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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 decadence you’re looking for on a special occasion. Pro tip: don’t skip the raspberry sauce! 

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,

96 Comments

  1. I made this for my friend’s birthday. Between she and he husband, they can’t eat grains, soy, nuts, dairy, night shades, strawberries, apples, etc. I was really excited for this recipe. When I made this recipe, the eggs seemed to separate out and formed a gelatenous goo on the bottom of the cake. I scraped it all off and the remaining cake was still yummy, just really thin! (and the gooey egg bits were delicious– almost had a creme brulee taste). But it was strange. I don’t think I would make it again.

    1. That’s so strange! That’s never happened to me in all the times I’ve made this. I wonder if they didn’t get beaten in solidly enough at the start?

  2. I made this for my little guy’s first birthday cake 🙂 He LOVED it!! (And so did the rest of the family!) We love super dark chocolate so I cut the pure maple syrup in half. It was divine! Thank you, Emily!

  3. Seriously—this cake is BEYOND amazing. I used the coconut oil and maple syrup and everyone that tried it RAVED ❤️ … we also did the raspberry sauce and whipped cream!

  4. I made this for a holiday dessert as my son in law is dairy and gluten free. It was a major hit! I did use semi sweet chocolate and baked it in a torte pan with a removable bottom and it came out of the pan without a problem. The raspberry sauce was perfect with it.

  5. Can this cake be successfully frosted? I’m assuming no, but …
    Also, I assume this is less sweet than your brownies?

    💕

    1. Hi Cassandra! It *is* less sweet than the brownies (it’s more dark chocolate/bittersweet in taste, where the brownies are more semi-sweet).

      The top is a bit light and crackly, so a frosting might be a bit thick for it (and peel off the top layer), but you could probably get along with a thinner glaze or ganache!

  6. Many thanks for this recipe! I’ve been searching for some kind of cake for my adult son who avoids flour, dairy and table sugar. I made this for his birthday (so easy, too) and he was so impressed. He had two pieces. He asked to see the recipe! My grandkids ate theirs with whipped cream. So good!

    1. Yep! Eggs aren’t dairy. Dairy is defined as “containing or made from milk.” Since eggs come from chickens and don’t contain any milk (dairy), they aren’t considered dairy. (They’re just typically sold in the dairy section at the grocery store). I hope that helps!

  7. My doctor recently told me to not eat gluten and dairy! It’s been a rough adjustment as those were two staples of my diet 🙂 thank you for this recipe! It is nice to still have sweets to enjoy. One question: what’s the best way to store the leftovers?

    1. Cay – I TOTALLY understand! It was so overwhelming to us at first, but it gets easier and easier all the time. Hopefully it will to you, too! As for storing the cake, I usually keep my leftovers in the fridge or freezer. I like freezing individual slices so I can pull one out when the cravings hit 😉

  8. I don’t normally comment online, but this recipe is so outstanding that I had to leave a review and praise Emily!! I often wonder why sweets with maple syrup or honey aren’t more popular. My husband and I loooove sweets, but want to keep our sugar down…and this cake delivers! He loved it! I only had a small bell shaped cake pan, maybe 8″, but it worked perfectly! In fact, it ended up being about 1 1/2″ tall. It looks and tastes like a dessert from a high-end restaurant. I think it will be even more amazing when I add a little whip cream or something! I was worried about some of the comments that said it wasn’t sweet enough, but ours was. We used JRiley maple syrup out of Redlands, CA — not a product plug, but important to mention because it is all natural, but the sweetest maple syrup I’ve ever had. What a great result!

    1. WOW! Mandy- Thank you so much for leaving this comment! You totally made my day. I’m SO happy you enjoyed it! (And I’m off to check out JRiley syrup!)

  9. Delicious cake. I ended up making it twice in one day because the first time I made it some of the batter leaked out of the spring form and there was smoke in the oven. Both times it turned out perfectly. I used gluten free 70% cocoa chips, coconut oil, and the maple syrup. Cake was super light but rich. Would make it again in a heart beat.

  10. By now my number one choc cake recipe. I use butter and 70% dark chocolate and 1/2 a cup of honey and it’s AMAZING! Everyone says Wow and goes for another piece! Brilliant, thank you.

  11. Made this today and my friends loved it! I used sweetened dark baking chocolate and grade A maple syrup and it was perfect. Not too bitter, not too sweet. My friend’s discerning 3 year old boy loved it too! The raspberry sauce was deemed unnecessary as it detracted from the chocolate brownie as they called it which was rich and fudgy and moist but not overwhelmingly sweet. Friends did suggest ice cream or whipped cream as listed in the website which I may consider.

    Thanks very much for this easy win to dinner parties! It’s my go-to chocolate perfection now!

    1. How fantastic! I’m so glad you all loved it! We LOVE this one so much! (I love the whipped cream + toasted almonds combo or a scoop of vanilla or salted caramel ice cream!)

    1. Rob – I haven’t tested it with date paste. Usually, date paste isn’t quite a 1:1 substitute texture-wise for recipes like this, but I’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try!

  12. This turned out perfect! The people who had problems obviously can’t read. Her directions are great – just read them and follow them! I loved the taste of this rich cake with fresh raspberries and dairy free whipped cream – perfect for my dairy free gluten free daughter and grand daughter because I didn’t have to go to the store and purchase some obscure ingredients that will only go bad in my cupboard. Plus, I learned a new trick to get difficult cakes out of the pan – it worked just great.

    1. Evelyn – I’m glad you enjoyed the cake! It’s one of our favorites for special occasions. So glad it was a hit for you, too! 🙂

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