Gluten FreePaleo Jump to Recipe

No one, including me, eats dessert all the time, and that’s why, when I do have dessert, I like to go big or go home. Which brings us to this cake. When I say go big, I mean big – deep dish! Dark chocolate! And did I mention the almond butter swirl? To say nothing about the chocolate drizzle to top it all off? It’s almost hard to believe this is all paleo-friendly, but miraculously, it totally is.

It’s ridiculously easy to make. It takes nothing more than a few bowls and a spoon, a baking pan and a tongue to lick the spoon. You really wouldn’t want any of this batter to go to waste. But don’t eat too much of it. This is one of those cakes that is infinitely better after baking than before. So, don’t taste the batter and go “hmm, the chocolate flavor isn’t very pronounced; I’m going to add more cocoa powder”. Just trust me, it’s all going to be fine after the oven works its magic.

The cake is irresistible. Bryan and I ate two whole ones in about a week and a half (luckily, the recipe makes a smaller 6″ cake…but still). Its crumb is dense, but the cake still feels light and just airy enough. The little bit of almond butter on top is just creamy enough to complement the chocolate flavor of the cake and the chocolate drizzle that finishes it all off creates a satisfying crack when you sink your teeth into the first bite.

It’s also deeply chocolatey, low-glycemic, profoundly satisfying, and guaranteed to sweep you off your feet. This is the perfect crowd-pleasing paleo dessert for anyone who loves chocolate, paleo or not!

PS: I am also guest posting over at Primal Palate’s blog today. You can check it out here!


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Deep Dish Dark Chocolate Cake with Almond Butter Swirl

Yield: 8 slicesPrep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


Ingredients for the cake

  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil, or butter
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, (Special Dark is recommended, natural is fine too)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated monk fruit sweetener, or granulated stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Ingredients for the swirl

  • 1/4 cup almond butter, (creamy, unsweetened) or other nut or seed butter of choice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated monk fruit sweetener, or granulated stevia
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 6″ springform pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter/coconut oil together by microwaving on high for about 60 seconds until nearly melted, and stirring until completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, applesauce).
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, sweetener, and salt) and then stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth into an even layer.
  6. In a separate bowl, prepare the swirl by stirring together the almond butter and granulated sweetener. Distribute spoonfuls of the almond butter across the cake (or pour into a zip top bag, seal it, snip off the corner, and use it to pipe thick lines of almond butter across the cake), then gently drag a butter knife or toothpick through to create the swirl pattern.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  8. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and, while still warm, drizzle over the top of the cake. Allow to set before serving.


Sweetener note: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips when creating this recipe, and I like super-dark chocolate flavor, so I only needed 2 Tablespoons of sweetener. Depending on your chocolate, your cocoa powder, and your sweet tooth, you may prefer a few more Tablespoons of granulated sweetener. Taste the batter and adjust the amount of sweetener to your preference.
Yield: one 6″ cake.
If you don’t have 6″ cake pans, one reader reports that making the recipe using a cupcake pan works well too. She put 3 Tablespoons of batter in each compartment of the cupcake pan, baked for 15 minutes, and let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Your baking time may be a little more or less, depending on the heat of your oven, so start at 12 minutes, if your oven tends to run hot and then add 3-5 minutes more at a time, testing in between, until the tester or toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it.
If all you have is a 9″ springform pan, you can double the recipe and use your larger pan. However, you may need to adjust the baking time so start at 30 minutes and add more time in 5 minute increments. Just be sure to watch it very carefully.
Serve immediately, or store the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 324Saturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 140mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave me a comment and rating, or tag me on Instagram using @nora_acleanbake or #acleanbake!

© Nora (A Clean Bake)

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