Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)

Chocolate Sour Cream FrostingDon’t forget to enter to win the Wilton Whoopie Pie Pan and other Wilton goodies!

It is nobody’s birthday in my house.  Nobody.  Not even close.  We’re all late Fall and Winter babies in this household.  My three kiddos are October, November and December, my husband is right after Christmas and I am in early March.  It’s pretty nutty, quite honestly.  From mid-Fall to New Year’s we are run ragged with birthday and holidays and each year it seems to get more stressful.  My husband and I aren’t even remotely over-indulgent with our kids and we don’t do big birthday celebrations for them.  But even the minor family celebrations we do hold take enough effort and time that we find ourselves girding our loins at the approach of October.  Oh, and have I mentioned that our anniversary is in October as well?  Um, yeah, that gets more and more overlooked each year as we just try to survive.


Low Carb Chocolate Layer Cake

So what on earth possessed me to make what is, for all intents and purposes, a huge chocolate birthday cake in June?  I haven’t the foggiest, the idea just took hold of me and wouldn’t let go.  It worried at me like a dog with a bone, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.  And it wasn’t just any old birthday cake I wanted to make.  I knew this one had to have lots of layers and a rich sour cream frosting.  It had to be tall, it had to be impressive, and most importantly, it had to taste wicked good.  It had to be a birthday cake that you would never know was low carb and gluten free.

So why sour cream frosting?  I don’t know.  Once again, it was just an idea that got a hold of me.  My sister-in-law had made a sour cream frosting for my nephew’s birthday cake and I am not sure I’d ever had any until that time.  And then I happened to see a recipe for chocolate sour cream frosting on the inside of a package of unsweetened chocolate, and I thought how perfect that might be for a low carb frosting.  I could see the cake in my mind’s eye, 3 or 4 layers with rich frosting in between and swirled richly on top.  And some brightly coloured sprinkles to finish it off.  Just a few, since I don’t think they make sugar-free sprinkles yet!

Low Carb Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

The Results:  Honestly, this cake was phenomenal.  Except for the fact that I can’t seem to get almond flour chocolate cake to look as chocolatey as cake made with wheat flour (it has a muddy brown appearance, rather than a rich chocolate brown), you would never know the difference.  I made the frosting with powdered Swerve, and it was rich and had a wonderful tang from the sour cream.  I was a touch worried at first because the frosting seemed too goopy and like it would just slide right down the sides of the cake.  But it didn’t at all, and I was able to frost the cake perfectly.  And I gave it an hour to chill in the fridge and it set nicely.  It was a really big cake and very rich, so even though I’ve called it 16 servings here, you can easily get 18 or 20 out of it.

This is definitely a cake worthy of a birthday celebration!

Low Carb Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

    Cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated erythritol (I used Swerve)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • Sour Cream Frosting:
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered erythritol (I used Swerve)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp stevia extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Instructions

  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 325F and grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Line cake pans with parchment paper and grease the parchement.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, protein powder, granulated erythritol, instant coffee, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, beat Greek yogurt and butter together until combined. Beat in eggs and stevia extract. Beat in almond flour mixture in two additions, alternating with almond milk, and scraping down beaters and sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cakes are set and a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, and then flip out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Once cool, use a large serrated knife to cut each layer in half horizontally to create 4 layers total.
  6. For the frosting, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  7. In large bowl, beat sour cream and powdered erythritol until smooth. Beat in cocoa powder, then vanilla extract and stevia extract.
  8. Sprinkle xanthan gum over mixture and beat in until frosting thickens slightly. Stir in melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined.
  9. Place one layer of cake on serving platter and top with 1/2 to 3/4 cup frosting, using knife or offset spatula to spread evenly. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. For final layer, top with any remaining frosting and spread down and over sides of cake, smoothing with knife or offset spatula. If desired, use back of small spoon to create swirled effect on top of cake.
  10. Chill cake in refrigerator for at least one hour. Any leftover cake should be wrapped in plastic and kept in refrigerator.

Notes

Each serving has a total of 10g of carbs and 5g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 5g.

