This paleo chocolate cake is moist and fluffy and is the easiest dessert you’ll make. Made with only 5 ingredients, this healthy cake is also keto-friendly and nut-free. It’s great for kids’ parties and lunch boxes. Serve with berries and whipped coconut or regular cream or ice cream.
5-Ingredient Paleo Chocolate Cake
You might have seen a 2-ingredient or a 3-ingredient chocolate cake going around the Internet, which is made with eggs and melted chocolate as primary ingredients, and it was the inspiration behind today’s recipe. However, for this flourless keto and paleo chocolate cake, I had to expand to 5 ingredients because most ready-made chocolate bars contain either sugar or dairy, plus other ingredients you might be avoiding.
This 5-ingredient cake consists of eggs, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, sweetener of choice, and mixed berries. That’s it! It is the simplest chocolate cake I have ever made and on top of being damn moist and delicious. It is also nut-free (perfect for school lunch boxes), low-carb and keto-friendly (if you’re using something like xylitol or stevia) and can be served as a sliced cake or cut into brownies.
You can use raw or regular cacao powder but make sure it’s unsweetened. Raw cacao powder is more nutritious as hasn’t been heat-treated.
The texture of the cake is similar to a flourless chocolate cake if you’ve ever had it. It’s light, fluffy, not too cakey, and it’s really good a day after out of the fridge too. It should last or 4-5 days refrigerated.
For the sweetener, you can use erythritol or stevia for a keto-friendly version, or honey/maple syrup/coconut sugar for a more natural, sweetened version. I’ve provided amounts for erythritol and honey in the recipe.
How To Make Paleo Chocolate Cake
Below are some step-by-step picture instructions on how to make this flourless paleo chocolate cake, and the full recipe is below.
Step 1. While you’re preheating the oven, you can melt the coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl.
Step 2. Whisk in the cacao powder and the sweetener of choice and set aside.
Step 3. Then separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and whip the egg whites to stiff peaks (more details in the full recipe below).
Step 4. When mixing the egg yolks into the cacao mixture, add one yolk at first, mix through and then add the other three. Once you mix in the yolks, the mixture will thicken quite a lot. It’s important to fold in the whipped egg whites one-third of the mixture at a time.
Step 5. To line up a round cake tin with non-stick parchment paper, I cut out a circle to place on the bottom of the tin and then two strips of paper to line up the sides. My little hack for making the strips line up to the sides is to secure the ends with pegs or large paper clips. Then, once the mixture is in the tin and spread evenly, you can remove the pegs and cut away excess paper.
More Paleo Cake Recipes
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.Print
Paleo Chocolate Cake (5-Ingredients, Keto, Nut-Free)
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Paleo
- Diet: Gluten Free
Learn how to make a 5-ingredient paleo chocolate cake! It is moist and fluffy and is the easiest dessert you’ll make. Made with only 5 ingredients, this healthy cake is also keto-friendly and nut-free. It’s great for kids’ parties and lunch boxes. Serve with berries and whipped coconut or regular cream or ice cream.
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 5 tablespoons sweetener, such as honey or erythritol (depending on your carb goals)
- 4 whole eggs (separated)
- Mixed berries of choice (or other fruit)
- Heat the oven to 170 C / 320 F. Place coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl and melt in the oven, but don’t get it too hot, just warm enough to get to liquid state. Prepare the cake tin, lined with non-stick baking paper. I cut out a circle piece for the bottom and strips to line the sides. You can use pegs to secure the side strips to the tin (see picture).
- Add the cacao powder and the sweetener of choice to the coconut oil and mix through really well. Set aside.
- Separate the eggs whites from the yolks and add them to a large mixing bowl. Reserve the egg yolks in a separate bowl for now.
- Add a little pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat them with an electric hand mixer or a standing mixer until firm peaks, about 1 minute to a minute and a half. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down. Set aside.
- Back to our chocolate mixture. Make sure it’s not too hot, it can be warm to touch but we don’t want to cook the eggs in it. Add one egg yolk and stir it through the chocolate mix with a spatula. Then add the rest of the egg yolks and whisk them in really well. The mixture will now thicken slightly.
