This super fluffy and moist low carb chocolate layer cake tastes as delicious as it looks. With its luscious ganache frosting it makes the perfect keto friendly sugar free birthday cake recipe. You won't believe how easy it is!
Table of contents
- A sugar free birthday cake
- How to make a low carb chocolate layer cake
- Substitutions for this sugar free birthday cake
- How to freeze chocolate ganache cake
- Making a small low carb birthday cake
- More chocolate keto cake recipes
You guys, this sugar free cake is incredible! It is so soft and moist, and it has the deepest of deep chocolate flavor!
I made it for my mother-in-law's 87th. She LOVES chocolate and she is a diabetic, so a keto birthday cake was the perfect way to mark the occasion. Happy birthday, Marigold!
It was not until I started eating a low carb diet that I got interested in baking. When there was a birthday, I just bought a cake. They always looked incredible, but even then I used to think they were way too sweet.
After I changed to a sugar free keto diet because of inflammation issues, I started reading labels - and was just shocked at just how BAD those ready-made cakes are for you. The amounts of sugar they contained was just insane!
A sugar free birthday cake
It's actually quite simple to make a sugar-free cake, whether you want to enjoy it for dessert, for a birthday or any other celebration.
All I did is replace the wheat flour with a mix of grain free, gluten-free flours - almond flour and coconut flour. And I replaced the sugar with powdered low carb sweetener.
I swear, you will not taste AT ALL that this cake is sugar free and keto. The reason is that chocolate has such a strong, deep flavour. By making a chocolate ganache instead of a regular sugar free frosting with butter, cocoa and sweetener (especially a vanilla frosting), any aftertaste you may normally detect from the sweetener is just not noticeable.
One thing worth noting is that this is definitely a celebration cake for a more grown-up audience. Unless you have kids who are totally into dark chocolate!
I'm going to post a sugar free vanilla birthday cake with cream cheese frosting soon, so watch that space. I have so many ideas for low carb cakes... it's gonna be a celebration year!
Here are the ingredients! We have all the usual suspects, from blanched almond flour to coconut flour to almond milk, butter, cocoa powder and vanilla extract, baking soda and baking powder to plenty of eggs. (Note - ground almonds / almond meal will work as well).
It may seem like a lot but don't forget we are essentially making a layer cake with two sponge cakes, which we stack on top of another.
The secret ingredient for fabulous fluffiness
The secret ingredient that makes this recipe extra fluffy without the need to whisk the egg whites separately is - yoghurt! It is just AMAZING for getting that rise we all want in a really good gluten free cake.
How to make a low carb chocolate layer cake
(This section contains step by step instructions and photos that show how to make this recipe. Find the recipe card with ingredient amounts and nutritional information at the bottom of the post.)
Sugar free chocolate sponge
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides a couple of times and blitz again.
Tip: By adding the wet ingredients FIRST and the dry ingredients SECOND, you avoid the flours sticking to the bottom.
Also, don't forget the salt. It adds depth of flavor to the recipe.
You may need to scrape the sides a couple of times and blitz again.
Note: If you don't have a blender, use a large bowl and an electric mixer.
Pour batter into two generously greased non stick baking tins (I used butter to grease the sides).
You can also line the sides with baking paper if you worry about the batter sticking!
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until you can insert and remove a toothpick without any crumbs sticking.
Do not over-bake as the sponge will firm up as it cools.
Low carb chocolate ganache
Now on to the sugar free frosting! I decided on a rich ganache instead of a chocolate buttercream frosting, because when you're making a grown-up cake, you may as well pull out all the stops.
Basically, you warm the heavy whipping cream in a pan and heat it, but do not boil.
Then, turn off the heat and add finely chopped dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids minimum, or 90% as it's very low sugar) or sugar free chocolate chips such as Lily's to the cream.
DO NOT STIR! This can cause the mix to split, because it cools down too quickly. First, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Then, stir with a spatula until the chocolate is fully melted and combined with the cream.
Flavor tweak: add 1 teaspoon of orange extract and the zest of 1 orange or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to the ganache.
Tip: If your ganache does split, don’t panic! Just put in a food processor and blend until smooth and it will right itself.
As soon as the the chocolate frosting has cooled a little so it's not boiling but still easily spreadable, spread it over both (fully cooled) cakes.