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Comments

  1. It looks really chocolaty :D Sour cream frosting doesn’t look sour cream at all, but sounds interesting :D

  2. That looks amazing! My daughter cannot have a lot of the ingredients, but I think I can tweak the cake to work for her- fingers crossed my tweaks in ingredients still let it turn out so Yummy looking! :-) Thanks for sharing this one!

  3. This looks divine. Cake that has more than two layers is always super special. My husband doesn’t like cake at all so it is always nice when I get a slice. Beautiful!

  4. I don’t know how you create things like this gluten free. WOW

  5. I think you totally nailed this one! Looks amazing and I’m impressed that it’s gluten free!

  6. I made the lemon cream cake last week and it was great so i know this one is gonna be great also! I cant wait to make it! Thanks!

  7. This looks so amazing!!

  8. Oh, that looks fantastic! Yum! This will definitely go on the “must make soon” list!

  9. This cake looks absolutely amazing! :)

  10. Wow, I am so bookmarking this to make for my birthday cake next year!!

  11. You’d never know this was a low carb cake Carolyn – beautiful!

  12. Sometimes it’s nice to indulge even if it’s not a special occasion! This cake looks amazing!!!

  13. It was for me! It was for me! ;) Okay, maybe not, but still. This is a nice surprise. My birthday is in June and I haven’t had a good birthday cake for it in a long time. Now I can have one. You’re awesome Carolyn!

  14. This looks lovely, Carolyn. Can’t wait to try the frosting, in particular. :)

  15. WOW! this cake looks amazing! I don’t see a muddy layer, but a rich chocolate cake which I’m craving so bad right now!

  16. It is always a good time for cake! This sounds wonderful!

    (I already own the Wilton pan so I will let someone else try for it).

  17. I love the way your brain works. I don’t even like chocolate cake and this looks good to me :)

  18. Just thinking about your fall schedule is wearing me out. I should sit down and have some cake. This cake. Looks great!

  19. The Mom says:

    I love layered chocolate cake so this recipe is going to get a LOT of use! I like to use my potato peeler on a sugar-free chocolate bar to create chocolate shavings. I’ll use that instead of the sprinkles on top. I’m also thinking of trying a low-carb custard or cream cheese filling between the layers *drool* Maybe a sugar-free marshmallow filling with sugar-free cherry jam on top (Black Forest style). Thank you so much for such a great recipe!!

  20. Gorgeous looking cake!! I’d take a couple of slices! :)

  21. Can I substitute the sour cream? I have a yeast allergy and I can have everything but the sour cream. Maybe plain (not greek) yogurt?

    I hope so. It looks amazing!!!! I love you whey protein addition :)

    • Carolyn says:

      If I was going to sub anything, it would be Greek yogurt. Non-greek yogurt won’t be nearly thick enough and you’d have some seriously goopy icing, I think. Give it a try, I hope it works!

      • Also, could I use whole wheat pastry flour in place of almond flour? Would it measure the same?

        • No, whole wheat flour would be a different creature all together…different amounts of eggs, leaveners and liquids If you want to use that, I’d suggest finding a good chocolate cake recipe made with regular wheat flour, subbing in the whole wheat pastry flour and the Swerve, and then making the frosting exactly as I did.

  22. Christina says:

    You say in Step 3 to beat the cream cheese, yet I don’t see that in the ingredients list.

    • Carolyn says:

      Whoops, good catch. I must have been referring to sour cream. Those kind of mistakes are hard to catch because they are spelled correctly!

  23. Wow, this sure looks rich and chocolaty to me!!! I say it every time I visit, but you are an awesome baker, Carolyn…and even more, and awesome low carb baker. This cake looks incredible~

  24. i’m not really a fan of chocolate cake, but this one caught my eye. it looks so delicious, whether it’s for a birthday or not! :)

  25. What a gorgeous cake! I can totally see this was phenomenal like you said. I’ve never made “layered” cake but hope I can do it one day… so pretty!!

  26. This cake looks so rich and delicious! :)

  27. Carolyn, this looks amazing…can’t wait to try it! Your ingredient list calls for almond milk; is that unsweetened vanilla or unsweetened chocolate almond milk?

