This Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting is made with clean ingredients, and is a healthier alternative to traditional boxed cake mix. A treat swap on the 21 Day Fix, dairy free, paleo, refined sugar free and grain free, too!
This post was originally published on Sep 28, 2016, but is being updated with new fun photos and more info to help you make this delicious cake!
Confession #96 – I was so excited about this cake, I ate a piece before I even snapped a pic. As a blogger, this is a major no-no.
But can you blame me?
Would you be able to resist this velvety chocolate cake topped with creamy peanut butter frosting?
A dear friend of mine begged me for this recipe, so I posted it as quickly as I could.
It did not disappoint. This cake is to die for. But now that I have perfected a homemade, from scratch, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free cake that my son couldn’t get enough of, my mind is spinning with flavor ideas! I want to make and eat all the cakes!
Let’s get a couple of things straight, though.
- This cake is not low calorie or low fat.
- I am 100% fine with that.
It’s a cake. And I really, really wanted my kids to love it. I wanted it to feel like a special occasion.
That being said, it is so much healthier than anything you will find in a box. And, my sweet readers, I encourage you not to fear fat. Instead, question what is in your processed cake mix and icing.
And while you 21 Day FIXers will need to part with a one yellow treat swap for this, the combination of almond flour, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, unsweetened cocoa powder and peanut butter make this cake so fluffy and delicious, it’s totally worth it!
Let me know the next time you use this yummy recipe for a special occasion! Or on a random Tuesday night when the mood strikes you, that’s cool too. Have leftovers? Use the frosting and leftover cake to make gluten free Cakesicles!
If you want a vanilla version, definitely let me know! But, for now, check out this Gluten-free Vanilla Cake recipe from my friend Erin at Meaningful Eats!
What do I need to make Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting?
For the cake:
- coconut oil or coconut oil spray
- blanched almond flour (I LOVE Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour)
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking soda
- Himalayan pink salt
- maple syrup
For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
- pure maple syrup
- coconut oil
- PB2 or peanut butter
I don’t eat eggs. What can I use instead?
If you have an egg allergy or are vegan, you can sub flax egg for the two eggs in this recipe.
Can I sub a different kind of flour? I have an allergy/don’t have almond flour on hand.
No. Unfortunately, if you have a tree nut allergy, you will have to skip this one. The almond flour is necessary to achieve the perfect texture of this cake!
So, if you don’t have almond flour in the pantry, but aren’t allergic, it is definitely worth the wait. Put it on the shopping list and get some ASAP!
What should I bake the cake in?
A square 8×8 baking dish works really well for me, but any 6 or 8 inch cake pan will work.
Can I make this a layer cake?
Yes! This would be super fun for a birthday or holiday celebration. If you want to make a layer cake, just simply double the ingredients for both the cake and the frosting. Bake your cakes in two eight inch cake pans, then let cool before stacking and frosting. If you are like me and not a skilled baker, check out this post on how to stack a two tier cake by my girl Sam from Frosting and Fettuccini. She is my go-to for all things cake.
Can I make cupcakes out of this chocolate cake recipe?
Ooooh! Yes you can. The recipe will make about 8 cupcakes and you can follow the directions as written. Just bake your cupcakes for 15-18 min.
What is a Treat Swap?
On the 21 Day Fix, three times a week you are allowed to swap out one of your normal YELLOW containers for something a little more indulgent. Some like to save their treat swaps for alcohol, others prefer things like chocolate cake. To each their own! But this cake is so yummy it is worth that coveted treat swap during your week!
Is this Gluten-free Chocolate Cake Paleo?
Yes! This is a Grain Free Chocolate Cake and includes no dairy and no refined sugar, making it great for Paleo!
Looking for more 21 Day Fix Treat Swap Ideas?
21 Day Fix Chocolate Coconut “Mounds” Cups (see post for amount that counts as treat swap)
Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Banana Bread (with the added choc chips!)
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
For the cake (double if you are making a layer cake):
- Coconut oil or coconut oil spray
- 2 cups blanched almond flour I LOVE Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Peanut Butter Frosting (double if you are making a layer cake):
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut oil room temp or slightly chilled
- 1/4 cup PB2 or 2T of peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease a round or square cake pan with coconut oil.
- Mix almond flour, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, mix hot water and cocoa powder until combined and allow to cook for a moment. Then add in maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting
- To make the frosting, place ingredients in a chilled glass bowl and beat using a hand mixer until it is smooth and spreadable, adding extra PB2 powder or peanut butter to taste/to desired texture. After frosting your cake, chill for best results. We love this cake cold! **If the frosting is left out at room temp, it will separate after awhile...just an FYI!