Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)
Dairy Free Flourless Chocolate Cake – This dense, perfectly rich chocolate cake is gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and naturally sweetened, but has all the indulgent flavor you’re looking for on a special occasion.
I need very few excuses to make something chocolate, but Valentine’s Day is one of my favorites. So, I did it up right–a dense, perfectly rich flourless chocolate cake. And, because I couldn’t resist, a bright, beautiful raspberry sauce to drizzle over top.
This, dear reader, is what chocolate dreams are made of.
I love flourless chocolate cake for its fudgy texture and the delicious richness that’s perfect in small doses. A thin little slice feels just decadent enough without being too much. This flourless chocolate cake is made from gluten and dairy free ingredients and couldn’t be easier.
Here’s What Goes Into Our Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe:
- Unsweetened Chocolate. This allows you to control the sweetness of the cake and gives velvety smooth texture and deep chocolate flavor.
- Coconut Oil (Or Butter or Vegan Butter). Next up is melted coconut oil–a great way to make dairy-free flourless chocolate cake! If you like, you can absolutely swap this out for butter (if dairy isn’t a problem for you) or vegan butter. Whichever works best for your dietary needs.
- Pure Maple Syrup. This keeps our flourless chocolate cake naturally sweetened!
- Eggs. For puff and fudginess. Yum!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. This adds more depth and helps make up for the lack of flour.
- Vanilla Extract & Salt. To balance the flavors. Easy!
Delicious Toppings For Dairy-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake:
Flourless chocolate cakes are very no-fuss, but they feel really indulgent and a little bit fancy, which makes them perfect for dinner parties or holidays. They stand on their own beautifully, but there are also a TON of ways you could serve this to take it to the next level…
TOPPING IDEAS FOR OUR GLUTEN-FREE FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE:
- With fresh raspberry sauce (see below!)
- Sliced strawberries
- Whipped coconut cream or whipped cream
- Shaved chocolate
- A pinch of coarse sea salt
- Toasted almonds or hazelnuts
- Vegan caramel sauce
- A sprinkle of powdered sugar
- Coconut (especially toasted coconut)
- Toffee bits
However you plan to serve it, trust me that a thin little slice goes a long way. And the final result will be close-your-eyes good.
Tips & Tricks For The Best Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake:
THIS IS A DENSE CAKE. This flourless chocolate cake won’t rise much at all, and it’ll be very fudgy and rich (somewhere between fudge and a brownie). That’s the beauty of flourless chocolate cake. It’s a little bit different, and it’s SO GOOD. Don’t panic if it doesn’t puff up much in the oven. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.
IT FREEZES LIKE A DREAM! You can slice and freeze flourless chocolate cake with no trouble, which means it’s great for making ahead of time (or pulling out a single slice on a day when it would hit the spot). Similarly, you can make the raspberry sauce ahead of time. You can freeze it, or refrigerate it.
TIPS FOR GETTING FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE OUT OF THE PAN. You can certainly use a spring-form pan for this. I’ve also made it with an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan and haven’t had any problems.
The trick is to use parchment paper. First, grease your pan (or spray it with nonstick spray). Cut two long strips of parchment and make an “X” on the bottom of the pan. Fold them over the edge of the pan a bit so they don’t flop right into your batter. Then, layer in a circle that’s been cut to fit the bottom of your pan (I just trace the pan on parchment and cut it out) and pour in your batter. When the cake has cooled a few minutes on a cooling rack, you’ll use the “X” strips as handles to lift the cake out.
To review: spray/grease pan > place an “X” of parchment strips and fold the ends over the edge of the pan > place a circle of parchment cut to fit the bottom of the pan on top of the “X” > pour in batter. It’s my formula for perfect cakes every time–for this cake or any cake!
More Chocolate Recipes To Try:
HELPFUL TOOLS + INGREDIENTS FOR THIS FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE:
Flourless Chocolate Cake (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 1 (8-9 inch) cake 1x
A chocolate lover’s dream! This dense, chocolatey cake is perfect for a special occasion. Dairy free, naturally gluten free, paleo friendly, and naturally sweetened, it tastes like all the rich indulgence you love!
For the cake:
- 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
- 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) coconut oil (can sub butter, or vegan butter)
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the raspberry sauce:
- 1 (10oz) package of frozen raspberries, slightly thawed (or 10oz fresh raspberries)
- 2–3 Tbsp honey
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare your pan. Grease an 8 or 9 inch springform pan, or grease an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. If using a cake pan instead of a springform, cut two long strips of parchment paper and make an “X” on the bottom of the pan. Fold them over the edge of the pan a bit so they don’t flop right into your batter. Then, layer in a circle that’s been cut to fit the bottom of your pan (I just trace the pan on parchment and cut it out). When the cake has cooled a few minutes on a cooling rack, you’ll use the “X” strips as handles to lift the cake out.
- Next make your batter. Melt chocolate and coconut oil (or butter) together over low heat in a medium saucepan until completely smooth. While the chocolate is melting, whisk eggs together in a bowl until they are slightly lighter in color. (When you lift your whisk up, the eggs should fall in a thin stream instead of in clumps–this is called the “ribbon test”)
- When the chocolate is melted, remove from heat. Stir in syrup, then slowly whisk in the eggs. Stir in vanilla and salt. Sift in the cocoa powder (to avoid lumps) using a sifter or fine mesh sieve and stir to just combine.