    Thanks again for all your awesome recipes :)

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Pam…I should be more specific, since almond milk does come sweetened and in various flavours. But I usually just use plain, unsweetened for all of my recipes.

  28. I made the cake today! I didn’t have almond flour, but used almond meal and my cakes weren’t that thick. Would almond flour have given it more height? Also, no powdered E, so I put it in the blender. Frosting still turned out gritty. Is there any trick to getting the grit out of E? Thanks!

  29. I made the cake today! I didn’t have almond flour, but used almond meal and my cakes weren’t that thick. Would almond flour have given it more height? Also, no powdered E, so I put it in the blender. Frosting still turned out gritty. Is there any trick to getting the grit out of E? I usually freeze my flour cakes so they stay moist. Does this trick work as well on this type of cake? Thanks for the recipes! This is my first one of your’s I’ve tried after eyeing your blog for last couple months!

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Anne – almond flour and almond meal are definitely a little different. Blanched almond meal is quite fine…not as fine as flour, but definitely finer than almond meal. So it may well be the reason your cakes didn’t have much height, because it’s denser and heavier and doesn’t blend as well with the eggs and butter and other ingredients. If you can, try to get your hands on either some Bob’s REd Mill or Honeyville Grain almond flour. They are definitely worth the added expense if you want your cakes to be more like regular flour ones. I know when I started baking, I assumed I could get just as good results with the cheaper Trader Joe’s Almond Meal but it’s just not the same.
      And yes, I’ve frozen my almond flour cakes before with great success. Just as you would with a regular cake, wrap tightly in plastic and then in foil. Should be good for a few months!
      I’ve never attempted to make icing with non-powdered erythritol so I can believe it was gritty! Powdered E is really powdered. And I mean REALLY powdered, as in it goes everywhere when you try to blend it. A light fine dust that settles over your entire counter. Like the almond flour, I think you really need to get a hold of some powdered erythritol. The companies with their big grinders can get much better results than we can with blenders and food processors.

      • Thanks! I figured I just need to get the better ingredients. I did use Bob’s Red Mill almond meal/flour (that’s what the package says)…but will look into trying to get some Honeyville…although shipping to Alaska is $60! Like we aren’t a part of the United States! :) Even though I apologized for the “crunchy” frosting, even non-low carbers at our 4th of July BBQ last night enjoyed a piece. I put fresh strawberries on top and it looked awesome. Thanks again for the beautiful recipes and insights into this type of baking!

        • Carolyn says:

          I thought Bob’s made some finer flour, but maybe they don’t. If not, also look into Nuts Online and Oh Nuts and see if they have cheaper shipping costs. Oh Nuts makes great almond flour!

  30. Not trying to push a product but I have found that Penzey’s cocoa makes my chocolate so dark it is almost black! I believe they have THE best cocoa. I am fortunate to have a Penzey’s store in driving distance. I used to get mail order from them all the time. Great company, great products, and no, no one I am related to or friends with or I work for the company.

    • Carolyn says:

      LOL, thanks for all the qualifications, but it’s perfectly okay if you like a product to say so. I appreciate the recommendation. I love Penzey’s spices and I need to do an order from there. Any idea if their cocoa powder is GF?

  31. Thanks!!!!! I love it. I made this tonight using Chobani very berry Champions yogurt 2 of the 3.5oz containers. I was worried that might goof it up, but no IT WAS PERFECT! I made my own powdered sweetener using Splenda in my “baby bullet” so that was simple as well.

  32. My mom is a new diabetic, thanks to having her pancreas fully removed due to stage III pancreatic cancer. Her 50th birthday party tomorrow is thus going to be a HUGE celebration of her life and defeat of cancer, and this is going to be her birthday cake. When I told her I’m making her a completely diabetic-safe, sugar-free birthday cake, I know she was skeptical. I’ve been on a no-sugar diet for years, and some of my past experiments have been… questionable. However, I ordered Swerve on your recommendation and am fully convinced that this will be the most delicious non-blood-sugar-spiking dessert we’ve ever tasted.

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ll let you know what she thinks!

  33. This looks wonderful! My lovely BF is going to take a stab at baking me a birthday cake this year and I think this is the recipe I’ll send him, can’t wait to try it!

