Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Goddess Cake

Gluten free dark chocolate cake
A rich dark gluten-free cake made with almond flour

This recipe is one I've played with for years. It began in the nineties as one of those trendy flourless chocolate things with ten eggs, and has evolved into mere semi-indulgence with only seven eggs and some extra cocoa powder for a little more structure.

Karina's Dark Goddess Cake Recipe

Originally published February 2006.
I love flourless chocolate cakes. So creamy and dense. But last night I experimented with blanched almond flour to see what would happen. It produced a deep dark chocolate experience. A worthy cake. And please note, Kind Reader, it only gets better as it sits overnight.

12 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces (6 oz. butter)
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
7 large organic free-range eggs
1 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup organic white cane sugar
1/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup almond flour

To serve:

Sifted cocoa powder or powdered sugar
Fresh seasonal berries
Whipped cream, if desired

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform pan with a circle of parchment paper; tenderly butter the paper. Think: chocolate love.

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium to smallish saucepan, and set the pan into a slightly larger sauce pan filled with two inches of hot water; bring the water to a simmer and slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. Stir with an old beloved wooden spoon until the chocolate and butter are melted together. Remove the pans from the heat, and set aside the pan of chocolate and allow it to cool a bit (to warmish). Stir it often to keep it smooth. (Or you could do this melting thing the postmodern way and heat it in a glass dish in the microwave.)

On to the eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat the heck out of the eggs until they appear light colored and frothy; add the sugar and beat it all again until the mixture is thick and flows in ribbons, about 5-6 minutes.

Slowly - very slowly - pour about half of the warm chocolate into the egg-sugar mixture (to gently temper it). Beat on low to combine. At this point I switch over to my trusty wooden spoon, and blend in the remaining chocolate by hand. Add the vanilla.

Sift the cocoa into the batter and gently mix. If you're adding the almond flour, do the same. Lightly combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 50 minutes. Ovens vary! Err on the near side if you like a fudgier texture; bake it longer and it becomes drier, more cake-like.

Note: the top of the cake may be cracked - that's fine. A toothpick inserted into the cake’s center will emerge clean with a few moist crumbs when done.

Cool the cake in the pan, on a wire rack. Loosen the cake from the edges of the pan with a small flexible spatula, and release the spring clasp.

You may serve the cake right side up or invert it onto a 9-inch serving plate and peel off the parchment. I like the shape of it as is, and serve it upright.

Dust the cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and garnish with a few scattered raspberries or mint leaves, if desired.

Lying in bed last night I was thinking I should make an espresso flavored whipped cream for a good sexy dollop.

Serves 10.

Karina's Notes:

Love flourless chocolate cake? Go here.
Have leftover chocolate cake? Make a New Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae.



Torrey :) said...

Hi there,

Happy Hearts Day!
Quick question: Where can I get blanched almond flour?

Thanks in advance!
~Torrey :)

MM said...

Yummers. I have molten choccie cake tonight and I am still hungry staring at this decadent cake! Here's to decadent dreams of being slathered with dark choccie! Steady ...

karina said...

Hi Torrey!

I order mine through Gluten Free Pantry; but I've also seen other brands at the health food store. You can also make your own [processing almonds in a food processor; I do this a lot]. Happy Hearts Day to you, too!


Molten choccie cake sounds good to me! Enjoy every decadent bite! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Karina, thank you!! I was thinking, today, "why can't I find a flourless chocolate cake that has ground almonds in it??!" And then I turned to your blog and I laughed out loud with happiness...
Kim in Chelsea QC

karina said...


Laughing out loud with happiness = good! ;-)

Torrey :) said...

Awesome--I just hopped on the site and saw it on the product list! Thanks!
Yum--espresso-flavored whipped cream! That would be *perfect* with this cake!!!
~Torrey :)

Shauna said...

Beautiful, my dear. This looks gorgeous. Dark chocolate love and a single, simple bite of clear taste to you.

ilva said...

Lovely photo, it looks as if the cake is suspended in the air!! Not to talk about the cake!! Seductive!

BNA said...

Gorgeous and tempting!

karina said...

Shauna~ Thank you - right back atcha.

Ilva~ I'm inspired by you!

bna~ Thanks; going to try your lemon sherbet this week!

bess said...

hi karina,
i have a question about the dark goddess cake. could it be made with HONEY??? and no sugar?

thanks -- your site is glorious.

love bess

karina said...

Hi Bess!

Thank you. And yes, I don't see why not. I have melted dark chocolate in honey for brownies and sauces; and with this particular cake, it should work as well.

