If you've been looking for the perfect rich and moist Sugar Free Cake Recipe for all your special occasion party needs, you've found it! A single layer of chocolate magic, complete with a 2-ingredient fluffy whipped chocolate frosting. Sugar free cake dreams don't get any sweeter than this one.
I love taking tried and true recipes and tweaking them to fit my health goals, or the dietary restrictions of my friends and family. This cake recipe is the perfect example. I started with King Arthur's Flour old fashioned chocolate cake recipe. Then substituted xylitol for sugar, added milk instead of water and a little extra cocoa powder to dial up the chocolate factor.
After a few rounds of testing, I could no longer tell the difference between the regular sugar cake, and the sugar free version. The texture and taste are both spot on, and everyone will be begging you for this recipe! It's one of my favorite sugar-free cake recipes of all time.
What you'll need to make this cake:
Before we get to the step by step directions, a few notes about the ingredients:
Xylitol: the recipe calls for xylitol, but feel free to substitute your preferred granulated, sugar-free sweetener.
Lemon juice: just a bit of acid activates the baking soda. Substitute apple cider vinegar, if needed.
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions:
1. Prep pan
Begin by preheating your oven to 350℉. Grease an 8-or 9-inch springform pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, then lightly grease the top of the parchment. Set aside.
2. Mix dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, including all purpose flour, xylitol, baking soda and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
3. Mix liquids
In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients including milk, oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
Then pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to combine well.
4. Bake cake
Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
An 8-inch pan will produce a thicker cake layer, requiring a bake time closer to 35 minutes. A 9-inch pan, which I used in my baking for this recipe, produces a thinner cake layer and required between 25-28 minutes.
Once cake is removed from oven, allow it to cool on a rack. Then transfer to your cake plate or serving platter for frosting.
5. Frost the cake
To make the frosting, combine 2 cups of cold heavy cream and a box of instant sugar free chocolate pudding in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until medium peaks form, about 3 minutes.
(Depending on the fat content of your cream, you may want to add ⅓-1/2 cup milk to the frosting mixture for a pillowy texture. I had a high fat cream, so I added just shy of ½ cup of milk).
Layer frosting on top of your cake layer, using a spoon to create dips and swirls.
6. Serve and enjoy
Top the frosting with sugar free chocolate curls or chocolate chips.
Looking for more sugar free recipes?
FAQ's, Variations and Serving Suggestions:
Sugar Free Chocolate Mocha Cake
The original King Arthur's recipe for this cake called for ½ teaspoon of instant espresso granules in the batter, as a means to enhance the chocolate and balance the sweet taste of the cake. If you keep that bit of coffee, but also substitute the milk for 1 cup of cold brewed coffee, you'll have an easy recipe for a rich and complex chocolate mocha cake.
Sugar Free Chocolate Orange Cake
One of my favorite variation os this cake is to add 2 tablespoons of orange zest to the batter, eliminate the lemon juice, add ¼ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice and reduce the milk to ¾ cup. These tweaks produce a perfectly balanced chocolate orange cake that I love serving around the holidays. I'll decorate the cake with a combination of chocolate curls and candied orange peel and it's a winner every time.
Cakes are meant to be sweet and the only way to make a cake without any type of sugar is to use alternates like stevia, honey and your favorite sugar substitute.
I like baking with xylitol, as I can't detect any bitterness when using this particular sugar replacement. Granulated stevia is my second favorite natural sweetener for baking. I've heard good things about monk fruit sweetener - let me know if you try it! Brown sugar substitutes will have molasses in them, which tends to alter the texture and moisture level of a baked good. Probably not a deal breaker if it's your only option, just be aware. Liquid sweeteners like maple syrup and agave nectar are not good options for this recipe.
Sure! Just use your favorite all-purpose gluten free baking mix in place of flour. Skip the chocolate pudding and go for a simple chocolate ganache instead.
The cake itself is a half step from vegan already - just substitute almond milk (or another plant-based milk), brewed coffee or water for the milk.
If making in a large, 14-cup bundt pan, double the recipe and it will bake up beautifully.
Absolutely. I've made it with the real thing and it's delicious. If you're looking for a low sugar variety, you could use half sugar and half xylitol.
To store, cover the frosted cake and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Unfrosted cake can be kept at room temperature up to 5 days. Unfrosted cake can also be wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.