  34. Hi Carolyn, quick question!

    I’ve baked with erythritol and xylitol in the past in sweet items and the amounts of sugar alcohols are just too much. Have you personally experienced or heard of others experiencing less tummy anger when using Swerve? I really want to try it out but it is unfortunately much more expensive than other sweeteners. Thoughts?

    • Hi Amy, I am surprised you say you get any tummy upset using erythritol. I don’t find I have any. It is typically excreted into the urine straight from the small intestine, unlike other sugar alcohols, which is why it doesn’t cause any GI issues. I do find I have a bit of GI issues with xylitol. I don’t have any with Swerve, although I do find that it often makes me feel more full, sort of acting like an appetite suppressant. The best I can suggest is that you buy one package of Swerve and give it a test run. In recipes such as this, where the icing is made with concentrated amounts, it may be too much for you. But in many of my recipes, I keep the sugar alcohols to a minimum and combine them with stevia. That may work better for you if you have issues with erythritol.

  35. Just came to search out this recipe :) I’m going to make it this Wednesday. My son will be 4, and wants chocolate cake. I really want to make a cake that everyone can eat…and I am excited because you say you can’t really tell a difference between this and the real deal. So…I am CERTAIN my 4 year old will never know :) Thank you!!

    • Hi Shannon…I just made this cake as cupcakes for my in-laws anniversary celebration. Everyone raved! Your son won’t know at all.

  36. Hi!
    Made this cake just now…the cake batter is awesome!! The cakes are cooling now for the frosting. My frosting is kinda funky though. I am new to xanthum gum; I used the recommended amount but my frosting got super doughy! It globbed up and wrapped around the beaters. I had to put in liquid to smooth it out some, but it is still sorta gel-like, not creamy:( Any suggestions to fix?
    Now I think I might make my standard cream cheese frosting and maybe use this for middle the layer and freeze the rest…does it freeze well?
    Thanks!

    • Hmmm, not sure what happened. I have made this several times and never had issues with the xanthan gum. It does get doughy when you first add it, but once you add the melted chocolate and keep beating, it should smooth out. At what point did you add the xanthan? The cake does freeze well, so yes, you can do that quite easily.

      • ah, I see. It may have been after I added the melted chocolate not before.
        I did end up using it as the middle layer..super thick! I kept the cake wrapped in the fridge, and once cooled I did not notice any problem with the frosting.

        Thanks again:)

  37. we made this today (son is trying out low carb). It looked a little scary in the bowl, and I think we made the frosting a little too early (made it when I put the cake in the oven), but it actually came out pretty good. I didn’t get any of the sour cream flavor, but I might have shorted the recipe a little; I was in kind of a hurry. I think I would personally omit the coffee next time and cut the cocoa powder a little bit, but that’s just me. Thanks so much for this great alternate to a Betty Crocker cake mix.

  38. Christie Fine says:

    I made this yesterday and it turned out so good. I think I like the cake better than a “normal” cake. I didn’t see where you need to buy powdered eyrithritol so my frosting was a little crunchy but still good. Next time I will have the powdered on hand.

  39. Hi Carolyn, I made this recipe except I turned the cake into cupcakes. I couldn’t get the Honeyville Almond flour in time so I just had to use the Sensato blanched almond meal/flour that I had on hand and even though the texture of the cupcakes was more nutty and less fine, the cupcakes still rose well and had a great flavor. My husband and I kind of the like the texture of the almond meal, it has a nice flavor and mouth-feel.

    The trouble I had was with the icing. I followed the recipe to a “T” and a “gloppy” and very tough ball of icing resulted after I added the xantham gum. It did not improve once I added the chocolate. It was so thick that I could not really mix it and I could not ice the cupcakes either. I was able to thin the icing out out by adding some more sour cream. I don’t know what could have happened but now that I know what to expect, I will just use 1/4-1/2 tsp xantham gum next time I make the recipe.

    All in all, the cupcakes tasted great and had a great texture, even though I didn’t have the correct almond flour and had trouble with the icing.

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your recipes with us!