Honey adds beneficial moisture to flourless and gluten-free cakes, so you may [not sure?] have to cook it a wee bit longer.

Keep an eye on it near the end of baking time and test with a wooden toothpick. If you're at all like me, you prefer a dense chocolate cake more fudgey than cakey, anyway ;-) [and that might be the only "danger" - that it will be more moist].

Let us know how it turns out; and share with us your changes to the recipe!

bess said...

hee hee hee! i will let you know how it turns out. maybe though, this is a big stretch for me as i have been living in antigua guatemala for the past five months. i have never seen a springform pan, or parchment paper nor would i know how to say it in spanish to ask where this might be found. plus i do not own a hand blender and i am very blessed to own a mildly possessed ghetto stove that lights with a match, the numbers on the temperature gauge have long been lost to the ages and the fire that comes out of it when you turn it on seems to laugh at you a bit!

I HAVE BAKED IN IT BEFORE. ha ha ha. calling on the many spirits of the abuelas gone by who cooked on much less modern estufas then ours and believe it or not, the stuff that comes out of it is especially tasty. WHO WOULD OF THUNK IT! it is an adventure for sure.

well, my sons and i have to have our treats TOO! so it is worth a try. and like you I DO LOVE IT MOIST and fudgy.

so if we come up with cake at the end, we will definitely share our results. but well, if it does not happen, it is not for lack of trying or the love of sharing!

i wonder if you ever use tamarinds. they have tons of them here and my sons and i would love to get creative with them!

lots of love. bess

bess said...

hey karina
so adventure in dark goddess cake, 10 from my big guy (age 9), 4 from the little guy (age 5), hate rating but anyway, it was not my favorite. BUT FUN TO TRY. very exciting actually. i would be the happiest girl on earth if i could slam dunk a chocolate cake!!!
i am goign to not give up. i am sure there has to be some way to make it better. if i could find an oven thermometer it would GO A LONG WAY!!!!
love bess

karina said...

Bess~ If you post what you did maybe I can help. Did you use honey? Solid dark chocolate? What kind of flours/pan?

bess said...

oh! Karina, the most interesting thing happened. this morning it tasted amazing. it was as if it settled and dried out a bit and turned unbelievably delicious. CAN THAT HAPPEN TO A CAKE??
i did everything that was in the recipe except used the honey and ommitted vanilla and the almond flour because everything like that that has been processed here is tainted with some gluten as far as my experience.
well anyway, i searched around for a spring form pan, parchment and an oven thermometer in the shops again, but nada. so i took a bit of some cloth kind of like a cheese cloth and buttered it to the pan, because i thought maybe it would be getting it out of the pan that would be tough. and it worked, i mean, i got it out of this pyrex like pie dish then gently peeled off the cloth. we let it cool and to me, it just tasted TOO i dunno, too moist and funny a little. i thought maybe it was raw in the middle and over cooked on the ends.
BUT, it is extremely seco aqui (dry here) and i just left it out over night without seran wrap or anything in the cabinet. this morning it was amazing. my amor/amigo ate half a cake with his coffee and he said "perfecto." i had actually been hiding it the night before when he came over because i was embarrassed. and he found it in the morning. it did LOOK pretty for sure. can that happen!!!!???
it must be some of your goddess magic. Ha ha ha!!! no bad cakes allowed!

karina said...

Bess~ I like your amor/amigo. ;-) It sounds like your improvisations worked! Sometimes cakes [like love] just need a little time to develop.

Great story - thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

This past weekend, I made this cake for a friend with celiac. It was FANTASTIC! Incredibly easy to make. Thanks!!!

karina said...

Thanks so much! It *is* easy! And delicious. We froze the rest of ours [by slices] and it thaws beautifully. Yum.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with Bess that some GF/flourless cakes do better the next day. For Passover, I made a dairy-free, corn-free, and GF version of Whole Food's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake, using Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate (FYI: Ghiradelli has dairy), trans-free shortening (most trans-free margarines have corn), and soy or almond milk for cow's milk for the glaze < >.

I also made a rasberry coulis and served it all with fresh organic raspberries. My boyfriend and his friend thought it was rich and very tasty. It was similar to eating a truffle. But the next day, it was so much better after drying out in the fridge - totally decadent but not as ugh, heavy. I wonder if it would help to do the trick Karina suggested about the eggs: beating the whites until stiff and adding them to the yellows) or at least make the cake look a little taller. (Sidenote: I wanted to see how this egg advice worked and tried it for dairy-free scrambled eggs to make them fluffier than normal - and it worked and I ate much less than usual due to the lightness of egg + heaviness of air).

