Chocolate Almond Pound Cake (Gluten Free)

I got such thoughtful answers to my question about defining healthy eating! Thank you to everyone who responded, and feel free to add to the discussion if you haven’t already…

I was really struck by the number of people who mentioned moderation and balance when it comes to healthy eating. I am definitely going to post my personal healthy eating guidelines soon (in case anyone is interested in seeing the food rules I try to live by all in one place). In the meantime, I’ll use this recipe for Chocolate Almond Pound Cake to illustrate what balance and moderation mean to me.

gluten free chocolate cake

When I started this blog, I considered not posting recipes for sweets. I opted not to go this far, and instead for a while added a disclaimer of sorts to my dessert recipes (something like “keep in mind that desserts aren’t really health-promoting and are best enjoyed in small amounts”). I dropped that after a time because, after all, I am not your mom and you probably don’t need me to tell you that.

When I eat dessert (and when I post a dessert recipe here at Healthy Green Kitchen), you can count on it being prepared with the best quality seasonal ingredients, organic flours, my own organic, free-range eggs, organic, raw dairy products, organic sugar (or raw honey or pure maple sugar) and organic butter. You can count on the fact that it won’t damage your health and maybe even has some health-promoting qualities.

Like this simple cake: which I believe says a lot about my feelings on moderation and balance. First of all, it’s small. I used mini loaf pans and made 2 small cakes instead of 1 larger one. One to eat now and one to freeze for later. Instant moderation.

It is a cake, yes, but the recipe has some healthy aspects so I think it’s perfect for a balanced eating plan. It features raw cacao powder instead of regular or organic cocoa powder: raw cacao is a superfood of sorts with its high mineral (especially magnesium) content. It makes use of almond flour, so it’s gluten-free and higher in protein and fiber than a recipe made with white flour. It is sweetened with a combination of organic cane sugar and pure maple syrup so it’s free of refined sweeteners. For the fat, I used a combination of organic butter and olive oil. This was less because of health reasons than because I was simply out of butter, but it does double duty in perhaps making the recipe a little better for you (though honestly I have no problem with butter: I consider it to be one of the healthiest fats.)

gluten free chocolate pound cake

I dusted the cake with just a little organic powdered sugar- not a necessity, but certainly makes it pretty, plus it only adds a tad more in terms of the overall sugar content of the cake. I think that if you’re going to eat dessert, it should be something lovely. Something worth it. And I think this cake fits the bill.

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chocolate almond pound cake

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!

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Recipe for Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Pound Cake

adapted from the recipe for Pound Cake with Cocoa in Chocolat by Stephan Lagorce.
Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves


  • *1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
  • *1/2 cup olive oil
  • *5 eggs preferably organic and free-range
  • *2 cups ground almond flour or use organic all-purpose flour for a gluten-full version
  • *3/4 cup organic cane sugar or sucanat
  • *1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • *2 teaspoons baking powder
  • *1/2 cup organic cacao powder or regular cocoa powder


  • 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • 2. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the olive oil. Use a little of this to grease your baking pan(s).
  • 3. Whisk eggs together with the sugar. Add the maple syrup and whisk again.
  • 4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cacao powder. Add to the eggs/sugar/maple syrup and combine well with a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter/oil and mix well again.
  • 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean/dry.
  • 6. Remove from pan(s) and allow to cool on a baker's rack. Dust with organic powdered sugar before serving warm or at room temperature.

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51 thoughts on “Chocolate Almond Pound Cake (Gluten Free)”

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  4. How come this chocolate cake might be healthy with 1/2 c butter and 1/2 c of oil and 5 eggs????
    Just b/c they are organics???
    How much fat and cholesterol is in this cake????
    Just trying to be nice with who posted the recipe???

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  6. This looks absolutely delicious! Do you think it would work ok to sub coconut flour for the almond? I have lots of the former and none of the latter. :)

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  10. I just made this for the first time after intending to make it for a while (we’re not huge sweet-eaters so I don’t bake a lot.) It’s fabulous! My husband is not a healthy eater by nature and he loved it most of all. Thanks!

  11. Winnie I made two of these the other day with the intention of freezing one for later. Made the mistake of having a slice of one of them while it was still warm from the oven, then decided that we would NEED to wrap both for our ski weekend. They are both now gone (of course), and I can’t wait to get home to make two more! This is so good, and my wife is so grateful to have a delicious wheat free treat. Thanks! – S

  12. Winnie:
    “everything in moderation, including moderation!” (said writer Oscar Wild)… and I subscribe to that theory. I love that you posted this lovely little chocolate-almond delight. And I look forward to your posts on healthy eating.

  13. This looks heavenly! And to top it off, its Grain free! I’m definitely bookmarking this page to make it in the future. thanks for the recipe!

  14. This looks really good! I’m always trying to make my baking healthier and find ways to help keep me from over indulging. I think I’ll be back as I’m interested in reading about your guidelines!

  15. I can’t wait to see your own guidelines for healthy eating…thank you for asking me to stop and think about my own! This cake looks like a perfect indulgence. I love all the natural ingredients that compose this cake. Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing the recipe with me. I hope you had a lovely Monday. I am trying to stay warm in Austin…we finally got a cold snap down here!

  16. Winnie- This looks great! I am so glad that you ultimately decided to post the occasional sweet, because if not, how would I have ever learned about this super looking cake. Love the idea of 1 for now, 1 frozen for later, and as my wife is really trying to limit gluten in her diet (and is a chocoholic), this dish will get play in our home very soon. Thanks – S

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  18. Yum. Question: Do you find if you bake and/or cook with raw honey that the taste is more burnt or cooked honey than a light honey flavor.

    I made a few things this summer with raw honey and everything had a burnt honey taste to it. Especially ice cream. I made it twice, fresh eggs, raw cream and milk (from a friends dairy) and raw honey. It did not taste good AT ALL. Weird aftertaste and really heavy honey flavor. I only have raw honey so I don’t know if I used a “regular” honey if it would taste differently.

    I went to an Outstanding in the Field dinner this fall in TX, for dessert they served a honey pie and it was delicious. I emailed the chef to see what kind of honey they used, but have not gotten a response back.

    I don’t like to use refined sugar either. Usually use maple syrup, Sucanat or maple flakes.

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I honestly haven’t experienced that when I use raw honey! I don’t use it that much in baking, but I’ve def. used it in sorbets/ice creams but did not get an off-taste, so I don’t really know how to explain that.

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  20. This cake looks really moist and delicious. I just love chocolate cake recipes that use almond flour. I think I might try to substitute honey for the maple syrup here. What size eggs are you using? I assume large?

    • Sylvie,
      I use eggs from my backyard chickens in all of my recipes. The sizes can really vary, but I’d say they are closest to large. I haven’t used honey, but let me know how it works out.

  21. This is my kind of recipe, I love baking with butter and almond flour. I may try with coconut oil as well for a dairy free version. I love your idea for making 2 small loaves. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Coconut oil is a great idea. My husband doesn’t love it, so I don’t use it that much in desserts that he’s going to eat (I use it in my Asian and savory recipes all the time, tho).

  22. This looks great – I want to make it! but you forgot to put how much sugar and syrup to use. :) I’m all for healthy, but no sugar at all is a little extreme for a cake!

    • You’re so right! It would be terrible with none! I added in the sugar and the maple syrup…sorry ’bout that!