Ultra Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake 🍫 gluten free, keto & paleo

Just 5 ingredients, ridiculously easy, extra fudgy and intensely chocolatey! This gluten free, paleo and keto flourless chocolate cake is bound to become a favorite!

Cutting a slice of a fudgy keto flourless chocolate cake
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake 🍫

Extra Fudgy!

This is a very good one guys, one of those classic staples which keeps you coming back for more. It’s incredibly chocolatey and decadent, and there’s something about it which feels incredibly special.

Having said that, it’s stupidly easy to whip up! i.e. this keto flourless chocolate cake is ideal for when you’re feeling lazy, but still want to impress.

Oh, and you likely have most (if not all!) the ingredients in your pantry already. #ideal

So serve it up solo, with a handful of raspberries or (if feeling extra indulgent!) a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The Deets

This is simply a keto twist on a classic flourless chocolate cake.

  1. Yolks and sugar are beaten until light and fluffy

2. Dark chocolate is melted along some butter and cocoa and incorporated into the ribboned yolks. And, last but not least, soft-peak egg whites are folded into the mix.

Folding the batter of a keto flourless chocolate cake
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

The cake will rise thanks to the egg whites, and will collapse somewhat while cooling (how much depends on how fudgy you bake it).

How fudgy? This totally depends on your taste and can be adjusted with the baking time. It will vary quite a bit from oven to oven (i.e. you need to keep an eye out for it, particularly the first time around). Ballpark figures are as follows: 23-26 minutes for fudgiest results, 27-30 for cakey edges, 30-onwards (wouldn’t advice, cake could come out crumbly).

Essentially you want take it out once the center has set but a toothpick inserted still comes out moist (but not drenched). And do keep in mind that the cake will continue to cook while cooling (very important to take into account!).

I personally prefer to slightly undercook it and chill in the fridge before cutting. The cake collapses quite a bit (expected), but it pretty much melts in your mouth while still having a good chew (ah-mazing).

You’ll also want to use eggs at room temp. Reason being that if your cocoa/butter mixture is not hot enough (and your eggs are very cold), they’ll solidify the butter and your batter will be too thick (doesn’t affect the end results, just annoying to spoon rather than pour!).

Uncut keto flourless chocolate cake dusted with cocoa
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

The Chocolate 🍫

Depending on how strict keto you are, you can either use a standard dark chocolate (say a 70% or 90% Lindt), or go for a sugar-free such as Lily’s (used for the pics in the post).

I tested the recipe with Lily’s baking chips and not much (if at all really) was lost. The resulting cake is still incredibly fudgy, chewy, chocolatey and no aftertaste in sight (particularly when paired with xylitol).

And for the cocoa, just know that quality really matters here. Our favorite will forever be the Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world. You could technically use a raw cacao powder, though keep in mind that your cake will be lighter in color and more reddish in hue (and not as good taste-wise in my opinion).

Taking a slice of flourless chocolate cake
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

The Sweetener 🍯

You’ve got a couple options here. Xylitol has become my top choice for chocolate goodies. No aftertaste and best and chewier texture; just be sure to pick a non-corn variety such as Health Garden or XyloSweet so it doesn’t upset your tummy!

Otherwise erythritol works well too (your batter might be a bit thicker, don’t sweat it!): Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, and many of you also love the Golden version), and powdered Swerve (some cooling sensation, but still great).

If using erythritol in any form, because it needs a little extra help to dissolve than xylitol (and they vary so much from brand to brand because of different fillers and so on!), you’ll want to be sure to use a powdered form. If you only have granular on hand, don’t sweat it, and simply blend it in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until powdered. Easy-peasy!

Fun fact: it might also be our taste buds here, but we’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So we cannot recommend enough that you don’t use stevia-based sweeteners here.

Oh, and if just paleo or gluten free (or not restricted by sugars), simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

Sliced paleo and keto flourless chocolate cake
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake
Cutting a slice of a fudgy keto flourless chocolate cake

Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, keto, low carb, paleo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 175 kcal

Just 5 ingredients, ridiculously easy, extra fudgy and intensely chocolatey! This gluten free, paleo and keto flourless chocolate cake is bound to become a favorite!

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

  • 170 g sugar-free chocolate chips or 70-90% dark chocolate
  • 113 g unsalted grass-fed butter or 7 TBS ghee/coconut oil + 1 TBS coconut cream if paleo
  • 43 g cocoa powder **
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 3 eggs whites and yolks divided, at room temperature***
  • 2 tablespoons water add only if using sugar-free (erythritol) chocolate
  • 1/2-2/3 cup xylitol or powdered erythritol or coconut sugar if paleo*

To garnish

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Grease and line with parchment paper an 8-inch cake pan. Set aside. 

  2. Melt chocolate and butter over a water bath, stirring frequently until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder, espresso powder (optional) and salt. If you're using sugar-free chocolate with erythritol (such as Lily's), the mixture will turn very thick- worry not! Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract (optional) and allow the mixture to cool slightly while you prepare the rest.

  3. Add egg whites to a medium bowl and whisk until soft peaks forms. Be sure not to over-do it, as stiff whites will be tougher to fold in. Set aside. 

  4. Add egg yolks and sweetener to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer (or with a whisk and some arm muscle!) until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add in the prepared chocolate mixture in thirds, mixing fully before incorporating the next part. If using sugar-free chocolate, add in a couple tablespoons water to loosen up the batter. 

