round keto chocolate cake with keto chocolate frosting

keto chocolate cake {dairy-free + gluten-free}

May I introduce you to the most amazing keto chocolate cake around? And I don’t throw that statement around lightly. 🙂 This keto chocolate cake recipe results in a light and tender almond flour cake with intense chocolate flavor. Rich, wholesome, and unfussy- the best kind of recipe. Top it with a 5-minute keto chocolate frosting or turn it into a frosting-less snacking cake. Any way will do!

the BEST keto chocolate cake

When I began eating low-carb/keto, I was very wary of the dessert options out there, mainly because I couldn’t believe that so many sweet treats could be made “keto.” I stuck to the “approved keto foods” and whipped up all the lemon and berry desserts I could. Thank goodness cocoa powder finally eased into my go-to ingredient list. I’m a chocolate girl at heart.

The recipe for this keto chocolate cake is one that has taken me some time to develop (to my family’s delight). I needed it to be simple, really chocolate-y, and as close to the “real thing” as possible. A classic chocolate cake recipe. If you’re baking for a special occasion, you can easily double the recipe (eight eggs, I know, but it’s worth it). I have an inkling that a fruity, low-carb strawberry jam would make a delicious cake filling, but a batch of my keto chocolate frosting will work here too.

This keto chocolate cake is:

  • low-carb, gluten-free and dairy-free
  • light and spongy, especially for an almond flour cake
  • a classic chocolate cake recipe that’s hard to believe is keto
  • a healthier chocolate cake, and that alone is worth celebrating!

how to make keto chocolate cake

On to the good part! This keto chocolate cake recipe doesn’t require too many special ingredients. You can throw it all into a mixing bowl and combine for a super easy cake batter, or go the extra mile and whip the egg whites separately. The whipped egg whites make it more of a light and spongy cake (YES PLEASE) that’s closer to what a classic chocolate cake recipe gives you. I have done both, but I prefer the latter.

By the way, I believe it always helps to watch something come together. So here’s a look at how simple this recipe is:

chocolate cake ingredients

  • almond flour (not almond meal)
  • granulated monk fruit sweetener
  • flaxseed meal
  • baking powder
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder (it has a smoother cocoa flavor- see notes for substitutions)
  • salt
  • pasture-raised eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  • vanilla extract
  • strong coffee
  • fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)

I’ve tested this keto chocolate cake in a round, 9-inch cake pan as well as a rectangular, 7 x 11-inch glass baking dish. The temperature and baking time were about the same for both sizes.

Here’s how to make a keto chocolate cake!

  1. Mix the batter. Combine all the dry ingredients (except for 1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener- set aside) in a large mixing bowl. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks, olive oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, coffee and vanilla into the dry ingredients, and whisk it all together.
  2. Beat the egg whites. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they become foamy. Add the reserved monk fruit sweetener and continue to whip the egg whites until they become stiff and soft peaks form. Spoon portions of the egg whites into the chocolate cake batter and gently fold them in until everything is well combined.
  3. Bake the cake. Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan (I line it with parchment paper for easy cake removal). Bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes, then allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan.
  4. Frost and enjoy! Remove the cake from the pan by inverting the pan onto a cooling rack or plate. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.

for the best results

  • Cocoa powder– I like Dutch-process cocoa powder in this recipe because it has a really smooth chocolate flavor, but natural cocoa powder will also work. This cake does not use baking soda as a leavening agent, so you can use either types of cocoa powder without it really affecting the cake’s rise. You can read more about the difference between Dutch-process and natural cocoa here.
  • Preparing the pan- I always line my cake pans with parchment paper because it’s the easiest way to get the cake out of the pan! I trace the shape of the pan onto the paper and cut it out, along with two separate strips to fit up around the sides. Use a bit of coconut oil to get the paper to stick to the pan.
  • Baking pan sizes- Based on the amount of batter this recipe makes, I wouldn’t choose a cake pan that’s too large. Almond flour cakes don’t rise in the same way as a standard, wheat flour cake, and unless you’re doubling the recipe, your cake may turn out too thin if baked in a large pan. My cake pan recommendations are: a round, 9-inch cake pan; a 7 x 11-inch rectangular pan; or an 8 or 9-inch square pan.

I can’t wait for you to try this keto chocolate cake! If you do, let me know what you think by leaving a comment, rating the recipe below, or tagging me on Instagram (@stemandspoon)! I LOVE to see what you’re making, especially when there’s chocolate involved. 🙂

HAPPY BAKING, friends.

you might also love…

  • This keto chocolate pound cake combines chocolate and nutty, almond flavor, topped with a rich, chocolate ganache. A chocolate lover’s dream.
  • One of my favorite cakes ever is this orange almond cake with cashew buttercream. It’s an olive oil cake with all the right flavors- almond, orange, and ginger.
  • This keto coconut cake is dreamy and coconut-y. Plus, it’s a beautiful, easy, almond flour Bundt cake that’s hard to beat.
overhead of five plates with slices of keto chocolate cake

keto chocolate cake {gluten-free + dairy-free}

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Meet the most amazing keto chocolate cake around! It's light, tender, and intensely CHOCOLATE. Made with almond flour, olive oil, and sweetened with monk fruit, this keto chocolate cake is ultra moist and a no-fuss recipe you'll make over and over. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and low-carb.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated monk fruit sweetener (like Lakanto), divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free and gluten-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, separated (pasture-raised when possible)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare the cake pan by lining it with parchment paper (I trace and cut sections to fit into the pan and use a bit of coconut oil to help it stick).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, 1/2 cup monk fruit sweetener (set aside the remaining 1/4 cup for the egg whites), baking cocoa, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center.
  3. Separate the eggs, and place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a standup mixer). Add the egg yolks, olive oil, vanilla, coconut milk, lemon juice, and coffee to the well of the dry ingredient mixture. Whisk the liquid ingredients together in the center, then working your way outward, stir with the dry mixture until it's well combined.
  4. Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer or standup mixer for about 1 minute, until they turn foamy. Add the reserved 1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener, and continue to beat the egg whites for another 3-4 minutes or until they turn stiff and soft peaks form.
  5. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate cake batter, and repeat until all of the egg whites are combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes, or until the center looks set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. To remove the cake from the pan, place a plate or cooling rack over the top of the pan and in a swift motion, invert the cake pan. The cake should fall right out. Remove the parchment paper pieces and allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.
  8. Frost with keto chocolate frosting (optional).

Notes

My cake pan recommendations are:

  • a round, 9-inch cake pan;
  • a 7 x 11-inch rectangular pan;
  • or an 8 or 9-inch square pan.


All of these sizes should also bake at the same time and temperature, but I recommend checking the cake at 30 minutes.

Nutrition information is for the cake only, without frosting. The nutritional estimate does not factor in the monk fruit sweetener since it's 0 calories, 0 net carbs, and 0 glycemic index.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 4gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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