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Chocolate Berry Cake with Meringue & Balsamic Cocoa Syrup

Perfect for that special occasion.

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by Angela Gallardo in Desserts, Recipes

anniversary cake

I can’t resist an opportunity to create something fun, fancy, and beautiful.  And an anniversary seems like the perfect moment for romantic chocolate and berries.  While being rich and chocolate-y, this grain-free chocolate cake is also light and fluffy.

The refined sugar-free meringue adds an even greater measure of fluffiness to this celebration cake.  Plus, the tangy balsamic cocoa syrup has many healthful ingredients so that’s just one more thing to celebrate!

I split the batter into 3 layers for the sake of beauty.  So unless you are like me and love to create extra work for yourself, you can definitely combine the batter into just 2 9″ rounds or one 9×13″ pan.  It will be super delicious regardless!  If you combine into one pan, you’ll likely have extra meringue and cocoa syrup but I don’t see that being a problem, do you?

Grain-Free Chocolate Cake

  • 5 pastured eggs
  • 3/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. raw honey
  • 1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 c. almond flour
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. espresso powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine eggs, coconut oil, honey, molasses, and vanilla extract and beat on medium high to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together well.  In 2-3 batches, sift the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing well each time.
  3. Once fully mixed together, divide the batter into 3 greased 9″ round cake pans. (Can use 2 9″ rounds or 1 9×13″ but cooking times will vary.)  Bake for 20-25 min, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely before building the cake.  While the cakes cool, prepare both the meringue frosting and the balsamic cocoa syrup.

Meringue Frosting

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract


  1. Place egg whites, cream of tartar and sea salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted.  Set aside.
  2. Pour raw honey into a small saucepan and place over medium low heat.  Cook the syrup until it’s darkened in color and reduced to about 1/3 a cup.
  3. When the syrup is nearly ready, turn mixer on low for 60 seconds to incorporate ingredients.  Switch to medium speed and and mix until the whites get thick and foamy, about another 1-2 minutes.
  4. With the mixer continuing to run, very slowly drizzle the hot honey down the side of the mixer bowl.  Once all the honey is incorporated, turn the mixer to high and mix until the whites increase in volume by 50% more, about 1 minute.  Turn the mixer off and add the vanilla extract.  Mix on high about 5-10 seconds to fully incorporate it.  The meringue is then ready to serve.  Use immediately!

*Notes:  The hot syrup will cook the egg whites.  Also, this meringue will be slightly different in texture than those made with white sugar.  It will not get as glossy but it’ll still be just as (if not more) yummy!

Balsamic Cocoa Syrup

Yields:  1 cup

  • 1/3 c. coconut cream (about half the cream from a can of chilled coconut milk, allowed to separate)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (recommend naturally refined so there isn’t a strong coconut flavor)
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar of choice (I used a strawberry balsamic)
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 tsp. hot water (can vary depending on your choice of consistency)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Process on high until smooth and creamy.  This recipe will yield a thin, pourable syrup. Adjust consistency by adding more or less water.

To assemble:

  • 2 pints raspberries
  • Cake stand
  • Offset spatula


  1. Place one of the cakes down first.  Spread a thin layer of the cocoa syrup on it, then a thick layer of the meringue, then sprinkle with a handful of berries.
  2. Place second cake on top of the berries and gently press down.  Repeat with syrup, meringue, and berries until all ingredients are used.

Cake is best if served immediately.  Leftovers should be kept covered in the fridge, 2-3 days more, to help the meringue keep it’s shape.  Enjoy!!

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  1. Hello, i am an Italian foodblogger…I find your cake amazing…that's perfect, tasty & beautiful! come & visit me whenever you want:

  2. madscar says:

    Love it! Thanks for recipe 🙂

  3. Megan says:

    Your wedding photos are amazing!!! I love the green apple table setting!
    Congrats on four years 🙂

  4. Angela Gallardo says:

    Oh Megan, thank you so much! That's so sweet of you to say. 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    Wow! Just amazing! the balsamic in the sauce is definitely something I want to try. Thanks for this recipe!

  6. Claudia says:

    Hello! raw honey: 1/2 c it’s 1/2 cup or 1/2 tablespoon?

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