. I wish I could tell you exactly how many though! For regular sized cupcakes, I would bake them for about 15 minutes. Maybe check them after 12? I think somewhere in the comments is a report from someone who made cupcakes and noted the cooking time…
Thank you! I’ll look for that 🙂
I loved this recipe and have taken the frosting idea to use with my orange and almond cake – to which I have added cocoa powder thanks for the inspiration 🙂
now subscribed as loving your energy 🙂
I baked this cake yesterday for my birthday ad everyone loved it!
hooray! So glad to hear it Barb!
Just wanted to say thank you for this cake recipe. I just made it this morning before work but instead of the whole cake (icing and all) I just made the cake portion and put it into a Jumbo muffin tin – I greased the tin with lard and lined the bottoms with cut parchment paper circles. I baked at the recommended 350 for 25 min. I would have made the actual cake as directed – but it was for my darling daughters first birthday and i wanted her to devour her own little cake 🙂
My supper guests all loved it and couldn’t believe it was gluten and dairy free but most importantly both my daughters LOVED it. Thank you again for making our memories of this event tasty 😉
Karly Blair says
We made this recipe and immediately became your fans. My daughter says this recipe should be called “No joke, this the the best Chocolate Cake Ever” instead. I pinned it on Pinterest and posted it on my facebook. Thanks 🙂
Hah! That’s sort of what I wanted to call it, but didn’t want to sound too arrogant 🙂 So glad you liked it, and thanks for stopping by!
Made this cake for Mother’s day for my mom and my boyfriends mom and gma. Everyone loved it, and thought it was very creative. The men also liked it. His gpa can’t have anything wheat so he loved that he could enjoy dessert with everyone else. The coconut milk didn’t thicken up all the way so I had to use some buttercream to fill in the rest but the cake was very moist and delicious.
Thank you for this!! I’m making my own wedding cake and decided to have a taste test today. This cake won, hands down! Delicious!
I have been testing all sorts of goodies that involve both almond and coconut flour and have mixed reviews from my family. Most have been negative, but this cake was loved by all and they even wanted seconds. Kudos to you for the recipe, and my family appreciates it!
charissa (zest bakery) says
In my baker experience, I’d recommend a thin layer of the chocolate whipped cream around the whole cake, refridge for an hour, and then pour the ganache if you are having issues with the sides. Did I taste this cake before at one of your popups? If so it was amazing!
Thanks! That’s a great idea. And yes, this was the cake that was served with coconut whipped cream and candied bacon dust at Coffee Bar. You may have noticed I didn’t try to make it look pretty with frosting 😉
thank you for such an excellent delicious luscious cake. (the word cake can hardly do justice to this sweet concoction!)
I have shared on facebook and all my freinds are not convinced this can be legit paleo, but i just tell them to eat up and trust me….so mostly they do!
one family though, sadly, can not cope with even a hint of nuts- tree or ground- so almonds are out im afraid.
what do you suggest as a substitue for almond meal/flour in this mixture?
and thank you so much for all your positive energy- it reaches me all the way down here in Australia, and is very much appreciated- you can’t underestimate what a great encouragement your recipies have been to keep trying the paleo way
Thank you! Very sweet of you to say. In regards to the nut allergy: I’ve heard about good results substituting ground sunflower seeds and using them in place of almond flour. There is a chemical reaction that happens where it turns baked goods green, but the dark color of this cake might camouflage that. The flavor of course will be a bit different, but it will likely still be good! Let me know how it goes. I get this question a lot, and would love to figure out a good solution that doesn’t turn baked goods green!
This cake was DIVINE! I used almond meal, coconut flour and french cocoa. I substituted 1 cup of the maple syrup for mixture of coconut nectar and maple syrup to total 2/3 cup. I used the solid cream from two cans of coconut cream for the filling and it worked a treat! It was lovely and moist and not brimming with sweetness, rather, it was bitter sweet like dark chocolate.This will definitely be on my ‘to make again list’ again. I used 70% couverture single origin chocolate and coconut butter for the ganache and filling. THANK YOU for sharing your talents with us!
