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Made with just 5 ingredients, this rich, dense, fudgy flourless chocolate cake is easy to whip up and is decadent in every sense of the word!
I want to talk about this flourless chocolate cake like it’s a person. You with me? Here we go! Meet Lollie. Lollie was our favorite friend from school. She was funny, easy-going, and smart. She now lives several towns over and only drops by once in a blue moon, but by golly, when our BFF Lollie comes to town, we have the BEST time. We open a bottle of wine, giggle for hours, forget our grievances, and walk away happier versions of ourselves.
This cake is just like our BFF Lollie. I don’t make this flourless chocolate cake very often, but when I do, it’s absolutely life-changing. Dense, rich, delicious, and special. It’s best enjoyed with a glass of red wine and the kind of smile that tells any sad, negative thoughts to “go take a hike.” This cake is my spirit animal, my love language, my Lollie.
What is flourless chocolate cake?
These are the two big things that set flourless chocolate cake apart from a classic chocolate cake:
- No flour – just as it sounds, flourless chocolate cake is made sans flour! Instead, we’ll just use chocolate, eggs, and butter.
- It’s denser and fudgier – flourless chocolate cake is denser and fudgier than classic chocolate cake, and because of that, it has a much richer taste!
Just a few ingredients (5 to be exact) are required to whip this bad boy up, plus a few extra ingredients for topping your cake if you so choose! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dark Chocolate – the star of the show! You’ll need 16 ounces of dark chocolate here. This can be in chocolate bar form (you’ll just chop it up before melting it!) or chocolate chip/chunk form. Don’t worry too much about the exact chocolate you buy…melted chocolate is melted chocolate!
- Eggs – in addition to the chocolate, you’ll also need 7 large eggs.
- Butter – the third (and final) main ingredient here is butter! For the cake itself, you’ll need 1 cup (16 tablespoons or 2 sticks) of butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Then, for greasing the pan, you’ll need about a tablespoon of cold butter.
- Sea Salt – in addition to the big 3 ingredients above, you’ll also need a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract will add the perfect touch of vanilla here.
- Hard Cider Ganache (optional) – if you choose to dress your cake like we did, we recommend our Hard Cider Ganache (1 batch will do!).
- Fresh Berries (optional) – again, optional, but if you choose to top your cake with berries, 1 pint of the fresh berries of your choice will do!
How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake
Because extensive, complicated baking directions sometimes intimidate me too, I’ve crafted this recipe so that it’s as straight-forward as possible. *Anyone* can whip this bad boy up and have themselves set for an epic celebration or fun date night in! Here’s how you’ll do it:
- Melt the chocolate – unless you’re working with chocolate chips, cut the chocolate into small (1/2-inch sized) pieces. You can melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
- Add the butter, sea salt, and vanilla – once the chocolate is melted, sitr in the butter, sea salt, and vanilla, and continue to stir until it’s smooth and incorporated. TIP: if the chocolate isn’t warm enough, place it back over the double-boiler or back in the microwave long enough so that the butter can melt and incorporate into the chocolate.
- Beat the eggs – place the 7 large eggs in a large bowl and beat on high for at least 4 minutes, or until they almost double in size and have a frothy texture.
- Fold the eggs into the chocolate – once the eggs are nice and frothy, slowly fold the eggs into the chocolate. TIP: resist the urge to stir the eggs into the chocolate – stirring will cause the air you just beat into the eggs to disappear. The goal is to maintain as many air bubbles as possible.
- Prepare the pan – grease a 9-inch springform pan with the remaining tablespoon of butter, then place a circle of parchment paper (cut to fit) in the bottom of the pan.
- Add the batter to the pan + bake – pour the chocolate cake mix into the prepared pan, then bake the cake at 350ºF for 30 minutes, or until the edges look like they’ve started to pull away from the side of the pan.
- Let cool – once out of the oven, let the cake cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to continue chilling for at least 4 hours. TIP: in order to maintain its shape, the cake needs to be completely cooled.
- Frost + serve – once the cake is cooled, use a knife to cut around the edge of the pan to make sure that it’s completely separated. Remove the sides of the pan and then, by using a sheet tray or platter, flip the cake upside down so that you can peel off the parchment paper. Flip the cake right-side over on your serving platter, and then add the ganache and berries if desired. You can then store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve!
