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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.

Overhead view of slices of flourless chocolate cake with different toppings


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.

Front view of a flourless chocolate cake topped with raspberries on a white cake standOverhead view of a bowl of raspberry coulis for flourless chocolate cake
Front view of a flourless chocolate cake topped with raspberries on a white cake stand

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!
Overhead view of a bowl of raspberry coulis for flourless chocolate cake

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.

Front view of slices of flourless chocolate cake with different toppingsOverhead view of a slice of flourless chocolate cake

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!

Overhead view of slices of flourless chocolate cake with different toppings

HELPFUL TOOLS + INGREDIENTS FOR THIS FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE:

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Overhead view of slices of flourless chocolate cake with different toppings

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 (8-9 inch) cake 1x

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale

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)
  • 23 Tbsp honey
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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”)
  4. 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.
  5. Pour into your prepared pan, gently shake the pan back and forth a bit to settle the batter, and transfer to the oven.
  6. 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)
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes in the pan before transferring out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.
  8. 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:

  1. Place raspberries, honey, and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed.
  2. 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,

102 Comments

  1. I tried this recipe and loved it. Found the taste a bit bitter for me though. What would you suggest gfor next time? Should I add more maple? Use a dufferent chocolate to melt?

    I will be trying the dirty risotto next!

    1. It’s definitely on the darker side. You can try using semi-sweet chocolate instead of unsweetened next time which will give it a sweeter taste. Adding more syrup would probably mess with the consistency, but you’ll be safe using semi-sweet chocolate instead!

    2. I have made this before also and preferred a bit more sweetnes also. I made a chocolate gance topping w whipping cream and a few semisweet choc chips melted to pour over it. Was pleasant . I wonder if 1/2 monk fruit syrup w 1/2 honey wd work too. It’s worth experimenting to get our g-gree lower carb chocolate fix, rt? .

    3. I made this recipe using a 9 inch springform pan. I chose the honey option, rather than the maple syrup. I baked it for 15 minutes, bubbly and gooey. Added 5 minutes. Still not “set” in the center. Added 5 minutes. Still not set. I finally took it out at the 25 minute mark. It was a gooey disaster. The flavor was wonderful, but the thing fell apart and was gooey. Also, it was very, very flat – more like a torte than a flourless. Finally, it was difficult to get out of the pan. I had greased the pan with coconut oil to keep it vegan. What did I do wrong?

      1. Catherine – I’m confused, but I’d love to help. You used honey (which isn’t vegan) and coconut oil to grease the pan (which is). Did you put coconut oil in the cake or just greasing the pan? Did you use an egg substitute or eggs for the cake?

  2. Emily dearest, my coworker made this cake for me for my birthday after I gave her the recipe. You are a goddess! It’s so good! I hadn’t tried it before she made it, but knew that if it came from you, it would be delicious. Thank you, once again, for having fantastic recipes that are things I can eat!

    1. Oh, this makes me SO SO HAPPY!!! I wish *I* could have been the one to make it for you, but I’m so glad you got to enjoy it. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!

      1. I wish you could’ve been the one to make it for me as well, but alas, we live in different states. Luff you!

    1. Laura – You didn’t miss anything! Eggs aren’t dairy 🙂 They don’t contain any milk or milk proteins, but they are considered meat. They’re just sold in the same area as milk. So, while this cake is 100% dairy free, it is not vegan. Hope that helps!

      1. Susana – You can, though I’ve found in a recipe like this (or brownies), you loose a lot of the fudginess and get a more moist, dense cake-y texture.

  3. This was delicious and easy! I’m a low carber so I used a cup of swerve sweetener ( I like sweet, rich chocolate) otherwise followed the recipe- used butter just for ease of measurement. Served it with fresh whipped cream and 2 sliced strawberries and it’s heavenly. Thank you for this recipe! It’ll be my go to for chocolate cravings.

    1. I’ve made it a day ahead of time to serve later without it losing anything in taste or texture, but it’ll last several days in the fridge (at least 4) before it dries out. 🙂

  4. Hi Emily,
    You’re a real life saver with this recipe. I’m teaching a Sunday School class tomorrow. Since February is “Love Month” I’m going to make this cake recipe for two reasons: #1 soooooo delicious and #2 I have 3 out of 6 children in the class who cannot have gluten, soy, corn or dairy products. I’ll be baking this cake in a sweet little heart shaped cake pan I’ve had for years and I know the kiddles will love this. All of them LOVE chocolate. Sure hope I can get this out the door tomorrow morning before “Mr Robin” finds its overnight hiding place. 😉
    xoxo ~ Robin

    1. I haven’t tested it with sugar alternatives, but my friend Carolyn LOVES using Swerve to keep things low-carb! It’s supposed to be a 1-to-1 substitute. Hope that helps!

