Flourless Chocolate Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This gluten-free flourless chocolate cake is a crowd-pleaser for all occasions and ages.

Everyone needs a good flourless chocolate cake recipe – this is mine, and it’s a crowd-pleaser for all occasions. Not only the cake ideal for those following a gluten-free diet, but it’s also perfect for Passover since it contains neither flour nor leavening. Though the cake looks fancy with its pillowy whipped cream topping and elegant chocolate curls, it’s quick and easy to make; with one bowl and an electric hand mixer, you can whip up the batter in 15 minutes. As the cake bakes, the edges and top develop a crisp, cracked crust while the center remains moist, fudgy, and brownie-like.

If you’d prefer to top the cake with meringue instead of whipped cream, see this similar flourless chocolate cake with a marshmallowy meringue topping. To see how to make those beautiful chocolate curls, click here.

What You’ll Need To Make Flourless Chocolate Cake

flourless chocolate cake ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Cake

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave until hot and foamy (careful not to boil it, or it will splatter all over your microwave).

melted butter

Add the chocolate and espresso powder.

adding chocolate and espresso powder to melted butter

Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (If necessary, pop the bowl back into the microwave for 20 seconds to melt any remaining bits of chocolate.)

melted chocolate mixture

Add the granulated sugar to the melted chocolate mixture.

adding granulated sugar to chocolate mixture

Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed between each addition for about 20 seconds.

beating in the eggs one at a time

After all of the eggs are incorporated, quickly beat in the vanilla.

flourless chocolate cake batter after all of the eggs and vanilla are incorporated

Add the sifted cocoa powder.

adding the sifted cocoa powder

Mix on low speed until evenly incorporated.

finished flourless chocolate cake batter

Pour the batter into a greased springform pan.

batter poured into springform pan

Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and set (it will likely crack a bit on top; that’s normal and part of the charm of the cake). It’s a little tricky to test for doneness, but if you insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cake through one of the cracks, you should get wet crumbs.

baked flourless chocolate cake on rack

Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove the ring on the springform pan and allow the cake to cool completely. It will deflate a bit in the center as it cools.

cooling flourless chocolate cake

Step 2: Make the Topping

No more than 3 hours before serving, make the topping. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or beaters), whip the heavy cream until slightly thickened and then sprinkle the confectioners’ sugar over the cream.

slightly whipped heavy cream and sugar

Beat until soft, pillowy peaks form. Do not overbeat. (Alternatively, the whipped cream can be beaten by hand in a deep mixing bowl with a whisk.)

whipped cream in bowl

Dollop and swirl the whipped cream decoratively over the cake.

adding the whipped cream to the cake

Sift a bit of cocoa powder over the cream and decorate with chocolate curls (if using).

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

This gluten-free flourless chocolate cake is a crowd-pleaser for all occasions and ages.

Servings: 10 to 12

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder/instant espresso (optional, for a more intense chocolate flavor)
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted (see note)

For the Topping

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3 tablespoons Confectioners' sugar
  • Cocoa powder and/or chocolate curls, for decorating

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave until hot and foamy (careful not to boil it, or it will splatter all over your microwave). Add the chocolate and espresso powder (if using), and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (If necessary, pop the bowl back into the microwave for 20 seconds to melt any remaining bits of chocolate.)
  3. Add the granulated sugar to the melted chocolate mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed between each addition for about 20 seconds. Quickly beat in the vanilla. Add the cocoa powder and mix on low speed until evenly incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 32 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and set (it will likely crack a bit on top; that's normal and part of the charm of the cake). It's a little tricky to test for doneness, but if you insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cake through one of the cracks, you should get wet crumbs. Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove the ring on the springform pan and allow the cake to cool completely.
  4. No more than 3 hours before serving, make the topping. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or beaters), whip the heavy cream until slightly thickened. Sprinkle the confectioners' sugar over the cream and beat until soft, pillowy peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  5. Dollop and swirl the whipped cream decoratively over the cake. Sift a bit of cocoa powder over the cream and decorate with chocolate curls (if using).
  6. Note: The easiest way to sift the cocoa powder is to pass it through a fine mesh sieve when adding it to the cake batter.
  7. Make-Ahead Instructions: The base of the cake can be made up to one day ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before topping with whipped cream and serving. Leftover cake can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (bring to room temperature before serving).

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 401
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Sugar: 31 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 45 mg
  • Cholesterol: 149 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I made this for Mother’s Day for my dinner guests. It was the menu item my guests raved most about. My brother, who does not usually eat sweets, could not pass it up and he loved it. It is hands down the best chocolate cake I have ever made! I have added it to my recipe box ❤️. Thanks for sharing this winner Jenn!

