Flourless Chocolate Cake

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix–Chocolate and Valentine Party.

gluten free, dairy free, flourless chocolate cake, death by chocolate, decadent chocolate cake, birthday cake We will be hosting our biennial Valentine’s Day party on the actual day this year, Saturday, February 14. It’s a fun, sort of “over-the-top” affair that we have been doing for many years as a gift to ourselves, and to our dearest friends—our many sweethearts, so to speak. We have a live band and tons of wonderful food and drink. There’s dancing and catching up between people who see each other regularly and others who only run into each other at our parties every two years. I purposely plan the party menu so it consists of finger foods as much as possible. (I don’t want to be dealing with beaucoup dishes and silverware in the aftermath.) However, I make an exception for two dishes—both desserts, which is quite understandable in my opinion.

One is the truly exceptional crème brulee that my oldest and sweetest girlfriend, “Fred,” and her dear husband, Jack, provide. They make an assortment of different varieties; e.g., classic and lavender … sometimes adorned with such lovelies as tiny raspberries.  The other is the flourless chocolate cake that I make for very special occasions. Typically, I make this recipe about once a year. (Before this weekend, I had last made it in 2007 for a gluten-free friend’s holiday open house.) I don’t want this dessert to become ordinary. Plus, seriously, if you make it too often, there might be a death, because a “death by chocolate” dessert it is indeed! But, if you can’t help yourself … baby, what a way to go!

Incidentally, I am submitting this recipe for the gluten-free recipe roundup, Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, the brainchild of Naomi. This month’s event is hosted by Kelly at The Spunky Coconut. Kelly has chosen Sweets for Your Sweetheart as the February theme.  Who are these sweethearts you will be treating? Well, Kelly says it simply and well, “Valentine’s Day is for anyone you love.”

So, the flourless chocolate cake is on the menu for the upcoming Valentine’s Day party. And when my girlfriend, Veronica (also affectionately known as V-grrrl or V) invited me to her all-girls birthday party this past weekend, well, I knew I just had to take this cake. I mean it’s the perfect dessert for a girls’ gathering! Chocolate for women is a no-brainer, don’t you agree? We really love our chocolate. Hmmm, is it love or is it need? In this case, I think the two go hand in hand. This cake is dark chocolate—rich and pleasantly intense. It makes a spectacular presentation with the chocolate-honey glaze beautifully spilling over its sides.

After we finished some delicious appetizer fare with our wine (and lots of equally delicious “girl talk”!), we were ready for dessert. Everyone sampled the chocolate cake and I know I heard at least one little moan … oh wait that might have come from me! LOL But, seriously, all raved over the cake; nary a morsel was left on any plate. Some of the girlfriends enjoyed theirs with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, but this chocolate sensation also makes a terrific pairing with a fine cabernet sauvignon! V-grrrl posted about her birthday party (including two mentions of my chocolate cake—thanks, V!) on her blog, Compost Studios. Check her post and blog out—she’s truly a very fine writer and this post was a fun read.

By the way, my mother says this cake is “too much” for her. However, clearly, my sister and I have evolved! ;-) That said, I would never make this cake solely for my own enjoyment. It is best made for a gathering of many and because only small portions are needed—this one cake can serve very many.  In fact, V-grrrl had many goodies left so she sent the remaining cake home with me. I sliced it into bite-sized squares and took it to my sister and brother-in-law’s Super Bowl party—more sweethearts to serve! Everyone was grateful. I may do the same on Valentine’s Day … so all our sweethearts who want to indulge can just pop one in their mouth and keep dancing!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)



8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular, mini, or chunks)

2 sticks butter, cut into 4 pieces each (see notes regarding dairy-free options)

1 1/4 cups white sugar (or coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar)

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular, mini, or chunks)

3 tbsp butter (see notes regarding dairy-free options)

1 tbsp milk (see notes regarding dairy-free options)

1 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan or 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray or butter. Line bottom with a circle of wax or parchment paper and spray the paper. (I used the spring-form pan and parchment paper, and sprayed with olive oil Pam.)