I’m so glad you loved it! Your version of the ganache and filling sounds perfect. Thanks for reporting back! 🙂
I’ve been trying several different cake recipes in order to find the perfect chocolate cake for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party. Today I tried this cake and I’m so happy that I’ve found “The One” – this chocolate cake is so easy and fluffy and delicious!!!!! You can’t even tell it’s Paleo, so all of our non-Paleo friends & family will definitely be satisfied! Thank you thank you thank you – you now have a new follower and a very happy family from Minnesota!
“You can’t even tell it’s paleo” is the goal! Glad it passed the test, and I’m humbled that it’s “The One” 😀
Karen Morse says
This is my lucky day — we are both in the Bay Area! I’d love to order this from you for my *milestone* birthday in October. This looks so delicious!
Awesome! Full disclosure: I am not a fancy pastry chef, and while I can make cakes that taste really good, I am no expert when it comes to making them look beautiful. It won’t look like a 5 year old made it, but it will look like a home baked cake. If that sounds good to you, let’s talk!
this cake is AWESOME! I made it for my gluten eating family and they were so impressed. It is hands down one of the best cakes I have ever made gluten free or otherwise. THanks so much for the recipe!
Thanks Kristin! So glad it was a hit!
I just made this… and was given high-fives all around by the people in my apartment. SO GOOD. The cake on its own was good, but the ganache and whipped cream make it worth the effort. If anyone is wondering, this cake is still perfection when coconuts substitute for dairy.
High Fives all around! Win! 😀
Ann @ The Paleo Network says
I just made this cake for my birthday today! Best birthday cake EVER in my 29 years on this planet. Thank you for creating such an amazing treat! You rock :).
Wow Ann! That’s amazing to hear, thank you!
Health & Organic Wellbeing (H.O.W ) says
Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I can’t wait to make this. I’ve been looking for a gluten free cake like this forever!!!
As for the chickens, I wouldn’t mind them eating the bugs and worms in the grass but other left over meats that might be full of hormones and antibiotics is nasty! Also, most farmers feed them meat meal that they buy from the factory which is even nastier!!!!!
Deborah Alexander says
This cake is gorgeous and so like the grain version I can’t imagine ever missing grains again. Bravo. Your recipes are so natural and simple. I have my first “Perfect Roast Chicken” finishing in the oven as I write this, and it looks marvelous. Quite a feat considering I was a vegetarian all of my adult life. Gratitude. Keep up the good work.
Thanks so much, Deborah!
Alima Frank Deneke says
Seriously amazing! We just finished Diane’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. I feel great and have had awesome results so we wanted to celebrate, but with something that was grain free and still relatively clean. This was perfect! The cake was so good – I would never assume it was made with almond flour. And the chocolate whipped cream….oh wow! Heavenly! Is it bad that I want to put the leftover in my coffee tomorrow morning?? 🙂 The ganache finishes it off perfect and is rich but without being too sweet. Great job!! Thanks for sharing!
I am making this cake as we speak (Just put it in the oven) if the cake turns out half as good as the remaining batter I just licked clean.. then it will be amazing. Quick question being a very beginner baker- I am going to assemble the cake in the morning..anyone know if I made whipped cream middle tonight would it sit well overnight to be assembled tomorrow or should I just make it in the morning? Thanks!!!!
It might be too late for a response, but my advice would be to make the whipped cream filling the same day you’re going to assemble the cake. It stiffens up in the fridge, and is easier to spread when freshly made. I hope it came out great!
Dayna Boersma says
Just tried this cake, overall fabulous, but there were little chunks in mine. What went wrong? I am actually a good baker, so this stumped me. Maybe my almond flour was not fresh? Did the coconut oil cool too quickly- my maple syrup came from fridge? Hmmm, your thoughts would be appreciated. I did not see anyone else with this issue. Can’t wait to try again for my daughters birthday this weekend- fabulous heavenly flavor! Thanks for recipe!
