Chocolate Espresso Cake (Grain-Free)

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Chocolate Espresso Cake (Grain-free)In these darker months of the year, Chocolate Espresso Cake is exactly what I need. In the afternoon, as the sun sets, I need a little hit of something— caffeine, pleasure, comfort… Happily, my husband likes to make me chocolate cakes, and he’s not afraid to adapt a recipe to suit our family’s needs. One of my favorites is Nigel Slater’s Chocolate Almond Cake, from The Kitchen Diaries adapted by Jeff to be grain-free. We ate this last night as part of our Winter Solstice celebrations– it’s rich and comforting. While there are plenty of flourless chocolate cake recipes out there, I prefer this one because the almond flour gives it a nice crumb and it’s much more like a traditional cake– but so dark and decadent.


Chocolate Espresso Cake Recipe

What You’ll Need

What to Do

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F, or 180 C, and line your pan with buttered parchment paper.
  2. In a double-boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt your chocolate. As it begins to soften, add the espresso, stirring gently until completely melted. Add the butter, and stir until everything is even.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and then fold in the sugar.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients.
  5. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat, and stir in the egg yolks. Fold the chocolate into the egg whites, gently.
  6. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, and then stir very gently to combine– do not over-mix.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 50 minutes, until the middle is semi-firm and an inserted knife blade comes out cleanly.
  8.  Allow to cool, then dust with cocoa powder and serve.

I hope this cake brings you lots of comfort and happiness this winter!

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Chocolate espresso cake

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37 Responses to Chocolate Espresso Cake (Grain-Free)

  1. Liene December 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    This looks absolutely delicious! The houseguests have already arrived and my menu was finalized a week ago, but this is definitely going on the baking list of 2014… Merry Christmas and happy New Year!!!

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Oh, I do hope you’ll try it! Jeff knows the way to my heart… Through this very cake, after a very long day.

  2. Julie Drigot December 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    This cake looks amazing as do the sausages. I’ll be making this cake soon.

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Oh, good! I hope you love them both!

  3. Rachel Ball (@grokgrub) December 28, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    Absolutely lovely!

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Thank you, Rachel.

  4. ali January 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Would it work to subsitute coconut oil for the butter?

    • ariana January 20, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      Ali, we haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure– but since the butter is melted in, I imagine that coconut oil would work well. Let me know if you try it!

  5. Cynthia January 20, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    I am also curious about substituting coconut oil for butter

    • ariana January 20, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      Cynthia, I can’t say for sure– but since the butter is melted in, I imagine that coconut oil would work well. Let me know if you try it!

  6. Pam January 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    would I be able to substitute the almond flour? my daughter and I are allergic to nuts. what would you recommend?

    • ariana January 21, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      Hi Pam, I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend any substitutes for the almond flour. This cake is built around that ingredient, so I would recommend that you look for a rich chocolate cake that is based on coconut flour. We love the one from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook ( Maybe I’ll be able to share one soon!

  7. Martha August 17, 2014 at 2:12 am #

    Oh, my goodness! This cake is absolutely delightful, with great flavor, nice texture, and excellent moisture! I substituted a few TBSP worth of butter for coconut oil (because I needed some of my butter for making another recipe the same evening). And, because my springform was in use, I used an 8×13-inch glass baking dish instead. I cut the cake into small squares, dusted the squares with cocoa, and served them with lightly-sweetened whipped cream. Our guest *raved* about what he kept calling “brownies”, and ended up politely removing himself from the table because he found the cake so enticing! 🙂 This recipe is a keeper!

  8. lynnsbiz January 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    As it is snowy and blowy (word? ☺) here today I am putting this in the oven immediately for a morning snack! Thanks so much. Love your blog.

  9. Leah August 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi! This looks great. I plan on making it for my boyfriend’s birthday this Friday. What adjustments would you make for the baking time if I made cupcakes from the batter?



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