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Made with carob, this AIP “Chocolate” Cake or Cupcakes makes an easy and special dessert for any occasion! You’ll love the easy-to-grab AIP baking ingredients in this recipe, nothing fancy or complicated. It’s a one-bowl recipe to keep life and special treats uncomplicated.
Even though my family loves chocolate, they were VERY enthusiastic about this carob-based cake! I made the recipe many times, as both cake and cupcakes to make sure it was perfect for you, my readers, and my family was in that happy “cake-place” — delighting in this treat.
In our opinion, there is nothing quite like great cake with frosting!
Ingredients in AIP Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes
The dry ingredients in AIP Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes are:
- tiger nut flour
- tapioca flour
- coconut flour
- carob powder
- gelatin — Used in egg-free baked goods in place of eggs, you can’t omit this ingredient.
- baking soda and sea salt
The wet ingredients are:
- olive oil or avocado oil
- maple syrup
- balsamic vinegar — This ingredient might seem strange, but the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to create the rise during baking. You could probably use apple cider vinegar in its place, if you prefer, but I like the idea of dark, rich balsamic with chocolate instead of apple.
How to make AIP Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes
AIP Chocolate Cake is a one bowl recipe — woot! That means it’s easy and fast to assemble.
- Start this recipe by placing all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, water and vinegar.
- Use a fork or electric beaters to mix the ingredients together.
- Scrape into prepared pan or muffin pan, and bake!
The recipe bakes for about 15 to 20 minutes for cupcakes, and about 25 minutes to create a small cake.
AIP Chocolate Cake makes 5 to 6 cupcakes (I like to make mine a bit bigger, so I make 5). Or, it makes one small cake to easily feed 6 people.
I use a 7″x 2″ round cake pan or the equivalent similar-size square baking dish. If your square cake pan is a bit larger, your cake will be thin, like in the photo below. Still delicious!
How to make a bigger cake or a double decker layer cake
The small cake is nice for AIP, since desserts are not supposed to dominate the diet.
But if you need a cake to feed more people or you want more leftovers, please make the cake twice, in 2 separate bowls. Do not double the recipe, because that often changes the chemistry of the ingredients, and you won’t get the same outcome.
It’s very easy to just have two bowls and measure everything twice, but into two separate bowls.
Usually when I make cake, cupcake or muffin recipes, I like the baked outcome to be slightly mounded, which can reflect the right crumb inside. But this recipe is one exception. The baked batter will be higher around the edges and slightly lower in the middle.
The only reason I allow this with this recipe is because the cake is great. If I didn’t love the texture of the finished cake, I’d keep working on the recipe until it puffed up and stayed mounded. SO — expect that, and know that’s it okay and good!
In fact, it can be fun to fill that cavity with raspberry jam or fresh raspberries, or ganache … more on that below!
How to store leftover cake or cupcakes
The best way to store cake is to refrigerate it. Cold cake is delicious! And cold frosting is mmm-mmm, yummy.
So, just wrap up leftovers, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Toppings and ways to serve AIP Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes
I created a special AIP “Chocolate” Ganache frosting JUST for this cake recipe — but also for other uses. The Ganache turned out so nicely! It’s absolutely chocolatey, smooth and versatile. It whips up creamy, billowy, light and rich.
Paired with this cake, you have a classic, special Chocolate Cake recipe for all of your celebrations or times you need an excellent treat.
You may also serve AIP Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes with:
- fresh raspberries or strawberries
- coconut whipped cream
- ice cream
- or by itself
Lastly, if you make this batter into cupcakes, it’s very special to top the cupcakes with raspberry jam (or other favorite jam), then top all with a piping of AIP Chocolate Ganache! Fabulous and pretty for a holiday dessert or anyone who loves chocolate and raspberries together.
AIP Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes (Paleo | egg-free)
- cake pan or cupcake pan
- ¾ cup + 1 Tablespoon tiger nut flour
- ⅓ cup olive oil or avocado oil
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or coconut sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup carob powder
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour /starch
- 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 Tablespoon gelatin use link and DISCOUNT code BEAUTIFUL10 at checkout for 10% off your entire order
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda sifted
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Depending on the size and shape of your cake: Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment, and grease the sides. Or place muffin liners into cupcake pan. Set aside.
