Paleo Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake

 Angela Bax/Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 110 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 (8-inch) layer cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
525 Calories
39g Fat
37g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 525
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 51%
Saturated Fat 20g 102%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 387mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 158mg 12%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 380mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In the mood for celebratory chocolate cake? This one does the trick and it's even paleo. Those following a paleo lifestyle focus on foods our ancestors ate millions of years ago, so refined foods like sugar and grains are out of the equation.

We swapped out white sugar for coconut flour, and the flour for a blend of almond and coconut. All of the ingredients in this cake and frosting are paleo. Even though baking soda and powder are not technically paleo, we include them as they are consistently used in paleo baking recipes without issue—it isn't possible for the cake to rise enough without them. Apple cider vinegar is our secret addition (don't worry, you can't taste it) to serve as the acid that activates the baking soda, creating lift and lightness. Additionally, you can use either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe as it includes both baking soda and powder.

Our paleo chocolate cake has a fluffy, gooey chocolate frosting made simply from chocolate chips and coconut cream—just ensure you are using paleo-friendly, dairy-free chocolate. For the cake itself, we love how the almond and coconut flour combo balance the deep chocolate flavor without offsetting it. You can use either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe as it includes both baking soda and powder.

Serve this paleo chocolate cake for any holiday or special occasion where you want a beautifully presented dessert. It works equally well in 2 (9-inch) or 3 (8-inch) cake pans.


For the Cake

  • Baking spray or butter, for greasing

  • 2 3/4 cups almond flour

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups dairy-free, dark chocolate chips

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) coconut cream

  • A pinch of salt

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Spray 3 (8-inch) cake pans, then line with parchment or place a parchment round at the bottom.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined and there are no lumps.

  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined.

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until fully incorporated—the batter will be thick. Add the vinegar and whisk to combine.

  6. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely.

    While the cake is baking, you can begin the frosting.

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the coconut cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, the add the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes to allow to melt. Stir well to combine.

    Alternately, you can heat the coconut cream and chocolate chips together in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted.

  3. Let the mixture cool completely for 1 hour, then use an electric hand mixer or transfer to an electric stand mixer until whipped into a fluffy consistency, about 3 minutes.

  4. Once the cake is cool, you can trim the layers to be more level, eating any scraps, or keep as is. Place one layer on a cake stand, then cover with a layer of the frosting. Place the second layer, top side-down on the buttercream. Repeat with frosting and the last layer of cake. Finish the cake with the remaining frosting, as desired. Serve.

Recipe Tips

  • We don't recommend substituting almond meal for the flour—the texture will not be as light.
  • Any cocoa powder can be used, but natural is ideal because it will add acidity for the baking soda and deliver a more concentrated chocolate flavor.
  • Light coconut sugar is preferable to dark. We suggest using the lightest golden one available.
  • Make sure that your baking powder and baking soda are no more than 6 months old. If they are older than that, you should replace them as they lose their potency quickly and the cake won't rise properly.

How to Store

  • This cake will keep at room temperature for several days. The frosting will be fine at room temperature, so we don't recommend refrigerating it.
  • We don't recommend freezing this cake if it's been frosted, as the texture may become granular.
  • If unfrosted, the cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe Variations

  • To make this as a 2-layer (9-inch) cake, line 2 pans instead of 3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • To make as cupcakes, place batter in 24 muffin tin spaces and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Can you eat cake on a paleo diet?

You can't eat regular cakes on a paleo diet. That's because it can contain ingredients like white flour and sugar that aren't allowed. However, you can eat cake on a paleo diet if you use paleo ingredients instead. That's what we've done here. This cake is fully aligned with the paleo diet.

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