    • I am so sorry about that. Not really sure what the issue is, because twice now, the icing has worked out well for me. I use Bob’s Red Mill xanthan gum, I wonder if it’s a brand difference? But adding more liquid was exactly the right thing to do. I may change the recipe to reflect that…

      • Hi Carolyn, it’s not a problem at all. I also used Bob’s Red Mill xantham gum. Maybe different batches have different levels of freshness and that’s what is contributing to the extra gloppiness?

        I just want to express my gratitude to you for creating these amazing recipes. I can’t wait to try your mini pumpkin cheesecakes!

        xoxo

        • I’m wondering if it’s about the sour cream. I’ve noticed that the lower the fat in any brand of sour cream, the higher the thickeners added. It’s possible your sour cream already had xanthan gum in it? I try to buy a full fat sour cream, but it’s not always easy to find.

          • Very possible, good call! I think that you might be on to something. I buy all full fat dairy products when I can find them.

  40. made this today…awesome, and beautiful. wonderful flavor. Taking it to Thanksgiving.

  41. I made this for my own birthday cake as I didn’t want a store-bought one, but still wanted a little splurge. This was absolutely amazing. I cannot thank you enough for helping me celebrate my birthday in a healthy way!

  42. Carolyn, I’m making this cake tomorrow for a SF dessert at a retirement party on Friday. I don’t gave any vanilla whey protein powder but do have both the Jarrow unflavored whey powder and another brand of chocolate whey powder on hand. Which do you think would be better to use in substitute for the vanilla whey powder? Should I add extra vanilla extract?

    Just found I don’t have as much of the Swerve E confection blend on hand as I thought so will try running some regular Swerve through my Ninja. Hope that work.s.

    So glad to finally get to be making this beautiful cake!

    Thank you so much!

    Alice

    • Hi Alice,

      I think you could do either protein powder, but if you go with the unflavoured, you may want to add a little extra sweetener. Jarrow has no added sweeteners, which I love, but the flavoured varieties typically do. And in either case, add a little more vanilla, maybe 1/2 tsp. Vanilla offsets chocolate and intensifies the flavour.

      Your icing may be a little on the gritty side, even with the extra grinding, but it should still taste amazing!

    • Also, if when you are making the icing, things aren’t firming up enough, email me immediately and we will see if we can figure out how to get it right. I am just not quite sure how the icing will do with the regular Swerve. carketch29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  43. Kathie Zeman says:

    Didn’t have Swerve so I used Stevia. Waaaaaay too sweet. The horrible taste of the Stevia ruined the flavor. The texture of the cake and the frosting was fabulous but it was, to me, inedible.

  44. Made this cake for a friend’s birthday over the weekend and it was a huge success (found it in your volume 3 of Low Carbing Among Friends). I used 14% fat sour cream in the frosting, and omitted the xanthan gum – just chilled the frosting for 1/2 hour before icing the cake – worked beautifully. Really lovely, rich, fudgy, delicious cake. Thank you!

  45. SkeeterN says:

    Today is my birthday and thinking of making your lovely cake. Since you cannot buy Swerve in my stores I have here on hand powdered Erythritol and also Ideal White. Which one would work best and if I use Erythritol how much would the measurements be with it being powdered and no granulated. Thanks.

    • Carolyn says:

      First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hmmm, okay. How about this…use the Ideal in the cake in the same amount as Swerve and use the powdered erythritol for the frosting. It might have a somewhat different consistency, so if it’s too thick, thin it out with some milk, 1 or 2 tbsp at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered erythritol and/or some cocoa powder to help thicken it.

  46. …..and, to add to my earlier rave….this cake (including frosting) freezes and defrosts beautifully! I did in individual slices.

  47. Lily Rose says:

    Just made this for my birthday, because let’s face it, who wants to take on making a low-carb B.Day cake when THEY could be munchin’ on a gluten-filled one? It was spectacular, MAYBE not quite a wheat one, but pretty damn good. My first birthday since starting to low-carb, and I did not feel deprived!!!

  48. I’ve decided to try this tomorrow for my sweet man’s birthday. It’s a surprise. I’ve been SCOURING the internet for how to use erythritol and xylitol in recipes for cakes, etc. I’m going to try this.