- Add one-third of the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir through with a spatula until completely combined. Then add another third of the egg whites and fold those through, scraping the sides as you go along. Once the mixture is well combined, add the final third and fold it in as well, until there are no egg white clumps left. Don’t mix it too vigorously, nice and gentle is best for keeping the final cake mix airy and fluffy.
- Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin, spread evenly and cut away excess paper that sticks over the top of the sides. Gently tap the cake tin on the surface to flatten the top and break any trapped air bubbles in the cake. Place in the oven, middle shelf, for 30 mins.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the berries or other toppings of choice.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and open the door. First, let the cake cool down slightly in the oven with an open door and then remove it from the oven and cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes longer. Only then remove from the tin.
- Decorate with berries and serve as is or with a side of whipped coconut cream or ice cream, or drizzled with melted chocolate sauce.
- Serving Size: 1 slice with a few strawberries
- Calories: 214
- Sugar: 1.4 g
- Sodium: 48.5 mg
- Fat: 20.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.8 g
- Fiber: 2.2 g
- Protein: 5.2 g
- Cholesterol: 124 mg
Keywords: Paleo Cake, Keto Cake, 5-Ingredient Cake, Paleo Desserts, Chocolate Cake Recipes, Healthy Chocolate Cake, Nut-Free Chocolate Cake, Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake, Flourless Chocolate Cake
I’m literally drooling as I look at the pictures of this chocolate cake, Irena! Can I have you send me a piece ASAP? Looks amazing!!!
Oh this is so special! I can’t believe how simple the ingredients are! I think I will make this to surprise my kids after the long week of school this weekend!
They will love it, Renee!
This chocolate cake is gorgeous! Love all of those beautiful berries on the top. The texture of the cake looks perfect!
This looks amazing and I can’t believe it’s only 5 ingredients! Chocolate cakes are my absolute favorite.
Oh my golly gosh! I’m super excited about this one! I am coeliac, but also allergic to nuts, so I don’t get to eat cake very often at all – if it is gluten free, it is usually almond based. So I’m looking forward to this one! Thank you so much.
I hope you like it! I was surprised by how well it turned out without any nut flours or other starches.
I love this recipe and how simple it is and I will be giving it a try at home this weekend.
Dang! This looks like the perfect sinful chocolate treat! I love that you offer a low carb option.
This cake is not only simple but looks SO satisfying! YUM!
I’m a big sucker when it comes to chocolate ! I need to make this !!
I love chocolate cake. But what’s really great about rhis is the generous portions of fruit adorning this cake, love it!!! What a tasty way to eat more fruit 🙂
I’m speechless! This recipes looks DIVINE!! Printed and saved!
This looks like the PERFECT chocolate cake. So moist. YUM!
What size pan is used?
Cake tin: 7.5″ or 9cm.
With all due respect: it drives me BONKERS how people give 5 stars based on how pretty or yummy they think the cake LOOKS. The rest of us our out here thinking ah, it got 5 stars, it must TASTE amazing!! Please don’t rate it unless you’ve actually made and ate it. It rhymes for a reason. Lol.
So, have you made it Eddie?
I have to agree with Eddie on that one. Drives me bananas, too.
On that note, though, I did make this and it’s fabulous. I added one TBSP of espresso liqueur and a TBSP of instant espresso powder. Also did half honey and half sweetener (really am still not convinced that using 100% sweetener will not ruin a great baked good!)
I topped it with homemade raspberry coulis, but really wanted to put the berries right into the cake – would that have turned the whole thing into jello? Would you know?
Anyway, thank you for the inspiration:)
Thanks Olivia, I think adding berries into the cake itself would possibly disrupt its delicate texture and add moisture pockets. Maybe not quite jello though 😉 Coulis on top is a great idea though.
I’m with Eddie too. Was reading the comments to see what people thought of the taste/texture and all I saw was 5 stars based on “looks good”/“sounds good”. ridiculous!!!
I’ve had a lot of people who have made it comment on the cake as well s email me that they loved it. You could try it and see if you like it.
