Flourless Chocolate Cake
Flourless chocolate cake lovers can rejoice – because here’s the best flourless chocolate cake recipe! With just 5 ingredients it’s easy, ultra rich and decadent, gluten-free, nut-free, paleo and keto friendly.
The Best Flourless Chocolate Cake
With the holidays right around the corner it truly is the baking time of year. Last year’s wildly successful desserts – my Amazing Paleo Chocolate Cake and Vegan Caramel Cheesecake – are still reader favorites. And if you haven’t yet made them, you should.
But for Christmas this year I wanted something simple and easy, yet still dazzling to the eyes. Let me introduce you to my Flourless Chocolate Cake!
Most flourless chocolate cakes are extremely dense, almost fudge-like. And while those are delicious, I was aiming for something lighter, fluffier and more cake like. Because if I want fudge, I’ll eat fudge, but when I want cake, I truly want cake.
Watch the Video of my Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
This cake is easy to whip up, but watch the quick video below for my step-by-step instructions. And you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!
Ingredients in Flourless Chocolate Cake
With just 5 ingredients, this flourless chocolate cake is pretty fool proof. It’s just semi-sweet chocolate, butter, eggs, coconut sugar and espresso powder.
I use coconut sugar instead of processed white sugar for a natural sugar. But you could also use maple syrup. If you do use maple syrup, the end result won’t have the crackle on top (as maple syrup has more moisture) and it’ll be slightly sweeter. The coconut sugar version will have a more cake-like texture, the maple syrup one a lighter texture.
And for those following a low-carb or keto diet, you can substitute a keto-friendly sugar like monkfruit.
The choice is yours. All variations are delicious.
Is Flourless Chocolate Cake Gluten-Free?
Yes, it is! That’s the beauty of this recipe. There’s absolutely no flour involved.
My version of flourless chocolate cake can also be made paleo (just swap the butter with coconut oil) and low carb or keto (swap in a keto-friendly sugar like monkfruit or erythritol). All sugar variations can be swapped in on a 1:1 ratio.
How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake
Start by separating your eggs. Put the egg whites in a small bowl and the yolk in a different bowl. This will also help them come to room temperature.
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 temperate.
Add the egg whites to a stand mixer. Beat 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 merengue), 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.
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.
Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the chocolate and stir to lighten it up. 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.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch greased springform pan and bake for 45-50 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.
Once it’s fully cooled, remove it from the pan and serve it plan with berries and coconut whipped cream or sprinkle cacao powder or homemade powdered sugar on top. Enjoy!
More Gluten-Free Chocolate Dessert Recipes
- Amazing Paleo Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Mug Cake (gluten-free, paleo)
- Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes
- Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free, paleo)
- Chocolate Covered Bananas
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt
Flourless Chocolate Cake (No Refined Sugar)
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons butter, or coconut oil
- 6 large eggs, egg whites and yolks separated (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder
- optional cacao powder, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To the melted and now room temperature chocolate add the egg yolks and espresso powder and stir together. (*Please make sure the chocolate is cooled to room temperature, otherwise you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your chocolate).
- Add 1/3 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.
- Pour the batter in 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.
- Let the cake cool completely, then remove from the springform pan. Dust with cacao powder before serving.
- My favorite chocolate chips are Pascha Chocolate Chips as they're gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Very allergen-friendly!
- 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.
Hi! Do you know if brown or white sugar (which of the two) will create the same crackly top?
Hi Jen – because I haven’t tried either of those sugars I’m not sure, but I’d lean toward regular white sugar.
The best recipe ever. The cake came out just the way you post it. I didn’t use coffee at all but was superb because don’t want my kids to be up at night. Hubby loved it. This was the first cake for me to make it at home. Thank you so much for the recipe
Hi Fatima – Wonderful! Happy to know your entire family enjoyed this cake :)
My hubby’s birthday today, and this is the cake I chose to make. Perfect for my chocolate loving manr ☺️💕
Hi Leonie – This will be the perfect cake! Especially if he loves chocolate :)
I made this last night and used Swerve as a Keto substitute for the sugar. My cake came out only about a 1/2 high, could the sugar substitute be the reason?