Place chocolate and butter in a medium- to large-sized pan over medium-low heat. Stirring often, melt the chocolate with the butter until completely blended. Remove pan from heat. (Alternately, you may use your microwave to melt the butter with the chocolate, if desired. If you go this route, remember that chocolate chips don’t change their shape when melted in the microwave, so it’s easy to burn them.) Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, a little at a time, and mix well. Sift cocoa onto mix and stir until just blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake has risen and the top has formed a thin crust. It may crack just a bit. The cake should be just firm in the center when done. (You can tell when you touch it.) Cool cake for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate, removing sides if using a spring-form pan. Remove parchment/wax paper and allow the cake to continue to cool.



For the glaze:
While cake is baking, prepare glaze. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt chocolate chips with butter, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in milk, honey and vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly. (Don’t worry about the glaze hardening too much. It stays the right consistency … most likely because of the honey. You know how I feel about honey!) When cake has cooled, pour glaze onto the center. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, very gently smooth the glaze along the top and sides of the cake. (As you use the spatula, you can just push the glaze so it dribbles nicely down the sides.) Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. This sets the glaze and makes the cake easier to slice. (The cake will soften up after sitting for a while, but not terribly.)


Shirley’s Notes:  I adapted this recipe from one found several years ago on the Whole Foods site. I tweaked the original recipe (slightly different from the version currently shown on their site)  to use ingredients found in any grocery store, which makes the recipe GFE! Readers have made this recipe dairy free by using ingredients like coconut milk and coconut oil; be sure to read comments. This cake can also be topped with a dollop of whipped cream or dressed with fruit. FYI—my sister likes hers plain, but warmed with a cup of tea for breakfast. Oh, so bad … but yet, oh, soooo good!



Not just GF, but GFE!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


65 Responses to “Flourless Chocolate Cake”

  1. Kelly on February 3rd, 2009 1:41 pm

    Awesome! What a lovely post :-) I want to eat that right now!!! Thanks for playing!

    Smooch, Kelly

  2. noble pig on February 3rd, 2009 2:29 pm

    They are the best cakes you know! I love them and your’s turned out beautiful.

  3. Shirley on February 3rd, 2009 3:23 pm

    Kelly–Thank you very much! Yes, I know … too bad I didn’t hang on to some! LOL Okay, only have to wait 10 more days (if I make it the night before) … the “cubing” method also means you can sample some without destroying the presentation. xo

    noble pig–Cathy, I wholeheartedly agree that flourless chocolate cakes are the best ones. I was so happy when I tried that recipe after going GF and it was such a success. Thanks for the compliment! The glaze makes this one perfect-looking every time. :-)


  4. H.Peter on February 4th, 2009 8:47 pm

    No doubt about it. Chocolate is it. In any shape, way or form.
    Your Torte makes me want to lick the screen!

    Did I tell you about Scharffen Berger chocolate in Canada? 1.00 at the Dollarama stores! One buck!

  5. Shirley on February 4th, 2009 8:53 pm

    H. Peter–LOL … that’s one way to get your monitor clean. ;-)

    Now, DO TELL about the Scharffen Berger chocolate! Are you going to have me buying a plane ticket just to buy a dollar bar of chocolate?! ;-)


  6. Shirley on February 5th, 2009 7:20 am

    H. Peter–I couldn’t wait … I checked out Scharffen Berger’s website (http://www.scharffenberger.com/). Oh my! Any idea how many of those bars from the Dollarama store that I can bring back to the States with me?!?


  7. H.Peter on February 5th, 2009 8:18 pm

    Ehm, you can bring back a truck load if you want. They are made in the US. No restrictions.

    I bought 35 bars of various cocoa contents from 41% to 82%

    I saw tons left, but not forever.

