Calling for only 4 ingredients, this vegan flourless chocolate cake reminds me of a cross between a rich chocolate truffle and dark chocolate fudge. It’s a quick no-bake dessert that’s perfect for summer!
I came across the inspiration for this rich, truffle-like cake while reading an old “best of” gluten-free magazine that I had picked up a few years ago. The original recipe calls for heavy whipping cream and liqour, but I felt that I could keep it simpler by skipping the alcohol and using coconut cream to keep this recipe dairy-free. It seriously couldn’t be easier to make.
I’ve been a big fan of using So Delicious brand’s culinary coconut milk lately, because it comes in a box instead of a can, but I think canned coconut milk would work just fine in this recipe, too. Just be sure to NOT use the boxed coconut milk that’s found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, because it doesn’t have the same fat content as the canned variety– and that’s important to this cake setting properly.
This recipe isn’t naturally sweetened unless you use a chocolate bar like Eating Evolved’s 72% dark chocolate bars, which are sweetened with coconut sugar. I’ll admit, I didn’t go that route, because buying 12 ounces of that particular chocolate would be pretty pricy. (Over $20!)
Instead, I went with a dairy-free bag of 67% dark chocolate chips. The whole 12-ounce bag cost $5, which seems much more reasonable for this party-style recipe. There are several brands of dairy-free and vegan chocolate chips on the market, such as Enjoy Life brand, so just be sure to read labels if keeping this recipe vegan is important to you.
Also, keep in mind that this recipe makes a VERY dark chocolate cake. The type of chocolate you use determines the sweetness, so if you plan to serve this to picky eaters, you might want to go with a lower cocoa content or add a splash of pure maple syrup to the mixture before pouring it into the pan to set. (I think you could add 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup without affecting the texture too much.)
Because this recipe is so rich, a skinny slice is all you need. (As written, each slice has roughly 7 grams of sugar.) This cake has the best flavor when served at room temperature, so be sure to let it rest on the counter for at least an hour before serving. (Cold temperatures tend to mute flavors.) I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Grease an 8- or 9-inch spring form pan with oil, and then line the bottom with parchment paper to ensure that your cake will be easily removed. The smaller of a pan you use, the thicker your cake will be.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Turn off the heat and add in the dark chocolate chips and vanilla, then let the mixture rest for a few minutes so the chocolate can melt. Stir well until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top, and gently use your hands to press them into the chocolate filling.
- Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill until firm, about 2 hours in the fridge, or just 1 hour in the freezer. Use a hot knife to slice the cake into small slices. This cake is very rich, so a little piece will leave you feeling satisfied.
- If you have the air conditioning on in your home, you can store and serve this cake at room temperature for 3 days, but for best shelf life I'd recommend storing it in the fridge and then bringing it to room temperature before serving. When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it should keep well for up to 2 weeks-- if you don't eat it all before then!
- I imagine any solid type of chocolate would work well in this recipe if you use the same ratio of solid chocolate to coconut milk. I tested this recipe using baking chocolate and coconut sugar, and the results weren’t great because 12 ounces of baking chocolate is WAY too dark of a chocolate flavor, and using less leaves the cake very runny. So, experiment with that at your own risk.
- If you’d prefer a slightly softer cake, similar to my Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake, I tested one variation of this recipe adding pumpkin puree for a creamier texture. The texture was good, but the cake was too bitter, so you’ll need to use a sweeter chocolate if you want to try something similar.
- I think the walnuts add a nice crunch and variation of texture, but I imagine a variety of other toppings would work well, too. For a nut-free recipe, try adding shredded coconut or dried fruit.
As always, if you make a modification to this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us all know what worked for you so we can benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite no-bake summer dessert?