Dayna Boersma says
Tried again! This time I gave my fresh almond flour one more whirl in the grinder and sifted all dry ingredients through fine mesh and whisked them together thoroughly. I also replaced the coconut oil with avocado oil, as my husband is not a big fan of coconut. Results were a very moist and smoother cake! Looking forward to using this recipe for many years as the base of all my pale chocolate cake creations. Thank you!
Oh good! Sorry I hadn’t replied to your earlier comment yet… I was going to say it might be a sifting issue, especially since cocoa powder and almond flour tend to clump. I’m glad to hear it worked better this time!
Jeima Sanokkii says
Hey i just found you today,and am really happy!!
hehe so many desserts,loaf ,bread, and recipes!
Buut do you know what does it calls when you eat paleo,but not the awroroot flour, tapiaco flour, pototo flour, and theeese things.( starch).
You only eat coconut,nut,almond flour?? Cause I am that type. So I wonder If i can skip that awroroot flour how would it be?
Or should I use Another flour?
Cause I don’t want to use so much carbohydrates ….
Is pofiber,kruskakli, mix oat flour better? but preferably nuts flour 🙂
Holy Smokes!! I made this cake last weekend for a friends bday and it was amaz-balls! The only issue I had was that it sunk in the middle, but I live at 8500 ft. I am used to making altitude adjustments for “regular” baking to avoid such issues, but I have not figured out how to adjust for paleo baking yet. Anyone have any suggestions??
That has happened to me, too when I make larger cakes. Small ones seem to bake just fine and not fall. I’m about 3 feet above sea level, though! Adjusting as you usually do for altitude might help, but I don’t have much actual expertise on that matter. I think it might just be a case of a very dense cake that takes a long time to cook…
I used to live at high altitude too and had to make many adjustments in cooking.
Because of the reduced air pressure baked items have a tendency to rise too quickly and then fall because they lose structure before they are completely cooked. I never cooked the “Paleo” way back then because…well, there was no such thing back then! LOL!
Here’s just a suggestion: Try using a little bit less baking soda and baking it at a slightly reduced temperature so it doesn’t want to rise so fast. this is just an idea and is probably what I would try if I were back in the Rockies again.
I wonder if there are any websites that have information about Paleo baking at high altitudes. Might be good to Google this.
I just made this cake for my son’s 5th birthday party. Everyone LOVED it!!! Our family is following the “primal” lifestyle, so I didn’t use the maple syrup (although in moderation, it would be allowed).
I used a 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce (home-canned by me and my son) and about 4 TBL of honey as the sweetener. The cake could’ve been a little more moist. I think next time I will up the amount of applesauce.
I forgot to mention…
I also added about 1/2-3/4 tsp of cinnamon to the whipped cream filling.
I made this for my gluten-sensitive son’s 4th birthday party. He picked it based on the pictures. It was an absolute hit! Everyone loved it paleo & non-paleo alike. The cake rose and smelled just like a traditional flour chocolate cake but then it was moister!! The whipped cream filling and ganache were decadent additions. I doubled the entire recipe and made 2-10″ round silicone cake pans for a fabulous four-layer cake. I would, personally, quadruple the whipped cream next time and layer-by-layer add that and chill it so the cake doesn’t slide and there are just gobs of the filling!! 😉 Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi- if i tried to do cupcakes do you think I should pipe the whipped cream filling into the center?
You mean inside the cupcakes? I’ve never tried it, but am guessing it would be pretty tasty that way!
I just made this as a single layer cake with the ganache over the top. Oh my gosh! It is amazing! You hit the nail on the head! Wow! I am making the bacon dust. I will report back tomorrow. Super excited! Thank you!
this was phenomenal! made it tonight for my birthday and i didnt once feel like i was missing something or making due. this was just like cake and super delish! my ganache didnt fully thicken but it was still good. will be making this again
1/2 CUP (?!?!?!) of Arrowroot????
yes. You can buy it in larger quantities than what they sell in the spice section. It’s a common flour used in grainfree baking.
