A Late Evening Snack: Flourless, Sugarless Chocolate Cake!

My mother found a recipe for a chocolate cake made without flour or sugar in some magazine and brought it to me and asked me to make it. This was for two reasons. The first is she wanted to try it. The second is that she knows that my system does not react well to flour, sugar, or other refined carbohydrates. So today I  took out the emergency tiara, the matching apron and oven mitts, and the wand and conducted an experiment with a little long distance collaboration with TaMara. Specifically, I don’t have a large food processor. I just don’t have use for one. And the recipe, as you’ll see below, calls for mixing everything together in a large food processor. After a couple of emails back and forth, I went with her recommendation to just use my stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Before I provide the recipe, this one has some interesting items in it. Specifically avocados. The cake batter gets three and the frosting gets two of them. Instead of cake flour or all purpose flour, it gets almond flour. And instead of sugar, this cake gets honey as the sweetener. I also added a bit of vanilla to the frosting even though the recipe doesn’t call for it, as well as adding an additional 1/4 cup of honey to the frosting as I thought it needed a bit more sweetness.

The cake is very rich. And it’s chocolateness is very rich. The texture is amazing, it is silky smooth. The flavor is a very deep chocolate with just a hint of sweetness. If you’re a dark chocolate fan, especially the dark chocolate that isn’t very sweet, then this cake is for you.

Here’s the recipe:


3 avocados mashed (this is 1 and 1/4 cups)
4 eggs
1 cup honey
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup almond flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or standing mixer using the whisk attachment until smooth. Divide the batter into two 9 inch cooking spray coated cake pans for 20 to 25 minutes until done. Cool completely before frosting.


2 fresh avocados mashed (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup honey (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used grapeseed oil as I don’t have any coconut oil)

Blend all ingredients in a standing mixer using the whisk attachment until smooth. Chill at least 30 minutes before spreading on cake. Makes 6-8 serving.

When I assembled the cake I used a good quality orange marmalade in between the layers and to crumb coat the top of the cake. The next time I make this I think I’m going to make an amaretto* flavored whipped cream for between the layers and to crumb coat the top. I’ll garnish a slice of the cake with that same whipped cream.

Here’s some pictures.

(Ready to be crumb coated and frosted)


(Crumb coated in orange marmalade and ready for frosting)

(Crumb coated in orange marmalade and ready for frosting)

(Frosted and ready to serve)

Bon apetit!

We are off the strainer and through the cutting board…

Open thread!

* You can use the liqueur of your choice: amaretto, Bailey’s, kahluah, whatever you prefer. Or you could just flavor the whipped cream with almond extract. Or orange extract. Or lemon extract. All of those would pair very well with this cake.

70 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    That there looks damn good.

    I recall flourless chocolate tortes that used ground nuts instead but avocado, not so much. This one is a different path, but looks like we all need to come over, stat, for the formal tasting.

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    It appears Sinclair Broadcasting gave a young reporter an early Christmas present by canning her in lieu of keeping her on staff and continuing health coverage as she fights cancer. They seem nice.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Woo-hoo! UPS just dropped off package with new keyboard.

    Though joints are so stiff today (weather related) that am afraid if I do manage to get on the knees and skooch under the desk, may not be able to get up again.


    Kahlua (with the capital k. it’s a brand name).

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: It is very deeply rich in its chocolateness.

  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Your pics convey that well enough to have me considering skipping dinner and going straight to dessert. If only we had something vaguely similar on hand.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: Sorry…

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    3 avocados mashed (this is 1 and 1/4 cups)

    Midget avocados in Florida, huh? Can get that much from a singleton picked from the tree in backyard.


  8. 8
    debbie says:

    I’ve made chocolate pudding using avocados. Seems like a waste of perfectly good avocados to me, but then sugar and flour don’t bother me.

    When I make flourless tortes (ground almonds), I brush the cake with Kahlua before icing instead of adding it to the whipped cream. That way, I fool myself into thinking I’m virtuous and saving calories by passing on the whipped cream.

  9. 9
    Kdaug says:

    Or skip the damned cake, put on some coffee, and crack a couple bottles of Bailey’s

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Have tried substituting with avocados in chocolate cake recipes. There’s something about the mouth feel personally find offputting. Discovered from trial and error that a couple of healthy splashes of (of all things) Dr. Pepper in the batter helps with that.

