This 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 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 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
Makes One (9-Inch / 23-Cm) Torte, 8 to 10 Servings
- 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
- 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.