I made this cake for a party last Friday. OMG, the compliments! Everyone really enjoyed it. Now, I am trying to figure out how to make it egg free. I’ve tried flax/water slurry and ener-g egg replacer, but both yield a “short” product. Any ideas on how to achieve fluffy, cakey goodness without egg would be greatly appreciated.
I halved the cake and ganache recipes and made 8 filled cupcakes instead, the can of coconut milk I used had about 2/3 cup coconut cream and I used that and adjusted the chocolate and honey, it was the perfect amount. This is my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe, so good! My husband made the cake for me for my birthday, even my kids (who think the way we eat is “weird” lol) thought it was amazing.
Hi there, just about to make this cake for my daughter’s first birthday. Pretty excited about it. I was wondering if I could substitute honey for the maple syrup?
Definitely! It might be a slightly different flavor, but should still be great! Let me know how your little girl likes it 🙂
Just made this today for my hubby’s b-day. I will definitely make this again. The flavor was DARK CHOCOLATE PERFECT!
But I will change a couple of things. It was a bit dry. I baked it in two 10-inch cake pans for 20 minutes. I will shorten that bake time down a few minutes next time. Maybe even make 1 1/2 times the recipe and do 3 pans for 3 layers. Just an idea.
Also, I might add a tablespoon or two of a liquid oil like a cold-pressed, organic almond oil or avocado oil. My opinion about adding eggs to give moisture is that it probably won’t help. Eggs would certainly make the batter runnier but when egg is cooked it gets firm and and can even get dry.
I might be more careful when blending the wet and dry ingredients; that is, be more gentle. Don’t know if that will help but it won’t hurt to try, eh?
Also, there was just barely enough whipped cream filling to spread between the two layers. Maybe I like it thickly spread. But when the cake sat for an hour and a half the filling was absorbed, just a little bit, into the cake but even still it was too dry.
I will make this again for sure. Great recipe! Hubby loved it. Thanks!
Amazing recipe! Simple, delicious and beautiful. I used 1/2 cup tapioca flour and made two 9″ rounds (regular pans greased and lined with parchment). The cakes released perfectly and were moist and even. My gluten-free girlfriend was beside herself when I presented the cake for her birthday. Based on the sighs, eye rolls and declarations of ‘this is the best cake I’ve ever tasted!’ (From paleo and non-paleo friends) I can honestly say this is now my go-to cake for any occasion. Thank you!!
Best cake ever! A friend and I – who have never made any type of layered cakes before – took this challenge on this weekend because it looked too amazing to pass up. We even had to go buy pans just to do it and it was totally worth it! This cake was/is delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂 We will be making this at our house again and again.
I really want to make this cake recipe but need it to be coconut free. Can I leave out the coconut flour and just replace it with almond flour or do you think the ratio would need to be different? Thank you!
coconut flour is really absorbent, so leaving it out changes the moisture content. I can’t give you a guarantee without trying it, but I would use 1.25 cups almond flour and 3/4 cup arrowroot if you’re leaving out the coconut flour. Let me know how it turns out!
Thank you so much for the advice! I made the cake this past weekend for my mom’s birthday. She cannot eat gluten. I needed to leave the coconut out because my brother-in-law is allergic. The cake turned out great with the substitution. I’d say it was dense sort of like a pound cake. I used 8″ squad non-stick pans. The layers weren’t much over an inch thick so I made another half batch of the recipe so I could get 3 layers and a more normal looking layer cake. It turned out great! Everyone said it was delicious and would have never guessed it was grain free. I’ll definitely be making this again. Thank you!
Tante Reny says
Awesome point about vegetarian chickens. Our chicks were started on the regular chicken feed for the first few weeks because we live in Iowa and the ground was still frozen. But, when the yard greened up and the chicks were bigger, they foraged. By mid-summer they were allowed from the lawn and apple trees into to our established garden. Soon we did not have to put out new feed because they were finding everything they wanted in our yard. I continued to throw out scratch grain just because I really think it is fun to call them in and watch them feed. I believe the majority of their diet was bugs. This helped lower the insect damage to our vegies.