I made the WF one-bowl cake in spring form pan - here's a link to a picture:
They are very useful (and inexpensive) since they are non-stick and because you can remove the ring for cutting, serving, or washing. I also like baking in silicone bakeware (but be careful so your batter doesn't spill since it is flexible).

Mmm, chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever made this cake such that the egg whites are beaten stiff and then the yellows are added to it? What keeps this cake moist? The almond flour?

karina said...

Yes, Anon, I have tried the method of whipping egg whites separately first. It works, too.

What makes the cake moist? Butter and eggs and chocolate.


Zoe said...

Hi there - just reading your blog for the first time. Here is a great icing for this cake (I have a similar recipe and this is a dream on it).

200g dark chocolate, melted
50g butter, melted
200g sour cream
Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan. When smooth remove from heat and stir through sour cream. Ice cake.

Karina said...

Yum! Thanks for the frosting recipe. Sour cream and chocolate = what's not to love?


Happy New Year!

MissyZ said...

Oh my 'Goddess'!
I made this cake this afternoon so I'd have something really scrummy to put in my lunchbox this week - and I have to say, it really is the mother of all gluten-free chocolate cakes! It's very light and so, so chocolately... I think I'm in love! ;)

Sea said...

Mmmm chocolate cake... looks yummy. As soon as my Valentine gets back from his work trip, I know what to make! I notice Rebecca Reilly adds a almond flour to many of her recipes- I can find it at Trader Joe's, but have also bought bags of blanched almonds from Costco and then ground them up in my food processor. Anyway, I love flourless chocolate cake... a raspberry sauce would be nice too... hmmm... have you tried it with some kind of berry sauce?


Visit my Gluten free Blog

Karina said...

Heya MissyZ!

Oh goody. I'm glad it turned out. And now you'll have something scrumptious for your lunchbox. Are you freezing extra pieces? I would.

Hi Sea~ Oh yeah. Pureed raspberries [or other berry sauces] are awesome with this cake. Chocolate = raspberry = what's not to love?


k said...

yum - made this yesterday to bring to a small potluck - was well received! I'm not much of a cake girl but this was pure chocolate heaven. I did offset the cake with a raspberry sauce, which i think helped keep it from chocolate overload - but is that even possible?

Karina said...

Hola, K! That's so cool. Thanks for stopping by to let me know.

I'll have to make my next flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry sauce. Yum.

~M said...

Bob's Red Mill also has a blanched almond flour. You can buy it from Amazon [in bulk].

Karina, on your newer chocolate flourless cake, you stress the importance of using butter. Is the same true here - or could I make this with a non-dairy margarine? Can you also explain how the cake changes with the almond flour? Does it become more or less dry or fudgy or dense? Thanks!

Karina said...

Hi ~M,

The two cakes are similar. This one [if you add the almond flour] has a tad more structure. If you have a good-tasting non-dairy margarine or shortening you like, you could certainly try it. I think it's worth a try, anyway. ;-)

The other cake, which is all about the butter and eggs has a dense, fudgy texture with no real "cake" structure. It's almost a pure solid chocolate experience.

Let me know what you try, and how it works...

Happy baking!


cake gal said...

Thanks for this recipe. Cooked the version with ground almonds last night for my beloved's birthday and it was a great success. Took a bit longer to cook than stated in the recipe, but well worth the wait. I love this cake! I love that you don't have to whip the egg whites separately, in particular. Chocolate love abounds....

Landinn said...

I'm not gluten intolerant, but one of my closest friends is, and your blog has helped me enjoy food more with her, and your suggestion for a bread machine with a gluten-free cycle was an awesome housewarming gift for her and her Celiac's partner. I also made the Dark Goddess Cake for a "girl's night" at her place on Friday and it was a big success. So, I just wanted to thank you.

Karina Allrich said...

Hey Cake Gal! Excellent! Thanks for stopping by to comment. ;)


Thanks for the note - and your kind words. I really appreciate it. And
I'm glad the cake turned out well. Yay.



cheryl said...

can you do it with coconut oil or butter sub? I know someone asked before, too. wish I could have butter, but you know how it goes...

Karina said...

Hi Cheryl- I have been experimenting with Spectrum Organic Shortening in vegan brownie recipes...and it's not bad. I miss the buttery tones, though. If I used shortening in this recipe I might add a little boost of flavor- a teaspoon more vanilla, almond, or how about a teaspoon of peppermint?

As for coconut oil- you could try it. I don't care for it in baking (and now I'm allergic to coconut, so). To me it bakes up rather unctuous. I'd use a little less if tried it.

