A gluten-free Chocolate Almond Cake that’s FULL of intense chocolate flavor! Whipped egg whites create an airy, delicate crumb. Espresso powder, vanilla, and bittersweet chocolate deliver an intense chocolate experience that’s not too sweet! Spectacular enough for a special occasion. Simple enough to make with the kids. An elegant, flourless chocolate cake that will leave you scraping the plate clean!
Chocolate Almond Cake
Inspired by Torta Caprese — a flourless Italian cake from Capri — Chocolate Almond Cake is a simple and elegant gluten-free dessert. Also called Chocolate Almond Torte, it’s incredibly delicious with gorgeous cracks and crags on the surface.
Different from the typical North American cake, Chocolate Almond Cake is rich and decadent with a fudgy, gooey middle. A thin, crisp crust and a delicate crumb make for a sophisticated, very special dessert.
To make it gluten-free, almond flour is used in place of wheat flour. Almond flour adds great flavor and texture while keeping the cake moist. To combat the heaviness of the almond flour, stiffly beaten egg whites are gently folded into the batter — keeping the cake light and airy!
The combination of dutch cocoa powder and melted chocolate chips creates an intense chocolate flavor. Spiked with espresso powder and vanilla and served with cinnamon-speckled whipped cream and fresh raspberries — a slice of this rich, flavorful cake will garner lots of oohs and aahs at the table!
- Almond Flour. Adds savory heft and flavorful depth; also makes this cake gluten-free. You can ground almonds into flour yourself (a food processor works great for this). Or buy pre-made almond flour at the store. *Be sure to check the label for completely gluten-free flour, as some brands add small amounts of wheat flour or contain trace amounts.
- Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Melted bittersweet chocolate chips keep things fudgy and pudding-like in the center.
- Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder. Adds darker, more intense chocolate flavor than natural cocoa powder.
- Instant Espresso Powder. A modern twist that adds so much flavor to classic Chocolate Almond Torte. Provides the right amount of bitter assertiveness. Full disclosure: I like bitter. So does chocolate. A hint of bitterness keeps things interesting and complex but if you prefer, lessen the amount.
- Vanilla Extract. Adds flavor and depth. A baking essential.
- Butter. Adds richness.
- Sugar. For sweetness. Added directly to the egg whites so they whip up stiff, like meringue.
- Eggs. You’ll need to separate the eggs for this recipe. The yolks add richness. The stiffly beaten egg whites add lightness and contribute to a delicate crumb!
- Baking Powder. For rise. FYI the cake will rise dramatically rise during baking then collapse when cooled. The dramatic crags and cracks that will result from this collapse are entirely necessary and add to the final texture.
- Cinnamon Whipped Cream. Lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with cinnamon makes this dessert truly spectacular! You don’t need much per serving. A dollop with each slice provides a nice contrast in texture and flavor.
- Raspberries. Adds freshness and acidity to an otherwise dark and intense dessert.
- Melt chocolate chips and butter. Melt in a microwave or over a water bath.
- Whisk in egg yolks, vanilla, and instant espresso powder.
- Switch to a spatula and mix in almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain. It’s ok if there are a few lumps here and there.
- Smooth into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until puffed around the edges and the center is jiggly. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it:
- Use a springform pan. Makes it easier to remove the cake. And line the bottom with parchment paper!
- Fold gently with a spatula. Keep the gorgeous texture of the cake by folding egg whites and fudgy batter gently together – do not mix too vigorously and lose those airy bubbles and volume.
- Be careful not to overbake. The cake should jiggle slightly in the center when done. When cooled to room temperature, the middle will be somewhat gooey and fudgy.
- Serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream + Raspberries! The intensity of this almond flour chocolate cake begs to be accompanied by soft swirls of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Plus, the spicy-sweet cinnamon keeps things lively and peppy. So good together!
How do I store Chocolate Almond Cake?
Leftovers can be stored loosely covered, at room temperature, for 2-3 days. Leftover cinnamon whipped cream can be stored tightly covered in the fridge, for 2-3 days. You may need to whip slightly before serving to create volume again.
Other Gluten-Free Desserts to enjoy:
- Black Sesame Mochi Cake
- Coconut Mochi Cake
- Coffee Jello
- Mochi Donuts with Condensed Milk Glaze
- Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cashew Cream
Chocolate Almond Cake with Espresso
- 9 inch springform pan
- Hand Mixer
Chocolate Almond Espresso Cake:
- 2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
- 4 large eggs (separated)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder (instant coffee powder also works; adjust to 1 tsp if you'd like less coffee flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour (fine ground)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar (add to egg whites)
Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pint raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Melt butter and chocolate chips. Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl in 30 second bursts. Scrape into a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. (Alternately, you can combine both butter and chocolate chips over a simmering water bath and whisk until smooth.)
- Add additional ingredients. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and espresso powder. Whisk well. Switch to a spatula and add almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until somewhat smooth (the batter will look rough) and no streaks remain.
- Beat egg whites and sugar. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer (on the highest setting) to beat the egg whites until frothy. Add half of the sugar and continue beating. Add the rest of the sugar, bit by bit, until stiff peaks form, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add egg whites to chocolate batter. Using a stiff spatula, add egg whites to the chocolate batter. Fold in egg whites gently, so as not to lose any air bubbles. Keep folding until no streaks remain. It's okay if there are a few lumps here and there.
- Transfer batter to the cake pan and smooth the top. Bake until the edges are puffed but the center is jiggly when you gently shake the pan, about 24-28 minutes. Do not overbake!
- Remove cake from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes. Slide a knife all around the edge of the cake and release from the springform pan. Serve immediately or at room temperature with a dollop of the Cinnamon Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of raspberries. Enjoy!
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl. Use a hand mixer (on the highest setting) to whip the cream until soft peaks form.