Dense, tender, and sophisticated, this gluten-free almond flour chocolate cake gets a flavor boost from fruity olive oil. Made with just 8 ingredients and 20 minutes of active time, this cake looks like it came from a fancy patisserie, but it's actually quite simple to make at home.
Naturally dairy-free, with gluten-free and paleo options. This recipe is part of my gluten-free chocolate recipes collection where chocophiles can find 30+ more recipes to satisfy their bittersweet tooth.
You need look no further for a perfectly rich and decadent almond flour chocolate cake recipe. This beauty hails from Alice Medrich's cookbook Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. Medrich has a well-deserved reputation for being an awesome baker with solid recipes who isn't afraid to try new techniques. She is a culinary pioneer from whom I find continual inspiration.
Similar in texture to a flourless chocolate cake but with a bit of nubby texture from almond flour, this almond flour chocolate cake will satisfy the most voracious of chocoholics.
Here's what one happy baker had to say about it:
5-Star Reader Review
“Each recipe of yours that I make turns out to be my new favorite. This one is no exception. I was inspired to make this recipe to celebrate Valentine's Day with my bestie. It turned out both beautiful and delicious, with no high altitude adjustments necessary. Thanks again for helping me celebrate my most treasured friendship in the most perfect way... With chocolate!”—Tamar
Chocolate Cake with... Olive Oil?!
The ingredient that sets this almond flour chocolate cake apart from other cake recipes is the good pour of olive oil that stands in where butter would usually be. Think of this as the chocolatey cousin to this community-favorite lemon almond olive oil cake.
Here the fruity notes from the olive oil complement rich chocolate and nutty almond flour. The olive oil also makes the cake naturally dairy-free (more on this below), though you could swap in any oil you like.
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
This cake comes together with 8 simple ingredients.
- Chocolate is the star of this show, so be sure to use one that you like the taste of. Guittard bittersweet is my go-to; Valrhona is another well-loved brand. For a paleo-friendly version, choose a chocolate free of refined sugar such as Hu, Raaka, or Guittard.
- Eggs create fluffy texture similar to a flourless chocolate cake, and they give the cake structure. I wouldn't recommend trying to substitute them. But if you're looking for a GF vegan chocolate cake recipe, try this one!
- Almond flour or almond meal give the cake substance. You can make your own almond flour by grinding whole, slivered, or sliced almonds with the rice flour until fine and powdery. You can also use hazelnut flour, or any other nut. You could also try using ground seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option.
- Olive oil stands in for the usual melted butter. Choose a bold, fruity olive oil that you love the flavor of. Or use any other cooking oil you prefer. A nut oil such as hazelnut or walnut would be lovely too.
- A small amount of flour absorbs moisture. Pretty much any flour will do. I used sweet rice to make this, but any all-purpose blend should work. For paleo-friendly, use cassava flour.
- Salt and vanilla sharpen the flavors. Cocoa powder makes an optional topping.
How to make almond flour chocolate cake
This recipe makes one 8-inch single-layer cake, for 10-12 small but rich servings. It takes about 20 minutes of active time to assemble the batter, plus some baking and cooling time. It keeps beautifully and can be made up to 3 days ahead.
What to Serve with this Cake
This rich cake needs no accompaniment, but if you want to gild the lily, here are a few favorite serving options:
- Dollop with whipped creme fraiche or mascarpone whipped cream, or use whipped coconut cream for dairy-free.
- Decorate the cake with ganache such as dairy-free ganache or creme fraiche ganache.
- Serve slices warm with ice cream such as vanilla bean ice cream or creme fraiche ice cream.
- Drizzle the cake with warm chocolate tahini sauce.
- Swirl the cake with frosting such as peanut butter frosting.
- Top it with fresh berries such as raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries.
- Serve it with coffee, good whiskey, or red wine.
Is this a Cake or a Torte?
The terms torte and cake can both be used to describe this dessert. In the US, we use the word "cake" to describe both light, fluffy confections like angel food and chiffon, and short, dense numbers like this chocolate almond cake. The word "torte" hails from Europe where it's used more often to describe a rich cake made with a high ratio of eggs, and sometimes ground nuts.
So call this what you like – chocolate almond torte or almond flour chocolate cake. You'll definitely call it delicious.
Almond Flour Chocolate Cake for Everyone
This cake is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and it can be made paleo-friendly as well.
The original recipe for this almond flour chocolate cake contained a small amount of wheat flour. This is easily replaced with sweet rice flour (or probably really any flour you like!) One reader recently commented that she made the cake paleo-friendly by using grain-free cassava flour, and coconut sugar in place of regular. Brilliant!
This cake turns out moist, tender and rich, but not so densely truffle-like as a flourless chocolate cake. The ground almonds add body, and its judicious sweetness is balanced by deep chocolate and fragrant olive oil.
I hope you love it as much as I do!
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free chocolate almond flour cake recipe, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and rating below, and tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Almond Flour Chocolate Cake with Olive OilPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- ½ cup (55 g) almond flour or meal (or whole almonds ground with the rice flour until powder-fine)
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) sweet rice flour or GF AP flour (use cassava flour for a paleo option)
- 6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate with 65-72% cacao mass, roughly chopped
- ½ cup (120 ml) flavorful olive oil, plus extra for serving
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) sugar, divided use (use coconut or maple sugar for paleo version)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Rub an 8- or 9-inch round springform pan with a bit of olive oil.
Make the Batter
- Place the chocolate, oil and salt in a large, metal bowl. Place the bowl in a skillet filled with 2 inches of barely simmering water, and stir frequently until the chocolate is melted.
- Remove the bowl from the skillet and whisk in ½ cup of the sugar, then whisk in the egg yolks.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until foamy, then gradually pour in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, whipping the whites until they hold soft peaks (i.e., when you pull the whisk out and hold it upside down, the peaks of white flop over).
- Without delay, use a flexible spatula to stir one-third of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture.
- Add the remaining whipped egg whites to the bowl, sift in the almond and sweet rice flours, and gently fold until the batter is just combined and no streaks remain.
- Immediately scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, 30-40 minutes.
- Let the cake cool completely, then remove the sides of the pan. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving if you wish, then use a large chef's knife wiped clean after each cut to slice the cake.
- If you like, serve the cake with a dollop of cream, a drizzle of olive oil, a few flecks of flakey salt, and/or seasonal fruit or berries.
- The cake will keep, covered at room temperature, for up to three days. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.
- This cake makes a great do-ahead dessert as it is even better on the second or third day, when the flavors have had a chance to develop.
- To keep the batter happy, warm your eggs to room temperature before making the cake; this will keep the batter fluid and easy to fold. You can do this quickly by placing the whole eggs in a bowl of warm tap water and letting them sit for 5-10 minutes.
- If gluten isn't an issue, feel free to use all-purpose wheat flour in place of the rice flour; or you could probably use a gluten-free all-purpose blend.
- Do use good chocolate and olive oil that you like the taste of. I don't recommend making this with chocolate chips.