- Into large bowl, place dry ingredients: tiger nut flour, carob powder, tapioca flour, coconut flour, gelatin, baking soda and sea salt.
- Add wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, water and vinegar. Stir well with a fork, or use electric beaters on medium speed to combine.
- Scrape into prepared cake pan or muffin pan, and bake: check for doneness after 15 minutes for cupcakes. Check for doneness at 25 minutes for cake.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting. Find AIP Chocolate Ganache frosting HERE.
If we are OK with eggs, do we sub 1 egg for the gelatin?
Hi Bonnie, great question. I haven’t made this recipe with eggs because I recipe tested it for AIP. But I’d be happy to try that for you, or let me know if you try it before I comment back again. Yes, one egg would be the amount to try, but I’ll need to make sure it doesn’t change the moisture balance. Otherwise, if you keep gelatin on hand, you’ll never miss the egg. The recipe is wonderful as-is even for egg eaters. 🙂
That is so kind! And yes I will let you know if test this before I hear back from you. Thank you for all your gifts of yummy-ness
Hi Bonnie, you’re welcome. 🙂 I tried today, but I should have waited: I was short on carob, so used part cocoa. Now I need to try again with the carob! 😉 I think cocoa makes a slightly drier cake, and I want to be sure about the variables. I’ll get back to you soon! 😉
Hi Bonnie, so the egg won’t sub in easily. I’ve tried twice now, and it’s a more complicated ratio to get the moistness of the original cake. My results the second time were a bit too crumbly, while still being moist. I’d need to make 3 or so more cakes to get it just right. With gelatin being healthy, seems the best thing to do is make the recipe as-is, without the egg! 🙂 I hope you can do that and enjoy it!
BeLinda Engler says
I made this in the spring-form pan that goes to my quick cooker, it was the perfect size. I added some AIP approved nonalcoholic vanilla to the cake and the frosting. I also used honey in the frosting as it was convenient at the time. I was very pleased and got 8 slices instead of 6. I will make this again❣️ I garnish with raspberries. It was perfect
Great to hear, BeLinda! Thanks so much for sharing, and so happy you enjoyed the cake and will make it again. 🙂
Can this recipe be made with cocoa powder if we don’t have carob on hand (and don’t have a need to eliminate chocolate)?
Would the amount of cocoa powder be the same as the amount of carob powder the recipe calls for?
Hi Joy, probably, but I suspect that cocoa makes a slightly drier cake, and that carob is naturally a bit moister. So I wouldn’t feel comfortable making the substitution without checking to be sure first.
I just made cupcakes using cocoa and no other substitutions. The came out fantastic! The are lighter than any egg-free cake I’ve tried.
Great, Cathy, thank you for letting us know, and so happy you loved the recipe! 🙂
Jay Kay says
I made these cupcakes last night and subbed in cocoa – These are delicious! And so easy. I am a beginner baker and I am used to things not turning out great the first time I make them but this recipe is perfect. Thank you!
Terrific, Jay, so happy to hear this, and thank you for sharing your results! Great that the recipe was so easy for you! 🙂
I’ve tried other egg-free, grain-free recipes of yours, and somehow the baking always takes about double the time it takes you! What factors should I consider when troubleshooting?
Hi Joy, you might consider getting an oven thermometer, to make sure your oven is the same temperature it says it is. Mine is quite off, so I go off of my thermometer, not what my oven temp says. Other than that, usually the toothpick test works well to make sure the center is cooked through. The edges should look darker, raised and dryer, and the toothpick should either come out dry or with tiny crumbs adhering to it, not wet. Also the center should be slightly firm to the touch, not too soft. I hope that helps!! 🙂
Victoria Bond says
What can I use instead of balsamic vinegar? Will Apple Cider Vinegar work in equal quantities,? thanks for a great recipe, can’t wait to try it
Hi Victoria, yes, ACV will work great! You’re welcome, and happy baking/eating! 🙂
Antonieta Peregrino says
I made this recipe using organic cocoa powder and it worked very well. I made cupcakes instead of a cake and they were moist and delicious. Will make this recipe again for sure.
