Flourless Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake

Calling for only 4 ingredients, this 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!

a slice of vegan chocolate fudge cake topped with walnuts

I came across the inspiration for this truffle 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.

culinary coconut milk and chocolate chips, and melted chocolate filing being poured into a springform pan

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!

fork with a bite of vegan chocolate fudge cake

5 from 6 votes
Print
Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This flourless vegan chocolate cake calls for only 4 ingredients and has the texture of a rich chocolate truffle. It's a fast and easy no-bake dessert!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 16
Calories: 167 kcal
Ingredients
  • coconut or olive oil, for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup culinary coconut milk (or coconut cream)
  • 12 ounces 60-70% dark chocolate chips (or bars)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional; for topping)
Instructions
  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

overhead photo of a vegan chocolate fudge cake with two slices cut out

Substitution Notes:

  • 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? 

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Comments

Heather McClees

Oh, this looks totally yummy! I love So Delicious’s culinary coconut milk products; they’re the only kind of coconut milk I actually buy. I’m going to make this for my mom since she loves chocolate, nutty desserts. Great recipe! 🙂

Tracey

Oh my goodness. This looks sooo good. I will try it and let you know how it turns out. Can you substitute the coconut milk with almond milk or will that affect the texture? Walnuts are a greatness topping. I may try sliced almonds sometimes instead. To be continued!

    Megan Gilmore

    I only tested this recipe with coconut milk, which does produce a pretty firm texture, so maybe you can get away with using a milk with less fat? I’d probably experiment with using a 1/2 cup to start with and see how that goes, which will produce a slightly thinner cake unless you use a smaller pan. Let us know what works for you!

Rachel

My fave no bake dessert at any given time is banana and nut butter – thanks for sharing, yet again, a great recipe that looks like a pretty decedent alternative to a mainstream recipe. Love it xxx

Kristi

THIS WAS SO GOOD! My family loved it!! Do you think this could be whipped after it’s cooled to make it mousse like. Might try it. So good–thanks!!

Nicole

Hi Megan 🙂

You reference coconut milk in a few places but in the ingredient list you say coconut cream. Which one should be used (if we can’t get that so delicious one)?

Thanks!
Nicole

    Megan Gilmore

    Hi Nicole! I included “or coconut cream” as an option in the ingredient list, because I’m sure that will work if it’s easier for readers to find than coconut milk. You can use either one, but I coconut milk will give you a slightly softer result, while coconut cream will give you a firmer fudge cake. Hope you enjoy it!

      Nicole

      Thanks Megan! I ended up using coconut cream. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for it to set! I did get impatient and take a spoonful still soft and it was delicious! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

      Nicole

Camille Eide

Megan, I made this for my birthday (like who am I going to ask to make vegan treats for me?) and it was amazing!! Very creamy, smooth, and ganache-like. I used coconut cream from canned coconut milk that I chilled and scooped out the cream. I actually used 2 cans to get enough, as I was planning to make a 2nd experimental batch with modifications.

The second batch was a sugar free version, because I can’t tolerate sugar, syrup or honey. For that I used the same cream, but used unsweetened chocolate bars (8oz) and sweetened it with dates pureed into a smooth paste with a little of the leftover coconut liquid. It took a full cup to make it sweet enough. I also doubled the vanilla. This version was a bit softer than the original recipe, more like a firm mousse. It might have been firmer with the full 12 oz solid chocolate, but I don’t know if it would have been sweet enough.

If I hadn’t already tasted Megan’s original recipe, I’d think this modified version was pretty dang good. But alas, I served them side by side, so it definitely took second place taste-wise. But the date version was really good for something with zero sugar! I cut the leftovers into 1” chunks and froze them for quick little dessert bites. Just so you know, all the “Don’t Give Me That Vegan Stuff I Eat Whatever I Want” folks in the crowd deVOURED the Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake. Not a crumb of leftovers there. 😉

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/128352658113259055/

Lisa Stout

Do you think this could be frozen for later use?

    julia

    you can freeze all of the ingredients, so i would imagine it is freezable. i would defrost it in the refrigerator. but you can freeze candy without problems, so i’m betting this would freeze well.

julia

this is delicious. made it with walnuts, then pecans. i love it with pecans. i think topped with a couple of raspberries it would be great, too. my only problem is i just want to eat the whole thing. i have to force myself to share. oh, and soooo many possible combination one could put in it.

Claire

Hi Megan,

I would like to try this recipe but I can only find coconut milk not “culinary” coconut milk … I live in Canada … not sure if it will work or not … please advise if you have a moment … I know how very busy you are … your my favourite site for recipes … I spread the word to anyone who will listen … grin

Enjoy your day … cheers … Claire

LAURA

I USUALLY MAKE YOUR HEALTHIER FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR PARTIES BUT I LIKE THE SIMPLICITY OF THIS RECIPE. TELL ME, DO YOU LIKE ONE BETTER OVER THE OTHER AND WHY? HELP! PARTY COMING RIGHT UP!

THANKS!

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