Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe | Healthy Gluten-Free Dessert Idea

This Flourless Chocolate Cake is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. With its romantically rich dark chocolate flavor and decadent texture, it’s completely irresistible. One taste, and you will be in love!

wide shot of a sliced flourless chocolate cake topped with powdered sugar, berries, and cream

A Rich and Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

This delicious and stunning gluten-free cake has a smooth, ultra-rich texture, and is a low carber’s BFF! Packed with sugar-free dark chocolate and creamy butter, it’s like a mocha latte in the form of dessert. 😍

Friends, I’m a sucker for all things chocolate, and this cake is certainly no exception. Flourless chocolate cakes are moist and fudge-like in consistency, and because they’re so rich, they are usually served without any frosting — ’cause they don’t need any! 🙌

I like to decorate mine with just a light dusting of powdered sugar and fresh raspberries.

Is Flourless Cake Gluten-Free?

Yes, actually! This cake uses absolutely no flour, not even to prepare the pan, so it’s a gluten-free treat that you can feel great about. And it’s so good, you won’t even miss the flour. Yay! 😃 

side shot of a chocolate cake slice topped with whipped cream and strawberry

Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients here are very simple. You’re essentially making a rich chocolate ganache-like mixture with egg yolks and melted chocolate, and then folding that gently with a meringue to create the flourless chocolate cake batter. So delicious!

  • Eggs: You’ll need 5 large eggs, at room temperature, separated. It’s very important to the success of the cake to let the eggs come to room temperature for about twenty to thirty minutes before you get started separating them and making the batter.
  • Dark or Semisweet Chocolate: I like to use 70% cacao sugar-free dark chocolate for this recipe, but regular semisweet chocolate is also fine.
    NOTE: IF using dark chocolate, you will need to add more sugar/sweetener because, if you don’t, the cake will be more bitter than sweet. 
  • Butter: You’ll need 3/4-cup of butter, cut into ½-inch cubes.
  • Cream of Tartar: This is usually found in the spices and herbs section of the grocery store. It’s a byproduct of fermenting grapes for wine, and helps to stabilize the meringue.
  • Sugar: For this recipe, I use powdered sweetener. If you prefer using regular sugar, that’s great, too.
  • Salt: Just a 1/4-teaspoon to give some contrast to the cake.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar/Sweetener or Cocoa Powder: For garnish.
  • Chocolate Shavings: For garnish.
  • Raspberries: For garnish.

close up overhead shot of a cooked flourless chocolate cake

How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake

  1. Prepare Oven, Cake Pan, and Double-Boiler: Preheat your oven to 350˚F. While it heats, grease a 9-inch springform pan with a little bit of butter, and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper.
  2. Pour about two inches of water into a small saucepan and set it over medium heat; bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Place a metal or thick-glass bowl over the saucepan. You can also use a double boiler for this.
  3. Melt Butter & Chocolate: To the bowl (or top portion of double boiler), add the chocolate pieces and the butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir over the steaming saucepan until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and blended. Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow it to cool slightly.
  4. Beat Egg Yolks & Add Chocolate: In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until thickened and bright yellow (you can also do this by hand, using a whisk). Then, beat the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and set aside.
  5. Make Meringue Mixture: Clean the beaters and, in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites together with the cream of tartar. When the egg whites become foamy, begin beating the sugar in, one tablespoon at a time. Beat on high after each spoonful of sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  6. Fold Meringue Mixture into Chocolate Mixture: Using a spatula, fold ¼ of the meringue mixture into the chocolate to lighten it a bit. After that, fold the remaining egg whites in. Be careful to fold, not mix! Mixing breaks down the egg whites, undoing all your hard work. (For a helpful tutorial on folding, see this video.)
  7. Bake: Gently transfer your combined egg white and chocolate batter to the previously prepared springform pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
  8. Unmold & Decorate Cake: Once the cake has completely cooled, loosen the sides of the cake by running a knife all around the edges of the pan. Detach the rim from the pan, and dust the cake with powdered sugar. Decorate your flourless chocolate cake with chocolate shavings and raspberries.
  9. Enjoy!

overhead close up shot of a sliced flourless chocolate cake topped with powdered sugar, berries, and cream

Tips for Success

Getting the bake right on this dish is crucial, since it’s so dependent on eggs for its texture. Here are my very best tips for baking and flavoring this scrumptious cake.

  • Steam It Up: So many baked goods depend on the humidity of the baking environment. For this flourless chocolate cake, you may or may not find that your cake does better with an ovenproof dish of hot water in the oven to add some steam. If you’re not sure whether you need this step, go ahead and try it. It won’t hurt and can only help. Flourless cakes baked with steam tend to be slightly more fudgy, while those baked without steam tend to be slightly more cakey.
  • Don’t Over Bake: I think this cake turns out the best when you remove it from the oven a little “early,” meaning that a toothpick inserted into the center will come out with a few moist crumbs stuck to the sides. It’s also okay to take it out when the toothpick comes out clean, but you’re increasing your odds of over baking it at that point.
  • Add Espresso or Cocoa: If you’d like to intensify the flavor, you can add a spoonful of espresso or cocoa powder to the melted chocolate mixture, blending well. Some cooks add a pinch of cayenne pepper, as well! It’s actually pretty dang good! 

Decorating Ideas

If you don’t have raspberries on hand (or they’re just not your thing!), there are so many more delicious ways to top your flourless chocolate cake. Here are a few ideas, but you really can’t go wrong here. 

  • Whipped Cream
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Chocolate Drizzle
  • Strawberries
  • Vanilla Glaze
  • A Sprinkling of Sea Salt
  • Heath Bar Crumbles
  • Slivered Almonds

side shot of flourless chocolate cake cut into slices and topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and raspberries

How to Store Leftover Cake

This cake keeps really well in the fridge, if stored correctly. Here’s how to keep leftover cake fresh and moist:

  • To Refrigerate: Place leftovers in an airtight food storage container or wrap well, and place in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • To Serve: You can serve leftovers chilled, or allow the desired portion to come to room temperature before serving.

Can You Freeze Flourless Chocolate Cake?

  • Yes! This cake freezes well. Simply wrap the leftovers and place in freezer bags, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing.
  • I like to freeze each slice wrapped separately for easy defrosting and serving.