The Ultimate Chocolate Cake 🍫 gluten free, paleo & keto

155 comments

  1. olivia says:

    The cake looks good but when I doubled the recipe by putting ’12’ in the box, the coconut oil amount didn’t double. which I didn’t realize until too late. You might want to fix that

  2. Summer Delacerda says:

    Hi! I have no flaxseed meal and only cacao instead of cocoa. I just got back to the store and thought I was set! Any way I can still make this?

  3. Patty Lin says:

    OH MY LAWRD! I attempted your super flaky crust and failed miserably. I was hesitant to give this a try because I feel I can’t bake to save my life. But the holiday season is approaching and so is a friends birthday so I decided to test this! I’m so glad I did!

    I replaced xylitol with erythritol (equal parts) because I have fur babies and don’t trust myself in keeping it away from them. I only had powdered erythritol so I didn’t need to do the water bath for too long. I also baked this in a 6inch by 3 inch pan. Gonna have to make three more next time!

    This is a chocolate cake. I can now have CHOCOLATE CAKEEEEEE!!!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  4. SABRINA says:

    Hi. I’m in the USA and will need to convert this recipe from grams into cups etc.. do you have any advice for me or a US version? Also we dont do any sweeteners wo could I reduce the sweetener so that the cake isn’t so sweet? Thanks this for a 2 year old Birthday party!

  5. Amanda says:

    I was wondering if adding a little apple cider vinegar and baking soda would improve the rise a little. I do a lot of rice for based gluten free baking, and that seems to really help.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Amanda! The issue more than anything is the lack of sugar in keto baking (helps lend structure and rise). I’ve made a lot of the recipes on the site with sugar for friends parties etc (just in case as some peeps react to sugar alcohols!) and I’m always surprised how well cupcakes and cakes rise… a bit depressing, just the way things are xo!

  6. Amanda says:

    This looks so good! I am definitely going to try it for my birthday in 2 weeks! 😻 I have a question though: I have been researching oat fiber and was wondering if that could be substituted for the flax? I don’t have any problems with flax or psyllium, I’m just curious about oat fiber 😉 thanks for such amazing keto/paleo recipes!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Amanda! I’m just beginning to experiment with oat fiber so tbh I’m not sure how it works in muffins yet. BUT, I did find in our naan recipe that coconut, flax and oat fiber seem to be interchangeable there (so maybe?!) xo!

      • Amanda says:

        Ok. I’ll try it both ways since I’m making (at least 😉) a double batch. If it works I’ll let you know! Thank you!

        • Amanda says:

          Ok I made my cakes today and they rock! I doubled the recipe (12 servings) and I used 3 tablespoons flax meal and 2 tablespoons oat fiber. It worked! The texture is wonderful and the flavor rocks! I can’t wait till I’m off the keto diet and on the Paleo one and can try it with coconut sugar! This really is a great recipe- keto or not! 😋

          • Paola says:

            Awesome to hear Amanda! I like the idea of your subs too! And yup on the coconut sugar, I’ve made it for a friends birthday party with a mix of coconut and cane sugar (I generally don’t risk it with sugar alcohols as some peeps can get stomach cramps!), and it does come out even better (that damn sugar 😂!) xo!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Yetza! I would actually suggest you whip up the brand new hostess cupcakes instead (well just the cupcake base!). It’s a spinoff of this one, but with a couple more ingredients to make it sturdier (we want to make sure it comes out of your bundt pan in one piece 😉!) xo!

      p.s. same as this one, the 6 cupcakes are enough for a 1×8-inch pan. So depending on the size of your bundt pan you’ll want to do 2 or 3 batches.

  7. Laura says:

    I just made this cake! I am diabetic and I’m always looking for low carb snacks that taste amazing…. I loved this cake but I enjoyed it much better when I cut the strong cocoa flavor with frozen whipped cream. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t like the bitterness of the cocoa. Did I use too much? How can I lessen the bitterness?

    PS: I used xyletol for the first time. I was shocked that there was no after taste, just like you said. Thanx!

  8. Cindee says:

    I want to make this for Christmas so I want to be ahead of the game and do my research before starting.
    To be clear this recipe only makes one layer cake, i need to double or tripple this recipe accordingly…is this correct?
    However the recipe for the icing is enough for 3 layers?

