Flourless Chocolate Cake with a gorgeous dark chocolate glaze makes a stunning finale to any meal. As if that’s not enough, a vibrant raspberry sauce takes this decadent chocolate dessert over the top. One melt-in-your-mouth bite, and you’ll never want anything else.
Pair this gluten-free dessert with an Angel Food Cake, extra Raspberry Coulis and chocolate glaze, and lots of homemade whipped cream. For other amazing desserts, like No Bake Peanut Butter Bars, click over and sharpen your sweet tooth.
It seems like everyone has their own favorite flourless chocolate cake recipe-- Ina, Martha, and Nigella included. But this tried-and-true version is my absolute favorite thing to make when I feel like spoiling the one ones I love. It's very easy to make and virtually fail-proof. And most importantly, it totally satisfies any chocolate craving.
Moist, rich, and oh, so tender, every bite is like sinking your teeth into the best truffle in the world. If you don't believe it, well....just try it. The recipe makes an 8-inch round cake, which is more than enough for 8 people...even if a few want seconds. And with something this luxurious, they will.
Making multiple chocolate cakes for a larger party? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Flourless chocolate cake ingredients:
- Cocoa powder. Unsweetened, good-quality cocoa powder. All you need is a small amount for dusting the inside of the cake pan, to prevent sticking. Because it disappears into the cake, it makes a great alternative to flour.
- Chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate contributes to the deep, rich taste. Try to find chocolate that has a minimum of 60% cacao.
- Butter. Unsalted butter is recommended. If you don’t have it, skip the salt.
- Egg yolks.
- Espresso or dark rum. Pick up a double shot at your favorite coffee place, or brew some strong coffee using instant espresso or a darker roast. If you're not a coffee drinker, Trader Joe's sells little instant coffee sticks you can keep in the pantry to have on hand.
- Vanilla extract.
- Egg whites. You'll have a few egg whites leftover from making this cake, so freeze them and label them for another use, like a Lemon Meringue Pie or Schaum Torte.
Chocolate glaze ingredients:
This 3-ingredient chocolate glaze is fabulous on everything, but dresses up this cake beautifully.
- Bittersweet chocolate. Again, go with the best quality you can find.
- Corn syrup. A little corn syrup helps the glaze flow, and makes it super shiny and gorgeous.
Tips for making unforgettable flourless chocolate cake:
- Use the best chocolate you can find. The key to this recipe! Because the chocolate is the star of the show in this cake, it's important to find the most delicious chocolate you can. It makes all the difference in the world. Start with a bittersweet or semisweet chocolate that has a minimum of 60% cacao. Top-rated brands like Callebaut, Scharfenberger, Cacao-Barry, Valrhona, and Ghirardelli are all good bets.
By the way, you can definitely use the same variety of chocolate for the torte and the glaze. However, you can get even more indulgent by using two distinctly different flavor profiles of chocolate, one in the cake and another for the glaze.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Warm up the eggs by leaving them out for a few hours or dunking them in a glass of lukewarm water for a few minutes before beginning.
- Don't overbake. Because the cake has no flour, it only needs to bake long enough to set the eggs in the batter. Double check your oven temperature, and make sure it doesn't run too hot. And pull the cake out of the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist, but not wet with liquid batter.
- Don't rush it. Let the cake cool completely and chill completely before glazing. It sets up like a truffle and melts in your mouth.
Preparing the cake pan:
- First, prepare your cake pan by lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. You need an 8” round cake pan for this recipe. It can be standard cake pan, a springform, or a pan with a removable bottom.
- Place the pan on a piece of parchment and trace around its circumference. Then cut the circle out with scissors and lower it into the cake pan. Next, coat the inside of the pan with non-stick spray or butter.
- Dust the inside of the pan with the cocoa powder, tapping it to disperse the cocoa evenly around the sides of the pan. Then set it aside while you make the batter.
How to make Flourless Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees—this cake bakes at a low temperature in order to stay moist. Next, create a makeshift double boiler by placing a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Above all, keep the bowl very dry and out of direct contact with the water. What you need is the heat from the steam to melt chocolate.
- Meanwhile, add the chocolate and the butter to the bowl and whisk gently until completely melted and incorporated. Then remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool.
- For the next step, you need a standing mixer or an electric handheld mixer and a paddle attachment. Beat the egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, espresso (or dark rum), and salt together on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and fluffy.
- Then pour in the slightly cooled chocolate/butter mixture and beat until blended together. Pour this mixture into a separate large bowl, scraping to get every last bit of chocolate. Next, wash out the mixing bowl very thoroughly so you can beat the egg whites.
- To beat the egg whites, switch out the paddle attachment for the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until they look foamy. Then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until medium-firm peaks form.
- When ready, scoop about half of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold the eggs in using a silicone or rubber spatula. Then fold in the remaining egg whites, just until there are no longer streaks in the batter.