  5. I made the cake and it was delish but it came out super flat….. like pizza slice thin haha. Any tips? Or is it supposed to be like that.

    1. Hmm… it’s typically pretty flat, but I’d say mine’s at least 1″ tall. What size pan did you bake it in? I baked mine in a 10″ pan once and it was REALLY flat!

    1. I don’t have nutrition facts on this one yet, but you’re welcome to plug it into any free online calculator! My favorite is MyFitnessPal (the free site or app).

  6. Do you think this cake would work as cupcakes in the cupcake wrappers or would it stick to the papers?

    1. Linda – Great question! I probably wouldn’t do this as cupcakes since it doesn’t rise at all. I think it’d just kind of be a mess, and the baking would be thrown off a bit. But, if you’re hoping to serve it to a group, my mom sometimes cuts up cakes/brownies/bars and puts the cut squares in little cupcake liners to serve. They look adorable and are easy to pick up at a get-together. You could even top them with different toppings in the liners!

  7. Hi

    I am dairy free but not gluten free. I have almost two cups almond flour can I use reg flour to get to a full two cups?

    Thanks

    Tina

  8. I followed directions, greased the 9″ pan, cooled entirely , but it’s so moist that I’m having trouble trying to get it off the flat bottom section of the springform pan. I used a knife to go under the cake to try to get it off the pan. Afraid it will break if I slide it off . Any suggestions? The cake that got on the knife is out of this world.

    (Guess I could get some tiny cups and scoop it into them, top with a raspberry if it does fall apart. )

    1. Kathy – Hm… I don’t usually take it off the springform pan! I just remove the edges/casing and leave the cake on the bottom. I usually slice and serve right from the bottom of the pan (I put it on a pretty plate or something while it’s still on the pan). You might try that? Your cups and raspberry idea is adorable!

  9. I’m a little confused about beating the eggs. I can’t get them to “ribbon”. Instead they fluff and bubble. The recipe works even so, but I’m wondering if it would be better if the eggs “ribboned”.
    I beat them by hand with a whisk.
    I’ve looked online for tips, but they all say that eggs only ribbon when mixed with sugar.
    I don’t want to add sugar, so I’m wondering you have any advice.
    Thanks for your time.

    1. Steve – So sorry for the confusion! I don’t add sugar to mine either. When I whisk them (by hand with a whisk), mine get lighter in color and do get bubbly as well. But the big thing to look for is that when I lift up my whisk, the eggs stream down in a smooth stream instead of in lumps. If you haven’t whisked them very much, they’ll plop off your whisk instead of streaming off the whisk. Does that help at all?

    1. Emily – I’ve never tried using gelatin as a substitute for eggs! That’s a smart idea. I’m not sure about how it would work in this recipe since it’s a pretty essential part of the structure, but if you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

  10. Hi Emily,

    I tried baking this for the office for my birthday yesterday, but I failed badly. haha. I went for the honey option instead of maple syrup and I used egg replacement instead of egg and unfortunately the cake ended up hilariously flat. About 1-2mm.

    It tastes delicious, but I’m wondering if you have any advice or ideas of what might have gone wrong…

    …If it helps, I did cook it a bit too hot for the last 10 minutes (~going up from 375F slowly to 482F, because my ovens thermostat is broken, so I have to turn it up a little to keep it on). I then later tried to keep baking for a while, when it hadn’t risen… :s

    Any tips appreciated! Thanks!

    1. Yannick – I’ve been thinking about this for the last few days wondering what to recommend… I’m wondering if the egg replacer is the problem. The egg itself binds, but it also does puff up a bit and expand while cooking. I’m not sure which egg replace you used, but that may have had an impact. I also think the temperature issue probably had an impact. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you!

      1. Hi Emily,

        Thank you so much for getting back to me. I used orgran no egg, egg replacer. That makes sense. Thanks for explaining. If the egg puffs up, maybe I’ll try to use some baking powder next time and get our oven fixed.

        Thanks again. And rising apart, the cake tastes delicious! We are eating it anyway. We just keep it in the freezer too keep it together and then scrape it off and eat it with fresh raspberries. Haha. Thanks for me first vegan cake recipe. I’ll try to remember to write an update if I find a solution that works.

        Yannick

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