  9. Heather says:

    I made this and doubled the recipe. It just got done and it’s terrible. I cannot serve this at my dad’s party tomorrow. I checked the recipe 6 times. I did everything it said. I substituted sucralose as the sweetener and it cannot be tasted at all. The cakes are very very thin. The icing just tastes like cheese. I don’t what went wrong or what I’m going to do. 🙁

    • Paola says:

      I’m very sorry this happened heather! But my guess is that the Sucralose is the culprit, please keep in mind that this is not one of the recommended sweeteners. It’s an artificial sweetener that doesn’t behave at all like sugar alcohols when baked. 🙁

  10. Wendy says:

    Hi, can I bake it in a loaf pan? Making the loaf with the ingredients of two 8 inch cakes, will the temperature be the same? And how long will it take to cook ? Thanks

  11. Jennifer says:

    Would this make one layer for a 1/4 sheet cake ? I am making a double layer 1/4 sheet cake for my son’s birthday using a magic line pan measuring 9x12x2. Would I double this recipe to make two layers? Also, he wants one layer chocolate and one layer vanilla…..is there a good way to adjust this recipe for making a VANILLA cake?

  12. Jedidiah Myshak says:

    Hi, I was wondering if it has to be golden flax as for some reason I can’t find golden in my town and want to make this cake for my little guys birthday party on the 27th. So no time to order online 🙁

      • jedidiah says:

        I found the golden seeds and ground them myself in my bullet. The cake was really really yummy but its very crumbly. I cooked it for 13mins checking after 8mins and it really didn’t and doesn’t seem over done. its moist but crumbly. should it be? I’m really not sure what I could have done wrong.

        • Paola says:

          Hi there! In my experience you never get the same results from grinding the seeds yourself vs buy-ing meal. Now, the cake is a little bit crumbly (you can see from the pics), but sounds like yours was too much and that could be the reason xo

  13. Enne says:

    I made this recipe today, decided to bake as cupcakes. They were amazing!! Thank you! You made my sad cupcakeless life happy again:)
    I like sweeter cupcakes so I added some pure monk fruit powder since it’s a powder and only a tiny amount is required, it didn’t affect the texture, I also beat the eggs in with a mixer, the result was fluffy, chocolatey, moist and just like the cupcakes a famous store in Seattle sells.

    • H says:

      Enne, did you use the monk fruit powder for sweetness in addition to erythritol/xylitol OR as a substitute for the alcohol sweetener?
      We cannot tolerate the sugar alcohols and want to know if pure stevia or monk fruit works in this recipe that anyone has tried successfully.

  14. Laura says:

    I just made this cake! I am diabetic and I’m always looking low carb snacks that taste amazing…. I loved this cake but I enjoyed it much better when I cut the strong cocoa flavor with frozen whipped cream. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t like the bitterness of the cocoa. Did I use too much? How can I lessen the bitterness?

    PS: I used xyletol for the first time. I was shocked that there was no after taste, just like you said. Thanx!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Just an observation….I made this with xylitol and the butter, cocoa, sweetener combination was very very….well…not good when I went to add it. The butter separated. So I did a second attempt right after and I ground the xylitol in my bullet first. As soon as the sugar was mixed and melted I added in the cocoa and removed it from the heat. 100000% better. The first batch the batter was very clumpy and not good. It tasted good but fell apart and even stuck to the pan like playdough. This second try it was actual batter. I suggest grinding the xylitol first. Huge improvement.

    • Gail says:

      Oh Elizabeth! Your suggestion to grind the xylitol and just mix it with melted butter saved me. The same separation happened to me. It all seemed to turn out after reading your suggestion. My cupcakes are cooling now and they look delish!! Thank you and thank you Paola for what will be a yummy birthday treat for myself!! 🎂

  16. Tamar Noel says:

    This tasted like an iced brownie. I only made one layer and it turned out thiner than I expected. It stuck to my pan and was a mess to get out. Birthday girl was happy with it and everyone thought it tasted good.

  17. Joni Horton says:

    I’m sure its among the comments but there are a lot.

    What is the reasoning for the flaxseed?