Hi Stephanie – if you kept all of the other ingredients the same, that could have been the culprit. Though I know others have tried it with erythritol and it worked. You might want to try a different keto sugar substitute next time. :)
Did you use granular Swerve or confectioners Swerve?
I made this as my birthday cake and it is beyond delicious! So easy and works every time. Will definetly make again! Thanks for this cake recipe, it is really great!
Hi Dorothea – I’m so glad you loved this cake and Happy Birthday! :)
Love this recipe!
This is a very easy recipe that produces amazing and delicious result. Made it for New Year’s and everybody loved it. So easy and so good, thank you, Lisa, yet another impeccably great recipe
Hi Lana – I’m so glad everyone enjoyed this cake over New Years :)
Update – made it once again for my mom’s birthday – it’s sooooo good. I wish I could insert a picture
Hi Lana- I hope your mother had a great birthday! What a perfect chocolate treat to whip up for her.
I loooove this cake. I made it two times last two weeks. My family loves it 🙌 It’s quick and don’t need many ingredients. Thank you
Hi Milena – So glad you and your family enjoyed this cake! :)
Hi, this recipe look amazing. Can I substitute coconut sugar with monk fruit granule sweetener?
Yes, you can use monk fruit as a substitute in this recipe.
Can I use olive oil instead of butter?
You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it as olive oil has a very distinct flavor. I’d use a more neutral flavored oil.
This was delicious. Especially loved the step by step video, it made it so easy and allowed me to ensure I was getting the correct texture. I found it had a pretty strong eggy flavour the day I made it and much preferred the taste the next day once it had some time to sit in the fridge.
I bought the espresso powder especially for this recipe and have now been using it in lots of other chocolate recipes so am really happy I didn’t skip this and am now able to work with an ingredient I’ve never used before.
Hi Alexandra – Glad the step by step video helped you with this recipe!
I made this and brought it to a dinner party and everyone loved it ….I should have made two of them.
Hi Lyn – Definitely a party favorite! Glad you and all your guests loved this cake :)
Oh my goodness. This is delicious. I made a Thanksgiving trial run with this because I don’t consider myself a baker. The directions were easy to follow and the cake came together so well. I know my gluten free son-in-law will love this!
Oh wonderful! I’m so happy you loved the recipe Karen. I hope your son-in-law loves it as well. :) Happy Thanksgiving!
Can this be made the day before it’s served? If so, how should it be stored? Thank you!
Hi Sydney- Yes, you can make it a day before, just make sure to not sprinkle anything on top of the cake, otherwise it will absorb the powder! Wait til the day of and put the toppings on. As for storing, seal it tightly and you can place it on your counter top or in the fridge. I might do the counter top to keep the moisture in the cake. Hope this helps!
With this many eggs, does it have an eggy taste/aftertaste?
Hi Angela – Not at all! It’s still a very chocolatey flavor to this 😊
Can this be made into cupcakes?
Hi Dalilah – I haven’t tried it with this specific recipe, but definitely try and let me know how it goes!
Hi Lisa, thank you for your prompt reply- I will try and let you know.
Do you think Xylitol will work to substitute the coconut sugar here?
I make chiffon cakes and I’m wondering, like someone else mentioned- to bake this in a tube pan and turn in over immediately after removing from oven, this could prevent it from deflating and stay even fluffier. Will try and split batter half for a tube pan and half cupcakes and see what happens 😁
Yes, you can use xylitol in this recipe. I’m not sure about making it in a tube pan though. But I’m all for experimenting! :) Would love to hear how your experiments turn out!
I made it and now it’s my family’s favorite.
The top of the cake does not crack like yours though, maybe from the chocolate or butter (i use dark compound and mixed butter which was what available around), but the cake still light and very delicious. Thank you for sharing this. Much loves from Indonesia 🤗.
Hi Aderima – I am so happy you and your family loved this recipe!
I live alone so I bought 3 single serving spring form pans and mixed up 1/2 recipe. Yum!
Hi Robin – I’m glad you were able to divide this into a smaller portion! I hope you loved this recipe :)
I don’t know why but my spring form pan leaked it all over my oven…….