Good luck! And yeah, I know how it goes. I feel your pain. ;)


Spirit Dancers said...

I've been baking something similar for a while.

I line the spring form tin with foil and bake in a "bain marie" filled with boiled water. The steam seems to reduce the amount of cracking on top and avoids the possibility for an uncooked middle.

I cool the cake in the oven (switched off) without the "bain marie".

I don't use the vanilla, cocoa or almonds. Just Eggs, butter and sugar.

we love a dollop of coffee cream, raspberry coolie or similar tart fruitiness. I am lucky enough to be able to get Orange Curd (similar to Lemon Curd which is common in the UK). It balances really well.

I prefer it warm and gooey, my husband loves it chilled and firm.
I have to bake two at a time because people sulk if they don't get a slice! Everyone says that it should come with a health warning because it is so naughty!

Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds heavenly and I'm dying to try it! What is the measurement for the stick of butter? Where I shop there are various sizes.

Karina said...

One stick of butter (there are four sticks in a pound of butter) is 4 oz. or half a cup. I added the ounces to the recipe.

Hope that helps! :)


bevjackson said...

Is there any chance that I could use pecan flour instead of blanched almond flour in this recipe? I have a HUGE supply of pecans to use up. (I roasted and spiced them for Xmas and overbought!)

This recipe looks yummy. I have a friend who is gluten intolerant, and we're having a party, so this will be for her.

Karina Allrich said...

Bev- How sweet! Yes, I see no reason why you cannot process lightly toasted pecans into a meal (for any of my almond flour recipes). I bet it would be delicious.

Stop back and let us know how it turns out.


RachelMarie said...

Hi Karina-I've been looking for some new gluten free recipes as my old ones were getting VERY stale, and I am so glad I found your site! I've had nothing but good results, which is shocking, since I'm not much of a baker. Even my husband, who is not gluten free and runs the other way when I try to bake so, will eat them!

Regarding your recent comment about using shortening but missing the buttery flavor- I have been baking with Earth Balance buttery spread for years now, and it's DELICIOUS. You'd never know it wasn't butter, and it's completely vegan.

Just thought I'd pass it along, in case you hadn't tried it. (They just recently started carrying it in grocery stores around me-I used to have to order it through co-op.)

Thanks again for the amazing recipes!

Cait said...

Hi Karina!

I baked this cake this past weekend for my boyfriend's birthday. I made it exactly as directed and served it the next day. YUUUUUM!!! It came out perfect! We were both so happy to find something so delicious! Thank you so much for awesome recipe!!


Deepa said...

Thanks for the awesome recipe! Had some friends over for dinner last night and tried this cake. It was YUUUM!! Everyone loved it especially the kids.
It was pretty easy to make too!

Can I use olive oil or ghee instead of butter?

danielle.gethen said...

Hi Karina,
Looking for inspiration from Australia and found your dark Godess recipe. My sister gave me some free range duck eggs and I used 7 of them in your recipe used almond meal and used a plastic tupperware cake mold instead of the springform and paper and the verdict............Divine
Loved your love language in the recipe instructions cooking can be fun!Thanks

Imp's Mom said...

Bless U Lady! baked this cake yest...and it tastes simply divine today.

complete choco love :D

Thank You!

Yoko said...

Hi Karina,

I'm so glad I found your website - was on the verge of giving up gluten-free baking (the multiple flours, xanthan gum, etc are so new to me). But this cake is so easy to make and looks divine! (have yet to taste cake is baking right now :) )

I'm already full of ideas on variations of this cake..maybe add cinnamon & cayenne pepper and make a spicy version? or put a splash of grand marnier in it...can't wait to try them all.

Thank you!

Yoko said...

I was going to let the cake sit till tomorrow, but I couldn't resist- I had a slice. It is soooooo good. So moist and rich, yet fluffy and airy.
I was lazy and food-processed some raw almonds (skin on) but they add a nice chewiness.
Usually I skimp on the vanilla because I don't want it to overpower the other flavors, but the amount in this recipe is just right!

Anyway, thank you so much for making my day <3 and btw, I love your artwork too!

Laurel said...

I made this cake yesterday, and it was perfect! I have been trying out lots of gluten-free cake recipes lately because I'm going to make my own wedding cake, and my brother is celiac. This cake is totally what I was going for! I followed the recipe exactly, and while the cake was cooling I made a caramel sauce out of heavy cream and sucanat, and poured it on top. Cake perfection! It doesn't get better than this. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

Laurel said...

