Flourless Chocolate Cake is soft in the middle with a crunchy top layer and a rich chocolate flavor. This is an impressively decadent cake but it’s easy to make and ready in about 45 minutes. With only a few simple ingredients, this gluten-free cake is elegant enough to serve for a special occasion or just as an after-dinner dessert.
Flourless chocolate cake is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. It’s my mood elevator for those rough days. It’s one of my go-to desserts for a romantic dinner at home. Chocolate cake is also my son’s favorite, so I often make it for an after-dinner dessert any day of the week. I think you get the idea… I’m pretty hooked on this easy recipe. It’s fit for just about all occasions and always hits the spot!
This cake is ready in less than an hour so truly, it really is an any occasion dessert that doesn’t require much effort. It’s hard to believe that this rich and decadent chocolate cake is flourless and gluten-free! I love any desserts that are gluten-free because it means I can enjoy it, and when it’s also chocolate, that’s true perfection. The chocolatey flavor in this cake is created by semi-sweet chocolate chips and cocoa powder that make it oh so rich.
If you love decadent cakes, you’ll really fall head over heels for the consistency here. This cake is thick and moist, making each bite oh so satisfying! While I do love a good fluffy cake, there’s certainly something to be said for the richness you’ll find here. I also like to leave the center of this cake a little gooey to enhance that rich quality even more. Scroll down to the recipe card to find out all about that gooey consistency if you’d like!
Ingredient Notes and Tips
Chocolate Chips – For the best flavor, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dark chocolate may yield a cake that’s too bitter, and milk chocolate will create a much sweeter flavor.
Sugar – Plain white granulated sugar lends just the right amount of sweetness to balance the rich chocolate flavor.
Vanilla Extract – I always recommend using pure vanilla extract as opposed to imitation for the very best flavor.
Espresso Powder – This is an optional but highly recommended ingredient! It enhances the rich chocolate flavor in the very best way.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – You’ll need this to work in tandem with the chocolate chips to create the best chocolatey flavor.
Baking Powder – Flourless chocolate cake is very rich and pretty dense. When you add baking powder, the texture becomes a little lighter and a little softer. I feel like that consistency is much more pleasant in a rich cake.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake
Step 1: Prepare! Preheat your oven to 375°F and grease an 8-inch round baking pan all over the bottom and sides. Line the bottom of the baking pan with a round piece of parchment paper.
Step 2: Melt the chocolate. There are two different ways to do so:
Melt chocolate in a sauce pot: Melt the butter first over low heat and then stir in chocolate chips. Keep slowly stirring the whole time. When the chocolate chips are about half way melted, take the sauce pot off the heat and continue to stir until the chips are fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
Alternately, you can instead –
Melt chocolate in a microwave: Place the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on half the power for 30 seconds at a time. Make sure to stir after every 30 seconds.
Step 3: Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat for a few seconds until combined.
Step 4: Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Step 5: Once the eggs are incorporated, lower the speed and add cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using. Beat until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Step 6: Spread the cake batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt all over the top.
Step 7: Bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature before serving.
TIP: If you’d like it to have a more gooey center, bake for only 25 minutes.
Yes! Here’s the best ganache recipe if you’d like to top off this cake with a little something extra:
To make chocolate ganache, you will need a 4 oz. bar of baking chocolate and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream.
First, chop the chocolate bar as finely as you can and place it into a small mixing bowl. Next, heat up heavy whipping cream until it’s scalding hot but be careful not to let it boil. You can carefully heat it up in a microwave, a few seconds at a time.
Finally, pour the hot cream over chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. (If you have chocolate chunks that are not melting well, pop the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds, on half the power, and try mixing again.)
Absolutely! Flourless chocolate cake is very easy to freeze. You can freeze the whole cake or cut it into slices and freeze them each individually. Cool the cake to room temperature before freezing.
Make sure to wrap the cake, or each slice, in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and make it air-tight. Place it into a large freezer zip-lock bag, label, and freeze for up to 4 months.
Thaw it in the refrigerator.
At Room Temperature: You can easily store it on the counter, at room temperature, just make sure to cover it airtight with plastic wrap. At room temperature, this cake will last up to 2 days.
In the Refrigerator: You can also store this cake in the refrigerator and it will last longer. Make sure to cover the pan airtight with plastic wrap. This cake will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to take it out an hour or two before eating so it gets to room temperature.
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Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp espresso powder optional
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- coarse sea salt to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan all over the bottom and sides. Line the bottom of the baking pan with a round piece of parchment paper.
- Melt chocolate in a sauce pot: melt butter first over low heat and then add chocolate chips. Keep slowly stirring the whole time and when chocolate chips are about half way melted. Take the sauce pot off the heat and continue to stir until the chips are fully melted and the mixture is smooth. ORMelt chocolate in a microwave: place butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on half the power, at 30 second increments. Make sure to stir after every 30 seconds.
- Pour melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of the electric mixer and add sugar and vanilla extract. Beat for a few second until combined.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Once the eggs are incorporated, lower the speed and add cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using. Beat until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Spread the cake batter into the papered baking pan and sprinkle some coarse sea salt over the top.
- Bake the cake for 30 minutes, take it out of the oven, and let it cool to room temperature before cutting. (P.S. If you like to have the center a little gooey, bake it for 25 minutes.)