I love when things work out well like that – nature FTW! 🙂
How much coconut cream would you use to be the equivalent of 3/4 cup of the normal cream?
The same amount! So it depends on each can; how much separates. But the measured amount should be about the same for the whipped cream.
Thank you for getting the word out about eggs! Chickens are definitely not vegetarian, as I’ve seen them eat road kill and they will attack and eat any amphibians or rodents that come their way. They eat every bug and spider they see. Egg yolks should be orange especially in spring summer and early fall / the number one call I get when someone takes home eggs for the first time is “are the yolks supposed to be so orange?” (Yes) “no I mean these are like clementine orange!” (Yes, totally normal and desirable!). I can’t wait to make this cake for my daughters birthday in two weeks – maybe a test run tomorrow…. To make sure she likes it … can never be too safe 🙂
Better safe than sorry! 😉 I hope you love it!
Heather Hinsley says
Just wanted to say “Thank you”.
What can I substitute for the arrowroot?
I use tapioca and arrowroot interchangeably… Not sure if that helps, or if you’re trying to avoid the starch altogether?
J & J Moma says
Loved the cake! Use almond extract in filling with coconut milk cream. Also I poured recipe into bar pan to bake. Then once cooled, cut in half and layed filling between halves. So pretty!
This looks amazing and I would love to try it for my cousin’s birthday who currently has breast cancer and is on a ketogenic diet. Is there a sugar substitute I could use to replace the maple syrup to add sweetness without taking away from the moistness of the cake? I need to keep the sugars down for her. Thank you!
This chocolate cake looks great but I need a white or yellow cake for a wedding. Have anything?
I don’t, I’m sorry! Have you checked Against All Grain or Urban Poser? They are the paleo dessert queens!
SOOOO good! I used tapioca instead of the arrowroot, and only 3/4 cup maple syrup (I upped the coconut oil to 1/3 cup to make up for it) and baked it in a muffin pan. One batch make a perfect 12 cupcakes! I overcooked them slightly (I forgot to set a timer, oops!) and they are still very tasty. I ate 2 already without any sort of frosting, but I think I am going to make some unsweetened whipped cream to top the rest.
I really want to make this cake right now, but I have no unsweetened chocolate; I only have the Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Anything else I can do for the ganache?
Tara Pantera says
I used the Enjoy Life chips for my ganache…I thought it could have even been a little sweeter, but I like things sweet. 😀
How much will I need to make the ganache with just the chocolate chips?
Tara Pantera says
I used 3/4 cup.
OMG! This is my favorite paleo cake! Thank you for the recipe!
I used honey instead of maple syrup and it was great (someone asked about that earlier).
I also used bulk dark chocolate everywhere since I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate or chocolate chips.
Shera Parsons says
Can this recipe be made as cupcakes? Do I need to alter the cooking time and temp?
Yes, this makes GREAT cupcakes! Temp stays the same, cooking time is shorter. I want to say check them after 10 minutes, and they’re done when they bounce back when you lightly touch the top.
Great! Thanks so much!
Oh my god!…..THIS CAKE! I have to say, I have mixed feelings about it. I love it because it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooo darn yummy and I hate it because I ate almost the entire thing in 3 days, all by myself!!! I am totally ashamed. This is definitely one for special occasions only or if you have amazingly strong willpower- I do not! It’s just so good. I kept passing by the fridge and taking a ‘little’ slice. I cannot stop thinking about it. If heaven had a taste this would be it!
I love this recipe! It has such a great texture. I even sent it to school as cupcakes for my daughters birthday, the kids had no clue they were healthy! Thank you for the great recipe! Have you tried making a vanilla version?
I haven’t! I need to work on a vanilla cake recipe… I think the cocoa in this one does enough to the texture that I’d have to adjust the rest of the flours if I left it out.
Hello there! I love this recipe and have been asked to make it for a birthday for 15 people. I’m thinking I should do this recipe times 4. What do you think? It that too much? Everyone needs a small-medium sized piece. Any suggestions? The cost gets up there fast!