    • — Kathy M. on May 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi!
    Would it be possible to use brewed espresso rather than instant? Thanks so much- I LOVE all your recipes!
    -Amelia

    • — Amelia on April 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Amelia, I don’t think it will make a difference in the flavor of the cake if you do that, so I’d just omit the espresso powder – it will still be delicious!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • Love your blog, Jenn! It’s my go to when looking for a new recipe!

    Could this recipe be converted to make mini cakes like in a muffin tin? If so, what would you suggest?

    • — Amanda on April 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Amanda, so glad you like the recipes! I haven’t tried it but do think you could bake this batter in a muffin tin. The bake time will depend on how much you fill the wells up. I’d start checking them at 15 to 20 minutes (but they may take longer). Please LMK how they turn out if you make them this way!

      • — Jenn on April 7, 2021
      • Reply
      • I tried it! While they tasted fantastic, I couldn’t get them out of the tins without destroying their appearance. Maybe if I used liners, but I think I’ll stick with the original recipe and just serve slices! Great recipe as is!

        • — Amanda on April 9, 2021
        • Reply
        • Good to know and sorry they were hard to get out of the pan – thanks for the follow-up (I’m sure other readers will appreciate that as well)!

          • — Jenn on April 9, 2021
          • Reply
  • This is just one more of your recipes I made. People thought it was beautiful and delicious.

    • — FAYE BEINER on April 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Do you have the recipe in metric units also? I’m in Australia and our measurements differ.

    • — Kim on March 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, I usually include them, but forgot to on this one — will do that today — stay tuned!

      • — Jenn on March 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’ve made a few different flourless chocolate cake recipes, and this is the best and easiest ever. As we were about to start baking we realized we only had natural cocoa, not Dutch-process, but it was still amazing and intensely chocolatey. Since we had a tiny group, we garnished slices individually with whipped cream and raspberries and refrigerated the leftovers. It was fantastic!

    • — Wendy on March 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jen, if I’d like to cut on sugar, can I add only half of the called amount?
    How significantly will it impact the taste?

    • — Natalie on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Natalie, I wouldn’t cut the sugar by half; I’d use at least 3/4 – 1 cup. If you’d like to cut back on the sweetness, you could reduce the Confectioners’ sugar in the whipped cream. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2021
      • Reply
    • Wow! This cake is fantastic. Very easy to make and it is addictive. I’ve made two in the last two weeks. Lol. You will love it. It has a flavor that will stay with you and make you want to make it often. Try it and I promise you won’t be dissapointed. Thanks so much.

      • — Jon on April 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was the first thing I baked in my new oven! It was delicious. It got rave reviews from everyone for the presentation and the taste. It was quick to mix up. I love a recipe that produces WOW results with little effort:)

    • — Tonya on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can I use instant medium roast coffee if I dont have espresso? Thanks!!

    • — Paul on March 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • This cake came out perfectly, Jenn! We like a slight mocha flavor, so I doubled the espresso powder. Thank you for the link to the chocolate curls. They made the cake look so professional!

    • — Lynne on March 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • I would like to make this flourless cake for my gluten free mother, whom also can not tolerate coffee. While the espresso is noted to be optional, I want to maintain the chocolate flavor. Any suggestions?

    • — Kathy M on March 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, It will still taste very chocolatey without the espresso powder, but you could add some extra chocolate curls on top to boost the chocolate flavor.

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • Nice! If you enjoy brownies, this recipe won’t disappoint you.

    • — Jenn Vincent on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Could this be made dairy free(vegan) as well? Thank you for all of your great recipes!

    • — cheryl on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately with the butter, the eggs and the whipped cream, I don’t think this would translate well to a vegan recipe. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • should the eggs be room temp? or does that not matter?

    • — Candi1 rittenberg on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • It doesn’t matter. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • This looks delicious. Do you think it can be made the day before serving without the topping? I’d add the topping upon serving. If so, would it be stored overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature? HAPPY PASSOVER.

    • — Ilene on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ilene, You can definitely make the cake a day ahead and store in the fridge; just bring to room temp before serving.

      • — Jenn on March 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • What is the size of the springform?

    • — Luanne on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Luanne, It’s a 9-inch pan.

      • — Jenn on March 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • Could you add some boozy prunes to this, or would they sink to the bottom?
    Also, could the cake be frozen?

    • — Kate on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kate, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’d like to include them, I’d serve them on the side. And, I think you could freeze it, but be gentle with it as the top is a bit delicate. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • What adjustments are needed to make this at high altitude?

    • — Kathy on March 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful though. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on March 25, 2021
      • Reply

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