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September 27, 2022

by Alyssa

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

This Flourless Chocolate Cake is the best of both worlds: it's packed with rich chocolaty sweetness, but also protein! What could be better than a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe that's moist, rich, and delicious, but also healthy?

A flourless dark chocolate cake

This luxurious dark chocolate cake is unlike most recipes you'll find. It's as rich as any chocolate cake recipe, but also healthy! This cake is gluten-free and dairy-free, and uses quinoa to create a decadent dessert that's popping with flavor.

Prior to my life as a healthy gluten-free girl, I loved baking cakes. Cake out of a box topped with delicious funfetti icing was my thing. I am happy to say that I've put those times behind me and have discovered the new, glorious world of gluten-free cake baking. Baking a gluten-free cake from scratch isn't just healthier, but it's a lot more satisfying and delicious, too.

A slice of flourless dark chocolate cake on a plate

My flourless dark chocolate cake recipe is perfect for someone who is just trying out gluten-free cooking. It's an easy recipe, and the cake doesn't taste like it's missing flour. Quinoa is the secret ingredient and brings superpower health qualities as well as an amazing flavor. The nutty flavor of the quinoa really complements the dark chocolate! If you've been hesitant to dip your toes into gluten-free baking, this moist, protein-packed recipe is a great place to start.

Gluten-free cooking is easy, healthy and fun. Enjoy it!

What You'll Need

This dark chocolate cake recipe has some unique ingredients. They all work well together to create a dessert that's both healthy and irresistible for chocolate lovers. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom to see the exact measurements for each ingredient.

  • White quinoa – The quinoa is what makes this a gluten-free cake recipe, as it takes the place of the flour.
  • Coconut cream – Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk, and will make the cake a little bit more fudge-like.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract – Always try to find a vanilla extract that is 100% extract and contains no artificial flavors.
  • Melted vegan butter – Make sure you cool the vegan butter before using it.
  • Sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper – Don't worry, the cayenne won't make your cake too spicy. It just adds a little heat that complements the dark chocolate.

How to Make Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

This gluten-free cake has a complex flavor, but it's very straightforward to make. Here's what you'll do.

  • Prep your work station. Set the oven to 350F, then grease your cake pan and add parchment paper to the bottom of the pan.
  • Prepare the quinoa. Cook your dry white quinoa on a stove top.
Quinoa in a pot for flourless dark chocolate cake
  • Mix the wet ingredients. Use a food processor to combine the coconut cream, eggs, vanilla, quinoa, and vegan butter.
The wet ingredients for flourless dark chocolate cake in the food processor
  • Add the dry ingredients. Mix the sugar, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cayenne pepper with the wet ingredients. Combine until the batter is smooth. At this point you can taste the batter to see if it needs more cayenne.
Flourless dark chocolate cake batter in the food processor before and after being mixed
  • Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake the cake for 27-33 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake, it's done.
Flourless dark chocolate cake batter
  • Cool and serve. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. Serve with your favorite toppings.
A flourless dark chocolate cake with a slice removed

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cake

These tips will ensure that your flourless dark chocolate cake comes out perfectly each time.

  • Don't over bake. The residual heat in the cake will bake it for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven. It's fine if the middle of the cake looks a little soft, as long as a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. It will firm up as it cools.
  • Don't over mix. When mixing the ingredients in the food processor, make sure you don't over mix. Use the food processor to combine all of the ingredients together, but don't use it for much longer than is necessary. If you over mix your ingredients, they can begin to separate or change texture.
  • Cool the ingredients before using them. This recipe calls for melted vegan butter and freshly-cooked quinoa. For best results, make sure both of those ingredients have cooled to room temperature before making the batter. If you make the batter while these ingredients are still hot, they could begin to cook other ingredients and disrupt the texture.

How to Serve

This gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cake is fantastic on its own, but you can have fun with it by adding toppings. I like to sprinkle mine with some cinnamon, cocoa powder, or powdered sugar. Adding fresh fruit is a great touch, because the fruit will cut the richness of the dark chocolate. I recommend fresh berries! And of course, chocolate cake and ice cream is a timeless combination, and this dessert goes wonderfully with vegan banana ice cream or coconut whipped cream.

A bite of flourless dark chocolate cake on a fork

How to Store

It's best to store this healthy dark chocolate cake at room temperature, as it will harden a bit in the fridge. If you put the cake in an airtight container, it will last for 1-2 days. You can place it in the oven set to a low temperature if you want to re-heat it before eating the leftovers.

Can This Cake Be Frozen?

You can store this chocolate cake in the freezer for 4-6 months. For best results, wrap it in plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn, and then place the cake in an airtight bag. Take the cake out of the freezer ahead of time, so that it can thaw at room temperature.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This Flourless Chocolate Cake is the best of both worlds: it's packed with rich chocolaty sweetness, but also protein! What could be better than a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe that's moist, rich, and delicious, but also healthy?
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 33 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 254kcal
Author Alyssa
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Aerial view of a bite of flourless dark chocolate cake on a fork
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  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" round or square cake pan and line with parchment paper. 
  • In a medium pot, combine the quinoa and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and cool. 
  • In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the cooled quinoa, coconut cream, eggs, vanilla, and butter until smooth. 
  • Add the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using). Blend until smooth and thick, like brownie batter, scraping down the sides as necessary to incorporate fully. Take a little taste to test the spice level. If you want more heat, spice it up with a little more cayenne.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 27-33 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm and top with fresh fruit, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, cocoa powder, or powdered sugar. 


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I want to try this! Also have a question about substitutes: will regular unsalted butter yield the same results? (And would also love to use coconut sugar. Plz advise). Thx much!

  2. Hi. This recipe sounds amazing! I do have a question. Is it ok to replace melted no-soy vegan butter with melted coconut oil and replace the cane sugar with coconut sugar? As an FYI, I am on a doctor ordered anti-inflammatory diet and that means as a minimum, gluten, dairy and sugar free lifestyle. After 6-weeks, I have started feeling a tiny bit better! Thank you for having such an amazing website. Keep up the great work!

  3. I am in love with this cake! Thank you so much! Can you tell me – how well does this keep? Best to refrigerate? That is, if it lasts that long…

    • I would say yes, the fridge would be best. But I think it could also be stored in a cake container on the counter 🙂 So happy you like it!

  4. Nicely done!

    I see we are neighbors, I know exactly what you mean about becoming best friends with your kitchen during cold New England winters!


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