Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless chocolate cake is very often the number one go-to solution for a chocolate craving. It's decadent, it's dense, and it's to the point. One bite of flourless chocolate cake is somehow way more satisfying than a bite of a chocolate candy bar, so we think it's worth the effort to make it, all in the name of honoring your chocolate fix.

This flourless chocolate cake recipe comes from food blogger Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska, where she offers up a wide range of fun everyday recipes and seasonal treats. And, frankly, it might be the best one you've ever made. It really delivers for anyone craving a restaurant-quality dessert that more than satisfies the post-dinner sweet tooth. Sampson agrees. "Watching my friends order flourless chocolate cake at restaurants made me want to make my own version at home. I'm so glad I did, it's the best!" she says.

This recipe will yield eight servings, so it's a great option for a dinner party dessert that looks great but requires very little hands-on work or ingredients. Continue reading for details on how to make his insanely delicious flourless chocolate treat.

Gather the ingredients for flourless chocolate cake

As previously mentioned, you really, truly do not need a ton of ingredients to bake this cake. This flourless chocolate cake recipe calls for 4 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate, one stick of unsalted butter, three eggs, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, and some powdered sugar for sprinkling on top of the finished cake.

Sampson recommends sticking with the recipe specifics when it comes to the chocolate. "Chocolate chips don't work that well in place of just a bar of baking chocolate," she says. While you're at it, Sampson also recommends taking a few items out of the fridge early to let them warm up. "I feel like eggs in general work best in baked goods when they're at room temperature," she says. "Even giving them 20-30 minutes [out of the fridge] helps!"

Prepare the pan and double boiler for the flourless chocolate cake

After you have assembled all the ingredients for your flourless chocolate cake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, thoroughly butter an 8-inch cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper the same size as the base of your pan and line the pan with it, then butter it again. Please note that the butter for greasing is in addition to the stick you will use in the actual recipe.

Place a double boiler on the stove with water in the lower pot over medium heat. Is not having a double boiler a dealbreaker for this recipe? The answer is, well, kind of, but you likely have a workaround available somewhere in your kitchen. "You use a double boiler in order to keep from scorching or seizing the chocolate so it's kind of important to use it," says Sampson. "If you don't have a double boiler you can set a saucepan with water on the burner and set a heat-proof bowl over the pan. It's important that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water or you can scorch the chocolate."

Melt the chocolate and butter for the flourless chocolate cake

After you've prepped the cake pan and fired up the double boiler, turn your attention to your chocolate and stick of butter. Chop the 4 ounces of chocolate with a sharp chef's knife on a sturdy cutting board. Chopping chocolate is oddly satisfying, especially when you know you're about to melt it with butter, so enjoy your moment of zen here.

Once you've taken a break while chopping your chocolate, you'll then put the chocolate bits and the butter in the top of the double boiler. Stir until the chocolate and butter mixture is smooth, then immediately remove the mixture from the heat. 

Again, if you are using a bowl over a saucepan of water in place of a double boiler, be extra careful to not burn the butter and chocolate concoction. Never let the bowl touch the water during this step, as burnt chocolate is a truly nasty flavor. But, never fear, as taking a few minutes to be mindful of the process is all you really need to safely make the mixture.

Stir sugar and salt into the chocolate mixture

Once the chocolate and butter have combined and you've got a smooth mixture of the two ingredients, it's time to stir in the 3/4 cup of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir in these dry ingredients with a whisk or wooden spoon until they're fully incorporated. The result should not be lumpy, so be mindful to clear away any clumps of sugar that remain before you proceed to the next step. 

What sugar should you pick for this recipe, anyway? Sometimes just the old school, plain, white granulated sugar makes for a smoother batter or dough than the organic, "less processed" sugar. That's because the grains of sugar are just a smidge smaller when the sugar is more processed. You're making a cake, after all, so now isn't the time to worry too much about getting a chunky organic version. Go with the plain granulated sugar instead.

