Flourless chocolate cake is the sort of dessert that should be on standby for everyone who likes to bake. By this, I mean that you should have all the ingredients you need to make this cake on hand at all times. I recommend this because this flourless chocolate cake is delicious, delivers a lot of rich chocolate flavor and happens to be extremely easy to make. On top of that, the cake can be served both warm or chilled (and is excellent both ways), so you can prepare it at the last minute before serving or well in advance. You really can’t ask for more that than in one recipe.
I’ve been making variations on this chocolate cake recipe, which originally came from an issue of Gourmet magazine, for several years now. It has just five ingredients, and the combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder in the cake gives it a very intense chocolate flavor without requiring a huge amount of chocolate. The cake bakes quickly and can be turned out of the baking pan right onto a serving platter. It is not heavy (so you can eat it in bigger slices!), but it is fudgy and satisfying. It is excellent while it is warm, and at room temperature, and freezes very well if you want to save some for later. The cake itself is relatively thin, so if you a bigger cake, simply bake two layers and stack them up with some chocolate ganache or fresh fruit in between.
Use good quality chocolate for this recipe (I usually use Guittard). Semisweet, bittersweet and dark chocolate will all work very well, so taste the chocolate you are going to use and make sure you like the flavor because that will be the base of the cake. I use dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe because natural cocoa powder typically has a little more bitterness to it and I like the cake to taste as smooth as possible. That said, you can use either dutch process or natural cocoa powder in this recipe and will still get excellent results. I always add vanilla to my cake, but a splash of almond extract, peppermint extract or citrus oil can put a whole new twist on this cake, too.
Classic Flourless Chocolate Cake
(originally from Gourmet magazine, Nov. ’97)
4-oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder (pref. dutch process)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together chocolate and butter, stirring with a fork until very smooth.
Pour warm chocolate mixture into a medium mixing bowl with sugar. Whisk to combine. Beat in eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next, then mix in vanilla extract. Sift cocoa powder into the bowl and whisk until well-combined.
Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a serving platter. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
MollyApril 18, 2011
Why oh why did I not buy kosher for Passover cocoa powder when I did my holiday shopping Friday morning? Well, I can always go back to the market on Thursday. Thanks for the recipe. Definitely bookmarking this one.
DeborahApril 18, 2011
What about the glaze it is sitting on?
Maris (in Good Taste)April 18, 2011
Bookmarked immediately! This looks fantastic!
Jenny W (The Housewife Project)April 19, 2011
I have not made flourless chocolate cake in years because when I did so, it was somehow a flop! I am ready to try again now. Thanks for the inspiration.
d.liff @ yelleBELLYbooApril 19, 2011
Looks WAY better than the flourless chocolate cake I made – which TOTALLY flopped. Next time I’ll have to try this for sure!
KarissaApril 20, 2011
I can vouch that this is AWESOME flourless chocolate cake. I also found this recipe originally on Epicurious, and my boyfriend was skeptical (as always) but then very pleasantly surprised (as always) that it was delicious. I have been thinking about making this again for days…it’s going to be my go-to flourless chocolate cake recipe. It might even be my go-to chocolate cake recipe, period. I’m not complaining that there’s no flour. Less ingredients, more chocolate. I made some fresh whipped cream to go with it. So addictive.
AshlaeApril 21, 2011
I wonder if I can make this flourless, eggless and butterless.. maybe eggless + butterless with substitutions 🙂 I cannot wait to try this – I love dense chocolate cakes.
Nikki (Pennies on a Platter)April 25, 2011
Chocolate flourless cake is one of my faves. I’ve made it in cupcake form, but will need to try this recipe, too. Thanks!
UrsaMay 20, 2011
Do you think it could be made with shortening instead of butter? I know that sounds sacrilegious, and I LOVE butter, but I am looking to make something for a friend who cannot eat wheat or dairy. Do you think it would work out?
It looks delicious, and on a side note, I have made several of your Girl Scout cookie recipes and they were a HUGE hit! Thanks!
NicoleMay 20, 2011
Ursa – I haven’t tried shortening here, but I think that it will work in this recipe and should still turn out a nice, fudgy cake.
MaggieMay 29, 2011
This recipe is awesome!!! I served it over a warm chocolate charlotte (just put in a microwave bowl some chocolate pieces mixed with whipped cream and butter for a few minutes at half temperature) and top it with whipped cream. Can’t stop eating it!
JoiJuly 6, 2011
I made this and instead of butter used unsweetened applesauce (1/2 cup), doubled egg whites (6) for the whole eggs and used brown sugar instead of white sugar. It still came out great and was a healthier version.
If you ever want to leave out butter just subsitute equal parts of unsweetened applesauce.
JenniAugust 7, 2011
I made a Mexican chocolate version of this–used actual Mexican chocolate and added some cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne (as well as a bit of cinnamon extract along with the vanilla). It was delicious.
CourtzSeptember 6, 2011
Has anyone made a white chocolate flourless cake? i need to try to make one for a friends birthday. eckk.
yappersSeptember 9, 2011
SharwoMarch 24, 2012
I tried it today and it is fabulous… Serve it chilled even taste better.. Tq so much for the recipe.
JessicaMarch 31, 2012
I want to make a chocolate layer cake, sort of like a spin on a Death by Chocolate Cake… wanted to see if this recipe would yield dense cake that can hold up to a brownie layer.
JadeAugust 31, 2012
I’m 15 and I just made this cake. I found it so easy and it tastes amazing. It’s my mum and her boyfriends 1 year anniversary today and I made this cake for them, since my mum is gluten intolerant and I just tried a piece. Its so moist and fudgy! I would definately reccomend this! 🙂
rebeccaOctober 25, 2012
I used ghee instead of traditional butter and rose infused chocolate instead….WOW
DonnaMay 28, 2013
This is a wonderful recipe. I wrapped the cake in Saran Wrap and foil and put it in the freezer for a day, before covering it with a fudgy, cream cheese frosting. I used store brand cocoa (not Dutch), and Hersey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips for melting. Everyone loved it! I had 4 requests for the recipe, and I will definitely make it again.