    Have you used xylitol very much?

    I’ve enjoyed perusing your site today. I’m a subscriber, but haven’t looked at it as much as I have today. Wonderful! Thank you! I’m living Atkins and will forever. You are a treat!

    • Carolyn says:

      I don’t use xylitol in large quantities because it has more of affect on my blood sugar and it can cause some tummy upset in some people. But just a few words of note if you are using a brand other than Swerve for the frosting, because they can differ a little…if it’s too thick, add some more sour cream or whole cream to thin it out. If it’s too thin, you can add a bit more xanthan to thicken it up.

      I’ve made this recipe 4 or 5 times and it works perfectly for me every time but I always use swerve. Since Swerve has oligosaccharides, which are fibrous, it doesn’t always work perfectly with other brands. The cake always works, but the frosting consistency can be off a bit. Let me know how it goes!

  49. I made this cake recipe into cupcakes. I used a combo of erythritol, xylitol, stevia in the raw. I made them for my guy’s birthday, along with a coconut flavored butter cream frosting. OH MY!!! Delicious! Delicious! Delicious! You’d NEVER know they aren’t full of sugar! I’m so impressed. We ate 2 cupcakes each…hee hee. No side effects at all from the sweetener. The recipe made 21 cupcakes, and would have probably made more, except, not knowing how they’d come out, the first 12 were really large as I filled the cups 3/4 full. Wonderful!

    Thank you for all your work on bringing this recipe to us!

    Any idea about calories/serving of the cake?

    • Carolyn says:

      Actually, in this case I do because this was included in the Low Carbing Among Friends cookbook. For the 16 servings I made with a layer cake, it was 279 calories per.

      • Thank you! Better back off from eating 2 cupcakes a day! But they’re soooo good! I will get some Swerve and try the chocolate frosting next time. The butter cream tasted way too much like butter, even with flavoring.

  50. I added 20 drops black food coloring to the cake to make it a rich brown/black. This is an awesome recipe! Thanks so much for sharing.

  51. Edith Kilgo says:

    Is there any other sugar substitute that comes in a powdered form that would work for the frosting? Not a fan of powdered erythritol. But . . . might use it if somebody could tell me if the “cooling effect” is diminished by combining it w/ so many other things.

    • Hi Edith. HAve you tried Swerve yet? The cooling effect is not very strong for most people, although a few do say that they still experience it. I don’t at all, so it’s a huge reason I like it more than other erythritol brands.

  52. How did I miss this the first time you posted?!?! Its fabulous!!! What a genius recipe!

  53. Could you use softened cream cheese instead of sour cream in the frosting? I’m not quite sure how I feel about sour cream yet. Also, do you know of any alternative to xanthan gum?

  54. I’m quite afraid the next time you check out your analytics, you’re going to think I’m a stalker. It’s *sorta* true in that I seem to come to your site at least once a day! But I promise I am only stalking recipes :D I just get so excited by the idea of treats for my daughter that won’t cause a crazy dance with insulin. And we’re heading into the holidays, and I have some type 2s in my family, so now I’m all excited for an old school Christmas with a lot of the traditional stuff.

    ANYWAY, I made this cake tonight in practice. I was so pleased with the height and general texture! A little eggier than I think a cake should be, but that’s because I’m not used to almond flour (uh, rather, almond meal. For the holidays, I’ll splurge on the good flour, but for getting my baking feet wet with the recipes, I went a little less expensive). My daughter loved it, though, and that’s the point! I didn’t make the frosting, but it was quite lovely with whipped cream.

    Thanks so much for your blog. Truly.

    • Don’t worry, I don’t check individual IP addresses! ;) Glad you liked the cake. The egginess may be from using almond meal in place of almond flour, but I do understand the need to keep costs down!

  55. Ooh this looks good!! Imm more used to using coconut flour rather than almond flour (carbcount is lower I think) , but I think I have some in the cupboard. Went searching online for chocolate cupcakes today -been having cravings, but have to watch the blood sugar :-( also wanted to stay in ketosis yet still satisfy my far too prominent sweet tooth, lol.