You should look for a springform pan with a catch tray on the bottom (I linked to one in the post). It’s fairly standard on all newer springform pans. :)
Hi. I have a question about the flourless chocolate cake recipe. Is the 8 oz of chocolate pieces a measuring cup full or is this a weight of 8 oz?
It’s 8oz by weight of chocolate. :)
Hello! I’m very new to baking and discovered the joy of baking through this recipe! My cooking went great, but the top didn’t crack ?. The sides moved in a little on the top. What did I do wrong?
Hi Leah – you probably didn’t do anything wrong. Sometimes that’s just dependent on ovens and particular temperatures. As long as the cake turned out and tasted great, that’s all that matters! :)
Wow! This is a fantastic recipe!!! Great job!
I baked mine a bit longer as the center was still needing to firm up.
I keep it in the frig and it tastes like a combo of mousse and cake.
I do have a question… have you ever tried not greasing the pan, or used a tube pan so it can invert while cooling? I’m not sure if it’s too heavy to invert and cool as a sponge cake to stay fluffy or drop out all over the counter! Just a thought.
Fantastic job on this recipe!!! It’s yummy!!!!!!
Hi Peggy, Thanks so much for the kind feedback! I’m so glad you loved the recipe! I haven’t tried making it in a tube pan, so I’m not sure. But if you end up trying something new, let me know how it turns out. :)
I don’t have espresso powder, could add a Tbsp of strong coffee, would I have to adjust the baking time?
Yes, that should be fine. And no, I wouldn’t adjust the baking time. It should be good as is. :)
Looks delish! How long is cooking time if I use a 9×5 loaf pan?
I didn’t have chocolate chips and I used regular chocolate (85% cacao).
Wonderful! I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe!
How much cocoa did you use? Thanks! :)
Yum! This cake is so tasty and easy to make. I only had a 10″ pan, but it still worked, just a little thinner. Subbed cinnamon for the espresso powder. Served it with your caramel sauce and fresh raspberries. Perfection. Thank you!
Oh yum, that sounds like an amazing combo!! Happy you enjoyed it Malia. :)
Hi Lisa, Thank you for yet again another fabulous recipe. I absolutely love this cake and cannot believe how light the texture is. Its a real hit with my husband too. Again another firm favourite in our home I’m sure. What is great is that a little goes a long way because it is such a gorgeous rich flavour.
Hi Mary – I’m so thrilled you and your husband love this recipe! It’s definitely rich and fluffy…and highly addictive. ;)
This looks amazing! Could this recipe be made into muffins? Thanks
My Paleo Chocolate Cake recipe can definitely be turned into muffins, but I haven’t tried this one as muffins yet.
Is it possible for you to provide metric units as well?
Hi Dee – I’m hoping to do that in the future on my website. :)
I make this every weekend because it’s so good. I have given up gluten and dairy and I am now trying to wean myself off of sugar too. This dessert is full of protein so it is filling too. I have experimented with substituting the semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark, no-sugar chocolate chips and the result was not good. The cake did not rise. I suppose it is because the cake relies on the cocoa butter from the semisweet chocolate chips in addition to the eggs to rise. I added back the semisweet chocolate chips and omitted the 1/2 cup coconut sugar and the results were really good – not as good as the original recipe calls for but for someone who has this dessert every weekend and is slowly trying to reduce sugar, I’m so happy!.
I also bought myself Lisa’s Roaming Free book over Christmas and the pictures are so beautiful and inspiring. I am planning a trip to Bali this year – inspired by the blog here on Downshiftology!
Hi Sandra – I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying this recipe and have made some tweaks to suit you. Thanks for sharing your substitutions! And that’s wonderful you’re loving Roaming Free. I had SUCH an amazing time in Bali and I’m sure you will as well. :) x
Delicious and healthy, can i use stevia instead of coconut sugar o maple syrup??
Hi Andrea – I haven’t tested this with stevia but I’m pretty sure it would be fine. :)
I’m not generally GF, however this cake is perfect to take along to a dinner party gathering when you can be sure that at least one guest will be GF. It was delicious and very easy to make.
Yes, it’s always great to be prepared for parties. So happy you enjoyed the flourless cake Margot!
What could be used as an egg substitute in this recipe?
