Perfecting Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with a Secret Ingredient
After countless experiments with gluten-free chocolate cake recipes, most of them turning out just okay, I’ve finally hit the jackpot. I’ve tinkered with various combinations, adjusting ingredients and proportions to find the ultimate gluten-free chocolate cake that will satisfy both me and you.
And guess what? There’s a secret ingredient that transformed a somewhat dry-looking dough into a heavenly batter, destined to bake into a soft, springy cake reminiscent of the chocolatey delights from my gluten-filled childhood. This ingredient not only adds stability, moisture, and tenderness but also enhances the rich chocolate flavor with its subtle tanginess.
Are you ready for the big reveal? Brace yourself—it’s mayo!
Yes, mayo may not be the most glamorous dessert ingredient you can think of, but trust me on this one. When working with an almond flour cake recipe, mayo brings something special to the table. Don’t let doubts hold you back from trying this chocolate cake. I assure you, you won’t taste it like you would in a turkey sandwich. Instead, it helps the flavors harmonize, and the finished product develops a decadently fudgy texture when refrigerated.
Still uncertain? Don’t worry—it’s just 1/4 cup of mayo. No need to be scared.
Let’s dive into the recipe.
Soft, Springy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe (with Dairy-Free Option)
- 5.5 oz. chopped 70% cacao or higher dark chocolate (use dairy-free chocolate for a dairy-free option)
- 1/3 cup honey (the pourable kind)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (refined or unrefined)
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mayo made with avocado oil
- 4 eggs, room temperature and separated
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting the pan)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- Avocado oil spray
- Additional dark chocolate and berries for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler method: Fill a pot with a few inches of water and heat it over medium heat. Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl larger than the pot’s diameter. Once the water is hot, position the bowl over the pot. Mix the chocolate with a spoon or spatula to encourage melting. If the bowl gets too hot, you can turn off the heat and let the residual heat melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-second increments, taking care not to burn it.
- Stir in the honey, coconut oil, almond extract, and vanilla extract until the coconut oil is melted and everything is well combined.
- Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool. In another bowl (or in the same bowl if the chocolate has cooled), mix together the egg yolks and mayonnaise.
- Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder to the mayo mixture. Mix together the chocolate mixture and mayo mixture in the same bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Place the egg whites in a large clean metal or glass bowl. Use a whisk or hand mixer to whip the eggs until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold small amounts of the beaten egg whites into the batter using a silicone spatula. Fold in a sweeping motion to prevent deflating the egg whites too much. Continue folding until there are no streaks of egg whites remaining in the batter.
- Spray a 7″ springform pan with avocado oil and dust it with cocoa powder, ensuring a thin layer covers the interior. Pour the batter into the pan, placing it on top of a sheet pan to catch any batter that might seep out.
- Bake the cake for approximately 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes. The top of the cake should crack slightly and feel springy to the touch.
- Allow the cake to cool, remove it from the pan, and top it with melted chocolate, berries, or any desired toppings.
- The sweetness of this cake can be adjusted by using more honey for a sweeter taste or by choosing a chocolate with a lower cacao percentage. For a less sweet, more intense chocolate flavor, opt for darker chocolate (although 70% is recommended).
- The recipe provides instructions for baking in a 7″ springform pan, but you can also use an 8″ pan or a loaf pan. A loaf will require 40-50 minutes of baking time, while a larger pan will need less than a 7″ pan.
- Once the cake has cooled, store it in the fridge for a divine fudgy texture.
- Leftovers can be frozen by tightly wrapping the cake to prevent freezer burn and drying out.