This flourless chocolate cake is rich, moist and simple to make. Naturally gluten-free and low in sugar, this delicious cake boasts a depth of chocolate flavour with none of the guilt. It’s the ultimate decadent treat!
Why I love this decadent chocolate cake
I can never resist this indulgent chocolatey dessert. It is deceptively easy to make, not overly sweet and still retains some lightness due to the fluffy egg mixture. This richness of this cake coupled with good quality chocolate, will satisfy your chocolate cravings. A small slice will go a long way and will sure to be a crowd pleaser.
- Bittersweet chocolate: You can use either a bar or chips. Note that some chocolate chips contain stabilizers like soy lecithin which may prevent them from melting easily into a silky smooth consistency. In either case, it’s key to use good quality chocolate as you will taste the difference. I like to use Camino Fair Trade Organic Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. They're gluten-free, dairy free and nut free.
- Eggs: You will need 6 eggs for this recipe. The eggs give much of the moisture and texture in this cake as well as some of the rise. You’ll want to whisk or beat them until they’re nice and fluffy and this will add a little airy lightness to the cake.
- Espresso powder: This will elevate your chocolate and give your cake a really intense chocolate flavour. Adding a small amount to your recipe will not make your cake taste like coffee or mocha, rather it will make your chocolate shine. Espresso powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated into crystals that dissolve in liquid. You can leave it out of the recipe if you prefer but I encourage you to give it a try, you won’t regret it!
- Coconut palm sugar: Adds a little sweetness and beautiful caramel notes.
- Coconut oil or ghee: Adds delicious moistness to the cake. Try my homemade ghee recipe for a slight buttery flavor.
Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 300°F.
Generously oil the sides and bottom of a 9” round springform pan with coconut oil or ghee, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper on top of the coconut oil or ghee. To cut the round of parchment, just place the pan on the parchment paper, trace the pan with a pencil, then cut out the circle.
Coarsely chop the bittersweet chocolate if using a bar, and place the chocolate and the coconut oil or ghee into a large heat-proof bowl over a double-boiler, stirring with a heat-proof spatula until fully melted, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from double-boiler and allow chocolate to fully cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Your chocolate will cool faster if you stir it occasionally.
While chocolate is cooling, beat eggs with a whisk or electric mixer on high speed while slowly adding the coconut sugar until fully incorporated. Add the espresso powder and the vanilla until well combined and continue to whisk until the mixture is fluffy, about 8-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the volume has more than doubled, and the beaters create a ribbon effect when lifted from the egg mixture.
Gently mix the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate, scooping up from the bottom and along the sides of the bowl (make sure chocolate is fully cooled to room temperature or you may end up with scrambled eggs in your chocolate). Take care not to over mix as not to deflate the mixture.
Pour batter into prepared springform pan and bake on middle rack for 40-45 minutes. The cake will rise in the pan, form a thin crust on top and be slightly firm, and will deflate when cooled.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pan completely.
Once cooled, remove from springform pan and dust with cocoa powder before serving.
Common Questions About Flourless Chocolate Cake
I highly recommend you use a springform pan, as it makes it so much easier to remove the cake and place it on a serving dish. If you only have a cake pan then make sure to grease the sides and bottom well and use a round cutout of unbleached parchment paper in the bottom of the pan (just like you would in the springform pan) and grease the parchment. You don’t want this cake sticking! If you are using an 8-inch pan then you will need to increase your cooking time by a few minutes.
I love using a good quality bittersweet chocolate as it adds richness and depth to the recipe. You can swap it for another chocolate but know that you may not get the flavour profile you are looking for, and there may be some added sugar depending on the chocolate you choose.
You can use maple syrup but because of the added moisture, you will need to cook the cake for several minutes longer.
A small amount of espresso powder intensifies the flavour of the chocolate so I highly recommend it and a little won’t make your cake taste like coffee or mocha. Espresso powder is essentially instant espresso so you can swap it out for instant coffee if that’s all you have but know that the flavour may be more bitter and you’ll need more in the recipe to boost the chocolate flavour. Do not use regular coffee granules, they will not dissolve in your recipe.
- The cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days. If you don’t have a cake container, you can poke some toothpicks in the cake before covering with plastic wrap so that the cake doesn’t stick to the wrap.
- It also freezes well in an airtight container for up to 3 months, longer than that and the flavor can diminish. Make sure to wrap the cake well so that it doesn’t absorb flavors from the freezer. It will take about 8 hours to thaw properly in the fridge.