Great!!! That’s really helpful to know about cocoa. I wasn’t sure if the recipe would be less moist with it. Thanks for sharing that, and I’m so happy you loved the cupcakes! 🙂
Sarabeth Matilsky says
You are so amazing!!! This was just exactly the recipe to liven up our Sunday. Thank you so much for your fantastically inventive mind.
I used your cake recipe, and doubled it (it worked great). We had such a beautiful layer cake! Leftovers were, as you said, wonderful the next day.
Great, Sarabeth!! I’m so glad! Layer cakes are so special. I’m glad to know the recipe doubles fine. Thank you for sharing your experience! 🙂
Sarabeth Matilsky says
(I should have clarified: I doubled it _as you specified_, using two bowls/batches, which worked well) ?
Okay, great to know! Thank you for clarifying! 🙂
Kristy P. says
I do not have any tiger nut flour and would like to make this recipe before I can get my hands on some! Is there a flour I can substitute for the tiger nut flour?
Hi Kristy! I don’t think so, sadly. Tiger nut flour is unique because it makes egg-free baked goods possible. There’s just nothing else like it. Are you hoping for an egg-free recipe or specifically carob? Because I’ve eaten eggs and cocoa with you 😉 I’ll link here to another option you might consider: https://eatbeautiful.net/paleo-aip-easy-caramel-sauce/#wprm-recipe-container-11232 It’s a chocolate cupcake that could also be made into a full cake … attached to a caramel sauce recipe. Maybe that batter will suit your needs? At least the flours in it are more basic to most pantries… But I also hope you can get some tiger nut flour for soon! 🙂
Kristy P. says
Thank you for the alternate recipe! I will try that one! I was just taken in with those beautiful, scrumptious looking pictures on this recipe and thought I needed to give it a try, which I will someday! I always love making your recipes because I know they are tried and true to perfection before they hit the web! 🙂
Thank you sweet friend! I wish I could just hand you some tiger nut flour! ( ˘ ³˘)♥
Jessica B says
I have not tried this recipe yet but I will say we often substitute almond flour for tigernut flour as they seem to bind and absorb in a similar way. Just my experience. I will let you know if I try it in this recipe.
Great, Jessica, that’s really helpful; thank you.
Hello! I’d love love love to try this, but is there any way to make it completely sugar-free (no maple syrup/coconut sugar)? I used to sub in bananas when recipes called for maple syrup, but I’ve become so sensitive to sugars that I can’t even do that anymore 🙁 Mashed sweet potato or stevia or monk fruit powder seem to be my only options at this point, and I have some stevia powder on hand. If I try using that instead, do you have any idea how much I might need, and/or what else I would need to tweak to compensate for the absence of the sugar/syrup? Thanks for any thoughts, and for your inspiring recipes 🙂
Hi Allison, I don’t know for sure, because AIP baked goods take many tries to create. My guess is you could start by subbing the sweetener with an equal amount of mashed sweet potato + enough monk fruit or stevia to get the recipe as sweet as you like. There will be enough moisture in the recipe, and it may turn out great, even if a little different from the original recipe. I hope so for you! xx
If I use coconut sugar instead of maple syrup, will I have to compensate for the loss of liquid?
Hi Karina, no, both versions turn out great. 🙂
I made these as cupcakes and they were delicious! I used cocoa powder in place of the carob and added some chocolate chips (since I’ve reintroduced chocolate). The cake came out perfectly, although I had to bake longer than the above time. I topped with no sugar added raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. I also used a ganache recipe made with maple syrup, ghee, and cocoa powder and didn’t care for it (tasted really buttery) so I might try this one next time – was just trying to limit coconut ingredients as much as possible. I would recommend sifting the tigernut flour. I was lazy and didn’t sift it, and it resulted in some clumps post baking. Regardless, will be making this recipe for my birthday this year! It’s hard to find egg free cakes that taste like normal cakes!!!!