- Finally, pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and gently smooth out the top.
- Bake the cake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, until the cake puffs slightly.
- In order to determine if the cake is ready to come out of the oven, you can insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out moist but not absolutely liquid, take the cake out and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- To remove the cake from the pan, carefully run a small, thin knife around the inside of the pan to help loosen the edges. Then invert it onto a plate, and carefully lift off the pan. Finally, peel off the parchment paper.
- Let the cake cool completely, then cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.At this point, the cake is ready to eat as-is with only a dusting of unsweetened cocoa or powdered sugar. However, the chocolate glaze is absolutely worth it, and really easy to make.
How to make Chocolate Glaze:
- Put together that double boiler again. Place a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Make sure the bowl is very dry and out of direct contact with any water—chocolate and water do not mix!
- Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl to melt. Whisk until smooth and blended.
- Next, add the corn syrup and whisk the glaze until very smooth and glossy.
- To glaze the cake, very carefully move the chilled cake to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, to catch the glaze as it drips off the cake.
- Then slowly pour the warm glaze over the cake, starting in the center. Hopefully, there should be enough glaze to spill over the edges of the cake and run down the sides. To encourage the glaze to flow, you can even carefully tilt the rack, without touching the cake.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, until the glaze is firm and set, at least 2 hours.To serve the chocolate cake, move it to a pretty plate or platter for presentation. Take a bow!
How to cut a dense chocolate cake:
Because of how fabulous the kitchen smells, you’re probably thinking about just eating the whole cake in one sitting. And who needs to cut a cake when they do that?
But just in case you feel compelled to share your masterpiece, here’s the best way to cut a flourless cake or chocolate torte. When it comes this recipe, even a small slice makes a big impact. It’s richer than you think!
First, find a very sharp knife with a thin blade. Next, fill a pan or other deep container with hot water. Then have a clean dish towel nearby for wiping off the blade in-between cuts.
Cut thin slices of the cake. Between slices, dip the blade into the hot water and wipe it dry. This extra step keeps the cake slices neat, tidy, and picture-perfect.
Making sugar-free (Keto) flourless chocolate cake:
If you're on the Keto diet, or just trying to limit your processed sugar intake, you can make this recipe with the following substitutions.
- Replace the bittersweet chocolate with stevia-sweetened dark chocolate, such as Lily's, which is easy to find online.
- Use a 1:1 baking sugar substitute in place of the small amount of sugar in the recipe, such as monk fruit/erythritol or Swerve.
- Likewise, make a sugar-free chocolate glaze with stevia-sweetened chocolate and a corn syrup alternative.
Another good idea is to make a sugar-free chocolate ganache with equal parts sugar-free chocolate and heavy cream. While it is a little thicker than the dark chocolate glaze, and isn't as shiny, it is every bit as delicious.
Keto-friendly chocolate ganache:
First, melt 8 ounces chopped chocolate in a double boiler, remove from the heat, and whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream until smooth.
Then pour over the cake while still warm, using an off-set spatula to spread the ganache, if needed. Chill the cake until ready to serve.
Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
For the cake:
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 3/4 cup butter cut into pieces (1 1/2 sticks)
- 5 large egg yolks (3 whites reserved)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar divided
- 1 tablespoon espresso or dark rum (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites (from yolks above)
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup butter cut into pieces (1 stick)
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- Raspberry coulis optional
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray, then line it with parchment paper (I trace the outside of the pan on parchment and cut it out). Coat the parchment with nonstick spray, then dust with coca powder.
- Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water to create a double boiler (do not let the water touch the bowl). To the bowl, add chocolate and butter to melt, whisking until smooth and blended. Set aside and cool slightly.
- In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, or with an electric hand mixer, add together egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, espresso or rum (if using), vanilla, and salt. Beat until pale and very thick.
- Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture and beat until blended. Transfer to a large bowl and wash out the mixer bowl so you can beat the egg whites.
- In a standing mixer fit with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed, or with an electric hand mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until medium-firm peaks form.
- Scoop half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and fold in gently. Fold in remaining egg whites until no streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake until the cake puffs slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out very moist but not liquid, about 35 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes.
- Run a small knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert on to a plate. Lift off the pan and carefully peel off parchment paper. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make the glaze:
- Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water to create a double boiler (do not let the water touch the bowl). To the bowl, add chocolate and butter to melt, whisking until smooth and blended.
- Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup until smooth and glossy. Set the chilled cake on a wire rack set over a baking sheet or large plate. Slowly pour the warm glaze over the center of the cake. The glaze should cover the top of the cake evenly and spill over the edges, running over the sides.
- Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Transfer to a flat serving plate. Using a thin-bladed knife, cut the cake into small slices, dipping the knife into hot water and wiping it dry before each cut. Serve with Raspberry Coulis if desired.