This healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake is made with 5 simple ingredients and makes an impressive dessert to bring to a party. It’s rich & fudgy, and naturally gluten-free!
This cake recipe reminds me of a cross between brownies and fudge. It has a rich chocolate flavor, and everyone who tastes it will ask for the recipe!
You can top it with a dusting of powdered sugar or cacao powder, and serve it with fresh fruit for an easy dessert. No flour required.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in a flourless chocolate cake?
- Dark chocolate chips
- Granulated sugar (I use coconut sugar)
- Cacao or cocoa powder
This cake is very similar to the traditional version, only it’s made slightly healthier by using less overall sugar, for a dark chocolate flavor. My family enjoys grass-fed butter and pastured eggs, but you may also want to check out the substitution ideas below for a lower-fat dessert.
Tip: I use salted butter in this recipe, as I prefer the flavor it adds. If you use unsalted butter, you may want to add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to this recipe, to boost the overall flavor. Sweet recipes need a little salt, too!
If you’d like another boost of flavor, you could also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or espresso powder, which can sometimes elevate the chocolate flavor even more.
Want to Make it Even Healthier?
I’ve been making this flourless chocolate cake for so many years, I’ve tried lots of substitutions.
Here are some things to try:
- Make it dairy-free. Swap the butter for a 1/3 cup coconut oil. This will give the cake a hint of coconut flavor, or you can use refined coconut oil (also called expeller pressed) which has no coconut flavor. Alternatively, you can use a vegan butter, if you prefer.
- Make it lower fat. Swap half of the butter for pumpkin puree. You can also do this with the coconut oil variation mentioned above. The pumpkin has a neutral flavor (unlike applesauce or banana, which I don’t recommend) so you won’t taste it at all. I don’t recommend swapping ALL of the fat for pumpkin puree, or the texture will change more significantly, but feel free to experiment with it.
- Make it egg-free. I don’t recommend using an egg substitute for this recipe, because the eggs provide most of the structure, but you can check out my vegan chocolate tart for a similar dessert made without eggs or dairy.
- Sweeten with honey. If you’d like to avoid all refined sugar, you can swap the dark chocolate chips for unsweetened baking chocolate and replace the coconut sugar with 3/4 cup honey, instead. I haven’t tested this recipe with maple syrup yet, so I couldn’t tell you if it will work with another sweetener.
- Reduce the sugar. I’ve tested this recipe with only 3/4 cup of coconut sugar, and it’s not quite sweet enough for my family when I use 72% dark chocolate chips as the base. However, if you use a sweeter dark chocolate (in the 50-60% range) you may be able to use less coconut sugar. Or, if you use semi-sweet chocolate, you may only need a 1/2 cup of added sugar. Feel free to experiment with it!
How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake
1. Melt the chocolate.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF so it will be ready to go, then place the chocolate chips and butter in a heatproof bowl. Melt them together using a double boiler over the stove (or the microwave, if you prefer) and stir until smooth.
I make a double boiler by filling a small saucepan with 1-inch of water, then bring it to a simmer and place the heat safe bowl on top of the pan. It should totally cover the top of the saucepan, so the bottom of the bowl will gently heat up.
Set the bowl aside to cool slightly, while you mix the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, mix the coconut sugar, eggs, and cacao powder. Stir well, then add in the cooled melted chocolate. (You don’t want it to be too hot, or it could start to cook the eggs!)
Use cooking spray to grease an 8-inch springform pan lightly with oil, then pour the batter into the pan. If you don’t have a springform pan, you can also use a round cake pan lined with parchment paper, to help with easy removal later. (If you only have a 9-inch pan, that will work, too! It will simply produce a thinner cake and you can probably reduce the cook time by 2 minutes or so.)
Bake the flourless cake at 375ºF for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cake feels firm to a light touch in the center. Let it cool completely in the pan, for at least 30 minutes before serving.
It will firm up even faster if you store it in the refrigerator, to help it cool down.
Use a sharp knife to slice the cake into thin pieces (because it’s rich!) and serve it with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream, if you like. I think it pairs well with fresh raspberries, or any other fresh berries you like, to help cut some of the richness.
This cake should remove from the pan easily, but it may also slightly stick to the knife as you slice it. Be sure to wipe-down your knife in between slices, if you’d like to keep them looking pretty!
Prefer a frosted cake? It’s not necessary in this case, but you can add an easy vegan chocolate ganache on top, if you’d like.
Storage Tips: You can prepare this cake up to 2 days in advance, and keep it tightly covered in the fridge. Serve it chilled or let it come to room temperature for 1 hour, for the best flavor.
You can also store this flourless chocolate cake in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before serving it the next day.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease an 8" springform pan with cooking spray.
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter together, stirring until completely smooth. (You can use a double-boiler for this, or the microwave in 30-second intervals.) Set it aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut sugar, eggs, and cacao powder. Stir until smooth, then add in the cooled chocolate. (Make sure it's not too hot, so it doesn't start to cook the eggs.) Mix until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate batter into the greased pan and then bake at 375ºF until the center looks firm, about 20 to 22 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan completely. You can speed the process by placing it in the fridge to cool, if you need to serve it in under 2 hours. You can make this cake up to 2 days in advance and store it tightly covered in the fridge until you're ready to serve. I recommend bringing it to room temperature on the counter for at least 1 hour for the best flavor. Serve with shaved chocolate on top, for a pretty presentation, or a sprinkle of cacao powder or powdered sugar, if you prefer. You can also freeze this cake, tightly covered, for up to 3 months.
- 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 3/4 cup honey
- 4 eggs
If you try this gluten-free chocolate cake, please leave a comment and star rating below, letting me know how you like it.