This vegan flourless chocolate cake is a serious labor of love – I’ve been slowly working on the recipe for about 3 years. Many (sparsely dispersed) delicious, chocolatey trials later, I present to you this magical cake made with wholesome ingredients and decadent chocolate flavor! This recipe is oil-free, naturally-sweetened, flour-free, and most importantly, it tastes amazing.
As you may know, I don’t have too serious of a sweet tooth. On any given day, give me whatever is salty or crunchy and I’ll be happy. Tater tots, French fries, and cauliflower wings are my ‘junk’ foods of choice.
So yeah. I may or may not have finished a whole pint of the new Ben and Jerry’s Coconut Seven Layer Bar flavor the other week. *But* more of the time, when I’m craving desserts I go for something rich and intense – and that’s not too sweet. Sometimes that’s just a few squares of dark chocolate, but when something a bit fancier is in order, enter this vegan flourless chocolate cake.
Fair warning: this cake probably isn’t for everyone. Like, I’m not sure if I would feed it to a little kid who was requesting cake. It’s not super sweet, and it’s just a little earthy. If you love dark chocolate desserts with complex flavor, I think you’ll love this. I don’t know if I would say that it tastes “healthy” – but if the person to whom you’re feeding it has tried chocolate desserts with beets before, they might be able to pick up on that little hint of beet in the cake. Is that a bad thing? I’ll leave it to you to decide. I don’t want to deceive anyone about this cake, so there’s my #realtalk. For me, none of that matters, because I am obsessed with how delicious, fudgy and rich this vegan flourless chocolate cake is. Texture-wise it’s about halfway between fudge and normal cake and for me that’s a winning place on the spectrum.
By the way, other than those beets, don’t tell anyone what’s in this! While a savvy beet radar might work here, nobody is going to realize that they’re also eating chickpeas and avocado! Pinkie promise.
No, this cake isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world. That’s why I garnished it with rice whip. Powdered sugar, cocoa powder, fresh fruit, or other garnishes of your choice would be a nice touch to um, liven up its beauty.
If you give this healthy vegan flourless chocolate cake a try, let me know how it goes in the comments! If you share your creations on Instagram, tag me with #yupitsvegan and @yupitsvegan. Happy eating!
- 250g cooked chickpeas (1 and ½ cups)
- 120g chopped avocado (about ¾ of an avocado)
- 200g chopped cooked beets (2-3 small beets) (see notes)
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 35g cocoa powder (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 100g vegan dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Drain and dry the chickpeas very well with a towel or paper towel(s). In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, avocado, and beets, and try to blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. Depending on the size of your food processor it may be difficult to get them completely smooth yet.
- Add the brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Use your spatula to fold in the cocoa powder a little bit so that it doesn't poof everywhere when you hit 'blend'. Then, pulse to combine.
- Use a double boiler or equivalent setup (see notes) to melt the chocolate, and then add it immediately to the food processor. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the cake batter to the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer with your spatula. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a crust has formed on the top (it may have some cracks - this is normal) and the edges have risen slightly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 35-45 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. The cake will be sunken in the center. This is expected.
- No cheating on this step! Let the cake cool for 30-45 minutes, then transfer it to the refrigerator and let it cool for at least 3 more hours.
- Serve cold, with toppings of choice such as coconut cream or rice whip (pictured); cocoa powder, fresh berries, etc. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To make my life easier while measuring brown rice syrup, I lightly spray my measuring spoons with oil spray before dipping them into the brown rice syrup. This allows the syrup to slide back out of the measuring spoon easily.
Credit where credit is due: the original skeleton of this recipe comes from Kristy Turner’s fabulous cookbook, although I’ve made significant changes over the years.