    The math is on your side….buy 100 Bars, save 400.00 bucks which is pretty much the price of the airline ticket. Hahahahhaha

  8. Jennifer on February 6th, 2009 6:54 am

    This is my favorite gluten free dessert! And I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  9. Shirley on February 6th, 2009 10:06 am

    H. Peter–35 bars!! I guess you have to space out the eating so you can really appreciate the nuances of each re: cacao content. That 68% one showing on their site makes me drool! Anyway, I want to buy at least that many bars just for the heck of it … how deliriously happy could that make a person! (And, you can easily spend that on a few truffles in an upscale chocolate shop.) Now 100 bars … LOL, but I like your thinking (and the math!)! The perfect dessert by itself, break off a piece or do some curls to adorn the right desssert, break into pieces and use for your chocolate in baking … so many possibilities!


  10. Shirley on February 6th, 2009 10:12 am

    Jennifer–You will love it when you make it!! Or you can come on V Day and not have to do any baking. ;-)


  11. Nance on February 7th, 2009 11:20 am

    This looks easy and wonderful. I’m adding it to my recipe file immediately.

  12. Shirley on February 7th, 2009 12:07 pm

    Thanks, Nance! I think you’ll really enjoy it. I am actually feeling a need for dark chocolate right now. Wish I had a little piece to warm up a tad with a cup of hot tea. Just have to wait a few more days though until I make it again. :-)

    Have a great weekend!

  13. glutenfreeforgood on February 8th, 2009 2:09 pm

    Perfect timing, Shirley. I have to do a short little nutrition talk on dark chocolate this coming week and you’ve put me in the mood! And H.Peter — nothing like your story, but I just bought 8 bars of chocolate with cocoa content ranging from 55% to 77% to pass around for taste-testing during my talk. The higher the cocoa content the better. Munching a touch of it daily is fine, just an ounce or so. But once you start, sometimes it’s hard to stop!
    Yippee for dark chocolate as health food!

  14. Shirley on February 8th, 2009 3:18 pm

    Hi Melissa!–Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing this info! I think your timing is also great. Everyone will want to hear about the benefits of dark chocolate with Valentine’s Day coming up and it’s brilliant to pass around some samples of great dark chocolate for tasting! :-) You’re right about having a hard time stopping once you start though. My one girlfriend will break out a high quality chocolate bar as THE dessert sometimes. Because she has a large family, it works perfectly … everyone gets a little! (It’s more challenging at my house! LOL)


  15. Maureen "Hold The Gluten" on February 8th, 2009 9:02 pm

    You had me at chocolate…that is my weakness! Your flourless chocolate cake looks absolutely decadent! PS – Happy Valentine’s Day :)

  16. Shirley on February 8th, 2009 9:49 pm

    Maureen–Thank you. :-) Decadent it is indeed! Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well … it will soon be here!


  17. Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) on February 9th, 2009 11:52 pm

    Oh Shirley this looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing! -Ali :)

  18. Shirley on February 10th, 2009 6:18 am

    Ali–Thanks so much! It’s definitely one of my favorites and classic chocolate indulgence … just right for Valentine’s Day. Can’t wait until you post your raw chocolate torte recipe! Can there be too many wonderful chocolate recipes? I don’t think so …. ;-)


  19. V-Grrrl on February 10th, 2009 2:44 pm

    I forgot to set aside a piece of the chocolate cake for my boy, who was asleep when I delivered servings of it my man and the girl. He was more than a little disappointed when he got up the next morning and only carrot cake was left–though he ate a lot of carrot cake, so clearly didn’t “suffer” for too long.

    It is ever so rich and ever so good. Love the dense texture. No complaints here about it being “too much.” I’m a tough Grrrl, I can TAKE IT. Lay it on thick! : )

    Thanks again for providing the evening’s highlight. That cop at the door didn’t KNOW what he was missing.

  20. Shirley on February 10th, 2009 7:07 pm

    V–LOL on your boy not suffering since he had his fill of carrot cake, but you can take him some home Saturday night. That will make up for his loss.