    I don’t have any at the moment is there something I could use instead?

  18. Miah says:

    Could I use the batter for cupcakes? I have relatively low spoons (low energy) and find cupcakes much easier to make then layering a cake.

    • Paola says:

      Definitely Miah! I batch yields 6 cupcakes (just be sure to check on them from minute 12 to make sure they don’t dry out!) xo

  19. Victoria H says:

    Can I use Swerve confectioner’s and Swerve granulated sweetener instead of xylitol? I have animals in my house so don’t keep xylitol here.

  20. Catherine D. says:

    What if I don’t have the type of cocoa you are suggesting just the regular cocoa powder is there a way to make this using that, would I need to add xanthan gum or is it only doable with that type of cocoa?

  21. Karen says:

    I see many videos with this recipe for everything but this cake. Is there any video that was made particularly for this cake and how would I access it?

  22. Sophie says:

    You say the xylitol must be powdered for the icing. For the actual cake, should it be powdered as well? Or granular?

    Also, is the icing recipe enough for just ONE round 8 in cake, vs a layered one?

    And finally, why do you add the flaxmeal?

    THANK YOU!

  23. Rose says:

    Thank you for this post. I only had stevia based sweetener, however, I made veriations on this recipe without chocolate. The crumb is amazing. I made a coffee, lemon ginger, and red velvet cakes with the base recipe and they were fantastic!

  24. Britt berlin says:

    HOLY GUACAMOLE, this cake is legit!! I just made this for my friend’s birthday, as she is very strictly keto per the doctor’s guidance, and it was a HIT! 😀 Best cake ever, and everyone at the party had it, despite there being a second regular cake! Will be making this for all birthdays (including my own coming up in a few days haha!). Thank you so so much for this recipe! I did two layers, but definitely doing three next time! I also used an avocado mousse as the frosting and WOW! Thank you, thank you!

  25. Annie Justmann says:

    Hi,
    I’m looking forward to making this cake tomorrow for my boyfriends birthday. I’m a little confused with the Cocoa. I have a Hershey’s brand that says “Hershey’s Cocoa” but right underneath it says 100% Cacao. The ingredients read: “Cocoa: Cocoa Processed with Alkali”.
    What’s your advice?
    Also was considering making a Carmel sauce to add..let me know if you have any recipes.
    Thank you in advance!!!
    Annie

    • Paola says:

      Hi Annie! You’re good to go as it is alkali processed cocoa 😉 regarding the caramel sauce, I’m still working on one that’s good enough to share…

      Happy birthday to your bf! xo

  26. Renee says:

    I made this today for first time for my husbands birthday and didn’t want to kick us out of ketosis. It was wonderful but didn’t come out of the pan well and ended up breaking and coming out in pieces. Very sad! Did all directions exactly and used xylitol as sweetener. Did a double recipe for two 9inch pans and would change to a smaller plan in the future. How do you suggest I do it next time to ensure it coming out of the pan easier? I saw it said grease, dust with cocoa but didn’t know what line the pan meant. Maybe that was the problem.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Renee! I’m sorry it crumbled on you! In baking terms, lining the pan means cutting out (or purchasing) a circular piece of parchment to line the base of your cake pan to ensure the layers come out in one piece.

      And yup, for 9-inch I would do the equivalent of three 8-inch layers. Hope this helps! xo

  27. Jenn says:

    I made a double batch for a 2 layer cake. And they didnt rise at all. The dough wasn’t pourable either. Just wondering what I could have done wrong??

    • Paola says:

      What sweetener did you use Jenn? I’ve found that some erythritol based sweeteners can make the batter seize up? Any other changes?

      • Jenn says:

        I used erythritol. Instead of flaxseed meal(didnt have any) I used the amount of it in additional almond flour.and instant Decaf coffee instead of espresso.

        • Paola says:

          OK yes, I think the erythritol accounts for the batter being thicker and the subbing of the flax would account for the change in texture. Grain free baking is a bit more sensitive to subs (most unfortunately!)

  28. Stephanie Reilly says:

    Wow. Easily my favorite Keto dessert I’ve ever made. For those of you debating whether or not to put the extra work in to make a 3 layer cake rather than 1, DO IT! I will make this cake for my families birthdays for the rest of our lives, and they won’t complain about it either!

