This Paleo Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting is your basic go-to everyday cake for any occasion. It can feed a crowd, and it’s fast to pull together. Delicious, tender, and completely sugar free, this Paleo cake is a treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
I make this cake every single week. No joke. It’s always in the pan in our fridge, already cut into slices so anyone can quickly grab a piece whenever they want. It’s so easy to make, and it’s so delicious.
This Paleo Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting is not only Paleo and Gluten Free, but it’s also Dairy Free and completely Sugar Free. That’s right – the only sweetener in this cake is a small amount of liquid stevia. That’s all it needs. I have been working on this cake for years, adjusting every ingredient, adding ingredients, taking out ingredients. This cake is the product of pure perseverance in the quest for a beautifully simple and classic sheet cake that is Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and completely Sugar Free.
It’s often the simplest baked goods that are the trickiest to make well. This cake is no exception. There’s no bold flavors to mask the lack of sugar. There’s no thick frosting to distract the taste buds.
As I kept making this cake over and over again, I felt like the flavor was a bit flat and the cake a bit dry. After many, many adjustments, I finally landed on the magic trick – lemon zest. Honestly, I don’t understand the science behind why lemon zest transformed my cake, but all I can tell you is that it does. Adding lemon zest was a game changer. It made this cake tender and fluffy.
Somehow, the lemon zest balances the almond flour, and the result is a mellow, just-right sweetness and a tender crumb. Interestingly, the cake doesn’t taste of lemon at all. Just be sure to use a microplane zester so that you get all the sweetness of the lemon skin without the bitterness of the rind.
I’ve tried tinkering with the recipe to jazz it up and make it more “interesting”. But sometimes – oftentimes – simple is best. This cake is just perfect as it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Paleo and Gluten Free
- Completely Sugar Free
- Low in Cholesterol
- High in Fiber and Healthy Fats
- Delicious moist sheet cake
- Easy and quick to make
Ingredients for Paleo Sheet Cake with Chocolate Icing:
- almond flour
- baking powder
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- vanilla extract
- lemon zest
- liquid stevia
- chocolate chips
- coconut oil
Notes on Ingredients:
Almond flour – Use unblanched almond flour, not almond meal. There are many brands available.
Baking powder - Baking powder is the main leavening agent here, and it gives the cake a good rise and a delicious tenderness.
Salt – Essential. I always use kosher salt and do so in this recipe.
Eggs – There are a lot of eggs in this recipe, but the cake doesn’t taste “eggy.” The eggs provide leavening and structure to the cake as well as a certain springiness. With the large amount of eggs plus the almond flour, this cake is a protein powerhouse which means that it will fill you up faster and keep you going longer.
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks – I used to make this cake with coconut oil to make it officially “Paleo,” but I swapped out the coconut oil for Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for a few reasons. First of all, Earth Balance is lower in cholesterol, and my husband and I are in the stage of life where we are concerned about that. Secondly, the coconut oil makes the cake just a touch greasier. The flavor is fine, if you prefer to use coconut oil, but I find that the Earth Balance produces a lighter, fluffier texture.
Vanilla extract – I’m generally pretty generous with vanilla extract when baking without sugar. Vanilla complements the almond flour very well and provides a depth of flavor that is hard to replicate otherwise.
Lemon zest – The key ingredient! I don’t fully understand the science behind it yet, but adding lemon zest made this cake fluffier. The lemon zest somehow complements the almond flour and results in a very mellow, delicious flavor without any hint of lemon. Remember, we just want the sweetness of the zest, not the bitter rind, so please use a microplane zester.
Liquid stevia – This is the only sweetener in the recipe. I always bake with liquid stevia, because it’s much less bitter than the powdered kind.
Chocolate chips – I love Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips, because they’re only sweetened with stevia and some erythritol. I don’t like using erythritol much, and that’s why this chocolate icing is just a thin coating to make a smooth hard chocolate layer on top of the cake. It gives a nice chocolate crunch to the cake and a perfect balance of flavors.
Coconut oil - Used in the frosting, coconut oil helps the chocolate to both melt smoothly and to harden into a crisp chocolate covering.
How to Make Paleo Sheet Cake with Chocolate Icing From Scratch
First off, get your oven heating to 350 F. This cake doesn’t take long to pull together, so make sure your oven is ready to go by the time you’re ready to bake.
You can make this cake by hand or in a stand mixer. I’ve done it both ways, and I didn’t see any difference.
Mix the Dry Ingredients Then Add the Wet
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
Melt the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks. I usually put them in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Add the melted Earth Balance to the dry ingredients along with the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and liquid stevia. Stir until the batter is smooth.
Get Ready to Bake
Spread the cake batter evenly into the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Make the Chocolate Icing
In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips and the coconut oil in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Pour the chocolate icing over the top of the cake, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly. It should be just a thin layer of chocolate.
Put a lid or covering over the cake pan and put the cake in the refrigerator. Allow the cake to chill until the chocolate is hard. When you’re ready to serve it, slice it into pieces.
I usually just cut all the slices and leave the cake sliced in the pan in the fridge with the lid on. Everyone can help themselves whenever they feel like they need a healthy treat or a little pick-me-up. This cake will keep for up to 7 days refrigerated.
This is a simple cake that has the potential for endless variations. If you make it, please let me know in the comments how it turned out for you. If you made any variations or substitutions, please share that, too, so we can all learn from each other’s creativity. Enjoy!
More Sugar Free Cake Recipes:
- Paleo Double Chocolate Cake
- Paleo Black Forest Cake
- Paleo Orange Chocolate Cake
- Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake
- Paleo Chocolate Olive Oil Bundt Cake
- Paleo Carrot Cake
Paleo Sheet Cake with Chocolate Icing
- 1 microplane zester
- 1 9 x 13 baking pan
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almondflour, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.
- Add the melted Earth Balance Vegan ButterySticks, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and liquid stevia to the dryingredients. Stir until there are nomore lumps.
- Spread the cake batter evenly in the 9 x 13pan. If your pan is not non-stick,please line it with parchment paper or grease it before putting the batter in.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips andthe coconut oil in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Stir until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the cooledcake. Use a rubber spatula to spread thechocolate icing evenly.
- Put a lid or covering over the cake pan and putthe cake in the refrigerator. Allow thecake to chill until the chocolate is hard.