    Yes, you are a tough Grrrl. LOL There must be some saying we can come up with about when the going gets tough, the tough grrrls eat chocolate … dark, rich, dense chocolate. ;-)

    You are so very welcome. :-) If only that cop had left with a piece, he might never bother you again … or, wait, perhaps he’d come back to check out every party you have! LOL

  21. Cathy on March 1st, 2009 2:30 pm

    I made this yesterday and love it! We even had leftovers for breakfast. I added a little less sugar and used coconut milk for the milk in the icing recipe. Delicious.

  22. Shirley on March 1st, 2009 2:59 pm

    Hi, Cathy–Thanks so much for coming by GFE and letting us know about your success with this recipe! It is really good for breakfast. I followed my sister’s lead and actually heated my piece just a little bit the last time I ate it … oh my, it was so good warmed. I would like to modify it a bit myself when I make it next time as I may be changing my diet “protocols” some. Cathy, if you have a moment, could you tell us how much sugar you actually used? Also, what brand of coconut milk do you prefer? I’ve been looking for one with no gums. I know they exist, but I just haven’t been in a store that carried a gum-free coconut milk yet.

    Thanks again!

  23. Diane-The WHOLE Gang on December 22nd, 2009 11:32 am

    I do love chocolate! Thank you for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix.

    • Shirley on December 23rd, 2009 7:49 pm

      Diane–My pleasure … what a great roundup!


  24. Raye Ann on January 28th, 2010 1:21 pm


    I ment to tell you earlier that I made this for New Years. I used full fat coconut milk and coconut oil to make it dairy free. I used the enjoy life chocolate chips to make it soy free. It was fantastic. I eat very little sweets so I had to eat it in small pieces because it was so rich.

    • Shirley on January 29th, 2010 12:34 am

      Hey Raye Ann–Great to see you again! :-) Oh, I really appreciate you coming back to let me know about your version of the flourless chocolate cake—thank you! Did you also use agave in place of sugar? Yes, it’s very rich. Good idea to make it for a crowd. A little goes a long way, as you’ve indicated. ;-) I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much!


      • Raye Ann on January 29th, 2010 12:49 am

        I didn’t try the agave. I don’t like to make too many changes at one time to a recipe.

        • Shirley on January 29th, 2010 11:10 pm

          Hey Raye Ann–Thanks for the follow up. Some folks only use agave and I had noted that you had used it previously, that’s why I asked the question? I agree though. Changing too many things at once will leave one befuddled as to the cause for sure.

          Just so glad you loved your dairy-free version! Definitely a special, delicious treat. :-)


  25. Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} on February 1st, 2010 3:00 pm

    Looks good, I’ve never had a flourless cake, I’m going to have to give it a try :)
    I linked up to Hoosier Homemade’s Valentine Party too-I hope you have a chance to stop by.

    • Shirley on February 1st, 2010 9:21 pm

      Hi Diane–Good to see you here again at gfe! I like this flourless chocolate cake because it is so easy to make. It is death by chocolate though. ;-) I have lots of chocolate cakes. I’m thinking about linking up a few more. Chocolate definitely says Valentine’s Day to me. ;-)

      Yes, I’m going to check out all the entries as soon as I wrap up some stuff here. :-) Thanks!


  26. Liz@HoosierHomemade on February 2nd, 2010 9:57 am

    That looks yummy! Thanks so much for linking up to the Valentine Party!

    • Shirley on February 3rd, 2010 7:49 am

      Hi Liz–It was my pleasure! What could be a better roundup than Valentine’s Day recipes? ;-) Now, I just need to sit down with a cup of hot cocoa and happily check out all the entries!

      Thanks for hosting such a fun event! :-)


  27. linda on February 27th, 2010 12:34 pm

    where can you buy good white chocolate like tobler narcisse/.also any recipe for molten cakes served on cruse lines?