Incorporate eggs into the flourless chocolate cake batter

Now it's time to add the eggs into this flourless chocolate cake endeavor. In a separate bowl or jar, break the three eggs and whisk them until they are slightly beaten. Then, gradually beat them into the chocolate mixture until everything is well combined.

Don't get too caught up in the perfect degree of egg beating prior to adding them to the batter. As Sampson tells us, "you can beat the eggs with just a fork. They don't need to be frothy or whipped to a certain point, they are best just not whole."

Sift cocoa powder into the flourless chocolate cake batter

The next thing you'll do is incorporate the other chocolate component of this chocolate dessert, the cocoa powder. Sift the cocoa powder over the top of the mixture. Yes, using a sifter is an extra step here, but it's probably worth it. A sifter helps to ensure that the 1/4 cup of cocoa powder you're adding to the flourless chocolate cake batter doesn't have any lumps or clumps, which makes your life easier when it comes time to mix it all in. It's also a good idea when dealing with flour, too, so file that away for your other cake-baking endeavors. Luckily, it won't take very long to sift that relatively small amount of cocoa powder.

Once all of the cocoa powder has been sifted over the surface of the flourless chocolate cake batter, stir everything together to fully combine the ingredients.

Pour flourless chocolate cake batter into prepared pan and bake

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Congratulations, your flourless chocolate cake batter is now ready to go into the oven! Bake it there for 20 to 25 minutes. Times can vary based on the speed of your own oven. This means that, for the best cake, you will need to check in on its progress towards the end of that time. 

The key is to bake your flourless chocolate cake until a light crust forms on top. You'll know the cake is ready when you take it out, gently shake the pan, and it no longer jiggles. For standard cakes, the ol' toothpick in the center coming out clean is a sign the cake is done. However, with this flourless chocolate cake recipe, the jiggle check is your best barometer for doneness.

Let the flourless chocolate cake cool

When the flourless chocolate cake is ready to come out of the oven, with a light crust and no jiggle, remove the cake and allow it cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto the cooling rack you're already using or onto a serving plate. 

Let the cake continue cooling before you move on to the final step in the recipe, which will be garnishing the top with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Sift powdered sugar over the flourless chocolate cake and serve

As you likely recall, the ingredients for this flourless chocolate cake recipe list powdered sugar but do not specify a particular amount. That's because it's really up to personal preference how much you want to use. You should allot enough to cover the entire surface of the flourless chocolate cake evenly. Sift powdered sugar over the cooled cake and serve it. Consider serving it alongside a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream for an enhanced experience.

Also, Sampson notes that "cocoa powder can be used instead of powdered sugar for sprinkling on the cake." That work's pretty well if you're in a pinch and find you have everything ingredient you need for this recipe except the powdered sugar, or simply if you'd like a slightly different look and flavor to your finished cake. In fact, some people might appreciate the straight, all-business, all-chocolate vibe of cocoa powder dusting.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
4.9 from 26 ratings
Flourless chocolate cake is very often the number one go-to solution for a chocolate craving. It's decadent, it's dense, and it gets right to the flavor point.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
8
servings
flourless chocolate cake on fork
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter an 8-inch cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper and line the pan with it and then butter again.
  3. Place a double boiler on the stove with water in the lower pot over medium heat.
  4. Put the chocolate and the butter in the top of the double boiler. Stir until the mix is smooth, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and salt.
  5. In a separate bowl or jar, break the eggs and whisk them up to be slightly beaten. Beat them into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Sift the cocoa powder over the top of the mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until a light crust forms on top of the cake and it no longer jiggles.
  8. Cool on a baking rack for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, invert on to the cooling rack or a serving plate and let cool.
  10. Sift powdered sugar over the cooled cake and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 291
Total Fat 19.4 g
Saturated Fat 11.4 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 90.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 23.0 g
Sodium 155.0 mg
Protein 3.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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