These easy flourless fudge cookies are made with egg whites, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Crisp on the edges, and chewy inside. Packed with chocolate flavor!
Why bake flourless?
Over the years, I’ve done more and more flourless baking and I’ll be honest. There are a few reasons that I decided to focus on baking without any flour.
I first started doing it because I was getting a little bored baking with gluten free all purpose flour blends. After 5 cookbooks and publishing blog recipes since 2009 (?), I thought maybe I’d made it all already?
Of course there are tons of more traditional recipes still to make. But I do just love the challenge of baking without anything ground into a flour. Anything at all.
In the case of these amazing flourless fudge cookies, you’ll only need egg whites, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and some chips. There’s also a bit of salt and vanilla, but you could even do them without either.
If you’re hesitant to bake with gluten free flours or you’re baking with limits beyond gluten free these days, flourless baking is the perfect place to begin your journey.
What are these cookies like?
These flourless fudge cookies make such a nice show of themselves that you often see cookies just like them in bakeries. They deceptively simple, though, both in method and in ingredients.
They’re almost like a chocolate meringue. But the egg whites are only beaten until foamy, not until they’re, well, meringue with stiff peaks.
You simply must beat the egg whites until they’re foamy, though, or your raw mixture will spread terribly and you won’t get the shiny top or chewy inside texture.
Dramatic change in the oven
These cookies change rather dramatically in the oven. The raw cookies are very shiny in appearance and seem almost like a liquid. But when they’re finished baking, they’re firm and chewy, with a rich, chocolate taste.
They puff in the oven and deflate as they cool. They’ll be crispy around the edges and chewy toward the center. And they’re so easy!
Ingredients and substitutions
Egg whites: First off, I should mention that the egg whites in the carton have worked quite well for me, but in my experience, those do vary in quality quite a bit from brand to brand. To be safe, I’d stay away from a store brand of carton egg whites, unless that store brand is Trader Joe’s as those have worked perfectly for me.
When I first posted this recipe, I never would have thought I could provide you with a suggestion for an egg white substitution for this recipe. It was hard to imagine replacing egg whites when the recipe is little more than egg whites, cocoa powder, and sugar.
But since I’ve been doing so much allergen-free baking lately, I have an educated guess to offer you! ? Although I haven’t tried this substitution, I actually think that aquafaba would work well as a substitute by weight. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out!
Cocoa powder: I’ve made this recipe with Dutch-processed cocoa powder, and with natural cocoa powder, and both work well. The Dutch-processed cocoa variety just makes a richer chocolate cookie.
You can’t, however, replace the cocoa powder with something that isn’t chocolate. At least I haven’t had success in trying, and I don’t recommend it.
Chocolate chips: I have tried making these cookies without any chips or other mix-in pieces and it’s a disaster! The chips really help the cookies hold the batter in some sort of shape.
You can replace them with any other sort of chip you prefer, or with a mixture of chips and chopped nuts. Keep in mind that you need something in pieces that hold their shape in the oven.
Sugars: Sine this recipe is so simple, the confectioners’ sugar play a large role in its success. You can try using Swerve or Lankato brand alternative sugar, confectioners’ variety.
Keep in mind that alternative sugars tend to be drying, so you might have to add some moisture. Maybe even some water? You’ll have to experiment!
Weight Watchers note: If you make the cookies into 24 smaller ones (rather than 12 larger ones, as you see in the photos here) and you’re following Weight Watchers, each has 4 SmartPoints.
Bakery-Style Flourless Fudge Cookies
3 egg whites (75 g), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
2 cups (230 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (can substitute a combination of chopped nuts and chips, by weight)
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place all but about 1 scant tablespoon of the egg whites and whisk vigorously by hand until the egg whites have begun to foam and thicken. Add the vanilla, and continue to whisk until the egg whites have nearly doubled in volume. Add the cocoa powder, and whisk until well-combined. The batter will be very thick, but just keep whipping and it will begin to smooth out. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt, and the remaining egg whites, and whisk by hand until smooth and slowly pourable. The mixture will clump and thicken, but just keep whisking and it will become smooth again.
Add the chocolate chips to the cookie batter, and fold the chips into the batter using a wide spatula until the chips are evenly distributed throughout it.
Scoop the batter into about 12 or 24 portions, each 1 to 2 tablespoons, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies. The batter will spread, but slowly. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are just set and beginning to crack on top, 12 to 14 minutes. They will puff in the oven, and then deflate as they cool. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets. For easy removal of the cookies from the parchment paper, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5 minutes, and then peel away the parchment from the backs of the cookies. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer.
Originally published on the blog in 2013. Photos and video all new, method revised somewhat for clarification and consistency of results.