Tips for Success
This cake is really easy to bring together, but there are a few things to keep top of mind as you make it. Here are our best tips for fudgy flourless cake success:
- Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate if possible – with this much chocolate, it’ll actually be quicker to melt using the double boiler method, and you don’t want to risk burning it and having to start a new batch!
- Don’t skip beating the eggs for 4 minutes – it may seem like a long time, but whipping the eggs for so long gives them a frothy texture that will help lighten up the cake.
- Gently fold the chocolate into the eggs – if you stir the chocolate into the eggs, they will deflate – we want to keep that airy texture!
- Don’t cut the cake before it cools – if you try to take the cake out of the pan before it cools completely, it will stick. Patience is key here!
Troubleshooting your Cake
If you get stuck while making this recipe, or something about your cake mix just doesn’t seem *quite* right, try these 3 troubleshooting tips before pitching your batter and starting over:
- If your cake looks lumpy and greasy – this is likely due to the chocolate and butter separating after you add the eggs. Don’t worry – this can be fixed! Grab a whisk, and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes back together into a really smooth, melted chocolate consistency.
- If you don’t have a springform pan – no biggie! You can make this in any cake dish. Because the cake will naturally condense and pull away from the sides as it cools, just be sure to grease the dish with butter and add a piece of cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
- It doesn’t seem sweet enough – there aren’t any sweeteners in this recipe as it’s written, and because of this, the chocolate you use plays a big part in how sweet (or how bitter) your finished cake will be. The higher the percentage on the chocolate you’re using, the more bitter it will be. About 60% dark chocolate makes for a great end result. Taste the batter before you add the eggs, and if you’re worried that it’s not going to be sweet enough, add 1-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar until it’s sweetened to your liking.
My personal favorite way to enjoy this cake is with a good frosting of Hard Cider Ganache and a sprinkling of fresh berries. Here are a few other ways to top your cake:
- Leave it Plain – this cake is decadent enough to be enjoyed without any extras at all! If you are looking for a simple slice of rich, fudgy chocolate cake, leaving off any extra toppings may just be the way to go!
- Top with Berries – I threw a carton of raspberries on top of mine, but strawberries, blackberries, cherries, and lingonberries (please someone do this last one and tag me in a photo) would ALL be delicious, too!
- Top with Whipped Cream – oh whipped cream, how I love thee! Choose to make your own (homemade whipped cream is the best ever) or use store-bought if that’s your jam. Either way, whipped cream is an excellent topper here.
- Top with Hard Cider Ganache – though this flourless chocolate cake can absolutely be enjoyed “naked” (no frosting), if you’re looking to frost it, I absolutely recommend a batch of Hard Cider Ganache to get the job done. If you don’t have hard cider, substitute with water – remember, we’re not fussy here!
- Top with Berry Jam – the berry jam used in our no-bake cheesecake bars would be DIVINE over top this rich chocolate cake!
Flourless Chocolate Cake FAQs
It is! With just 5 gluten-free ingredients, this chocolate is perfect for any gluten-intolerant chocolate-lover in your life.
You’ll know that the cake is ready to come out of the oven when the edges of the cake look like they’ve started to pull away from the side of the pan. It should be ready to go after 30 minutes in the oven, and if it still looks a little bit underdone at this point, it’ll likely set and firm up as it cools!
I think there’s room for chocolate in every lifestyle or diet, but I also don’t think that indulging in this rich treat night after night or slice after slice would make anyone feel *good*. Here’s the deal, though, there’s room for everything in moderation, and ultimately, the only person who knows what feels best for you is…YOU! So, eat a slice if that feels right, enjoy every single bite, and then move on with your day happy and guilt-free! Being able to do that is the ultimate goal here!
This cake can not be made egg-free. This recipe is made with 3 (primary) ingredients – chocolate, eggs, and butter – and each of them are essential
Though we haven’t tested this, your best bet for making a dairy-free flourless chocolate cake is to use a dairy-free chocolate and swap the butter for coconut oil. If you try this, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Just for You
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- 16 ounces dark chocolate
- 7 large eggs
- 1 cup 16 tablespoons or 2 sticks butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cold butter for greasing the pan
- 1 batch Hard Cider Ganache
- 1 pint fresh berries
Unless you’re working with chocolate chips, cut the chocolate into small 1/2-inch sized pieces. Next, melt the chocolate via one of the two methods below:
- A. Double-boiler method: place the chocolate in a medium-sized glass bowl that can rest on top of a pot without falling in. Fill the pot with a couple inches of water, place the bowl of chocolate over top, and bring the water to a boil. Use a spatula to constantly stir the chocolate until it’s melted and smooth.
