Whether it’s for a birthday or you just really want an epic paleo chocolate cake, this recipe made with both almond flour and coconut flour knocks it out of the park.
The incredible cake-like texture and a homemade frosting that meets all paleo and grain-free requirements are exactly what you’ll get with this recipe!
It’s true that most paleo cake recipes have more eggs than traditional cakes, that’s both to bind the almond and coconut flours together and to give the cake texture. I’ve had a lot of recipe flops since starting this whole grain free thing and almond flour isn’t cheap. Surely I could come up with something that resembled a cake, right?
It only took two tries to nail the recipe as you see it plus 14 more “just one more time” and “just making sure it’s right”. I’m serious. I’ve sent cake to my neighbors, to my husband’s office, and my freezer is full of chocolate cake squares for EE or “emotional emergencies”. When you are a mom of 3 I say a lot of things qualify for EE.
This is one of those cakes you don’t even know it’s grain free. Ok, it’s not as sweet as the “boxed kind” but I stopped buying those a long time ago.
After I created this paleo cake recipe back in 2010, I asked my husband what he thought of it. He said it was really good and my daughter had a big piece topped with ice-cream (they both have no dietary restrictions). My son Alex is the one who has really benefitted from this recipe. He’s been able to celebrate his birthday with a cake that he can enjoy, and everyone in the family loves it too.
It is recipes just like this that enable me to stick to eating Paleo while also helping my family eat healthier (who says “no” to chocolate cake, right?).
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Coconut Flour Cake
Coconut flour is a terrific addition to this recipe because it absorbs the liquid from the eggs and provides a spongy, cake-like texture.
Recipes that include coconut flour need to be sifted so it incorporates into the other ingredients without any clumps forming.
In this recipe, the coconut flour balances out the density of the almond flour; unlike cakes made with only almond flour or coconut flour. This combination will fool anyone that this cake is free of grains.
The final benefit is that coconut flour is more affordable than almond flour, making this cake more affordable.
Frosting Your Paleo Chocolate Cake
What would a cake made for a celebration be without frosting? While optional, this homemade paleo frosting is lick-your-fingers good!
Frosting your cake is best done once the cake has fully cooled down. This ensures that the cake is at its most solid state, and the frosting won’t break it as you spread it because it’s more delicate when warm.
Frosting tip: bake the cake the day before, refrigerate it overnight once cooled, and frost it the next day.
It whips and spreads like traditional frosting with ingredients you can enjoy in a paleo and grain-free diet.
Of course, you can also omit the frosting and top it with shredded coconut or a light dusting of powdered sugar if you can enjoy that.
My non-paleo-restricted kids and friends enjoy this cake with some vanilla ice cream on the side too!
Paleo Cake Batter Texture
Don’t be alarmed when the batter will look and feel like chocolate mousse in the mixing bowl. This mousse-like wet texture bakes into a delightful airy cake.
Make sure to watch the YouTube video below for a full visual.
What is the Texture of Paleo Cake
Once baked, the texture of this paleo cake is moist, airy and spongy; and it’s pretty darn close to that traditional chocolate cake everyone is used to. This is achieved by mixing the right amount of almond and coconut flour in the same recipe, as well as the right combination of wet to dry ingredients in the batter.
Making this recipe is easy, and this video, although I halved the recipe, will be very helpful in showing you the cake batter texture and the end results.
“Say goodbye to expensive grain-free/paleo cake recipes from specialty bakeries. This cake is “da-bomb-dot-com” –Sue, mom to 4 and a paleo family.
Baking Tips & Ingredient Swaps for Fluffy Paleo Cake
After many tests and having made this paleo cake recipe dozens of times, here are my tips and ingredient notes. For best results, read this before going rogue and making your own substitutions.
- Paleo Baking Powder
If your baking powder isn’t grain-free (made without cornstarch), make sure to use my paleo baking powder recipe. It’s essential to give your cake lift and allow it to rise.
Don’t want to make your own? Here is one baking powder made with potato starch and here is another paleo baking powder you can purchase.
- Baking soda + vinegar, can I use it?
I have not had success in achieving a good cake texture with the baking soda and vinegar combination to substitute the baking powder. If you want to purchase
- Can I omit the eggs in this recipe and use a substitute?
No. Replacing more than 2 eggs in any baked recipe is not recommended. If you can’t tolerate eggs, this is not the recipe to make.
- Does egg size matter in this cake recipe?
Using standard, large eggs is what’s recommended in the recipe. This ensures that the liquid amount is consistent and you achieve a good texture. You can use any brand of eggs.
- Can I make this cake with coconut flour only?
No. Coconut flour absorbs 10x more liquid than traditional flour or almond flour. You can’t simply swap out the almond flour without making huge adjustments to this recipe.
- Can I omit coconut flour and only use almond flour?
Not for this recipe.
- I can’t have almonds. Is there any other flour I can use?
Although not a nut-free option, I have substituted almond flour for chestnut flour successfully with this recipe.
- Maple syrup or honey for this recipe?
Both work great for this recipe. Make sure not to use any type of granulated sweetener because this counts as the liquid for this recipe in volume.
- Substituting coconut milk
Coconut milk adds liquid and fat to the recipe, both essential for this to have optimal texture. If you can have dairy, use whole milk or half and half and measure out 800ml or 3 ⅓ cups.
- High Altitude Baking
The only feedback I’ve received from high-altitude baking readers is that their cakes needed a little more baking time. If your cake feels wet in the middle but the tops look dry, cover them with foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, making sure to check.
- Cracked cake domes, is that normal?
The cake will crack on the top as it expands during baking; do not worry! The tops are usually cut before layering the cake.
- Can I half the recipe and make it one layer?
Absolutely! I originally developed this recipe as a single layer and over the years I tweaked it to be able to stack and frost it as shown in the post. You can straight out half the ingredients for the cake and the frosting if you want to make a single, layered cake.
- Where do I position the oven rack?
Before preheating the oven, position the top rack in the middle of the shelf right above it but no higher as listed in the recipe card.
Wrap any paleo chocolate cake leftovers with plastic wrap or transfer them inside an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this cake.Print