Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Torte

Chocolate Almond Torte

slice of Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond TorteThis Chocolate Almond Torte was a favorite dessert in my fully gluten-free cooking class (1 of 3 classes) during my recent visit to my favorite in the world fitness spa, Rancho La Puerta. Made using my favorite gluten-free baking flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 all-purpose) and blanched almond flour, this easy chocolate cake recipe is vegan and gluten-free. It tastes like a divine fudgy chocolate cake.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Those of you who know me, whether personally or via social media, know I eat wheat, but I understand the need for gluten-free choices. When I was planning my menus for my recent week at Rancho La Puerta – one of the classes is always fully gluten-free – I wondered about replacing some of the gluten-free flour with blanched almond flour in my favorite gluten-free chocolate cake. It took two tries to get the cake I wanted. The resulting Chocolate Almond Torte was so good that I am putting it into regular rotation. Of course, when nut allergies are an issue, you can just stick with the gluten-free version of my Chocolate Torte to Live For in Vegan Chocolate. At the Ranch, we garnished the cake plates with edible flowers right from the organic garden and served it with bowls of the sweetest, small, just-picked strawberries, too.

Since the cake is made using almond flour, I used almond milk. Choose store-bought or homemade. But often, my plant milk of choice for baking are soy and oat milks.

Almond flourAlmond Meal and Almond Flour

Ground almonds, which are a common ingredient in many types of dessert, are also known as almond meal or almond flour, so it would seem that they are all the same. The labels are often used interchangeably too, but while they are not exactly the same, the differences are subtle.

Almond flour is not a type of milled flour. It is simply very finely ground almonds. Almond flour is typically made from blanched almonds. Blanched almonds have had the skins removed and this kind of ground almonds is ground more finely than almond meal.

Almond meal is typically is made from skin-on almonds and has a coarser grind due to the skins. You may see this kind of almond flour is listed as natural almond meal.

Both types are readily available in most grocery stores. Look for it in the baking and/or gluten-free sections.

You can make your own in a food processor by grinding either kind of almonds finely. The only caveat is to do this carefully so that you do not end up with nut butter.

Chocolate Almond Torte slice close up
Chocolate Almond Torte Recipe Notes:

  • My go-to gluten-free baking flour is Bobs Red Mill 1:1 baking flour. It contains xanthan gum. If your blend does not, use 3/8 teaspoon per cup of flour. Whisk before measuring.
  • I find using gram weight is far more accurate than measuring. Again, whisk the dry ingredients before weighing. An electronic scale is invaluable. I have one from Escali and one from OXO.
  • Don’t forget to preheat your oven and use an oven thermometer.

Cake Photos by the talented Hannah Kaminsky

Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Torte

Fran Costigan
I like to glaze this torte with chocolate ganache.Makes One (9-Inch / 23-Cm) Torte, 8 to 10 Servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9-inch torte

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (147 grams) gluten-free baking flour:
  • 1/4 cup (26 grams) blanched almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons (38 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) organic granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) coconut sugar ground in a blender until fine
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil or organic neutral vegetable oil
  • 5 ounces pure maple syrup Grade B or dark amber
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) soy, almond, or oat milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped whole almonds to decorate cake more as needed

Instructions
 

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C. Oil the sides and bottom of a 9x3-inch round pan and line the bottom with a parchment circle or paper cut to fit. Do not oil the paper.
  • Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add gluten free flour, almond flour cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the strainer and stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Whisk to aerate the mixture.
  • Whisk the oil, maple syrup, nondairy milk, vanilla and almond extracts and vinegar in a separate medium bowl until completely combined. Immediately pour into the dry mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into pan. Rotate the pan to level the batter and tap it lightly on the counter to get rid of some of the air bubbles.
  • Bake the cake on the center rack for 23to 26 minutes, or until the top of the cake is set, the sides have started to pull away from the pan, and a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Cool the cake pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a thin spatula around the sides of the cake to release the sides of the cake from the pan. Invert the layer onto the rack, remove the pan, and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert again, topside up on the rack, to cool completely. When the cake is completely cool, slide a (greaseproof) cardboard underneath.
  • Glaze or frost the cake when it is at room temperature or slightly chilled
  • Decorate the sides with the coarsely chopped whole almonds.
Keyword gluten-free chocolate cake, vegan chocolate cake, vegan dessert
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Comments
    • Hi Heather,
      I have not yet attempted to make an oil-free version of this cake.There is actually fat very little in the cake when you consider that you can get 10-12 slices. To do so, I suggest you cut the recipe in half, or maybe better, quarter it to try out a few subs. You’ll be making a cupcake or 2 this way. In the Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts Course, we study different fat replacers and there is no one size fits all. YThe cake you want to revise is gluten-free and to make these cakes oil-free and tasty can be a challenge. You can use the No-Oil version of my Chocolate Cake To Live For as a starting off point. Add perhaps a bit of prune puree to replace the oil. Let us know how it goes.
      Best,
      Fran

      • 5 stars
        There are many of us on an oil-free WFPB diet who do not use any oil, not even a bit. What you may not realize besides the obvious deleterious health effects, is that once you are weaned off of oil, you get terrible stomach aches and/or acid reflux if you consume even the smallest amount of extracted oil. Sometimes you can use apple sauce as a replacement, other times a nut butter such as almond butter can be used for substitution.

        • I think I am replying to Michael Bernard but the address came in with an link to my name.
          I hope the writer sees this.
          I certainly understand that there are people on WFPB diets who use no oil whatsoever. I’ve made such cakes for Dr. McDougal and I made Rip Esselstyn’s wedding cakes in fact and recently presented a cooking demo for PBNSG making a no-oil added Chocolate Cake.