  5. Fold the egg whites gently in four parts, be very gentle as the batter will lose up as you go. 

  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 23-26 minutes for fudgiest results and 27-30 for cakey edges. Or until the center is just set and a toothpick inserted in comes out moist (not drenched). This really does vary (a lot!!) from oven to oven (think convection etc), so give it a check from minute 15 the first time around, and remember that you're cake will continue to cook as it cools. 

  7. Allow to cool completely, and to get extra clean edges place in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to cutting. Dust with cocoa right before serving and store in an airtight container at room temp for 3-5 days (or in the freezer for a month or two). 

Recipe Notes

*Please see section on sweeteners for deets and possible substitutions (very important, as various sweeteners behave very differently here!). Just keep in mind that stevia doesn't work (at all!) for this chocolate cake! 

And please note that nutrition facts were estimated using Lily's chocolate chips and Valrhona cocoa, and as always be sure to check your products! 

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 216mg 9%
Potassium 83mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 7.1%
Calcium 1.6%
Iron 6.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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22 comments

  1. Dee says:

    I chose this recipe for my birthday cake.
    I made one layer,(2 of us) using granulated xylitol, beating with the egg yolks for 3 minutes. I did have some xylitol grains, but like you noted, they melted in during baking.
    I baked for 15 minutes. I ended up with a great fudgy texture.
    This cake was fabulous served with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. I’ll be trying this with nuts and caramel.
    This was a test run to find a Dad worthy Keto birthday cake in for October 20th.
    Paola, thank you for sharing your expertise.
    I’ve learned a lot from you, making our keto journey enjoyable.

  2. Sophie L says:

    We had guests over this weekend and NOT ONE could believe the cake was keto! They all had the idea that all you eat are eggs cheese and bacon, so we managed to open their eyes a bit with a handful of your recipes 🙂

  3. Ali says:

    Having a dinner party for 10 tonight and have worked the menu to fit in with my keto diet. I’ve never used xylitol before and didn’t know it came in granulated or powder. When I read “1/2-2/3 cup xylitol or powdered erythritol” I understood only the erythritol needed to be powdered. After20 min of beating and the xylitol granules and them not dissolving I ended up chucking the whole lot down the sink and have had to make a new batch with sugar! Is there a way to make it dissolve? When would you use granulated if it won’t dissolve? Feeling very frustrated having wasted so much time.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Ali! Yup, only erythritol needs to be powdered as xylitol will dissolve completely once baked. You beat it with the yolks until the mixture is light and fluffy (i.e. ribboned yolks), that doesn’t change. Sugar alcohols don’t behave like sugar, so you need to expect some slightly different behavior throughout. Erythritol is the one that should always be powdered to ensure a smooth result at the end as it has a tendency to stay as granules all the way through xo

  4. Tiffany says:

    How would you make this dairy free (e.g. no butter). Do you think coconut oil would be a possible swap?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Tiffany! Yup, you have the dairy free subs right next to the butter (thanks for letting me know they’re not that obvious!) :
      7 TBS ghee/coconut oil + 1 TBS coconut cream if paleo

    • Paola says:

      Hi Sherri! Yup, that would be Lakanto (in my experience it’s better safe to grind erythritol when you want a smooth texture) xo!

  5. Barbie says:

    Hi Paola! I love love your recipes!

    Do you have paleo/keto chocolate ganache recipe? 🙂 Do we put the ganache then let it harden in the fridge before dusting the cocoa powder?

  6. Stella J says:

    It’s AMAZING!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    Also thank you for consistently using the same ingredients throughout your recipes, makes it so easier to cook gnom gnom 🙂

    • Paola says:

      Awesome to hear an all accounts Stella ;)! Thanks so much for reporting back- can’t believe you guys are already whipping it up (also on instagram! 😍)

  7. Kate says:

    Hi Paola….yay, front row! Thank you for all your hard work..and sharing the BEST recipes a low-carb girl could ask for! I have a couple of questions, if you have a minute…:) I’m a Swerve girl from the start and bought a pkg of the powdered recently. I was shocked to learn when I tasted a tiny bit…it didn’t taste good at all! Not the cooling effect, just a..kind of nasty, dark taste. I’ll definitely powder some of the regular Swerve for this in my coffee grinder…but is it possible the powdered went..bad or something? Tough question, I know…I’ll probably toss it before ruining a recipe, but thought I’d check. Sprinkling cocoa on top of the cake…just the plain, unsweetened stuff? Sounds pretty bitter to me..lol well, I only have raw cacao powder, and boy is it ever bitter! I took your advice and bought a kitchen scale…it feels sooo chef-fy to use, thank you! I could randomly babble all day with you, so Ima hush 🙂 Thanks again for making life a LOT easier..off I go to make a cake!

    • Paola says:

      Yay on the scale!! First step towards proper baking (AND less dirty dishes!) 😉

      OK, so on your questions: I’ve actually never bought powdered swerve (I just grind up the sweeteners in my bullet!). Having said that, I did find an old package of Swerve in my cupboard the other day and it had turned a weird yellow color and definitely did not taste right anymore- so maybe it can go bad? Maybe it’s the inulin the add?

      Regarding the cocoa, it’s just a classic European thing to sprinkle some onto flourless tortes/cakes- but you can do a ganache or something else too! Or leave it solo with ice cream (yum!) In the end you don’t get the bitterness, just a nice complement (but I’m also nuts about dark chocolate, so don’t take my word for it!). I hope this helps and happy to babble all day 😉 xo!

    • Paola says:

      I’ve never baked with allulose chips Anita! Though in my experience it behaves a bit more like xylitol. So my thoughts are that if you see the batter is too thick to fold anything in, go ahead and add the water (otherwise leave it out). xo!

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