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    Though joints are so stiff today (weather related) that am afraid if I do manage to get on the knees and skooch under the desk, may not be able to get up again.

    I’m young and sometimes I ache when the weather gets really weird/bad. I stand a lot so my legs get stiff sometimes too.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: The mouthfeel of this one is akin to that of silk pie.

  13. 13
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    The first picture almost looks like a fresh chocolate brownie. I don’t particularly like most ice cream, but I’m sure that cake would go great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    Awesome job! I’m like pie better than cake but I’d definitely try to make this.

    I’ve also noticed that people are trying to get away from sugar in general. It makes sense that honey would be a good natural substitute (though sugar itself is natural as well..).

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    1) Get off all of our lawns!
    2) Turn down that damn music!

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I think it would go very well with ice cream.

  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    Looks delicious. A friend of mine made a chocolate cake with eggplants in it. It was very good and you couldn’t taste the eggplant particularly. I always think it’s good to let people know if an unexpected ingredient is in something because some people may have an allergy.

  17. 17
    Another Scott says:

    Crumb coating?? What’s that? (Too lazy to Google, and hearing it directly from a chef seems better.)

    Looks yummy.



  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @trollhattan: Wonkette had a good write up on this abomination of human resources. MBAs rule, actual leaders drool at Sinclair.

    Oh, and Adam, it looks scrumptious!

  19. 19
    divF says:

    Lovely – I’m going to have to give it a try. We have a friend with serious gluten issues, so this would be a nice treat for him. I made oat flour shortbread for him for Christmas, and it turned out quite well.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: When you frost a cake, a crumb coating is a layer of frosting, or in this case marmalade, that serves as a buffer between the frosting or the fondant and the top and sides of the cake. Many cakes, especially professionally done cakes, even those done in standard shapes, are trimmed before frosting. This is to achieve a uniform flat top and uniformly smooth sides. When a cake is trimmed it exposes crumbs, which can and will integrate into frosting when being frosted or create an uneven texture if you’re using fondant. So to avoid this the top and sides of a cake are given a coat of frosting, think of it as frosting primer, so that the cake can be finished in a manner, whether frosted, covered in ganache, and/or covered in fondant, that is smooth and uniform. And this frosting primer is called a crumb coat.

  21. 21
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    1) Get off all of our lawns!
    2) Turn down that damn music!

    Make me Old Man Silverman! Try not a break a hip ; )

  22. 22
    Momus says:

    Honey isn’t sugar? Who knew?

  23. 23
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Especially fresh out of the oven, while it was still warm.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: You can’t taste the avocado at all.

    I have all guests sign a release of liability before I serve food.//

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Momus: It isn’t cane sugar.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: You can’t frost it warm. You have to let the cakes cool or the frosting will slide off, rather than stick.

  27. 27
    Wag says:

    That looks great. I’ll try it for my son with celiac.

    Our go to cake is a Spanish almond flour tart that’s super easy, so long as you have a kitchen scale. Three ingredients, and delicious
    Weight 3 eggs, then crack into a bowl
    Weight out sugar to the same weight of the eggs and add to the eggs
    Do the same with almond flour
    Stir the three ingredients together, and pour the batter into a tart pan greased with olive oil, and bake at 350 until done. Sift powdered sugar on top and serve with fresh fruit.

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    Oh man that cake looks divine. I imagine the mouth feel is related to the configuration of the lipids in the avocados vs butter vs oil. Works better in puddings, but this looks pudding-like.

    Also: will try once I can find some ripe avocados. They’re shipping too early these days.

  29. 29

    I am always available for a consult. Can’t wait to try this.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: The mouth feel was akin to silk pie. It was very, very smooth.

  31. 31
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    That’s too bad. I didn’t read the entire recipe so I missed that. BTW, what does Bailey’s taste like? I’ve been mulling over buying a bottle of it anyway since I see a lot of people buying it.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    Anyone who is sensitive to FODMAPs should substitute maple syrup or golden syrup for the honey, because fructose is a FODMAP. And probably cut back on the avocados a bit, too.

    If you think you’re “gluten intolerant” but your doctor says you don’t have celiac or Crohn’s, your problem is probably with the carbohydrate in wheat, not the gluten, which means you have a FODMAP issue.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is a warm cake with big gobs of frosting around the edge, and ice cream on top, an acceptable variation? Asking for a friend who would definitely not use that as an excuse to scarf up gobs of chocolate frosting and stuff it down his or her gullet.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @Wag: Spanish equivalent of a pound cake? also looks way open to adaptation.