          What you write is true. SOMETIMES you can use apple sauce as a replacement. Binding is not so much the problem as the texture. Not every recipe will be a home run, but many will be fine.

          There are many wonderful WFBPN desserts.

          Best
          Fran

  • 4 stars
    Hallo! I’m Ornella from Italy.
    I love your book Vegan Chocolate, from wich I’ve read all the recipes, and as soon as possible I’ll make someone. But I’ve a question: maple syrup serves to give the cake softness and moisture or to make the dough more compact? The problem are that in Italy maple syrup is many expensive, and I don’t love cake that are too sweet. Can I omit it?
    Many thanks, and sorry for my bad english.

    • Ciao Orella
      Having visited Italy a few times on a fully vegan trip, I do realize that maple syrup is expensive in your country. Maple syrup is a unique sweetener though as it contributes a tender crumb and sweetness, without being too sweet. It is hard to substitute. I have been using date syrup but the cakes made with Maple syrup as the primary sweetener may be quite changed. I always suggest a test of a smaller dessert when making changes. I’ve had the pleasure to teach several Italian students in the Essential Vegan Desserts Course at @Rouxbe.com and they have not had a problem. By the way. I hope you will make my castignaccio.
      All best,
      Fran

      • Many thanks Fran!
        I think I’ll make some test whit smaller dessert to taste the final sweetness before change the amount of sugar or maple syrup, as soon as the summer passes to re-use the oven.
        Best regards from Italy!

        • Ornella,
          A small test, as I said, is the way to go, but know that my recipes are not very sweet, When you change the amounts of sweeteners or anything in batter-based desserts, more often than not, they go off. Where in Italy are you?
          Fran

  • 4 stars
    Hi!
    Thank you for this recipe, I made it today and everyone enjoyed it.
    I made the ganache that you link in this recipe, it was liquid and never thickened. I followed the recipe exactly, using scales for measurements, and cannot figure out what could have gone wrong. Ended up adding caster sugar to thicken it enough to use on the cake, but that made it very sweet. I even left a small bowl of the original recipe ganache in the fridge for hours and it hasn’t solidified at all.
    Any ideas what could have gone wrong???
    Thanks

    • Hi Viv,
      I’m glad you all enjoyed the cake but sorry you had trouble with the ganache consistency. Sometimes it is the chocolate. Did you use good quality 70-72%? The answer to a ganache that does not thicken properly, although this recipe has been working for many years now, is to do a test of a small amount in the refrigerator to judge the consistency. Add more melted chocolate if needed, not sugar. If it is too thick, add more of the plant milk you used. I go through this in my cookbook Vegan Chocolate and in the Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts Course as well. I hope this helps.
      Fran

  • 5 stars
    Hi,
    This is Priya from India. I am planning to make them tomorrow,I don’t have the gluten free baking flour. Instead of that can I use the almond flour alone and bake them, if so how much quantity should be use,because I don’t want to use all purpose or wheat flour. Kindly guide me plz.

    • Hello Priya,
      Gluten-free flour mixes are just that, a mix of ingredients. Using all almond flour will not work in this recipe.

      I do not have a formula for you, as I have not made the cake other than the way it is written.
      If you have favorite gluten-free mix, homemade, then give it a try

      Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
      Take care,
      Fran

  • Hi Fran, I have made this recipe a few times with great success. Thanks for the exact weights. I haven’t made it in a while however and wonder if you think this would be too dense as a layer cake (say 5 x 8inch pans) for a wedding cake? I need gluten free and vegan, and other cakes recipes I have tried have been disasters!

    • Hi Jessica,
      As you have made this cake several times and are therefore, quite familiar with the texture, I’ll leave it to you to be the judge.

      I always bake off a test of any change, including size, and suggest you do the same.

      Please let us know what you think

      Fran

      • Hi Fran, thanks for replying. I did a test run today of the top tier – I multiplied your recipe by 1.3 to make three 6” layers. They came out great.

        Do you think resting the batter is a good idea for gluten free cakes to help take out the slight gritty mouthfeel? I’m scared it will interfere with the rise?

        The final cake will have whipped hazelnut chocolate filling and white chocolate frosting(made with cashew cream and vegan white chocolate). I think it will work, it will be nice and rich but wedding slices are small. Wish me luck!

        • Hi Jessica,
          I am sending luck to you but betting you don’t need it. You’ve done a test and it sounds as if your plan is a good one for making tasty wedding cake slices. I’d love to see the results!

          Resting batter is tricky since, as you wonder, it can diminish the rise. A couple of minutes between making the batter and baking is ok. Gritty gluten-free? That should not happen. A lot depends on the mix of gluten-free flours and the proportion of the liquid.

          Go for it and keep us posted.
          Best wishes,
          Fran

  • Hi Fran. I can’t have any gums due to med condtn. Do you think I could substitute the gluten free flour mix with light teff flour + rice flour without adding any gum?

    • Einat,
      I understand about gums. You will have to do some testing of other gluten-free flour mixes and binders.
      I am not a Gluten-free expert but don’t think teff + Rice would work.
      Check out JulieHasson.com. She is a gluten-free chef with a lot of good information.
      Let me know how it goes.
      Fran

  • 5 stars
    This cake was an absolute knock out! No one thought it was gluten and egg free! I weighed all of the ingredients, rather than measure. I would love to see an easier glaze.

  • So I’m not sure what happened, but this page no longer contains the actual recipe for this Chocolate Tort dessert. It just has some notes about it, but no recipe or even ingredients list. What happened? I’ve made this before and now it’s disappeared!

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