Dark Chocolate Almond Flour Cake with Espresso Frosting

Triple layers dark chocolate almond flour cake with espresso frosting made gluten free, dairy free and with a keto alternative. This easy chocolate cake recipe is perfect for any coffee lover!

A slice of chocolate almond flour cake

Chocolate cake and coffee? Is there a better combination?

My guess is no! I’m obsessed with chocolate as we all know, that’s why I had to make a chocolate cake with hints of espresso which come through in the frosting.

I took one of my favorite almond flour cake recipes and used it as a base recipe for this espresso lover’s dream cake.


A slice of chocolate almond flour cake
A slice of chocolate almond flour cake

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Chocolate Almond Flour Cake

  • almond flour – I used a finely ground almond flour. You could also use a hazelnut flour but you cannot substitute any other flour in this recipe.
  • unsweetened cocoa powder & unsweetened special dark cocoa powder – you can use all regular cocoa powder if you can’t find special dark. Keep in mind the color will not the same.
  • baking soda – this acts as a leavening agent to help the cake rise
  • salt – salt enhances the flavors of the cake
  • organic eggs
  • applesauce – the original recipe I made called for 6 eggs so when I updated the recipe, I subbed applesauce for two of them to make it a more approachable recipe. If you don’t have applesauce on hand, use 2 eggs in its place.
  • coconut oil – the oil will keep the chocolate cake moist
  • vanilla extract
  • coconut sugar – you can use any granulated sweetener you like as well as erythritol for keto
  • almond milk – or any nut milk
  • espresso powder – you can find this in the baking section of the grocery store or near the coffee.
  • organic powdered sugar–  sugars provide not just the sweetness of the cake but the overall texture as well.
A slice of chocolate almond flour cake

Baking with almond flour

Do cakes with almond flour rise?

Yes, when combined with the right ingredients, your almond flour cake will rise just fine. This recipe calls for baking soda as a leavening agent which helps the cake rise and creates a tender crumb.

Does almond flour make a cake moist?

Almond flour is high in fat which helps to ensure your cake is moist and tender.

Can almond flour replace all purpose flour?

I found that you cannot replace almond flour with all purpose flour with having to adjust other ingredients such as eggs or other liquids.

More chocolate cake recipes to love

Here are a few of my favorite chocolate cake recipes on my blog. I know you will love them as much as I do!

Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Cake

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Small Batch Chocolate Cake Donuts

Print Recipe
4 from 12 votes

Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe with Espresso Frosting

Decadent chocolate almond flour cake topped with a rich espresso buttercream frosting made gluten free, dairy free and a keto option!
Pin Recipe
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time28 minutes
Total Time58 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond flour, cake, chocolate, espresso
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 471kcal
Author: Ciarra Siller


  • Mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • 6-inch cake pans


  • 3 cups almond flour finely ground
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened special dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 organic eggs room temperature
  • cup apple sauce unsweetened
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or granulated sweetener of choice erythritol for keto
  • 1 cup almond milk room temperature

for the frosting

  • ¼ cup vegan butter soft
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almond milk warm
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar powdered erythritol for keto
  • sprinkles optional


for the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare three 6-inch round pans with parchment paper on the bottom and non-stick spray. 
  • Sift together the almond flour, cocoa powders, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and stir until combined. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple sauce, coconut oil, vanilla and coconut sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until to combine while adding the almond milk. Distribute the batter between the cake to the pans. Bake for 24-28 minutes or until cooked through. 

for the frosting

  • In a small bowl, stir together the hot water and espresso powder until espresso dissolves. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy using a handheld mixer. Add in the milk, vanilla and espresso mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach frosting consistency. The frosting should be very thick but still spreadable. PRO TIP: Placing the frosting in the refrigerator for 10 minutes will make it more pliable before frosting the cake.

assemble the cake

  • Once cakes are cool, place first layer on cake plate. Spread about ½ cup of frosting on top in an even layer. Add the second layer and add another ½ cup of frosting on top in an even layer. Add final layer of cake on top and frost the outside of the cake. Top with sprinkles if desired.

Let Us Know What You Think!

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5 years ago

Do you have nutrition info for any of these recipes. Just thought maybe I missed it. Thanks, looks delicious!

4 years ago

Are flax eggs ok for that recipe? 😊

4 years ago

Have you ever made these cupcakes?

1 year ago

5 stars
I just made this gluten-free, dairy free, almond flour chocolate layer cake with espresso icing for my daughter’s 25th birthday. She is newly GF, and sometimes struggles finding recipes especially like this. She said it was the best, most moist chocolate cake she has ever had, and not just GF! She was actually looking for something with which to find fault. There was nothing at all. Just deliciousness. How to make a mom happy!! Not just that, Ciarra could not have been more helpful and gracious (I had a lot of questions). My daughter and I will both be back to this site again and again.

1 year ago

Hi! I cannot eat apples at all, in any form. And I dislike using 6 eggs for a baking recipe. Would plain pumpkin puree work in its place? Thank you!

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I'm Ciarra

Welcome to Peanut Butter Plus Chocolate, where I share indulgent dessert recipes. Here you can find healthier versions of your favorite desserts.



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