    • Shirley on February 28th, 2010 12:44 pm

      Hi Linda–Per my reading, Tobler Narcisse is no longer made. (If anyone reading knows otherwise, please let us know.) However, I’ve also read that Callebaut white chocolate is a fine one to use. It’s gluten free per my understanding and you can purchase it several places online, includng here at Amazon.

      As far as molten chocolate cake, there are several recipes online. Others are sugar free, dairy free, etc. Here’s one that looks terrific. I’ve made a chocolate pudding cake, which is very close (if not the same) to a molten chocolate cake, but have not posted a recipe yet. However, my friend Stephanie of A Year of Slow Cooking even has a pudding cake recipe you can make in your slow cooker. You can check that out here.

      Hope that helps!


    • Shirley on February 28th, 2010 12:48 pm

      P.S. Looks like you are new to commenting on gfe! Welcome! :-)

  28. Molly on September 9th, 2010 5:38 pm

    I just made this for my Dad’s birthday! He is a chocoholic, and I know he’s going to LOVE it! I did it in a bundt pan, and am going to put raspberries on top! Thank you so much for this recipe. It was nice and easy!

    • Shirley on September 9th, 2010 7:19 pm

      Hi Molly–First, welcome to gfe! :-) And, thanks so much on your feedback on this flourless cake! I so love your idea of baking it in a Bundt pan and topping with raspberries. I would have thought it would have stuck in a Bundt pan, so it’s very cool to hear it was successful that way. I’m thinking it came out especiallyy pretty, particularly when you topped it with those raspberries. Hope your dad will absolutely love it. I’m glad he’s a chocoholic and not a mere mortal. ;-)

      Happy to share another gfe recipe! Hugs,

  29. Rachel on April 10th, 2011 11:31 pm

    I made this recipe with the bittersweet chocolate recommended by Whole Foods and while I love the recipe, it was slightly too rich for most of my guests. I’m thinking of trying it again with your recommendation of using semisweet chocolate chips. Do you find it too sugary at all?

    • Shirley on April 11th, 2011 7:22 am

      Hi Rachel–It looks like you are new here at gfe–welcome! :-) There is no doubt that this is a rich recipe. A small piece is more than enough as it’s definitely a “death by chocolate” kind of recipe. Personally, I make this one for special occasions and rarely. It’s been over 2 years since I made it last. Bittersweet chocolate can be far more intense though so you may like it just fine using the semi-sweet chocolate chips. One of my readers, Lisa, has been making this recipe by request a lot for friends and family so I think that’s a testimony that it can be a fairly frequent indulgence for some folks. If you try it out per the original recipe, let us know what you think! Oh, and you might want to read the comments here because quite a few folks have made this recipe and offered their reviews.


  30. Misty on April 13th, 2011 7:33 pm

    Oh. My. Fishflippers. This was AMAZING and so delicious. I used to buy a flourless chocolate torte from Trader Joe’s but I will never ever buy it again. This knocked the socks off TJ’s torte, for sure. It was so good! I didn’t even feel guilty about giving it to my kids (I *did* reduce the sugar to one scant cup and it was still yummy). THANK YOU THANK YOU for this recipe! I made 2 of your recipes yesterday after seeing your blog for the first time. I will be back!

    • Shirley on April 13th, 2011 9:01 pm

      Hi Misty, you’re a great gfe cheerleader today—thank you! I love how easy that dessert is, and how wonderful that you reduced the sugar and still had success. :-) I’d like to make it using coconut sugar next time. It’s wonderful that you are having such success with gfe recipes. Enjoy, and please keep sharing your comments. They are much appreciated!