  29. Hailee says:

    Hi! I love your recipes and can’t wait for this one! My birthday is on Tuesday and I’m wanting to make a 2-later 9 inch cake. How much do you think the baking time would differ?

    Thank you!!

    • Paola says:

      That’s super awesome to hear Hailee! I would probably triple the recipe and divide the batter between the two 9-inch pans. Baking time in all honesty can vary a lot from oven to oven with this cake, but for instance in my oven it would likely be 5-8 mins more xo and happy birthday!!

  30. Sweta Santuka says:

    Hi Paola ,

    This looks heavenly and I am dying to try it .one question,can I use mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese.

    Thanks

      • Vess says:

        So if I did a 3 layer cake, would a 6th of a cake equate to 3 slices worth on the nutritional side? I’ve gotta stay under 20g of carbs!

  31. Desiree says:

    Looking forward to trying this for my son’s birthday cake. I plan to cover it with modelling chocolate. Do you think I should add some tapioca to the cake mix perhaps (not concerned if non keto) to make it not so fudgey ?
    Thanks

    • Paola says:

      Definitely! You can prob sub 2TBS of the flax and 3-4TBS of the almond flour, but because I haven’t tried it myself I would suggest doing a test batch as it’s for a special occasion 😉 happy birthday to the little (or big?!) guy!

  32. Rachelle Padgett says:

    Hi, just curious before I attempt this as I don’t want to waste any ingredients, what do you mean no cocao? I don’t have the same brand of coco powder you use, I know you highly recommend, but can I still use the coco powder (made from cocao) I have or will it not turn out? I also have the regular Hershey’s brand on hand. Thanks 🙂

    • Paola says:

      Cacao and cocoa are different ingredients (cacao is raw, cocoa is alkaline). You want to make sure you use a cocoa here (if your Hershey’s says cocoa you’re fine, if it says cacao it’s a no). xo!

  33. Maz says:

    Hi Paola,
    I’ve recently made this cake and I can’t believe how good it tastes and that it tastes as good as a usual chocolate cake if you know what I mean…the only thing is I gave my sister a piece and it kicked her out of ketosis…any reason why?
    I’m following a keto diet maybe not as strictly so I wouldn’t know if I was affected. Any suggestions as to why this happened? Thanks

    • Paola says:

      Hi Maz! Awesome you guys enjoyed it so much, but oh no on the ketosis issue! I don’t see how that could happen with the ingredients in the cake… but what sweetener did you guys use? Could it be that overall in that one meal too many carbs were consumed all at once?

      For instance, I do carb ups 1-4 times a week. But sometimes my carb-ups are simply more of higher carb keto foods? I’m fat adapted by now, so I’ll be out of ketosis for a few hours and back in by evening/next morning. I hope this helped, otherwise be sure that your sweetener is a pure sugar alcohol (no hidden maltodextrin etc). xo!

  34. Andrea says:

    I am trying to make this cake for the first time and used the microwave method first to melt the butter and incorporate the sweetener. It didn’t seem to work to melt the xylitol so I then switched to water bath and I now have a ball of sticky solids that will NOT incorporate at all into the melted butter! Help!!!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Andrea! Not all the sweetener dissolves into the butter, it’s just sort of shaggy (you can see it in the video). Once you whisk in the eggs it becomes smooth

  35. Uzomaka says:

    Hi there, I have been successfully making delicious meals from your recipes, and this one is definitely something I looks forward to, the one key thing I do not understand is your instructions on building multiple layers, you say if it is a two layer cake adjust the serving size to 12. does that mean I should multiply all the ingredients by 12? to make the two layer, and multiply all the listed ingredients by 18 for a three layer? for example one of the ingredients for a ONE layer of cake calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and from what I understand, to make two layers of cake I should multiply the teaspoon by 12 for 12 teaspoons of baking powder.

    I am sure that is not what you mean so please when you can kindly pretty please explain how the math works for multiple layers of cake, I would very much appreciate.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Uzomaka! THat’s awesome to hear! Regarding your question, what I’m talking about adjusting the number of servings is in the recipe card itself (so you change the number to 12 for 2 layers and 18 for 3 layers). This will simply multiply the ingredients by 2 or by 3.