    Im sure I cant substitute coconut flour for the almond flour, right? They behave differently if I remember correctly.

    How many cupcakes would this make? Id like to get it much less than 5 per serving :-)

    I also cant get swerve in norway, gotta check if iherb.com has it, but i do have a different brand, both granulated and powdered, so it should work ( dont have the patience to wait two weeks for delivery, lol)

    Thanks for the recipe! Cant wait to try it!

    • No, you wouldn’t be able to substitute coconut flour in here. I think it would make at least 16 cupcakes, if not more.

  56. I made this yesterday for my wife’s birthday (we are low-carbers), and it is AMAZING. She’s a very finniky eater when it comes to ‘food substitutes’ and she was blown away by how good it is!

    I made my own almond flour/milk and think I will leave the skin ON them next time, as the milk tasted like it was missing something.

  57. I made this for my husband’s 40th birthday. It was so good and reminded me of a cake my Granny used to make when I was a child!! This is probably the best chocolate cake I have eaten!!! We had folks over that do not avoid sugar, as we do, and 4 of the 6 chose this cake over the “other” one! I will be making this again! Thank you for all you do!!

  58. Is the “Stevia Extract” liquid stevia or powdered stevia? I see both for sale under the same name “stevia extract”. Thanks! Can’t wait till all my ingredients arrive in the mail! Hopefully this will be a good low-carb alternative for birthdays around here! :)

  59. Katherine says:

    Recently ordered and received the ingredients in the mail, and I just made this cake and had a slice- delicious!!! Thank you so much for showing me that I can have a “normal” cake for my birthday, when it comes around, instead of missing out or making some other low-carb dessert like cheesecake.

    I had “fine ground” almonds, which are not as fine-ground as almond flour, so I put it in my blender and I think that made it a more floury consistency. I think I followed all the other ingredients to the T.

    I pulled one cake out of the oven to stick a tooth-pick in at 28 minutes and it wasn’t quite done, but I left it out of the oven a little to long and it’s “poof” kind of deflated and stayed deflated. The cake in the other pan was fine and didn’t deflate at all when I pulled it out at 35 minutes. I couldn’t tell any adverse difference in taste/thickness/consistency though.

    The frosting was much too thick. I think mine would have been fine without any Xanthan Gum. Or maybe just less. The beater had a hard time whipping through it and it was hard to spread because it was so thick and sticky.

    I left it out all night instead of putting it in the fridge and it tasted amazing- much like a “regular” cake- and was a great consistency throughout. My frosting turned out much darker than the pictures here though- same color as the cake. So it didn’t look as pretty, but it sure tasted good! Thanks again!

    • Hi Katherine.

      So glad it met with expectations. I suspect the frosting difference might come down to different chocolate. What brand did you use? If yours was darker in colour and too thick, I think it must be the chocolate that’s the culprit.

  60. I made this cake today. It’s delicious, although I agree with @KFelix that leaving our coffee is best and I had to use a bit less cocoa and a lot more sweetener. I had trouble with the consistency of the frosting as well. The chocolate cream cheese frosting that you have linked to looks great! I am going to try that one next time.

    Overall, this is a great recipe. Thanks so much for posting it!

  61. Elizabeth says:

    I made this on Monday, and had some trouble with the actual cake batter. After mixing all of the ingredients together the batter was really dry and thick. I tried adding more almond milk, but it was still very thick and I had a hard time getting it into the pans. It came out of the oven a little dry. I actually had all the ingredients on hand, so I am not sure what was up . Any ideas?

    • A few questions: what brand of almond flour and what sweetener did you use? What brand/kind of cocoa powder?

      • I am using Hershey’s 100% cocoa, swerve granulated sweetner, and Mama’s Almond Flour (very finely ground). Thank you for the reply!

        • Hmmm. Never heard of Mama’s but if it’s finely ground, that’s good. Nothing jumps out at me here as to why it would be so thick and I’ve made this recipe a few times so I know it works. I think next time, up the amount of Greek yogurt OR add some melted butter and possibly another egg. The batter should be thicker than conventional cake batter (gluten-free always is), but it shouldn’t be so thick you can’t spread it.