Doubling this recipe will yield a 9-10″ cake, 2 layers. It’s pretty rich, so that should be adequate I think. If you do x4, you’ll wind up with extra, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but like you said, it’s not a cheap cake to make!
Thank you thank you for saving my husband’s birthday! I really wanted to give him something special without ruining all of the hard work we’ve done toward regaining our health. This cake was so delicious and celebratory- this was my first attempt at Paleo baking, and we liked it as much if not more than any cake we’ve ever had. A definite new family favorite.
So so glad to hear it! Happy belated birthday to your husband! 🙂
Can you make the cake using only egg yolks due to allergy concern?
I’m not entirely sure how it will effect the rise, but you could definitely try! Definitely try with a small batch, since it’s not a cheap cake to make. You’ll probably have to double the yolks to get the same volume you would from whole eggs. Please let me know if you try it, and how it turns out!
Seriously can’t wait to try! Any replacement for the syrup?
you could use honey!
hey! do you think I’d be able to replace the almond, arrowroot and coconut flours for equal parts of cassava flour?
I honestly don’t know the answer to that without trying it. My best advice is to start with less cassava, and add slowly until you get a cake batter consistency. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!
Is this recipe Whole30 approved?
No, no cake is Whole 30 approved.
We absolutely love this cake. I’ve been making it for all special occasions, birthdays, etc for the past two years. My son is turning 4 this week and I have quite a few people attending the party. I was wondering if you think this would work if I double the recipe for the cake and bake it in a 9×13 pan. If anyone else has tried this please let me know asap. Short of actually trying it (which gives me a lot of cake this week!) I’m not sure what to do.
Thanks so much!!
I’ve definitely made giant versions of this, so yes! It is dense, so if it’s tall in the pan, it could take longer to bake, and tends to get dry on the edges for thicker cakes. If you’re doing a rectangular pan so it’s just larger width-wise, it should be fine. So glad to hear you love the cake! It’s one of my all time faves 🙂
This cake is UNBELIEVABLE! It’s SO delicious! The cake is moist. The frosting in the center is fluffy. And the ganache is AMAZING! It’s a smash hit in our household. THANK YOU!
Hooray! I’m so glad to hear it, thanks for the sweet note! 🙂
This was so moist, rich & delicious! I didn’t do the cream filling layer, just the cake & ganache icing. I baked mine for only 17 mins so it kept is extremely moist.
awesome I’m so glad you loved it! 🙂
Just made (cake and filling only) for the 3rd time. It is my go to chocolate cake:) Thanks for an awesome recipe that is crazy:)
Wendy Petersen says
I just made this cake and I can see it is a good recipe, though I made some errors that I’m hoping you can clarify for me. First, you mention chocolate chips as an ingredient, but you don’t specify if they are regular semi-sweet chocolate chips or if they are 53% cacao chips. My ganache spread beautifully on the cake, but then it really hardened and even leaving it on the counter at room temperature for an hour it remained hard. Definitely not the same texture as yours pictured. I used 53% cacao chips. Maybe that’s what was wrong. Also, my ganache was much darker in color than the photo in your recipe. Not sure what the difference was. I”m hoping you can explain it. Thank you!
Hi Wendy. Do you mean the ganache or the chocolate whipped cream? For the whipped cream with the chocolate chips, I’ve used all different cocoa percentages and it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. I like to use dark chocolate chips but the percentage of those is not that different than regular ones. The ganache does harden a bit, sort of like a firm glaze on the outside of the cake. It can also become less shiny depending on the temperature and how you put it on the cake (poured vs spread) which can make it appear different. That uses unsweetened chocolate. Either way there can be some variation in consistency depending on the fat content of the coconut milk / cream you use. I hope that helps!
This cake is SO GOOD. I have made it in a variety of ways on multiple occasions. Even my super picky “healthier” food averse father-in-law went back for seconds! This is one of the few GF cakes that I have had that actually tastes like real gluten-full cake from back in my gluten eating days. I’m about to make it AGAIN for a cupcake decorating birthday party for my kid.
Hooray! So glad you love it.