Paleo Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting – a quick and easy cake recipe with a simple 2-ingredient frosting! This layer cake is gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, and vegan, and it tastes as decadent as your favorite chocolate cake. Thanks to Hu Kitchen for sponsoring this post.
This Vegan & Paleo Chocolate Cake recipe is long overdue. Cake recipes aren’t usually my go-to. They tend to scare me a little bit because there’s a lot of places where things can go wrong with cakes in the recipe development process, especially when you’re trying to make those cakes paleo OR vegan. Nonetheless both. If you’ve ever sought-out gluten-free/vegan cakes, you know that they tend to be a disappointment.
But, you guys have been asking me for a paleo chocolate cake recipe for a long while and it was time to get my butt into gear and make 👏 it 👏 happen 👏. And make it happen, I did! Thankfully, it was way easier than I thought…both to develop this recipe and the process of making the cake itself!
Vegan and paleo cakes (at the least the ones I make) usually have the distinction of being even easier to make than their gluten- and dairy-filled counterparts. It’s usually a whisk, dump, and stir kind of situation, as opposed to the sifting and creaming that goes on with “regular” cakes. This one just takes two bowls and about 10 minutes to get the batter together. SCORE.
So c’mon…let’s make a Vegan & Paleo Chocolate Cake!
To start, let’s talk dry ingredients. This paleo chocolate cake uses a combination of two gluten-free flours to make the best texture: blanched almond flour and tapioca flour. The almond flour brings tenderness and structure, while the tapioca flour brings lightness. Cacao powder also acts as flour as well, providing some structure and of course, bold chocolate flavor.
For sweetening, we use coconut sugar – my favorite low-glycemic, sustainably sourced sweetener. It won’t substitute well for a liquid sweetener, so stick with granulated sweetener here. Of course, to round out the dry ingredients, we’ve got the must-haves: kosher salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Always necessary to add levity, fluffiness, and flavor.
Now, let’s get to the wet ingredients! The choices here add SO much flavor, moisture, and all-around goodness to this paleo and vegan chocolate cake. We mix up dairy-free milk (I usually use almond or cashew) and unsweetened applesauce – both of which make this cake super moist. We also add refined coconut oil, nut butter, vanilla extract, and eggs (your choice of eggs – I used flax to keep it vegan, but regular eggs also work).
Then, to make this cake EXTRA chocolatey, we mix in melted Hu Kitchen Gems! They’re truly the best, creamiest chocolate ever and made with the simplest paleo-friendly ingredients. We mix the batter all together and bake it until set. I used three 6-inch pans for a smaller three-layer cake, but two 8-inch pans also work well for a two-layer cake.
And getting back to those Hu Kitchen Gems…let’s talk about the frosting. Just TWO ingredients:
- Hu Kitchen Chocolate
- Coconut Cream
You can use either the Hu Kitchen Gems or their chocolate bars, of which there are unlimited great flavor choices. I used the Orange Dream bars for half the ganache chocolate and the Gems for the other half. Every option is a good one. But, we essentially just make a simple ganache, let it chill, and then WHIP IT, whip it good **duh nuh nuh nuh…** (anyone get the reference??)
Before serving, we slather the paleo chocolate cake with the whipped chocolate ganache and voila! This cake requires nothing fancy (as you can see, I just tossed some Gems on top for decoration and called it a day) to be delicious or impressive.
My favorite way to eat it is warmed up with a little ice cream. It gets so gooey and moist when it’s warmed – just about 15 to 30 seconds for a slice will do the trick. My dad did it for a minute and said it was like molten chocolate cake – also not a bad idea. Just make sure you go stock up on Hu Kitchen Chocolates and get to baking! Enjoy :D
You can use code BAKERITA for 15% OFF your order. **CLICK HERE FOR CHOCOLATE!**
Paleo Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting
For the cake
- 2¼ cups (220g) blanched almond flour
- 1¼ cups (183g) coconut sugar
- 1 cup (100g) cacao powder
- ⅔ cup (75g) tapioca flour
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅔ cup (5.3 ounces) non-dairy milk of choice warmed
- ½ cup (122g) unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup (67g) refined coconut oil melted
- ⅓ cup (2 ounces) Hu Kitchen Gems melted
- ¼ cup (64g) creamy almond or cashew butter
- 2 large eggs room temperature or 2 flax eggs (see Notes)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 12 ounces Hu Kitchen Chocolate either Gems or chopped chocolate bars
- 1 cup full-fat coconut cream chill and drain any coconut water from the can
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two 8-inch cake pans or three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and then grease with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, coconut sugar, and cacao powder. Whisk all dry ingredients together.
In a separate mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk the almond milk, applesauce, coconut oil, and melted chocolate. If the coconut oil or chocolate firms up at all, warm the mixture for about 20 seconds to re-liquify the mixture. Whisk in the nut butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 18 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the cake, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when pressed. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
For the frosting
- Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
- Scoop the coconut cream (leaving any liquid behininto a liquid measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then microwave in 10 second increments until the coconut cream has just started to bubble. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Once the chocolate and cream have sat, stir together until it’s smooth and creamy.
- If the chocolate gets grainy at all, warm up some more coconut cream (or you can just use a thicker nut milk - I used casheand stir it in slowly to smooth the ganache back out.
- Let it set at room temperature for a few hours, or place it in the fridge for about an hour to chill.
- When ready to frost, use an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip into a fluffy frosting.
- If your cakes domed a lot, trim the tops to make them level. Place one cooled cake layer trimmed side up on a cake stand (or whatever you’d like to serve it on). Top with whipped ganache frosting.
- Top with the other (or seconlayer of cake. Add more of the whipped ganache frosting. If you have three layers, place the third on top and again, top with the rest of the ganache frosting. Leave it as a “naked” cake as I did, or bring the frosting down the sides of the cake if you prefer. Garnish the top with Hu Kitchen Gems.
- Store covered at room temperature for 2 days or covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the flax eggs, combine 2 tablespoons ground flax meal with 5 tablespoons water. Whisk and let set for about 10 minutes before using, or until gel-like.