Wait until the ganache has set, then stack the cakes on top of one another to make one gorgeous sugar free birthday cake!
You could serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, but I just added some grated chocolate on top and a few red currants.
Substitutions for this sugar free birthday cake
I always get questions about how to substitute ingredients, because of intolerances or simply dislikes. Here we go!
Can I use just almond flour?
You can replace the coconut flour with an additional 1 ¼ cup or 125g of almond flour (use only 1 cup if your almond flour is super fine).
Can I just use coconut flour?
No. This is not the ideal recipe to experiment with this because of the amount and cost of ingredients.
As a rule of thumb, I would use ⅓ the amount of coconut flour stated for almond flour - about 80 grams / a scant ⅔ cup. But I think you would also need to add about 2 additional eggs to achieve the same fluffiness.
If you decide to try, let me know how it went!
Other sugar free sweetener options
Yes! I used a powdered erythritol / monk fruit sweetener mix. But allulose or xylitol will work equally well. I like natural sweeteners - no sucralose, no maltitol, no artificial flavor.
Powdered sweetener does work best, because it will give a smoother texture. If you only have granulated sweetener, simply blend it first in the food processor to powder it.
How to make this cake dairy free
It's easy to create a dairy-free version of this diabetic birthday cake. Just replace the butter with coconut oil and the yoghurt with coconut yoghurt.
The ganache works equally well if you replace the heavy cream with coconut cream.
Cake pan sizes
I used two 8-inch cake pans. 9-inch rounds also work, just note that the cake will be flatter.
You can use a rectangular cake pan or even a bundt pan to make one large cake. The baking time will increase to around 60-70 minutes, depending on the pan size.
It's also possible to make cupcakes with the batter. Baking time will be around 25-30 minutes.
This cake tastes best at room temperature, because then the ganache is lovely and soft.
I would, however, store it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
How to freeze chocolate ganache cake
This cake freezes really well. There are two different methods:
Freezing the sponge separately
If you know that you are making the cake ahead you can freeze the two chocolate sponge cakes separately and make the frosting after you defrost them.
Freezing the entire cake
I you freeze cake low carb birthday cake leftovers, I recommend that you make enough room in the freezer to freeze the cake on a plate. Only after it is fully frozen, carefully place it in freezer bags or containers. This way, the ganache won't be damaged.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
Making a small low carb birthday cake
Last but not least - if you don't want to make a HUGE cake, simply halve the recipe and make a single layer of sugar free cake topped with ganache.
All ingredients can be halved easily - except for the 7 eggs. I recommend that instead of large eggs, simply use 4 medium eggs.
More chocolate keto cake recipes
Keto Chocolate Lava Cake - Best served warm, this low carb keto cake has wonderfully gooey centre. My readers love it.
Best Ever Keto Chocolate Cake (Sugar Free) - the most popular keto cake recipe on the website. It is dense and fudgy and it contains only 5 ingredients.
Easy Keto Triple Chocolate Mug Cake - Great if you are after a chocolate quick fix. This is a coconut flour recipe and it is just so fluffy and light, but with amazing deep chocolate flavour.
Keto Double Chocolate Cheesecake - A showstopper recipe if you've got a big crowd coming over. My guests always adore it, whether they are low carb or not!
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Low Carb Sugar Free Chocolate Birthday Cakefrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp / 200g sugar free chocolate chips or 85 - 90% dark chocolate roughly chopped
- 1 cup/ 240ml heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 Fahrenheit. Generously grease two 21 x 4 cm round non-stick baking tins with butter.
- Add all ingredients to blender, starting with the wet, and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides a couple of times and blitz again.
- Spoon the mix into your greased baking tins and bake for about 35 minutes or until you can insert and remove a skewer without any crumbs sticking. Do not over bake as it will firm up as it cools.
- Allow to fully cool.
- Place the cream in a pan on med/ low and heat until hot, just as it starts to simmer. Do not boil. Turn off the heat.
- Chop the chocolate quite fine. Add to the hot cream. Do not stir. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Stirring will cool down the mix too quickly and may result in splitting.
- Stir with a spatula until melted. If your ganache splits, don’t panic, just put in a food processor and blend until smooth and it will right itself. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes so not boiling but still easily spreadable.
- Spread the ganache on the top of both cakes. Allow to set and then stack the cakes one on top of the other.
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