Flourless Chocolate Cake


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This flourless chocolate cake is a deliciously elegant cake that’s sure to impress guests. With a lightly crackled top, deep chocolate flavor, and fluffy moist texture, it’s hard to believe that this recipe only requires 5 ingredients! 

Flourless chocolate cake.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

I make this flourless chocolate cake often for dinner parties and holidays. It’s a favorite among my friends with its stunning look. But don’t let that elegance fool you! It’s such a simple recipe that you can easily serve it up for any chocolate lover any day of the week. Enjoy it straight out of the oven with a drizzle of warm custard on top, or let it cool to room temperature (to get that crackled top) and lightly dust it with cacao powder for a beautifully layered look. 

But first, I must tell you what makes my recipe unique. Unlike most flourless chocolate cakes which are extremely dense, and almost fudge-like, mine is light and airy. I separate the eggs in this recipe, whip the egg whites separately, and then fold them back in. That creates a cake that still rich in flavor, but also fluffier and more spongy. So if you prefer a light and fluffy flourless chocolate cake, this recipe is for you!

Ingredients for flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless Chocolate Cake Ingredients

The beauty of flourless chocolate cakes is that they’re naturally gluten-free. Even better? You likely have these 5 ingredients (or an acceptable substitute) ready to go in your pantry and fridge!  

  • Chocolate Chips: I prefer to use semi-sweet chocolate chips so that the cake isn’t overly sweet or too bitter. But you can use milk chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate chips as well, it’s up to you.
  • Butter: Butter mixed with melted chocolate gives a silky consistency to the batter. If you’re dairy-free, you can swap in coconut oil or a vegan butter. 
  • Eggs: Make sure to have your egg whites and yolks separated, with the egg whites in a larger mixing bowl for whipping.
  • Sugar: I love using coconut sugar, which adds depth of flavor with a hint of caramel. But any granulated sugar works. You can also swap in monk fruit or erythritol at a 1:1 ratio. If you use maple syrup or honey, just be forewarned that it won’t have the crackle on top (as those have more moisture). But it will still taste delicious! 
  • Espresso Powder: I highly recommend this for a deeper, richer chocolate flavor (and no, it won’t taste like coffee). I’ve linked my favorite brand in the recipe card below. 
  • Cacao Powder: This is optional, but dusted cacao powder on top makes this cake extra special.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep your springform pan. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of your pan. For even easier removal, you can line the bottom of your springform pan with parchment paper (on top of the butter). 

Prepping a springform pan.

Melt the chocolate mixture. Add the chocolate chips and butter to a large glass bowl and heat over a double boiler. Use a bowl larger than what you need, as you’ll be adding egg whites to this mixture later. Stir the chocolate and butter together until it’s completely melted and silky smooth. Then, remove it from the double boiler and let it cool to room temperature.

Melted chocolate in a bowl.

Whip the egg whites. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until you have soft peaks, then slowly add the coconut sugar (a small bit at a time) until it’s fully incorporated. Normally, sugar would turn the egg whites glossy (like when you’re making a meringue), but that won’t happen in this case as the coconut sugar granules are much larger. And that’s fine, you just want them combined.

Whipped egg whites and sugar in a bowl.

Mix the chocolate and egg yolks. Once your chocolate is at room temperature add the egg yolks and stir to combine. Be sure to not add these while the chocolate is hot, otherwise, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your chocolate, which is never ideal. Then, stir in the espresso powder.

Mixing egg yolks and chocolate in a bowl.

Mix the egg whites into the chocolate. First, add a third of the egg white mixture to the chocolate and stir to lighten it up using a spatula. Don’t worry about deflating the egg whites in this first batch. Then, add the remaining egg whites and gently fold them in, trying not to deflate them too much.

Mixing chocolate and egg whites together.

​​The cake is ready to bake. Pour the batter into your springform pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake will rise significantly as it cooks (like a soufflé), but will fall back down as it cools. That’s what gives it that lovely crackled texture on top.

A flourless chocolate cake in a pan.

Serve it up! Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, remove it from the pan, and serve it up. As I mentioned at the beginning, you could serve it with vanilla custard for a creamy touch, with fresh berries and coconut whipped cream, or even a small scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Flourless chocolate cake next to cacao powder.