Hi Jamie – unfortunately I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg substitute. Recipes that have 1-2 eggs can usually be subbed with a chia/flax egg no problem, but with 6 eggs in this recipe I don’t think egg replacers would work. Sorry!
Can’t wait to make this recipe! What would you recommend for an egg substitution for this recipe?
I made the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe today and it worked very well. I appreciated the video and detail in the recipe. I used parchment paper on the bottom and may use two layers of parchment paper next time just so it is easier to move off of the bottom of the spring pan. The cake is not a heavy cake. The texture is very smooth and light. The expresso powder added depth of flavor that was very nice. I used Williams-Sonoma Expresso Bean Powder.
Wonderful! I’m happy you enjoyed the flourless cake Deb!
Amazing and so easy to do!
Glad you enjoyed it Lucie!
Hi Lisa, I tried this today, the result looked really similar to your pics and was super yummy! https://www.flickr.com/photos/52867812@N05/shares/E64085 I just used regular sugar instead of coconut. Thank you for sharing the recipe! :-)
Hi Paola – I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for sharing your pics. :) x
Just made this cake today, but i didn’t have any expresso powder. It smelled wonderful as it was baking and it turned out with the crackled top and is light and very tasty! Thank you so much for an easy and rich chocolate cake recipe.
You’re welcome Sharon! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. :) x
Just made this today following your recipe except i didn’t have any expresso powder. But it smelled wonderful as it was baking and tastes delicious. It is light and has that pretty crackled texture on top! Thanks for a tasty and easy recipe!
Looks really good, would love to try it. Wanted to ask though if brown sugar would do?
Yes, you could really use any sugar in this recipe. Enjoy!
Hoping to give this a go tomorrow, but I’m lethal with chocolate cakes I eat them all!
Big Question is can you Freeze this? If I can Freeze I’m making a few to have on hand!! Please let me know :)
A big thanks for all the hard work and effort, love your website social Media platforms you do :) awesome work!
Hi Amy – thanks so much! :) Because this cake has a little more lift to it that normal birthday-type cakes (like my Paleo Chocolate Cake) it may compress a little when frozen and thawed. But if you’re okay with that, then I say go for it!
Also look at my chocolate mug cake recipe. That’s a great individual serving size recipe…that helps prevent that over-indulging (I’m guilty as well). ;) x
Mine just came out of the oven.. I don’t know that I can wait till it cools down!!!
Haha! You’ll have to let me know how it is once you taste it! ;)
Looks fabulous. If you substitute maple syrup or monk fruit in place of coconut sugar, what quantities work best?
Hi Ilene – you can substitute at the same quantity. But you may need to cook about 5 minutes longer if using maple syrup. :)
LOVE your recipes. I am european So i would Find helpful ingredients in Grames or ounces.
I’m happy to hear that Mihaela! And I’m actually switching out my recipe card plugin soon to a new one that will also have metric conversions. Stay tuned! :) x
I ordered a set of “cups and spoons” just for Lisa’s receipts. :) It’s really usuful for other americans receips, too. :)
Haha – love it! I’m hoping to add a new recipe plugin to my website next year that will do the metric conversion automatically, which should also make things easier! :) x
The BEST, no-fuss, most delicious, allergy-friendly, cake!
Thanks so much Monica! I’m happy you love the recipe. :) x
This cake looks and sounds amazing! So fudgy!
Thanks Natalie! And yes, it’s moist and fudgy without being dense and heavy. In other words, super delicious! ;) x
My favorite kind of chocolate cake! This is perfect for the holidays, for sure. The best part is, I think that it would be the only one at the party!
Yes, it’s great for the holidays! Especially with so many dietary restrictions nowadays, this ticks most of the boxes. Hope you enjoy it Tracy!
I can’t believe that this cake is flourless! Wow! Looks so delish!
It’s wonderful, isn’t it?! And it still has that same light and fluffy texture of a normal cake. Enjoy the recipe! :)
The maple syrup version sounds delicious but I do love that crackle on the top! Thanks for the tip on separating eggs!
I know – it’s a hard decision isn’t it! Haha. You’ll have to try it both ways and see which you like better. ;)
Can I replace the butter with coconut oil? To make it dairy free as well?
Yes, absolutely! I’ll add a note to the recipe as well. :)