Chocolate Almond Cake

This dense flourless chocolate almond cake is perfect for celebrations, made with ground almonds, maple syrup and of course–chocolate.

Chocolate almond cake

When Alex and I first started eating a mostly whole food diet, celebrations were hard. How could we balance our love for nutritious foods with the fact that celebrations tend to involve refined sugar and butter? Over time, we’ve grown to realize the power of moderation and the special-ness that comes from only using rich ingredients occasionally. In the spirit of treat food, here’s a chocolate almond cake that’s a splurge and full of whole foods, too. It’s rich, chocolatey and delicious: but made with ground almonds and maple syrup. Oh and chocolate! Keep reading for the recipe.

Want a large chocolate cake instead? Try our Flourless Chocolate Cake (for chocolate lovers!).

Chocolate almond cake

How to make chocolate almond cake

For this recipe, we’ve put our “whole foods” spin on a decadent flourless chocolate cake by using ground almonds for protein and nutrients and maple syrup instead of added refined sugar. We’ve also used one of our favorite “tricks”: creating modest individual portions. It’s also a gluten-free dessert: all ground almonds and no refined flour! It’s incredibly easy to make and looks beautiful too.

If you don’t have a food processor to grind the almonds, you can use almond flour or almond meal. See the recipe below! And if you want more with almond flour, we’ve got 10 easy almond recipes for you to try.

Here’s how to make chocolate almond cake:

  1. Melt the butter, maple syrup and chocolate together.
  2. Mix it together with the egg, almond meal and cinnamon.
  3. Pour it into greased 5-inch ramekins and bake for about 35 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

Serve this tasty flourless cake with vanilla ice cream or our homemade whipped cream recipe.

Chocolate almond cake

Perfect for celebrations

Alex and I made this chocolate almond cake for a special celebration: my birthday! As I’ve grown into my 30’s, birthdays have become a much simpler affair. Today, I’m mainly thankful to be alive, and surrounded by beautiful, wonderful, loving and life-giving people. After being diagnosed with leukemia in my late 20’s, as positive and pain-free as my treatment has been, it’s made life that much dearer. Readers, know that every kind note and comment here has been a light to me.

We hope you enjoy these chocolate almond cakes in whatever celebration you find yourself, be it a birthday, anniversary, life-event, or any special day!

Chocolate almond cake

Looking for easy dessert recipes?

This chocolate almond cake so simple to make! Here are a few more of our favorite easy dessert recipes:

This chocolate almond cake recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Chocolate Almond Cake

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (60 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This dense flourless chocolate almond cake is perfect for celebrations, made with ground almonds, maple syrup and of course–chocolate.


  • 1 cup raw almonds (or 1 1/4 cups almond meal or almond flour)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • Powdered sugar, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. If using whole almonds, grind the almonds very finely in a food processor until the texture is light and fluffy. (Alternatively, use almond meal or almond flour.)
  3. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, add the butter, maple syrup, and semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 10 seconds intervals, stirring after each, until fully combined. (Alternatively, use the stovetop method to melt the chocolate and stir in the butter and maple syrup until fully combined.)
  4. In a medium large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Then add the almond meal, cinnamon, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, and the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Butter four 5-ounce ramekins. Pour in the batter, and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
  6. Allow to cool, then dust with powdered sugar. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chocolate almond cake, Gluten free chocolate cake, Almond cake, Chocolate cake

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 3, 2014 at 6:28 am

    YUM!!! I could got for this any day over a big cake. Almonds and cocoa are the marriage I wish I knew about sooner because it right now is my comfort combo. Hope you have an awesome B’day!

    Relax, you deserve to savor every moment of it

  • Reply
    shanna mallon
    February 3, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Happy birthday, Sonja! These look beautiful!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    February 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

    happy birthday in advance..its been a rough week for me and it was really nice to see refreshing post for you. Thank you for the sweet treat as well. Pinning it :)

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    February 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Happy happy birthday week! I think those simple celebrations with the big, decadent desserts are the best. :)

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Happy birthday! What a lovely way to celebrate. Moderation is absolutely the key, and a bit of indulgence every now and then is good for everyone. Here’s to a happy birthday, a happy Valentine’s Day and many more years of health and chocolate cake for two :-)

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    These are gorgeous perfection! I love that you’ve just used a bit of honey to sweeten the cakes. I’ve been trying so hard to reduce the amount of sugar I eat and was wondering what to make for Valentine’s Day without over indulging! Pinning now to make for my hubby and me!

  • Reply
    Linda Wagner @ Linda Wagner Nutrition
    February 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    These look fantastic!! I love that they are each individual size, makes it even more special :) I might try to sub stevia and see how it turns out. Love the simplicity!!

  • Reply
    Renee Shuman (@FrolicChocolate)
    February 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    YES! I chill low sugar chocolate recipe I can make for valentines day. Finally.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Looks lovely. Can you post this in grams/ounces please?

