Flourless Chocolate Poppyseed Cake glutenfree veganHappy birthday to my blog, which turns 1 today! To celebrate I made this insanely decadent chocolate cake using hazelnuts, dark chocolate, and poppyseeds, topped with a fresh strawberry sauce.

I have always loved birthday cakes. When I was a kid, my mom would make a two-layer devil’s food cake with shiny white marshmallow icing. My friend Polly brought a version of this cake to my birthday party, modified to be gluten- and sugar-free. I’ve modified it even further, melding her recipe (originally from Lindsay Shere’s Chez Panisse Desserts) with one from my friend Angela’s blog.

I was at Angela’s in Provence on my actual birthday this year. I studied French in 5th, 7th through 11th grades, and in college. It has been a lifelong dream to visit France. But life—and other travel opportunities—intervened. It wasn’t until my Big 5-0 that The Husband and I got to France. And it was incredibly special, because Angela made me this cake to finish off a beautiful lunch at their home. Angela’s recipe (which is not vegan) is from Provencal chocolatier Joel Durand.
flourless chocolate cake with poppyseeds and hazelnutsI served it with fresh strawberry sauce and no ganache (frosting). I love how the tart acid from the fruit cuts the richness of the chocolate. I used melted strawberry-vodka sorbet. You could make a quick, easy sauce with strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries and a splash each of water and brandy or cognac whizzed in a blender.

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
migraine diets

Flourless Chocolate Poppyseed Cake glutenfree vegan

Flourless chocolate poppyseed cake

Rich, decadent, amazing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings


  • 4 tbsp flax seeds (ground)
  • 8 ounces baking chocolate unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds (75 g)
  • 1/2 lemons zested, then juiced
  • 1-1/2 cups hazelnuts (ground) almonds, walnuts (125 g)
  • 1-1/2 cups agave syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


Per serving:
  • 233 calories
  • 19 g fat
  • 11 g saturated fat
  • 3 g monounsaturated fat
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 1 mg sodium
  • 138 mg potassium
  • 17 g carbohydrate
  • 4 g fiber
  • 11 g sugars
  • 4 g protein
  • 7 Weight Watchers Points Plus
If you grind your own flax seeds in a blender, try putting the poppy seeds in with them. If you don't have a springform pan, use a round cake pan and follow the pan preparation instructions. I feel pretty certain that it would work just fine. I got my hazelnuts (also known as filberts) from Freddy Guy's in Oregon. They are fabulous!
Someone asked me if this cake is "healthy." Well, yes, for a dessert. It offers healthy fats, anti-oxidants from the chocolate, is low on the glycemic index, and also offers protein and fiber. But it's still a special treat, as it's a calorie-dense food. In that same category are some other healthy(ish) birthday cake ideas:
Rosemary and Olive Oil cake from Domestic Divas
Gluten-free lemon almond polenta cake from A Food Centric Life (I have had this and it is g-o-o-d!)
Vegan chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut ganache from What Would Cathy Eat?