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This paleo chocolate cake is incredibly rich and moist with a creamy, decadent chocolate frosting. The textures and flavors are SO good nobody would ever know it’s gluten free and dairy free. Great for birthdays, Valentine’s Day or any time you want an impressive dessert.

February is my birthday month along with my many Aquarian friends. It’s amazing how many friends I have born in Aquarius. We’re indulging ourselves with this deliciously moist and rich chocolate cake. Sometimes you just need a little decadence.

This paleo cake is so good that you’ll have a hard time telling that it’s not made with traditional flour or butter. The texture is exactly like a regular cake – light and airy, yet moist and rich. It looks and tastes AMAZING.

Why I Love This Cake

  • intensely rich chocolate cake
  • silky, diary free ‘buttercream’ chocolate frosting
  • 3 yummy layers of cake and frosting
  • totally gluten free, grain free, and dairy free
  • a decadent dessert for celebrating
  • STAYS moist for DAYS


The cake is simple to make with ingredients you will find in any health food store or good supermarket.

  • Almond flour makes up the substance of the cake. Be sure to use blanched almond flour.
  • Tapioca flour makes the cake light, airy and fluffy.
  • Coconut flour provides structure.
  • Coconut sugar has crystals that provide the mini air pockets that make this cake so delicious. Don’t use honey or maple syrup.
  • Raw cacao powder gives a rich, dark chocolate flavor.
  • Baking soda helps the cake to rise.
  • Espresso powder is a special ingredient I learned about from Downshiftolgy. It intensifies the chocolate flavor but doesn’t make it taste like coffee or mocha.
  • Sea salt.
  • Pastured eggs provide leavening, binding, aeration and give the cake a good texture and flavor.
  • Full-fat coconut milk provides the fat needed, similar to dairy milk.
  • Coconut oil gives the cake moisture.
  • Apple cider vinegar creates a chemical reaction with the baking soda to make the cake light and fluffy.
  • Vanilla extract provides a sweet taste and enhances the flavor.

Tips For Making Paleo Chocolate Cake

  1. Use room temperature ingredients. Let the eggs come to room temperature. Let the coconut oil cool after melting. This will prevent the eggs from coagulating in the batter. If you store your almond flour in the refrigerator let it come to room temperature too!
  2. Weigh the ingredients as indicated in the recipe. Weighing is more accurate that measuring. It’s also easier. Here is a good kitchen scale.
  3. To make even layers I weigh each pan after putting in the batter. Adjust it so there is approximately the same amount in each pan. This way I know they will be even. It’s optional but I do it!
  4. Cool the cake before frosting. I usually make the cake the day before I frost it. Even a slightly warm cake will make the frosting soft.

Vegan Chocolate ‘Buttercream’ Frosting

The Vegan Chocolate Frosting is so good you’ll be licking the bowl before you even frost the cake. Silky and sweet, rich and creamy, easy to spread and doesn’t melt. It’s also vegan, dairy-free and paleo, depending on how you make it. Together this makes the best chocolate cake you ever ate, even if you’re not paleo or gluten free..

I put the recipe for the frosting in a separate post with lots of variations and information. This way you can search for it to use on other cakes or cupcake recipes in the future.

Tips for Frosting The Cake

It may seem challenging to frost a cake but you can do it! Here are a few tips to make this beautiful, gluten free, paleo chocolate cake:

  1. Cool the cakes. I usually make them the day before and store them in the pan until ready to frost. If you’re frosting them the same day, let them cool to room temperature then remove from the pan and transfer to the refrigerator for an hour to finish cooling before frosting.
  2. Do a crumb coat. To do a crumb coat for the frosting: start by frosting the layers as you normally would (see image below). Then coat the top and sides of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting. Cool in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes before you put on the final layer of frosting. This way the crumbs stick to this layer of frosting and not your outside layer. You don’t want a crumby frosting.

Storing & Freezing Tips

This Paleo Chocolate Cake STAYS moist for DAYS. You can eat a slice 4 days later and it still tastes just as good as the first day.

Storing Unfrosted: You can make the cakes 1-3 days ahead of time. Store each layer separately wrapped in plastic once they’ve completely cooled. Store on your counter at room temperature or in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Freezing Unfrosted: You can also freeze the cakes unfrosted for 2-3 months. First, wrap each individual layer in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and then place the cakes in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container. When ready to finish the cake for serving, defrost the layers in the refrigerator before frosting.

Storing Frosted: You can also store the full cake after you’ve frosted it! Store on the counter at room temperature for 1-2 days, then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you have a cake cover to keep off the dust that’s great. If not just keep it away from the traffic in your kitchen.

Freezing Frosted: If you’d like to freeze the cake once frosted you have 2 options:

  • For a whole cake: Place it in the freezer uncovered to allow the frosting to harden. Then, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. Store for 2-3 months. Bring to room temperature to enjoy.
  • For individual slices: If you’d like to freeze leftovers in individual slices, place them in glass or plastic storage containers – no need to wrap! They will last for several months and you can defrost individual slices to enjoy. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the cake vegan without any eggs?

I haven’t tried it but it would probably work with chia eggs, flax eggs, and store-bought egg replacers with good results.

Can I use something besides almond flour?

Hazelnut flour or cashew flour would probably work but if you’re looking for a nut free cake you’re better off making this Flourless Chocolate Cake, it’s really good!

Can I use honey or maple syrup instead of coconut flour?

No I’m sorry they won’t work, you need the crystals from the coconut sugar for the structure of the cake. Maple sugar should work but I haven’t tried it.

Can I leave out the espresso powder?

Yes, if you can’t get the espresso powder, you can leave it out but your cake won’t have as rich of a taste. Try and get it!

If you like this cake you may enjoy these other delicious chocolate cakes too:

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Paleo Chocolate Cake

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


This paleo chocolate cake is incredibly rich and moist with a creamy, decadent chocolate frosting.



Vegan Chocolate Frosting


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F
  2. Grease three 8-inch cake pans* and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, espresso powder and sea salt to a very large mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. In a medium size separate bowl whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together for 1-2 minutes until you get a smooth cake batter.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between the three baking pans and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Once the cake has completely cooled, assemble the cake by putting the chocolate frosting between each layer and frosting the outside with a crumb coat (see notes above). Chill for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Finish frosting the cake making nice swirls on the top and side.


You can use two 9″ cake pans instead if you prefer. You may have to cook the cake a few more minutes.

Nutrition information is with the chocolate frosting.

The time does not include making the frosting and frosting the cake.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian

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