  35. 35

    @Adam L Silverman: 1) Get off all of our lawns!
    2) Turn down that damn music!

    Damn kids!

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: My two cents is that Bailey’s tastes like sugary goop with some booze in it. Beyond that, hard to pin down.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: In this case I figured I’d follow the instructions…

    But golden syrup or maple syrup would work well.

  38. 38
    RedDirtGirl says:

    I’ve made chocolate truffles that use cocoa and mashed avocado. I forget what the sweetener was. Quite delish.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: I’m not the food police. Also, I’m not going to judge you. Or, at least, I’m going to claim I’m not going to judge you.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:


    Would be moderately interesting to stage a taste taste of cakes made using different types of avocado. Presume Adam used Hass avocados.

  41. 41
    Wag says:

    Yes. I’ll use the microplane to shave lemon zest into the batter, which is nice, especially if you top it off with blueberries.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I did use Haas avocados.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I think that maple or golden syrup should be a 1:1 substitution for honey, but TaMara may need to make an official ruling.

    My friend who has weird allergies may have finally figured out why she can’t have even lactose-free milk but is not allergic to the milk protein that commonly causes allergies. Apparently there’s a protein that’s shared by milk and coconut oil and that’s the one she reacts to when she eats a milk product. As always, she discovered this unusual allergy the hard way and had to use her EpiPen.

    (I’m sure I got something medically wrong in my recounting, but it was definitely something common between milk and coconut oil that she is allergic to.)

  44. 44
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    My two cents is that Bailey’s tastes like sugary goop with some booze in it.

    Beyond that, hard to pin down.

    Methinks this is sarcasm. The second sentence that is.

  45. 45
    Duane says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I’m like pie made me laugh out loud. Still smiling. Thanks man.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    Used to make a kickbutt batch of rum balls, both chocolate and espresso, annually at New Year’s. Advancement of arthritis pretty much put the kibosh to that. Somewhere in the back of a cupboard linger still containers of different colored sugars to roll them in.

  47. 47
    HarlequinGnoll says:

    Sounds perfect for mom (fresh from the allergic-doctor) except I’d need to also find something to replace the eggs (and can’t use bananas) ><.

  48. 48
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    LOL. Next you’ll be saying “I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been you damn meddling kids!”


    I aim to please : )

  49. 49
    ljt says:

    Have made this no flour, no sugar carrot cake several times to rave reviews, modified as follows (I usually make 6″ vs 9″ double layer):

    1. Cut batter recipe in half and used 2 6″ pans, instead of 9″ pans.
    2. Used 1/2 melted coconut oil and 1/2 melted butter instead of all coconut oil (1/4 cup each for 6″ cake, 1/2 cup each for 9″ cake).
    3. To make date paste, place 5 (or 10) pitted dates in a microwave-safe bowl, and pour 1 1/2 (or 3) tablespoons of water over the dates. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds and mash with a fork. Add another 1/2 (or 1) tablespoon water, microwave for another 30 seconds, and mash again. Add 1/2 (or 1) tablespoon pure maple syrup, and continue to mash and stir until mixture is an even consistency.
    4. Add 1/2 (or full) can of drained crushed pineapple along with carrots.
    5. Prep pans by spraying/coating with coconut oil, then line with parchment paper and spray/coat again. (I made one time without the parchment paper and couldn’t remove from pans without crumbling.)

    Cream Cheese Frosting recipe here:
    I used 3/4 to frost 6″ cake:
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp maple syrup
    12 oz cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks)
    about 1 to 1 1/2 Tblsp grated ginger root

    Seriously good carrot cake. The ginger in the cream cheese frosting is amazing.

  50. 50
    NotMax says:


    Would take some experimentation but might be able to adapt the recipe for an eggless Depression Cake.

  51. 51
    JaySinWA says:

    @jl: I was thinking Bailey’s taste might be described as similar Jamocha ice cream or a Jamocha shake. Sort of coffee, chocolate and cream.

  52. 52
    Gravenstone says:

    @Mnemosyne: Hate to break it to you, but golden syrup is just sucrose that has been rendered back into its constituent monosaccharides – glucose and fructose. So if you’re using that to reduce your fructose intake, you’re doing it wrong.

