Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free)

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Is butter “Paleo?” Click here and here for some great info on this topic. If you cannot consume butter, I recommend making a double batch of this chocolate buttercream frosting. As with all desserts, it’s best to consume in moderation.



For the cake batter:

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips because they are soy-free)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter or 7 tablespoons ghee
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups almond flour (only use a finely ground flour such as Honeyville, or the cake will be crumbly)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it’s grain-free)*

For the buttercream:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened, each stick cut into tablespoons
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of a double boiler. Melt, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool (the mixture needs to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the the egg mixture below). Place the maple syrup and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk for 5-6 minutes until pale yellow and billowy. Slowly whisk in cooled chocolate and vanilla extract.
  2. Sift almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder over egg mixture. Gently fold to incorporate. Divide batter between two buttered 9-inch cake pans (I prefer to line my cake pans with a round piece of unbleached parchment paper to ensure the cake will come out properly). Bake cakes for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool cakes for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges and then remove the cakes from the pans. Cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs, maple syrup or honey, vanilla and pinch of salt. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Beat egg mixture on medium-high with whisk attachment for 8 minutes until light and billowy. Reduce the speed to medium and add butter one tablespoon at a time. When all of the butter is added, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl (at this point the buttercream might look curdled, but don’t worry, it will turn creamy). Whisk the entire mixture for 1 minute on high until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the chocolate and mix until incorporated.

To assemble:

  1. Place one cake layer on a cake stand and top with one third of the frosting. Spread frosting evenly on the cake. Place second cake layer on top and use remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.

*To make homemade grain-free baking powder combine 1 part baking soda, 1 part arrowroot powder and 2 parts cream of tartar. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.