Flourless Chocolate Cake

A delicious and decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake which is tender and fudgy. This is the perfect cake for desserts or celebrations! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream on metal tray

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This Flourless Chocolate Cake is perhaps one of the easiest, delicious and versatile recipes to have up your sleeve. If I need to make a gluten-free chocolate cake, I often turn to this recipe. If I want a cake which can double as dessert, this cake is perfect!

This Flourless Chocolate Cake is tender but fudgy, almost brownie-like in taste and texture. It’s always a hit with both kids and adults, and there are so many ways of varying this cake to suit what you are serving it with.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This is an easy and delicious gluten-free chocolate cake.
  • Vary the flavour by adding your favourite liqueur to the cake batter.
  • Serve the cake plain as it is, or top it with lots of whipped cream.
flourless chocolate cake on metal tray

Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

This recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake comes via Nigella Lawson, which comes via Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax.

I have been making this cake for more than two decades since Nigella Bites was first published, a testament to how good and how reliable this recipe is. Nigella calls it a Chocolate Cloud Cake, and you can see the resemblance once you decorate the cake with whipped cream.

As the name of the recipe suggests, this cake does not contain flour, and nor does it contain any raising agents. It uses (a lot of) good quality dark chocolate for its deep and intense flavour, as well as (a lot of) eggs to help the cake to rise.

This is one of those cakes which rises a lot upon baking, but then sinks in the middle upon cooling, which is what makes the cake very moist and gives the cake a lovely, cracked crust.

flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream on metal tray with pink cloth

Variations

There are many ways which I like to vary this cake.

  • Add vanilla extract for a simple and fuss-free chocolate cake.
  • Add your favourite liqueur for a hint of alcohol taste in the cake. I like to use Cointreau, Frangelico, Kahlua, Baileys, or rum.
  • If using liqueur in the cake, you might want to also add a dash to some heavy cream before whipping it. I tend to skip this if I am serving the whipped cream to kids (most seem to not mind the alcohol taste in the cake, but don’t like it in the whipped cream).
  • Serve the cake plain and unadorned, and perhaps with a bowl of whipped cream on the side (whether laced with alcohol or not).
  • Serve the cake topped with whipped cream, and decorated with either a dusting of cocoa powder, shaved chocolate, or raspberries.
  • This is the same recipe I use at Easter, except I make a chocolate whipped cream and decorate with sugar-coated Easter eggs. See my recipe for Easter Egg Nest Cake.
flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on metal tray

How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake

Step 1

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bain-marie (a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water), or on low power in the microwave. Set it aside to cool slightly.

Step 2

Separate 4 eggs into two large mixing bowls. Whisk the 4 egg whites until they are foamy.

Step 3

To the egg whites, whisk in the 75 g (1/3 cup) of sugar gradually, until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Step 4

In the mixing bowl with the egg yolks, whisk in the remaining 2 eggs, together with the 100 g of sugar.

Step 5

Add the cooled, melted chocolate to the egg mixture, together with the liqueur (if using).

Step 6

Fold in the egg whites, one-third at a time, taking care not to deflate the mixture. Once you have added all of the egg whites, the mixture should look like chocolate mousse.

Step 7

Pour the batter into a 23 cm/9 inch springform cake pan which has been lined with baking paper (but do not grease the pan).

Bake the cake at 180°C/356°F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has fully risen and the centre of the cake does not wobble when you shake the pan gently. I don’t recommend testing the cake with a skewer because it will leave a visible hole in the centre of the cake, but this is fine if you plan to cover the cake later.

Step 8

Leave the cake to cool and set in the cake pan over a wire rack. The cake will start to sink as it cools, and the crust will also crack.

Use a small palette knife to carefully remove the cake from the edges of the pan. Transfer the cake to a plate for serving.

flourless chocolate cake with white plate with white forks

More Chocolate Cake Recipes

If you are looking for more chocolate cake recipes, you might also like:

Easy Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Print

Flourless Chocolate Cake

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven

A delicious and decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake which is tender and fudgy. This is the perfect cake for desserts or celebrations! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 125 g (1 1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 250 g (9 ozdark chocolate, 70% cocoa
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 g (1/3 cupcaster sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespooncaster sugar
  • 12 tablespoons liqueur, such as Cointreau, Frangelico or rum (optional) OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping (optional)

  • 500 ml double cream (heavy cream, whipping cream or thickened cream)
  • 1 tablespoon liqueur, such as Cointreau, Frangelico or rum (optional)
  • cocoa powder for dusting OR 1 piece of dark chocolate for shaving/grating
  • fresh raspberries, optional

Instructions

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F (without fan).
  2. Line the bottom of a 23 cm/9 inch springform cake pan with baking paper. Do not grease the pan.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bain-marie (a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water) or in the microwave. Set it aside to cool slightly.
  4. Separate the 4 eggs into two large mixing bowls.
  5. Whisk the egg whites until they are thick and frothy.
  6. Add the 75 g (1/3 cup) of sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and keep whisking until the egg whites become thick and glossy.
  7. In the mixing bowl with the 4 egg yolks, whisk in the remaining 2 eggs, plus the remaining sugar and liqueur (if using). 
  8. Whisk in the chocolate mixture.
  9. Fold in the whisked egg whites, one-third at a time, taking care not to deflate the mixture.
  10. Once the egg whites have been evenly incorporated into the batter, pour the batter into the cake pan.
  11. Gently shake the pan to level out the batter.
  12. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has risen and the centre does not wobble when you shake the pan gently. If you use a cake skewer, it will leave a visible hole in the centre of the cake, but this is ok if you plan to decorate the cake later.
  13. Place the cake pan on a wire rack to completely cool and set. The cake will sink as it cools.
  14. Use a small palette knife to carefully remove the cake from the sides of the pan.
  15. Transfer to the cake to a plate for serving.

For the topping

  1. Place the cream and liqueur (if using) into a large, clean bowl.
  2. Whisk until the cream is thick and soft. Be careful not to over-whip the cream.
  3. Dollop the cream onto the cake.
  4. Dust with sifted cocoa powder or shaved/grated chocolate.

Kitchen Notes

RECIPE CREDIT
This recipe is adapted from Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

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3 comments

  1. Christine 5 April 2022

    Delicious! Always been a fan of this Nigella recipe too. Thanks for reminding me!

    Reply
  2. Adam Law 28 April 2022

    Amazing chocolate cake! I used Lindt 70% chocolate and it was perfect – not too sweet, not too bitter.

    Reply
  3. Marie-Rose 12 May 2022

    Lovely and elegant chocolate cake. Plus it’s gluten-free!

    Reply