  53. 53
    Suzanne says:

    I made tiramisu last week, and used Disaranno. It was fabulous. Planning to do bananas Foster for New Year’s. Last night, I did an apple tarte tatin, and it was great, but now I’m thinking about how to make it boozy.

  54. 54
    JaySinWA says:

    @JaySinWA: Yep, here’s a recipe for Bailey’s (not one I necessarily recommend.)

  55. 55
    Suzanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I like Bailey’s in coffee. Also good in a milkshake. Don’t generally like drinking it by itself.

  56. 56
    Juice Box says:

    @HarlequinGnoll: If your mom can’t tolerate bananas because of latex cross-reactivity, she can’t tolerate avocados either.

    I will put in a recommendation for Trader Joe’s Teeny Tiny avocados, 6 for $3 on my last visit. Most of them seem to have been failed pollination with tiny, defective pits and lots of meat. Quite the bargain. I would rather eat them mashed on toast, though.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s excess fructose (ie more fructose than glucose) that causes issues for most people. If there are equal amounts of both — like, say, the makeup of sucrose — it’s usually not a problem.

    Monash University in Australia probably has a breakdown of the actual science available somewhere on their website since they’re doing a lot of the published FODMAPs research right now, but that’s how this non-scientist understood it.

  58. 58
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    If it has vegetables in it, it’s not dessert.

    I had leftovers of this fantastic apple-cranberry tart I made yesterday. It’s become my go-to pie for the holidays. Not a recipe for beginners, but so, so good.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    Does it help that avocados are actually fruits? They grow on trees and have a seed in the center, so they’re fruits.

    Also: carrot cake. Fight me.

  60. 60
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Mnemosyne: Carrot cake comes with cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese is closely affiliated with bagels. Bagels are a breakfast food. Ergo, carrot cake is breakfast. Fight me.

    Yay, food fight!

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice

    Bagels are a breakfast food.

    Say what, now?

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Good googley moogley!
    A chocolate cake…..
    That is sugarless….
    But edible?
    My brain needs time to process that😏

  63. 63
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Momus: I know, right?

    I’m sure it’s a perhaps somewhat odd deliciousness, but c’mon: fruits have sugars. Honey IS sugars. Jams and preserves are loaded with sugar. Don’t even get started with ‘sugarless’ talk with almost two CUPS of honey and marmalade in one cake. It’s a flourless cake with a crapload of sugar in it. There’s more than a gram of sugar in even the avocados alone, which aren’t a particularly high-sugar fruit.

  64. 64
    satby says:

    @Chris Johnson: when they call a recipe “no sugar” they mean no refined white sugar. Because unless they’re substituting with something like stevia, all the fruit and syrupy substitutes are sugars too, just not refined white sugar. They all metabolize the same, so I don’t really see the point either. But we do all need to eat less sugar in general and at least the substitutes have trace additional nutrients.

  65. 65
    evodevo says:

    @satby: Yes. This. People have totally forgotten their high school chem or whatever. Sugar carbohydrates are just various mixtures of monosaccharides…. fructose (“grape sugar”), glucose, galactose, etc. You can absorb monosaccharides directly from the intestine, but disaccharides and other complex sugars have to be broken down to be absorbed. Honey is fructose + glucose; lactose (milk sugar) is glucose + galactose; etc. etc.

  66. 66
    Retr2327 says:

    @NotMax: okay. What kind of trial and error leads to adding Dr. Pepper?

  67. 67
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @trollhattan: That’s about (far) right for Stinklayer Boredcasting, which is run by human-buzzard hybrids occasionally capable of decency, but only if your net worth is in the stratosphere.

    Refresh my memory – does COBRA still exist? If so she can get 18 months of coverage at 10% over prior premiums, & that’s something. (I had to avail myself of this charming snake when I was punched out just after my 62nd birthday – but it still left me 15 month short of Medicare.)

  68. 68

    Chocolate cake made of AVOCADOS?!?!?!

  69. 69
    LaurenR says:

    @Momus: yes full of fructose and glucose.

  70. 70
    pluky says:

    @Momus: Honey is primarily glucose and fructose, with slightly more of the latter. Table sugar is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. In short, your skepticism is warranted.

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