Can you use this recipe to make cupcakes?
I reckon you can, but you may need to reduce the cooking time down to maybe 12-15 minutes.
What size pan?
6-7″ round tin should work well
This looks really good & I want to make it but we have kids with food allergies. What can be substituted for the coconut oil? Coconut can be classified as a fruit, a seed and as a nut (especially when allergies are present someone with diverticulitis who is avoiding nuts due to digestion may be ok). The FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut and requires the presence of it to be labeled on all packaging where it is contained. So this is not really a nut free recipe. This is a wide spread mistake and not likely to change without education. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything I really want to make the cake but this is a life or death issue for certain people who are born with an allergy just like any person who is born with any other congenital anomaly. Thank you.
You can use light olive oil or melted ghee or butter instead (if you can tolerate some dairy).
what size cake pan- 8 or 9 inches?
7″ from memory
When I mixed the cocoa powder (didn’t cacao) and honey into the coconut oil it became lumpy, why?
Did you mix it into the melted coconut oil? It could be if honey and coconut oil were a little too solid. Maybe melt both until more liquidy?
Can I substitute cocoa powder instead of cacao?
Hey Connie, yes! They are essentially the same thing 🙂
Ho can I used powdered stevia instead? If yes how much should I use? Thanks
Hi Paula, I think stevia powder has a much finer texture, almost like icing sugar so I am not sure exactly how it would behave texture-wise. It would work for sweetness for sure, but I’ve not tried it and can’t guarantee the texture results would be the same.
Looks fantastic. I’m going to try it for a friend’s birthday. I wonder if I could make frosting of some kind before adding the mixed berries?
Absolutely! Google for keto or paleo frosting and you’ll find lots of great recipes. Chocolate ganache frosting or vanilla or caramel will all work.
I’m starting my keto journey and trying to watch my carbs – do you know what the macros are for this, specifically net carbs?
I don’t have it off the top of my head. It is on my to-do list to add the info to recipes. The quickest way to get it would be to copy and paste the ingredients into My Fitness Pal and set a number of servings to see what you get per piece.
Do you recommend this cake without a topping?
You can go with or without a topping. It’s just as good by itself. I do like it with a little coconut cream or yoghurt or even just whipped cream if you’re keto but not paleo. Some people make a healthy frosting to go on top.
Really easy to make and absolutely delicious!
Thanks, Lis. Glad you found it easy to make (that was my goal!).
I have just tried your recipe and it was delicious!! I really like that it’s not too sweet since I don’t like very sweet cakes and never cook with sugar. It has such a nice dark chocolate flavor from the cacao and it is perfectly soft and moist! We had it with some whipped cream and home made jam from berries and it went super nice together! My boyfriend and I just ate half of the cake and tried our best to leave something for tomorrow 😀
Thank you for this delicious and simple recipe! It will be my go to recipe for those cozy evenings when we are up for something sweet and chocolatey 😉
Thanks, Marina. I’m super happy that you guys enjoyed it so much. Irena
Can I leave the cake out in a room temp, roughly 85F for half a day? I live in a tropical country. If it’s not possible, how about leave it out in an air conditioning room? Thanks
Why did the surface of my cake turn out to be very “wrinkly”? What did I do wrong? How do I get it like yours, smooth looking top? Please advise thanks
Wrinkly is quite common for flourless or low-flour cake. OFten, the cake will rise but then fall once cooked, which results in some wrinkles or cracks. I mean, I’d have to see a picture to tell for sure. Just sprinkle with some cacao powder to disguise.
Is it possible to frosting the cake with buttercream? Will it hold up? Thx
I make this into cupcakes, how many do you think I would have? How much should I fill the cupcake lining to, 3/4? Thx
Can I cover the the cake with Swiss meringue buttercream? If so how much should I make eg 4C of SMBC? What flavours of SMBC would go well with this cake? Btw, really enjoy your recipes 🙂
Can I frost this cake with SMBC?
How many UK ounces are in the third of.
cup of oil(one uk ounce is is 30ml or 2tablespoon of liquids)