Great, Nicole!! I’m so happy you loved the cupcakes, and thank you so much for all the detailed feedback!! Re the frosting, if you tolerate Spectrum’s Palm Shortening, that’s the recommended fat to use in the AIP “Chocolate” Ganache. I recommend it over coconut oil, because it’s easier to work with to create the perfect texture, plus it’s tasteless, so it lets the other flavors shine. It’s a 2-step recipe, too, so pretty easy and fast. Blessings and thank you again for your detailed review! ❤
Hi there, thank you so much for this recipe, I cant wait to make it as soon as my tigernut flour order arrives!! : ) I was wondering, since these cupcakes will just be for me to indulge in when I have a chocolate craving, is it possible to freeze these? Thanks in advance : )
Hi Steph, you’re welcome! Yes, they definitely freeze and defrost well. 🙂 Enjoy!
Amazing, thank you so much! 🙂
Barbara L Dickinson says
So happy to find this recipe! Beltane tradition is chocolate zucchini cake, so I added a small shredded zucchini (maybe 1 1/2 C). I also accidentally added a Tbsp of collagen in addition to the gelatin, and it worked out fine. Sifting the dry ingredients together helps blend them and breaks up the tigernut flour.
Results: 6 large delicious cupcakes with the perfect size indentation on top to fill with frosting!
I was trying to find a way to use up this expensive coconut butter I have that I don’t seem to ever use, so found a different frosting recipe “Coconut Butter Frosting” from “flavour & savour”…and way-amended it because I didn’t want the citrusy flavor. It’s a little coconutty, which IMO goes great with chocolate. It’s easy: In a food processor (I use the little sized one) combine
1/2 C coconut butter (room temp)
1/2 C coconut oil (room temp)
3 T shredded coconut
2 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla
Refrigerate to stiffen it up for spreading. I set it out on the counter about half an hour before frosting, and it was a good consistency.
I added a dried cherry on top…’cause….why not?!
Thank you! This is my go-to for every Beltane!
Hi Barbara, your version sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing everything you did. My husband’s family’s go-to chocolate cake is also a chocolate zucchini cake. 🙂 So happy you have a new family favorite and that the recipe served you so well! 🙂
Barbara L Dickinson says
OH! Important modification for the chocolate zucchini cup-cake variation: Add 10 minutes to the cupcake bake time. IDK how much for the sheet-cake style, since I didn’t make it that way.
Yes, good point. The zucchini would certainly add a lot of moisture. Thank you!
I followed the directions exactly (17 mins in the oven for cupcakes) and I can’t believe the beauty that was created ? I used your chocolate ganache recipe and topped with raspberries, I was so proud to bring these to a friend’s birthday! Highly recommend these cupcakes, really easy and delicious!
Yay Amanda! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m so happy they turned out perfectly, were easy and made you happy!! 🙂 Your review is so appreciated! 🙂
Hi! I was wondering if there is a substitute for the coconut flour as I am allergic to it but I am dying to try this recipe! Thank you!
Hi Marie, it’s hard to make any substitutions with egg-free baking, but you could try to replace the coconut flour with more tiger nut flour. I don’t think it will be a perfect sub, but you’ll probably end up with very yummy chocolate cake still! 🙂
I’m not a fan of many carob recipes but this one is great!
So glad to hear, Rebecca! Thanks for commenting and rating the recipe! 🙂
I made these as cupcakes and they were absolutely delicious! I swapped the tapioca for arrowroot due to a sensitivity and added in a bit of cocoa for some of the carob (about 60/40 carob/cocoa) and they were really yummy – made them twice!
Yay, Carolyn, I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing what you did and taking the time to comment! 🙂
I read all the comments about how delicious this cake is and after following the recipe I’m wondering if I did something wrong?…. My cake looks just like the recipe pictures but is quite bitter and the taste is very far from chocolate. Not something I would treat my friends 🙁
P.S This is my first ever attempt at baking with carob
Hi Marina, I haven’t had carob be bitter before. What brand is yours, and is it roasted? Did you use the sweetener in the recipe? I can’t imagine what went wrong, but it should be sweet and rich.
Could I omit the coconut flour ? we have a coconut/nut allergy.
Hi Vanessa, that’s so hard when you find a recipe you want to make and there’s just that little bit of coconut. I haven’t tried this, but if I had to sub it, I’d sub in tiger nut flour in its place. Do not omit it entirely; it does need to be replaced. I hope that works for you and would love to hear your results.
I made this for Valentines Day. It turned out dry – not lovely and moist like the picture. But the ganache was the best I’ve made, so that kind of saved it. That, and the layer of raspberry jam I put under the ganache.