          • Elizabeth says:

            I will try upping the greek yogurt next time I make it! ( I am absolutely going to finish this batch first) Thank you for the help!

  62. I don’t like sour cream frosting…. I’ve made it before and it just doesn’t do it for me. Do you have another good alternative frosting recipe I could use instead?

    • Plain chocolate buttercream would work. The one on the back of the Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder works really well with powdered Swerve!

  63. Hi Carolyn!

    I made the cake yesterday and I am very happy to say that it was great! The batter turned out to be exceptionally similar to wheat flour batter. I am a pretty talented low carb cook myself (my pizza crust fools my relatives ha ha) and I think this will be my go to for cake from now on. I doubt anyone could tell the batter is almond flour based unless they knew to check for it. I will say that the frosting turned out great texturally but the flavor was a bit off. However, thats my fault because I used straight Erythritol that I ground myself. The cooling effect was definitely too strong and it was a bit grainy but still good in moderate portions. Perhaps if I could have gotten it fully dissolved it would have been better. Also, for all of those that are having problems with the Xantham gum three tips: always use less than the recipe requires and check the viscosity yourself as you go along. Then add the rest if everything is still going well. Secondly, measure carefully! Xantham gum is very potent and even a small amount extra can give a rough, slimy texture to foods. Third, it is best to spread the xantham gun around, almost like sifting in order to keep it from clumping.

    • There’s a little trick with xantham (and other) gum. Use a little bit of olive oil (or other oil) to mix the gum in first. Then pour it into the batter. The oil holds the gum in suspension and thus disperses it, preventing lumps.

    • Yes, straight erythritol will give you that cooling effect. Great tips on the xanthan too. I should perhaps write that into the recipe, and give a range of amounts because I think it can differ depending on brand.

    • Brittanie says:

      Care to share your pizza recipe, if it can trick people it must be amazing!

  64. Sarah Miech says:

    That cake looks phenomenal! I also love the chocolate hazelnut cake. Thank you for giving me some options to stuck to my diet!

  65. Can someone tell me, in the frosting ingredients, it say “11/2 tsp. xantham gum”–this must
    be “1/2 tsp xantham gun” right?
    Leigh

  66. Thanks very much for posting this recipe, Carolyn! Recently gone low-carb and it’s been a struggle so far to satisfy my sweet tooth. Baked this cake today and OMG…just like everybody says, it is delicious. I happened to substitute a peanut butter cream cheese frosting for yours, and I used Sweet Leaf and Xylotol instead of erythitol, and it is incredible.

  67. Thanks very much for posting this recipe, Carolyn. Just like everybody said, it’s amazing. Been struggling with my sweet tooth on the new low-carb diet, and this is exactly the kind of dessert I was hoping to find. Amazingly good. I happened to substitute Sweet Leaf for pure Stevia and Xylitol for Erythritol, and picked up a peanut butter cream cheese frosting recipe from someone else I used, but it still is amazingly good!

  68. Jennifer says:

    This sounds amazing. I am wondering about the coffee…My husband hates coffee. Could I leave this out or is it important in the recipe? Is there any coffee flavor detectable?
    Thanks!!

  69. I made this for my birthday yesterday and it was AMAZING. I was a little worried about the texture since I’d read some of the comments about the Red’s almond flour/meal being too heavy, but I didn’t have any trouble with the at all. Thanks so much for this. I’ll be making this cake for me and all my low carb friends from here on out. :)

  70. Are all these ingredients available at regular grocery store? My wide and I are doing the low carb kick and i’ve never heard of alot of these ingredients. Its her birthday tomorrow and wanted to make her a cake. Thanks for any help.

  71. I don’t know what your local grocery store carries, but I doubt you will find powdered erythritol there. Almond flour maybe, and you could substitute Truvia where I do regular granulated Swerve. You may have to find a different way to make the frosting. Can I suggest a chocolate cream cheese frosting that doesn’t require a powdered sweetener for structure? Like this one, although you’d have to triple or quadruple it or even more, for the cake. http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2010/07/coconut-flour-cupcakes-with-chocolate-buttercream-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html

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