Common Questions

Why is my cake dry and crumbly?

This cake should be soft and moist, so you might have overcooked it a little (as all ovens cook slightly differently). Next time, I’d try reducing the time in the oven just a bit and see how that goes!

What if I don’t have a springform pan?

You can also use a regular 9-inch cake pan if you line the bottom with parchment paper. It’s usually just a little bit harder to get this cake out of a standard cake pan than a springform pan. 

A slice of flourless chocolate cake.

Storage Tips

  • To store for the week: You can store this cake covered at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or up to one week in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • To freeze for later: If you want to keep a few slices to enjoy next month, you can absolutely freeze it. Store slices in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Just keep in mind it may compress a little when frozen and thawed.
  • Tips for making it in advance: You can make this cake a day in advance for a celebration. Just store it covered on the countertop, and wait to add any toppings (including cacao powder) until right before serving. 

More Chocolate Desserts

I hope you love this flourless chocolate cake as much as I do. If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below! Your review will help other readers in the community. 

Sliced flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

4.84 from 61 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This flourless chocolate cake is a deliciously elegant yet easy to make chocolate dessert that’s sure to impress guests. Watch the video below to see how quickly it comes together!





  • Prep your pan. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. You can also line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper (on top of the butter) for easy removal.
    Lining a springform pan.
  • Make the chocolate mixture. Add the chocolate and butter to a large glass bowl and melt over a double-boiler, stirring until fully melted. Alternatively, you can slowly heat the chocolate and butter in 20-second increments in the microwave. Remove the bowl from the double-boiler (or microwave) and let cool to room temperature.
    A bowl of melted chocolate.
  • Whip the egg whites. While the chocolate is cooling, add the egg whites to a large bowl and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Slowly add the coconut sugar while beating, about one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Set aside.
    Whipping egg whites in a bowl.
  • Mix the chocolate and eggs yolks. To the melted and now room-temperature chocolate, add the egg yolks and espresso powder and stir together. Make sure the chocolate is cooled to room temperature, otherwise, you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your chocolate.
    Mixing chocolate and egg yolks in a bowl.
  • Mix the egg whites into the chocolate. Add ⅓ of the egg whites to the chocolate, then stir to combine and lighten the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites, trying not to deflate the mixture too much.
    Folding egg whites in chocolate.
  • Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 45 minutes. The cake will rise to the top of the springform pan while baking but will deflate once cooled.
    A baked flourless chocolate cake.
  • Cool and serve. Let the cake cool completely, then remove from the springform pan. Dust with cacao powder before serving.
    Flourless chocolate cake with cacao powder.

Lisa’s Tips

  • While this recipe is for a light and fluffy cake, if you do prefer a denser cake that’s easy to make. Just don’t separate the eggs and crack them into the bowl in step 4. 
  • Sometimes it can be difficult to find espresso powder in the supermarket. I purchase this one from Amazon. Make sure to read my Paleo Chocolate Cake recipe to understand the amazing effect espresso powder has on chocolate desserts.
  • Definitely use a springform pan and not a regular pan for this cake recipe. It makes it easy to remove and transfer to a serving plate.
  • If you do opt for maple syrup in this recipe, you may need to cook the cake several minutes longer as maple syrup adds moisture to the recipe.


Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Flourless Chocolate Cake, Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published December 2018, but updated to include new information and photos for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi. Can I substitute the coconut oil for avocado or olive oil?

    Made this cake and everyone absolutely loved it but I can taste the coconut oil and it tastes off to me. Love your recipes. So many have become a part of my family’s everyday meals, a part of my children’s memories. Thank you! All the best!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Shira! I’m glad you enjoy them. :) I haven’t tried an oil alternative in this recipe yet, so not quite sure how that would turn out. If you give it a try, let us know!

  2. The best flourless chocolate cake recipe. The texture comes out amazing. I use sugar free chips and stevia erithritol blend and it’s divine.5 stars

  3. This cake is incredibly easy to make and delicious! I made this for my MIL’s birthday and it was an absolute hit. I served it with Lisa’s whipped coconut cream, which was perfect. We were only 4, so there was some leftover. It kept perfectly in the fridge overnight and was possibly even better the next day.5 stars