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Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake
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A flourless chocolate cake is one of those restaurant-style desserts that it’s tempting to think is too fussy to make at home. Pish posh! It’s gluten-free by nature, and if you can stand the 3 bowls it takes, you can whip up for your chocolate-loving Valentine any time.
Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

The truth is (not that anything else I’ve told you is a lie – I never lie!), I hate using springform pans. I’ll do almost anything to avoid them. They tend to leak, they’re confusing to assemble if you’re not really on your game (which is the top, which is the bottom, for crying out loud?), and they’re a b**** to clean. But. But you’d better use one for this flourless chocolate cake or I’ll never forgive you.

Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

As a consolation prize, I will allow you to complain bitterly about all the bowls you have to press into service to properly assemble this otherwise simple cake. Complain away, my Valentine friends! I certainly didn’t hold back. Not that anyone was listening, mind you. It’s just me and the dogs here, and all they do is listen for a well-placed expletive so that they know to come running. Expletive = something dropped on the floor (don’t worry – they don’t get to eat anything with chocolate in it, even off the floor).

Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

This was what it looked like as I prepared to enjoy a slice of this cake. And then the children ruined everything by showing up and each giving me “the look.” I’m powerless in the face of the look! I gave them my piece. I have the spine of a jellyfish.

Anyway, here are the bowls in action:

Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

They clean up fast, though. I promise.

Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

If you’ve never made a flourless chocolate cake before (although I will submit that you’ve never really even had flourless chocolate cake until you’ve had this recipe), you may find its tendency to rise like a regular cake and then fall abruptly after it is removed from the oven rather alarming. Fear not! That’s what it is meant to do. Oh, and if you use a dark-colored springform pan (which if you can avoid, do), start watching it closely at 25 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free)

Even though we already did a Valentine’s Day Sweets Menu, this smooth and decadent cake is just too good not to share. ‘Cause you know, you can totally make it any day of the year. I’ll still call you Valentine, if it makes you happy. Here are the printable details:

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 9-inch cake


6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, chopped (plus more for greasing)

2 egg whites (60 g out of shell) + 3 eggs (180 g out of shell)

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted (it’s worth it here to sift)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan, line with a 9-inch round of unbleached parchment paper, then butter the paper. Set the pan aside.

  • Melt the chocolate & butter. In a double boiler or a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and 8 tablespoons butter until both are melted and smooth. If you are using the microwave method, microwave in 30-second increments at 70% power, stirring in between intervals, taking care not to burn the chocolate. Set the mixture aside to cool briefly.

  • Beat the egg whites. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), beat the 2 egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, beating medium-high speed until glossy peaks begin to form. As you add more sugar, the whites will thicken and will not hold peaks as well. Keep beating until a thick, glossy mixture forms.

  • Assemble the batter. In a large bowl (lots of bowls!), whisk the 3 whole eggs and cocoa powder until well-combined. Add the chocolate and butter mixture slowly, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the beaten egg white and sugar mixture into the large bowl, and fold the egg white mixture into the batter carefully but completely. The mixture will be thickly pourable, and medium-brown in color.

  • Bake & serve. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top carefully, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake, rotating once, for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is set in the center and has just begun to pull away from the sides of the pan in spots. Cool the cake completely, in the pan, on a wire rack. For extra insurance against cracking, chill the molded cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes before unmolding. Slice with a sharp, wet knife and serve.



P.S. Please pick up your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

  • Lisa

    Yep, this is the one. Thank you so much for all you do for us gf sweet lovers out here. You just made my Valentine happy!

  • Katelyn B

    My Kitchenaid broke :( (it was my 17th birthday present) and I’m still waiting on our tax return to replace it, but THIS will be the first thing I make when I’m back on action.

  • http://www.melskitchencafe.com/ Mel

    You crack me up, Nicole. I echo your sentiments about cleaning springform pans…but alas, sometimes they are necessary. I’ve had a ton of requests for a flourless chocolate cake and have been on the search. I’m going to make your recipe. I like how it looks a bit less gummy and undercooked than most recipes I’ve seen. Lovely!