Hi Sandy, too bad about the cake! I wish I could have been in your kitchen with you to trouble shoot on methods and ingredients; sometimes it can be something subtle. But I’m glad the AIP Chocolate Ganache was so good and that you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for sharing!
This was an amazing recipe. I can’t actually remember the last time I had something that actually tasted like a cake. 5 years ago? 7 years ago? I didn’t even make the frosting because I ate this so quickly.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. Massive, thank you. This is the hands-down, the best paleo AIP recipe I’ve ever found.
Great, Dan! SO glad to hear this, and thank you for sharing. I’m so happy for your enjoyment, and I’m sure your feedback is helpful for other readers, too. My pleasure, and thanks again. 🙂
Do we whisk the dry ingredients prior to adding the wet? Or mix once only after combining the wet?
Yes, combine the dry, then add the wet, and mix well … but it would probably be totally fine if you didn’t because the vinegar and baking soda react to create a really aerated batter that mixes well, and you are mixing well. But to be safe, sure. 🙂
Thank you! Generally speaking, I know to mix dry and then wet. AIP baking can be very different as you know.. the cake’s look with your ganache turned out great. Taste test tonight for a birthday dinner. ?
Good to hear, Thao; I hope you ended up loving it!! 🙂
We all loved the cake! Is it normal for leftovers (cake and ganache) to harden in the fridge? I made it the day before serving, placed in the fridge overnight, and took it out 2 hours before serving. It was perfect. Today, I took out a leftover slice to have a bite (without letting sit to room temp) and noticed how stiff the slice became. Is this normal? I will definitely make this again; just wondering if it’s normal to harden in the fridge and how long I should take out of the fridge before serving. Thank you!
Hi Thao, so glad you loved the cake! Yes, it’s normal. The ingredients harden when they’re chilled. We do actually like it firm and cold also, leftovers straight from the fridge, but if you prefer, what you did for the first serving is perfect: remove and bring to room temp ~ 2-4 hours. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your results!!
stacy Titus says
I would love to try this amazing looking recipe but wonder if it is possible to use agar agar powder instead of gelatin? We are vegan. Thank you!
Hi Stacy, I’m so sorry; I haven’t tested this recipe with agar-agar, so I don’t know. I have this vegan AIP muffin that might be a model or other great recipe for you: https://eatbeautiful.net/paleo-strawberry-muffins-aip-vegan-gluten-free/ You’ve given me a good recipe goal for next time, though! Are you AIP and Vegan?
Part of our family is AIP and part is vegan – very difficult to find recipes that everyone can eat 🙂
Oh yes, I totally get that. We’ve been through similar. I hope the muffin recipe is a good fit or — it occurs to me that the Chocolate Mug Cakes I have might be a good fit for your family! That’s because they’re each a small recipe, and so super easy + fast to mix up, and one is AIP, while the other is vegan. So even though it’s two recipes, they’re so similar, and you could make them all in the same dishes, to feel like you were presenting and sharing the same dessert. The AIP mug cake is here: https://eatbeautiful.net/aip-chocolate-caramel-mug-cakes-paleo-gluten-free/ and the Vegan one here: https://eatbeautiful.net/paleo-chocolate-caramel-mug-cakes-almond-flour-vegan-gluten-free/ (By the way, sorry to respond so late. This comment got a little buried last week!)
I made cupcakes first to make sure I liked the recipe. Then I made a cake for a friends birthday at work tomorrow. Both turned out well (the cake looks great but no one has actually eaten it yet).
I’d post pictures but I can’t figure out how to do that from my iPhone.
Great to hear, Mimi! Thanks for sharing. If you email any photos, I can attach them. I’ll see if I can get the photo feature added for readers in the future. No problem if you don’t get to it, but if you want to: [email protected] Cheers and yay for your successes!
Lynn S says
This is the first AIP dessert recipe that I’ve found that is absolutely satisfying!! I feel like I’m cheating on my diet!! I used the ganache recipe and mix/keep it in my mini blender. I blend it quick as it separates and frost it right before I eat it. Thank you for the awesome recipe!!
Great to hear, Lynn!! YAY, and thanks for sharing your results and process. 🙂