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 a paleo friendly 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 paleo chocolate 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 nut-free (perfect for school lunch boxes), super 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.
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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 cake-y, 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.
Below are some step-by-step picture intstructions on how to make this paleo chocolate cake, and the full recipe is below.
While you’re preheating the oven, you can melt the coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl. Whisk in the cacao powder and the sweetener of choice and set aside. Then separate the egg whites from egg yolks and whip the egg whites to stiff peaks (more details in the full recipe below).
When mixing in 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.
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.
- ⅓ 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 tp 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.