I should also mention that I used Sucanat in place of both the white and brown sugar in this recipe, and it came out great. Sucanat is unrefined cane juice that is boiled down and dried, so it still has all of the molasses in it. Tastier and healthier than sugar!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of some tasty gluten free things...BUT the thing I've been noticing is while it may be gluten free the items seem to be loaded w/sugar...NO the gluten may not kill us but what about all the sugar!? I have made major changes in my diet and my families..and many days I miss food/cakes etc..BUT the minute I put anything other than veggies, veggie juices (made w/my juicer), some go raw seeds and very little fruit (mostly berries or an apple/banana and that's not daily...I'm gassy, gain weight and get constipated or have pains in my knee's/arms. I've tried different grains like rice flour, buckwheat, cornmeal etc..BUT the minute that hits my mouth my throat burns...So now I'm considering learning how to sprout seeds....I did find a gluten free cracker at Sam's that's the first i've tried in a long time that didn't bother me...DOES anyone else notice these symptoms w/their bodies? I've been following the Natalia Rose detox for women life style. We don't eat dairy. we do eat eggs 1x a week, (we do goat or sheep cheese 1-2x a week), and every few weeks sprouted organic tofu (since I think that's a better tofu/soybeans can be very mucous forming...

tim@carnivalqueen said...

I made this cake for the Coeliacs at my sisters wedding yesterday.

Not only did it go down an absolute treat, but several of the people there who tried both declared it far superior to the purchased wedding cake.

This was the first, of what I'm sure will be many, of your gluten free recipes, and I'm truly grateful for the wonderful cake.

Much appreciation, all the way from Australia!

Amanda Forgit said...

Do you think this cake would go well with coconut flour instead?
I am seriously considering this for my sons 2yr old birthday cake with raspberry sauce but we have some guests with treenut issues.
And do you know of a good dark/bittersweet chocolate that doesnt have soy lecithin in it? So far Ive only found Enjoy Life Chocolate chips...

Karina Allrich said...

Amanda - I'm not sure - never made this cake with coconut flour. I think it's a definite possibility. I suggest making it ahead of time to test it. I did find some organic dark chocolate bars without soy. In the gourmet chocolate section. Can't remember the name but I've seen them in Whole Foods in New Mexico and also Los Angeles. They feature XOXO on the wrapper. Not all of their bars are soy-free, just one, so check the label. Good luck- and best wishes for the Birthday Boy! xox Karina

Kat said...

Hi Karina,

I was wondering if this cake can be made in advance, and served like 3 or 4 days later? I assume that it should be chilled during these days?

Karina Allrich said...

Kat- That's a long time. I'd suggest up to two days, chilled, covered tight, max. Karina

Anonymous said...

This looks delish! Wondering if you could use the same recipe for cupcakes?

Sophia said...


I actually have a question about your Flourless Chocolate Cake but it looks like comments are full on that page. The flourless chocolate cake cooks absolutely divine and I want to make it for someone who loves chocolate and rum. I noticed that it calls for 3/4 cup very hot coffee or water. Do you think it would work to substitute 3/4 cup dark rum even if I can't heat it up instead of the coffee or hot water? Looking forward to your thoughts and hope to hear from you soon, thank you as always for sharing your amazing recipes! :)

Sophia said...


Also, in the Flourless Chocolate cake, do you think anything else would work to substitute for some of the sugar, to make it less sweet, such as more cocoa powder? Thank you!!:)

Karina Allrich said...

Sophia, Hmmm. That seems like a lot of rum. I'm not sure. I've never made a rum cake. Have you any experience with baking a rum cake? Maybe you could use a mixture of hot water, and rum. You need sugar for the structure, so removing some will result in a shorter/smaller cake, definitely less sweet. By then adding more cocoa, you will help boost the volume. I can only guess... I haven't done any of these things with that recipe... In my opinion, it's not an overly sweet cake to begin with. It's rich, and serves 10 to 12. If you tweak, tweak in small amounts as an experiment. You might try experimenting before you make it to serve guests. Let me know how you make out. I'll check on 'comments' for that post and see about opening them.

Paul Joachim said...

bravo! Great recipe. I love the crusty outside and moist inside. The flavors are perfect.

larryface said...

Hey Karina,

Not much of a baker, but looking to surprise someone with something they can actually eat. Any idea how long you would bake this recipe for if I wanted to make cupcakes with it instead?

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks everyone, for the chocolate cake love. xox

As for cupcakes- yes- fabulous idea. Start with 15 minutes. Depending upon your oven, they should be done between 15 and 21 minutes. Don't over-bake them. Test with a toothpick in the center- they should be firm and moist, but not gooey.

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