      So using your example of the baking powder, you’ll see it will change it to 2tsp when you change number of servings to 12 and 3tsp when at 18 xo!

  36. Maz says:

    I’m planning to make this cake but a little confused as to how many layers the ingredients listed will make. I’d like to make 2 or 3.
    Please advise??
    Many thanks

  37. Lori says:

    This recipe is to die for! I’ve made this recipe three times . I make the cupcakes because of portion control . Instead of liners I just spray the muffin tin, let them cool, then turn upside down and they pop right out . This recipe is definitely a keeper!

    • Laci says:

      i would like to make cupcake portions also but how do i convert the baking temp & time? please tell me how…

      • Jennifer L says:

        The baking temp is the same. Mine to about 15 minutes to bake. I got 7 cupcakes using a 2oz ice cream scoop.

    • April Malone says:

      I’m new to this, do you add the frosting to your cupcakes and how much to each one. Also what are the macros of the cupcake and frosting combined. Thank you so much for your help.

  38. Cakemix says:

    I made this today, and it is delicious! You do need to make multiple layers if you want a traditional cake look, but I made it in a square pan (one layer) and it definitely satisfies my sweet tooth. TY!

      • Paola says:

        I’m sorry Alba I don’t understand? Are you referring to your question about the apricot jam? In all honesty I’m not sure, the cake is a bit fragile- but it could actually work? Maybe worth a shot with one layer first? xo!

        • Alba says:

          Hi! Yeah, you know black forest cake, chocolate layers saturated with kisch and with cherry jam in between, and with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and preserved cherries on the outside! Sooooo yummy… Maybe I’ll bake the cake for a bit longer, to dry them a little so they won’t turn to mush with the liquor and Jam.😁

          I’ll share my findings in my birthday, wish me luck!

          • Paola says:

            Don’t bake it longer or it will crumble!! 😉 just do it as is! Xo and happy birthday!

  39. Alba says:

    Oh wow this looks sooooo good! My favorite cake ever is black forest, I think this recipe would be a good start; do you think It could work with some substitutions? Would saturate the cake with apricot liquor or Jam render It todo fragile? I’m eager yo experiment now!

    Thanks so much for the wonderfull recipe and all your hard work!

    • Paola says:

      Yes and no! I like my chocolate cakes a bit on the denser and fudgier side, so if you use a stand/hand mixer you would be incorporating a bit too much air when you add in the eggs. Cake does rise a bit more, but texture was not the best in my opinion (you would actually reduce baking time). It’s also more cleanup, so in my opinion don’t quite need to here 😉

  40. jade says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It is the first successful low carb cake recipe that tastes as good as it looks! Thank you! Thank you!

  41. Hanne Pelletier says:

    This is absolutely the most amazing keto chocolate cake I have ever had. It could possibly be one of the best chocolate cakes, period. It took me three tries to make it right though. The first time I tried the microwave method and the chocolate turned into a big mess. The second time I used a tiny bit smaller pan and cooked a bit longer and it came out very fudge like and less cake like. We ate every bit anyway because it was delicious. I was determined to get this right. I made this again yesterday and it was perfect. My (very unhealthy, skeptical) family ate it and commented how great it was. They were surprised when I told them it was healthy! Thank you Paola. You are amazing! Please keep them coming. Everything of yours I have made has been top notch and favorite recipes to date. Your tortillas are a staple in our house on a weekly basis!
    PS My anniversary is coming up and I sure would love a carrot cake recipe for our traditional anniversary carrot cake dessert. <3

  42. Kaya says:

    I plan on making a 2 layer sheet cake for my husband’s birthday. The cake pan is 12×18. Do you have any idea on how many batches I would need to make?
    This looks SOOOO good! I can’t WAIT to try it!

    • Paola says:

      You did nothing wrong Sherrelann, as stated in the post this is meant to emulate the intensely chocolatey Italian almond cakes. And I think it also comes through in the picture that the cake is not fluffy, but rich and chocolatey 😉 xo!