    • Reply
      February 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Sorry! We don’t have those measurements available :)

    • Reply
      February 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Hi Becky, I haven’t tested this recipe in weights (yet!) but by my calculations, the conversions into grams should be roughly as follows:

      50g almond meal
      45g butter
      60g (50ml) honey
      55g chocolate chips
      1 egg
      1/4 tsp cinnamon
      A pinch of salt and cayenne

      I hope that helps : )

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    A birthday without a little chocolatey cake is hardly a proper birthday. I love how you put your own wholesome spin on this; it looks totally delicious and definitely the perfect way to celebrate! Happy birthday for tomorrow Sonja : )

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Happy birthday, Sonja! May 32 be a year full of wonderful things (and the occasional chocolate cake)!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Beautiful cakes, happy birthday!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I just discovered your blog. I am not a big fan of chocolate but think these look worth trying! I AM, however, a HUGE fan of birthdays, so I hope yours is splendid!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Happy birthday! Maybe you’ll get all the snow promised and have a snow day birthday… With chocolate cakes, of course.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Happy birthday Sonja! You have an admirable approach to birthdays…being thankful for life and loved ones should be what birthdays are about. :)

    That cake looks amazing! Btw…I made a rendition of your slow-cooked black beans recipe for dinner tonight. So yummy!

  • Reply
    Tieghan Gerard
    February 5, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Happy Birthday! I hope year 32 brings you lots of happiness and joy! :)

  • Reply
    Clem @ clementinecuisine
    February 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Happy birthday!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Happy Belated Birthday! I have just stumbled across your blog and this recipe. This looks absolutely gorgeous! I will definitely try this, as my husband LOVES chocolate! Take care and Godspeed!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Looks delish! Do you think subbing olive oil in for the butter would work in this recipe? Thanks!

    • Reply
      February 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Seems like it would work, though you might want to try a neutral oil like grapeseed to avoid a savory taste. Let us know if you try it!

    • Reply
      February 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      I made them with coconut oil instead of butter, and they turned out great though I found they were ready on the lower end of the time spectrum. Delicious recipe, that I look forward to indulging in again soon! Thanks Sonja and Alex!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Wish you a very happy birthday! First time reader to your blog and am already in love with the pictures! Amazing work!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday! What beautiful little cakes! Wish we could eat these together and gab for hours :) xo

  • Reply
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane
    February 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    These look so beautiful. Happy Birthday!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I made these on Saturday night for a special treat, my whole family loved them, the three year old, the 6 year old, and the man of the house. Thanks for making my weekend special!

  • Reply
    Paige Dixon
    February 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    HI- These are in the oven now and look great! However, I just noticed that the ingredient list calls for salt and cayenne, but these are not mentioned in the “What to Do”…so, sadly, I mistakenly left them out.

    • Reply
      February 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Oh no! Recipe proofreading fail! Fixed now; thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Happy birthday!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2014 at 6:57 am

    This is such a delicious recipe! Thanks. My husband left the rest of his wine in his glass because he didn’t want to lose the flavour of the cake. So tasty!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I heard that you can use avocado in place of butter. It is not suppose to change the flavor, and avocado is better for you than butter. I think I will try it in this.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Do you think these could be cooked for a shorter time to turn them into lava cakes with a gooey middle? Has anyone tried??

  • Reply
    February 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I’d like to try this recipe. Only I can’t use eggs. Could I make this eggless? Thanks for the great post!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2014 at 10:56 am

    These taste better than any brownie I’ve ever had! And they’re not full of the awful stuff most brownies are! Love it. I didn’t have cayenne so I added a teaspoon of cocoa powder instead =) Also don’t have ramekins but muffin tins worked perfectly!

  • Reply
    victoria wesseler
    March 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

    If you are using 1/2 cup of raw almonds and grinding them yourself will that then produce 1/2 cup of almond meal? It would seem to me that it would produce less than 1/2 cup. So, how much almond meal should you use?

    • Reply
      March 13, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Hi! We usually get just a bit more than 1/2 cup almond meal when we grind it ourselves. The recipe should use exactly 1/2 cup of the meal.

      • Reply
        victoria wesseler
        March 14, 2014 at 7:27 am

        THANKS! Will make those tomorrow. You’re recipes are so great. The veggie paella is one of my all time favorites.

      • Reply
        Linda billingsley
        March 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

        Can these be made with cupcake liners?

        • Reply
          March 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm

          In not sure, but I don’t know why not. Let us know if you try it!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Lovely presentation, can’t wait to try this recipe, my kids will love it. The only thing I find a little bit off is suggesting the use of a microwave since the blog and your work is so awesomely health oriented.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Forgot to add the cinnamon in the What To Do section! I’m assuming you put it in with the pepper and salt??

    • Reply
      April 7, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Good catch! Fixed :)

  • Reply
    August 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Can you use almond flour?

    • Reply
      August 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      I think so! You may want to watch the baking time in case it is affected. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Renell Dore
    August 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

    What is the nutritional info for the flour less almond cake.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Do you serve these warm, or do you let them cool first?

  • Reply
    January 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    These look wonderful! Do you think they would turn out as delicious if I substitute flax seed/water for the egg?

    • Reply
      January 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      I’m not sure, but definitely worth a try!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Just made this!!! So good!! I used banana instead of butter and it tastes like chocolate banana bread. Wonderful recipe.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    These look beautiful and sound delicious. I’m making them for company this Saturday…I can hardly wait to serve them. I will lift up supportive thoughts for your as your make other people’s lives brighter by sharing yours :)

    • Reply
      January 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Sounds wonderful, Monica! Let us know if you enjoy them!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Could anyone be able to tell me what the nutrition facts are on this recipe? Thanks in advance!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    How can I reheat without drying them out?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      June 9, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Sorry, we haven’t tested any options for this!

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