    • gfshoestring

      Mel! You’re here! If I had known you were coming, I might have cleaned the place up. I’d be so honored if you tried my humble little recipe. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Gina Kelley

    I love flourless chocolate cake!  I used to make it all the time.  You’re right, it’s not too tricky, and it’s totally worth it.

  • http://celiackiddo.wordpress.com/ Dana Schwartz

    Oh, how I do enjoy your posts! The pictures are gorgeous, sure, very “pin-able” for those Pinterest addicts (just joined!) but I’m really here for the writing, Nicole. You crack me up! And we happen to share a severe dislike of dirtying too many dishes (not to mention the Cuisinart) and dropping expletives along with whatever falls in the floor. Thanks for laughs and this insane looking cake.

    • gfshoestring

      That is one of the very many reasons that I so enjoy your virtual company, Dana. We speak each other’s unspoken language. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Amy

    Ooh! I’ve been trying to figure out what I could make in my new heart-shaped springform pan. This looks like the winner! Thanks for the recipe! Love your blog! xoxo, Amy

    • gfshoestring

      A heart-shaped springform pan, huh, Amy? Go for it. Me? I’d line up someone who promises to clean that pan (oh the crevices when it’s heart-shaped!!) before making the cake. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lisa

    I making this. I’ve made other flourless chocolate cakes but this one seems different enough (in a wonderful way) that I want to try again. yum yum yum

  • Peggy Ford0518

    I have made flourless peanutbutter cookies but this is the first flourless chocolate cake recipe I’ve seen.  Will have to try this one soon!  Thans, Nicole!

  • Pamela Gordon

    this looks frickin’ awesome!!! Will have to try! <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/tiltoncrew Jennifer Tilton

    Oh no you didn’t! Now, I just need to make it look like PF Chiang’s Chocolate Dome Cake and my daughter will be over the moon!

  • Pam

    Now I need to buy a springform pan!

    • gfshoestring

      Oh, no, Pam! You can totally make in a solid-sided pan, but maybe try a tart pan. The low sides will make it easier to get out of the pan. Springforms pans are so fussy!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Justice887

    I am totally going to make this for my 2 sweet Valentine’s tomorrow! I thought I had a stand-by recipe already but yours has more chocolate and I like the addition of the egg whites. Still think I’ll add the Frangelico to mine, but that’s only because I have some in the cupboard. Thank you for your witty sense of humor…it makes my day!

    • gfshoestring

      Oh by all means add some booze, Justice! Perhaps not for the children, but who am I to judge. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jasmine Carlton

    I love flourless chocolate cake! One place I worked as a pastry chef we would make these 10 at a time! That wasn’t as fun.. I bake mine in a solid, parchment lined pan in a water path at 300F with top of the pan covered in foil for many hours (3-4) until it looks set and the top is matte not glossy. Cool gently at room temp in the water bath for a couple hours and refrigerate. Once it’s chilled it turns right out of the pan and the consistency is like fudge. So good. Just thought an alternate baking option might interest you :)
    Thanks so much for everything you do, you make being GF so much easier!!

  • Chris

    If I wasn’t sick, I’d be making this for myself RIGHT NOW!

  • Rena Holcomb

    Do you have any calorie/carb/fat/fiber information?  It is a pain having to be gluten free, dealing with a few other tummy issues and trying to count points with Weight Watchers.  Love your recipes~ 

  • Dominic’s Mominic

    This was absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe. We’re newbies to this lifestyle and are very thankful for everything you’re willing to share. Checked the book out at the library and have made just 2 recipes from it but hubs says you are a lifesaver. Looks like you have another believer…and another book (or both) sale. Thanks a million!

  • Annette Coats

    I made this last night but played with the proportions a bit and used 2 7″ springform pans since it is just the hubs and I. ;)
    Here are my notes (in case it’s helpful):
    12 oz chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)
    6 eggs (4 whites, 6 yolks)
    1 cp Sugar
    No chg to butter or cocoa
    Baking time was nearly the same, but I started checking at 2. :)

    Made a lovely dessert for us and one to share with the neighbors!
    Thanks Nicole!!! You’re a RockStar in the Kitchen, GF or not!
    Annette Coats
    (aka. The Newbie)

  • Julie Bergfeld

    Can this be made with a butter substitute? I can’t do dairy

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