- Pour into your prepared pan, gently shake the pan back and forth a bit to settle the batter, and transfer to the oven.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the middle is just set. (if using a 9 inch pan, you’ll want to check it at 15 minutes as it may cook slightly faster)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes in the pan before transferring out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.
- If you’ve used a springform pan, you’ll open the ring and allow the cake to finish cooling on the cooling rack that way. If you’ve used the parchment trick, use the “handles” you made with the parchment to gently lift the cake out and transfer to a cooling rack.
For raspberry sauce:
- Place raspberries, honey, and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds and refrigerate until ready to serve!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert, Chocolate
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Flourless chocolate cake, dairy free flourless chocolate cake, paleo flourless chocolate cake, gluten free flourless chocolate cake, gluten free chocolate cake,
This looks great! could the eggs be possibly substituted for applesauce or a chia egg (to keep it vegan)? thank you
Sacha – I haven’t tested it with egg substitutes, but I don’t think it would work for this cake. Applesauce and chia eggs would likely both impact the texture of the cake and you wouldn’t get the same puff that you get with an egg. I’m sorry!
Try it with Tartar powder I read somewhere it’s 1 tsp per egg so just search that- good luck!
How would this turn out if I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9 inch spring form?
Joy – That’s a great question. I haven’t tried it that way, so I don’t feel like I could advise you for sure. You’d definitely need to bake it a bit longer. I’m not sure how the rise might go. It might go totally fine, or it might be a bit heavy and not rise as much. If you try it, I’d love to know how it goes!
Can I use avocado oil instead of coconut oil?
Trying to limit saturated fats.
I wouldn’t recommend it here because it’s structurally slightly different. (Coconut oil, like butter) goes solid at room temperature. It also adds a complementary slight sweetness to the cake and if you use avocado oil it’ll taste a bit flat. I’m sorry!
I’m excited to try this! Do you think it would work to add some ground coffee and make it a chocolate espresso cake? I’ve usually done that by mixing instant espresso with a tablespoon or two of hot water, before adding it into the batter. I’m hoping that’s not too much extra liquid? Also, any thoughts on whether coconut oil or a vegan butter like Earth Balance might work better?
Shaina – Hi! I’m not a coffee person, so I’m not totally sure how to advise you on adding an espresso twist. I’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try! As for coconut oil or butter–I’ve done both and they both work great! I made the ones I photographed and made in the video with coconut oil. It adds a very subtle flavor, but doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the cake to me. Otherwise, vegan butter works great!
Amazing recipe! My whole family is obsessed! Thank you Emily! I have made it 3 times following the exact directions and it is perfect. This is a new “go to” for holidays!
Hooray! I am so happy to hear it. Thank you for sharing!
Perfect Valentine’s Day cake! So fudge-y, rich, moist, and not too sweet. Made a powdered sugar heart on top. And I can’t believe it’s both gluten-free AND dairy free! The whole family loved it! Thank you so much. I’ll be making this again for sure!
Can I use liquid coconut oil or does it have to be the hard kind?
Great question! If you’re talking about jarred coconut oil (that’s firm when it gets cold and can be liquid when warm), it’s fine if it’s already melted. Fractionated coconut oil (that’s always liquid) may behave slightly differently.
You’re melting the coconut oil with chocolate chips, so it will eventually get melted no matter what kind you use. Fractionated coconut oil just has a slightly different structure, so it may give you different results.
Hi, I know you recommended not using avocado oil. However I’m trying to make a cake that is coconut free (my allergy) and dairy free (my niece’s allergy). Do you think it could still possibly work with olive oil? Thanks so much!
Becca – the olive oil would likely affect the taste. If you’re ok with that taste, you could probably try it as a substitute. Otherwise, melted dairy free butter might be the way to go!
I used ghee instead of coconut oil or butter though extra-light olive oil is a great suggestion. I do think the ghee flavor was strong so I may try extra light olive oil next time!
Sounds like a great plan!
The cake was easy to do. Looks and smells great. Will try it tomorrow for a special event. How should I store the cake till I need it tomorrow? Thank you
For best results, I’d cover it and store in the fridge till tomorrow. Then, pull it out about an hour in advance so it can warm to room temperature. Best of luck at your event!!!
A family member can only have avocado oil or sunflower oil. Would either of those work instead of coconut/butter? Should I adjust anything else with the recipe?
You can give it a try! I think the results will be similar. 🙂
Excellent recipe! Made this for a Christmas party and was a hit. hubby loved it and asked for it for his birthday cake since he cut gluten and dairy from his diet. thank you!!
Oh, I’m SO GLAD to hear this!!!
This turned out so well! It came together quickly and resulted in a rich, delicious cake. The coconut adds a really nice flavor. I did end up having to bake it for nearly double the time (about 30 minutes) though that may be because I used an enameled cast iron dish. Will definitely make this again!
I’m SO glad you loved it Grace! It sounds like a big hit! (and I think you’re right about the bake time–the enameled cast iron dish would cook differently than a thin metal tart dish!)