- B. Microwave method: place the chocolate in a medium-sized glass bowl and microwave it in 20-second increments, stirring well between each spell, until it’s melted and smooth.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add the butter, sea salt, and vanilla. Continue to stir until it’s smooth and incorporated. Note: if the chocolate isn’t warm enough, place it back over the double-boiler or back in the microwave long enough so that the butter can melt and incorporate into the chocolate.
- Place the 7 large eggs in a large bowl and using either a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs on high for at least 4 minutes, or until they almost double in size and have a frothy texture.
- Once the eggs are finished, fold about half of the eggs into the chocolate. Continue folding the chocolate over the eggs until the color is even (though lightened) and it’s all incorporated. Then add the remaining eggs and repeat the same process, folding the chocolate over the eggs until you have an even consistency. Note: resist the urge to stir the eggs into the chocolate – stirring will cause the air you just beat into the eggs to disappear. The goal is to maintain as many air bubbles as possible.
- Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Place a circle of parchment paper, cut to fit, in the bottom of the pan. Pour the chocolate cake mix into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
- Bake the cake at 350ºF for 30 minutes, or until the edges look like they’ve started to pull away from the side of the pan. Let the cake cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to continue chilling for at least 4 hours. The cake needs to be completely cooled so that the cake can maintain its shape.
- Once the cake is cooled, use a knife to cut around the edge of the pan to make sure that it’s completely separated. Remove the sides of the pan and then, by using a sheet tray or platter, flip the cake upside down so that you can peel off the bottom and parchment paper. Flip the cake right-side over on your serving platter. Add the ganache and berries. You can then store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve!
- If you don’t have a springform pan, you can use a regular cake pan! Just be sure to grease well and use that sheet of parchment paper at the bottom.
- If you let the chilled cake rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving, it will have a softer consistency.
What do you use or recommend for the dark chocolate? I have Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels, which are 69% cacao. Do you think that would be good, or should I use some of my darker chocolate bars?
Truly, any dark chocolate that you have will work. Enjoy Life is a great option! I used a 72% dark from Trader Joe’s but also know that this cake will work well with almost any variety of chocolate 😉
Does the butter need to be at room temperature for this recipe? And should the chocolate mixture cool before adding in the eggs? Thanks!
Hi Sarah! The butter temperature really doesn’t matter and the chocolate should be cool enough to touch with a finger. Hope that helps! Happy baking!
I would like to make this for an upcoming birthday celebration, but I’m unsure because there is no sugar, honey, maple syrup listed in the ingredients. Is that correct? Will it taste like a cake without sweetness added in??
made this cake on Valentines day and it was a success, my husband loves it, my son wants more and more. I shared with 2 besties and they loved it.
This is hands down one of the most incredible, decadent desserts I have ever eaten either at home or in a restaurant, I made it for my own birthday (I enjoy baking, so it was fun!). I couldn’t believe I was able to make such a fabulous, memorable thing. It’s now everyone’s favorite.
Now my husband wants it for his birthday with a peanut butter ganache. Any ideas about how to alter your ganache recipe to include peanut butter?
Incredible recipe, I would recommend it to anyone.
Cassidy Hodges says
I see it says to store in fridge until ready to serve but does it need to be kept in fridge when not being served?
Brandi Schilhab says
Hi Cassidy! Good question! You’ll want to store this cake in the fridge.
Zahra Waliji says
Hi! Can I use Lilly’s chocolate? Cannot have sugar :/
Brandi Schilhab says
I don’t see why not, Zahra! Let us know how it goes!
What dark chocolate bar do you recommend?
Brandi Schilhab says
We typically grab any organic chocolate bar that’s at least 72% dark chocolate. I hope that helps!
Wow! This recipe was simple, easy, quick and so delicious! I loved that there wasn’t a water bath to fuss with. Quick enough to make day of for a special occasion. The ganache was perfect. Fresh raspberries on top paired with a glass of Pinot noir, excellent. Will make again and again!
Brandi Schilhab says
Laura! We’re so glad you loved this recipe. I’m with you – it is really, really delicious!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us!
Delicious! A bit crumbly, but delicious. My 16 year old son devoured it! Definitely a hit over here.
Brandi Schilhab says
This is one of my very favorite recipes on the site – it’s so decadent! We’re so glad y’all loved it, Angela!