Flourless Chocolate Cake

I’ve mentioned it countless times before, but any time I see a recipe for a super chocolatey dessert, it is inevitable that I will try it eventually.  I have made other similarly decadent chocolate cakes, but had yet to try a true flourless version.  Recently my friends and I threw together a wine and cheese night in honor of a friend who was moving out of town.  I thought a flourless chocolate cake seemed like a fitting dessert for such an occasion, and it really was.  One thing that I think is so cool about this cake is the fact that it only contains three ingredients: butter, eggs and chocolate.   Clearly, chocolate is the star here with no frills or other flavors to detract attention.  You can add up to ¼ cup of strong coffee or liqueur, but I didn’t bother – chocolate tastes too good on its own.

For a cake with only three ingredients, this actually took a bit longer than I expected to prepare, mainly due to the beating of the eggs.  Thankfully the recipe has guidelines for the volume the eggs should achieve because after beating them for the recommended 5 minutes, they weren’t even close to being ready for mixing with the chocolate.  This cake has an amazing smooth, dense texture that melts in your mouth.  We did split up some leftovers at the end of the party, but the portion I brought home did not survive long.  Be sure to let the cake sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  It makes a huge difference to the slice-ability and texture.

More fabulous chocolate desserts:
Almost-Fudge Gateau
Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies
Brownie Cookies
Chocolate Decadence
Chocolate Overdose Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake
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8 large eggs, cold
1 lb. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces

Preheat the oven to 325° F and adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position.  Grease the sides of an 8-inch springform pan*
and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with heavy duty foil and set in a larger baking pan.  Bring a pot of water to boil.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the eggs at high speed until the volume doubles to approximately 1 quart (about 5-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat until smooth and very warm (about 115° F), stirring once or twice.  Fold about a third of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture using a large rubber spatula until only a few streaks of egg are visible.  Fold in half of the remaining eggs, and then the last half, until the mixture is homogenous.

Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.  Pour enough boiling water into the larger pan surrounding the springform to come about halfway up the sides of the springform.  Bake until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set, and an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center reads 140° F, 22-25 minutes.  Remove the springform from the water bath and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate overnight to mellow the flavor.  The cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

About 3o minutes prior to serving, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, invert the cake onto a plate to peel off the parchment paper, and reinvert onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar.  Use a sharp, thin knife to slice the cake, dipping it into a pitcher of hot water and wiping the blade before each cut.

*Note – a 9-inch springform may be used as well, but you will need to adjust the baking time to 18-20 minutes.

Source: adapted from Baking Illustrated

25 Responses

  1. Hi Annie, I really like the looks of your flourless chocolate cake. It appeals to the chocolate junkie in me (it’s best to just admit these things right up front!). Though I’ve had this kind of cake in restaurants, etc., I’ve never made one myself, but based on your post I think I might have to give it a whirl! It certainly does seem like an appropriate dessert to serve at a wine and cheese party . . . all those full flavors intermingling . . . yum. Like your blog very much too–it’s wonderful!


  2. Cooks Illustrated has another similar recipe that includes some sugar. I really wanted to make this one a while ago, but my family wussed out and thought it would be too bitter. I had to make the other one. It was still really good, but I still want to try the hard-core no-extra-sugar recipe!

    • Bridget,
      That’s the kind of situation where I would just not even tell them that it had no sugar, or tell them I added some 😉 It’s fabulous even without the sugar, definitely give it a try!
      🙂 Annie

  3. I always stop at the flourless chocolate cakes in my cook books, think about how amazing they look and then I move on! I will definatley bookmark this one and set aside an occasion to try it out!


  4. Looks great to me and the thought that the cake has only 3 ingredients is truly tempting!

  5. strange they ask for COLD eggs. I am not surprised it took so long for your eggs to get to the right volume. eggs should be room temperture for the highest volume. I’ve made a torte that also had some sugar, vanilla and a bit of cream of tartar. Fantastic.

    • Actually, this recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen, so you know they’ve tried it every way. The article says that cold eggs produce a denser foam with smaller bubbles, which give the cake a more velvety texture. And as for all the other additions, that’s not quite the true flourless chocolate cake since all those other things detract from the pure chocolate taste.

  6. Yo Quiero!

  7. Flourless cake has been on my to try list for awhile now. Yours looks just beautiful!

  8. Oh my gosh – I love flourless chocolate cake so much! This one looks fantastic! !!

  9. I wish I had a seat at your dinner table! This cake looks beyond amazing. Chocolate heaven!

  10. Looks wonderfully moist and fudgey. FLourless chocolate cake is always a favourite with the chocoholics in my house

  11. LOVE flourless chocolate cake! I just made another last Thursday for a friend’s going away party. Always a huge hit, love your presentation!

  12. I love flourless cake….so dense and moist. Yum.

  13. This looks absolutely decadent and divine! I haven’t made a truly flourless cake yet, but I will be sure to make this one when I do!

  14. This looks great! I love how it’s chocolate and not much more:) I have had my eye on a flourless chocolate cake recipe for awhile too. I need to get on it!

  15. Lovely – I think the absence of sugar and the subsequent chocolatey hit is what marks this out from the usual, and would appeal to my taste. Any idea how much 16 tablespoons of butter would weigh? Being a Brit I don’t normally measure butter by the tablespoon.

  16. I have been checking this blog daily since a friend told me about it a few months ago. And I have made many of the recipes and always like to comment on them. I made this last night and it was SUPER easy! My kitchen aid stand mixer made the 10 minutes of whisking eggs a breeze! I was skeptical that those 3 ingredients would make a nice texture once cooked…but when I snuck a sliver this morning, I was in LOVE! It is delicious! I used the 60% Ghirardelli bittersweet cocoa chips. I think that cutting it with floss would make a cleaner cut…prevent little chunks from falling off the sides/tops. I made it for girls dinner tonight, and 2 of the 4 of us are pregnant and 1 is breastfeeding twins…so I’m sure it will be a hit! 🙂 It would be tasty and pretty topped with large red raspberries standing upright, when in season. I may thaw some frozen ones for a contrast of color and flavor. Thanks for a great recipe.

  17. I tried some flourless chocolate cookies a while back that just did not turn out well at all, but this looks quite a bit different! I’m interested to give the ‘flourless chocolate’ experience another shot 😉

  18. I fell in love with this cake when you first posted it and finally got around to making it for a friend’s party the other day. It lived up to all my hopes and dreams of chocolatey goodness.

  19. I have made this 3 times now and it is my favorite cake of choice to make for celebrations, like my niece’s 30th B-day! Tonight it’s for our staff Christmas party.

  20. I made this for my mom, who turned 75-years-old on Sunday. She has celiac disease, and I was so excited to find this recipe so I could make her a “cake” for her birthday complete with candles. It was a hit! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Oh yea! A REAL flourless cake recipe with OUT NUT flour! If it tastes as good as it looks, this could be a CARB counters dream! I wonder if I can resist putting chocolate fudge syrup on top?

  22. I have made this exact recipe from this website several times now, and it has become one of my favorite cakes and everyone LOVES it and requests the recipe. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Thank you for posting it, it will forever be in my regular recipes. Its exactly what this chocolate lover and wine lover needed!!

  23. After pondering and waiting for the ‘right’ occasion, I made this cake last night and while we had a slice about an hour or so after it came out of the oven, it made a huge difference in the texture after being put in the fridge overnight (yes LOL I had a piece with my morning coffee)

    It’s my new favourite potluck dessert with a dollop of real whipped cream when served 🙂

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