  31. Brenda on January 9th, 2012 6:48 am

    I would love to try this but sugar free. Any suggestions? I have to watch carbs

    • Shirley on January 9th, 2012 12:36 pm

      Hi Brenda–It looks like you are new to gfe–welcome! :-) You could use coconut or palm sugar in place of the sugar. I think that would yield good results. Chocolate chips usually have sugar in some form. Enjoy Life chocolate chips have evaporated cane juice, which is better IMHO, but not sugar free. Let us know what you try and how it works out! Fingers crossed. ;-)


      • Raye Ann on January 9th, 2012 3:14 pm


        I forgot to tell you I did try it with both the coconut/palm sugar and xylitol. The xylitol was ok, but it lost some of it’s rich flavor. The coconut/palm sugar was excellent.

        Xylitol can be baked with and zero cal. and carbs.

        Raye Ann

  32. Heather @ Rise & Shine Life on February 1st, 2013 9:41 am

    Hi Shirley!

    I am making a (gluten & dairy free) birthday cake for my husband’s party Sunday & he has requested “a chocolate cake with white frosting so it will look like a snowy football field!” lol :) I think I’ve got the frosting figured out & now just have to choose the cake recipe. I am strongly leaning towards this one, but your Mediterranean cake is a contender, too :) Which do you think would be better suited for a football field cake?

    Thank you!! :)

    • Shirley on February 1st, 2013 9:50 am

      Hi Heather–Good to see you again! :-) I’d definitely go with the Mediterranean Chocolate Cake as it’s more of a traditional cake when it comes to frosting and slicing. This flourless cake is fabulous but has a texture and consistency between mousse and cake. You could not really frost it as one normally would frost a cake. (Note that this cake calls for a glaze that you pour on and then spread.) Great idea of your hubby’s on the snowy field, although I don’t think that will happen in New Orleans. I suspect nobody will mind though. ;-) Are you going to make your version rectangular? I’ve never done that so I will be curious how it works out. I know it will be a delicious cake though. ;-) Best of luck on all!


  33. Heather @ Rise & Shine Life on February 1st, 2013 12:28 pm

    Thank you Shirley!! I knew I could count on you! :) Yep, I’m going with rectangular. I’ll send you a pic of the final result!

    • Shirley on February 1st, 2013 12:34 pm

      You’re welcome, dear! FYI–You’re probably going to have to double the recipe to make a standard 9 x 13 cake, and then watch the time. This recipe as written will make a round, single-layer cake or probably an 8-inch square cake. Good luck! Can’t wait for the pic. :-)


  34. Beth on February 3rd, 2013 8:07 pm

    BTW my favorite frosting recipe is from my Mammaw and she ALWAYS used fresh brewed black coffee to thin her chocolate frosting. So I added 1-2 tbsp of BLACK, fresh coffee to the frosting. I had to divide the cake into 2 layers because it would have spilled over the sides. Made it for church today and put the frosting in between the layers and then on top……..it was a HUGE hit & didn’t bring home one morsel :D

    • Shirley on February 5th, 2013 12:21 am

      Hi Beth–It looks like you are new here. How itneresting on the black coffee. I bet that was delicious! I’m wondering if you have a smaller diameter pan as I’ve never had issues with the batter spilling over. I do love your solution though, especially wih the frosting between the layers! And I’m so happy that this cake was a huge hit with your fellow church members. Thanks so much for letting us know!


  35. Elyse on June 23rd, 2013 1:47 am

    This will be such a keeper in our family from now on. I made this with Enjoy life chocolate chips, since they’re safe for my other allergies, and it was phenomenal. I remember, before my food allergies were discovered, my family’s flour-less chocolate cake and this one blew it out of the water.

    I can’t wait to try other recipes! :)

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2013 4:00 pm

      Hi Elise–I’d like to officially welcome you to gfe and thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful comment! :-) I’m thrilled you love this flourless chocolate cake so much! Hope you find many more recipes on gfe that will become family “keepers”! ;-)


  36. Cassidy @ Cassidy's Craveable Creations on February 14th, 2014 10:13 am

    This recipe looks divine! I’m pinning this and WILL BE making it!!!

Leave a reply

Related Posts with Thumbnails