Chocolate Crackle Cakes (Gluten-Free)
Picture this: an individual chocolate cake with a rich, dense center and a feather-light crackly crust. Envision a cross between a brownie, a cupcake and a flourless chocolate cake with a delicate, light crumb. Introducing chocolate crackle cakes. I named the cakes after their crackly crust, which might just be my favorite part. Or maybe it’s the fudgy center…. Hmm… I leave that for you to decide.
Last week one of our good friends surprised us with an entire flat of plump, perfectly ripe raspberries on our doorstep. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten raspberries with such abandon. We devoured them by the handful and sprinkled obscene amounts on our morning oatmeal and granola. I knew I wanted to incorporate the raspberries into a special dessert for James, as we were celebrating Father’s Day a week early (we’ll be at a wedding this weekend). However, I couldn’t come up with something that felt right—shortcakes, crumbles, crisps and tarts are all great, but James’s favorite food (that’s right—we’re not just talking dessert—his favorite food) is chocolate cake. It had to be chocolate. So I got cooking.
These cakes took a few tries to get right. I had originally envisioned individual chocolate cakes with fresh raspberries baked right inside, but I didn’t like the texture or appearance of the finished batch. Instead, I revamped my chocolate almond cake recipe, which is one of James’s favorites. I added butter for a more fudgy texture; I cut back on the eggs; and I bumped up the chocolate flavor with melted chocolate and cocoa powder. WIN. I devoured two cakes (in the purpose of taste testing, of course) before I even knew what I was doing—they’re rich but surprisingly light. I served the cakes with whipped cream and raspberries as the finale to our Father’s Day meal, and we literally licked our plates clean. My friends, this is the way to do chocolate cake in the summertime.
Happy Father’s Day, James! We love you so much.
P.s. You can use the same batter to make soft, slightly chewy cookies. Scoop the batter into 2-tablespoon-sized mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving plenty of space for the cookies to spread. Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time.
Father’s Day Menu Ideas:
Here are a few of our favorite Father’s Day Meals!
Get the Recipe!
- ¾ cup (3 ounces) lightly packed almond flour (also called almond meal)
- 1 tablespoon (0.2 ounce) cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ¾ cup (4.5 ounces) dark chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup (4.6 ounces) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- Fresh berries, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water or in a double boiler. (Alternatively, the chocolate can be melted in the microwave. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, and then stir. Keep repeating until the chocolate is melted.)
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until the butter is light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla.
- With the machine running on medium, slowly add the chocolate. Beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides, and add the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-quarters of the way full (an ice cream scoop with a lever works great for this job). Bake 17-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the cakes have risen and the tops are crackled and no longer shiny. Let cool in the pan set on a cooling rack for 5 minutes (as they cool the tops will slump slightly). Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Do Ahead: The cakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Serve the cakes on their own, or with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh berries.