      • Treyson says:

        I made it with Sucralose last night. It seems to have turned out alright. I haven’t tasted the actual cake yet, but the frosting was delicious when I licked it off the spoon lol

  43. Kim says:

    I can’t wait for the weekend to make this. I am going to make one batch of cupcakes. Do I need a whole batch of the frosting, or should I half it?

    Your cake decorating and photography are beautiful!!

      • Kim says:

        Great idea!
        I made the cupcakes and they are amazing!! The frosting is to die for too! I did bake mine a tad too long despite your detailed directions…lol! My toothpick was coming out soupy, but I should’ve just taken them out. But they are still wonderful. I bake less nest time. 🙂

  44. B says:

    This cake was delicious. Another hit, thank you.

    I checked my cake at 15 minutes and it was definitely done and a little dry. I would have pulled it out earlier, so maybe check it at 12-13 min.

    I did 10 T of allulose for the cake at 3 T of cocao for the frosting (because the cake is very chocolatey).

    • Paola says:

      Hi B! So happy you liked it! And thanks so much for reporting back on your baking time, I’ve added a note to the recipe 🙂 xo!

  45. Nikko says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this with a Baileys Ganache. My sisters birthday is coming up and that wold be a tasty treat. Btw, you are named after one of my favorite Greek singers, cheers.

  46. Linda Sue says:

    I made this tasty cake, it was rich and scrumptious! I had left over frosting, it was so good I didn’t want to throw it away, so I saved it in a container in the refrigerator. The next day, I took a scoop of the frosting and blended it with my coffee. It was a delicious satisfying breakfast!

  47. Kimberly C says:

    This looks soooo good. I am planning to make cupcakes this weekend. Question on the frosting- in your original buttercream frosting recipe you use Swerve. I am planning to just do a buttercream frosting without the chocolate. Do you prefer swerve or xylitol for the plain buttercream frosting?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Kimberly! I’ve been getting a stronger cooling sensation from erythritol lately so I’ve switched to xylitol (or reducing the erythritol and adding some monk fruit). If you’re cool with Swerve go for it! Taste buds and sweeteners are super personal 😉

  48. Lessa Lamb says:

    Questions:
    1. Could you powder (blend until dust) coconut sugar and use it instead for the frosting?
    2. I’m allergic to almonds, and many Paleo and keto things heavy on nuts really don’t work for me. If nut flours are out, what’s your second best choice?
    3. Flavor-wise, what’s the best cream cheese alternative for the frosting?

  49. Amelia says:

    I couldn’t resist and made a batch of cupcakes to take the recipe on a test drive and WOW! These are actually some of the best chocolate cupcakes, keto or not, I’ve had in my life! WOW WOW WOW!! I baked them for 12 minutes, and I was even surprised that they had a decent rise compared to other keto muffins etc I’ve made. It’s also the first recipe I’ve tried from your blog and surely eh first one of many!

  50. Pea Green says:

    Wow Paola! This looks G O O D !! Would cacao powder be an acceptable swap, or does it have different density? Thank you for all your wonderful recipes to help us all on our keto way :-)) x x

    • Paola says:

      So happy to hear you’re enjoying Pea! On your question, you actually do need cocoa as baking powder is involved.xo!

  51. Donna says:

    I never comment…just ‘lust’ over your keto offerings….but THIS…THIS…literally ‘takes the cake’!! Simply STUNNING. Your talent (and generosity in sharing it) overwhelms. Thank you so much for taking any notions of ‘deprivation’ out of Keto…You rock.

    • Paola says:

      LOL Donna thank you! It’s my absolute pleasure, just happy to hear you’re all enjoying the recipes 😉 xo!!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Jani! You can play around with time a bit more with muffins (I love them super fudgy!). Bake for 10-13 min if you like them extra fudgy (they’ll be set, but still jiggly and they’ll collapse lightly in the center while cooling). And for a more ‘normal muffin/cupcake’ 13-15 min. Varies a little from oven to oven, but these are good guidelines. xo!

  52. xtar says:

    you easily have some of the best food photography on the internet! i want to lick that frosting lolz

  53. Stace K. Morgan says:

    Happy birthday Paola! What a gorgeous cake lady! Thank you for developing such great recipes that are more often than not even better than the original 🙂

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