Flourless (Gluten Free) Chocolate Cake

Last Sunday my mum turned 50. Wait, is divulging such a statistic bad etiquette? I never know with these things, but I digress. Since she knows I’m attempting to save every penny possible, she asked me to bake her and her friends a delicious cake in lieu of a gift. Apparently it went down rather well; the slice I had certainly did. This is hardly surprising, since the label “gluten-free” suits chocolate so well. Indeed, I first discovered this after making my most recent batch of brownies. This must be because the lack of flour goes some way towards preserving one of the fundamental qualities of chocolate – its smoothness. As we all know, taste isn’t the only important consideration when buying chocolate; it should also be smooth and seductive to the tongue.

This great, simple recipe is an amalgam of a number of ideas drawn from across the web, though it is ultimately my own. The most important step down the road of gluten-free perfection, appeared to be the separation of the eggs. Doing so allows one to give the cake all the richness of the yolks, while allowing the whites to reach their potential elsewhere. Indeed, the whites give the cake such a heavenly texture and structure, without removing the fundamental smoothness of the chocolate – something which flour finds it hard to accomplish. As such, this is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever eaten and you simply must sample it, if not devour it.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Makes 1 nine-inch cake

Ingredients:

• 160g butter

• 230g dark chocolate, 50-70% cocoa

• 6 eggs

• 100g caster sugar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 130C and grease-proof a 9 inch cake pan. Begin melting the butter in a heavy based saucepan, before adding the thinly sliced chocolate. Whisk the egg yolks in gradually.

2. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until peaks begin to form. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the peaks are a little firmer. Fold this mixture into the chocolate mixture until well mixed, take care not to knock any of the air out. Pour the batter into the cake tin, smooth and bake for around 50 minutes. It’s ready once the middle in just set; it should still have a little wobble.

Cost: This recipe is, as you can see, extremely simple. As such, it is very cheap – particularly if one keeps one’s own hens. However, for those of you who have neither chickens nor a cocoa plantation and processing facility, the cost of this cake should be around £2.70. Though, this will also depend on how cheap chocolate of a reasonable quality is where you live.

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110 comments on “Flourless (Gluten Free) Chocolate Cake

  1. lovetotrain
    January 12, 2012 at 10:55 am

    WOW this looks fantastic. i am going to have to give this a go!!!

  2. Claire
    January 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Hello from Australia… Your version of flourless chocolate cake looks heavenly. I have been on the hunt for ‘the’ flourless choc recipe for years and haven’t found love yet. I will definitely give this a whirl. I love your blog – I’m on a mission to get back to basics and to spend considerably less money on indulging my cooking and eating obsession this year as I’m back to uni full time. Keep it up!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Hello! Thanks! You should definitely try it. Yes, you should return regularly :D

  3. Mr Hari Covert
    January 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I make a similar one with the addition of Nutella to the mix that gives it an even more dense texture… it certainly went down well on New Year’s Eve with a glass of Mas Amiel Vintage Maury!

  4. Kimby
    January 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

    There’s nothing quite so heavenly as waking up to a gorgeous photo of chocolate cake first thing in the morning — except eating it! Thank you!

  5. bloggingbacktowriting
    January 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I have all these ingredients in my cupboard and a strong urge to bake…off I go! Thanks for sharing, looks delicious.

  6. Fuss Free Helen
    January 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Looks delicious, and £2.70 is a bargain!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Oh yes, it is. Perhaps I could do it a little cheaper though. It did cost me a fair bit less since I keep chickens.

  7. Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com
    January 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yes, it was certainly rude to reveal your Mum’s age:(! That would not go over well with me!
    What a great recipe; I’m impressed that you beat the egg whites by hand!
    I usually buy the chocolate when it’s on sale, right after Christmas is a great time since the grocers stock up for holiday baking! Have you tried doing these in individual ramekins? That way you can bake the cake about 90% and the centre remains gooey! So yum with a few berries on top!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Woos! Oh well. I like feeling the pain of every single step :D. That’s a really good idea with the chocolate. That’s a great ramekin idea too, you’re full of them!

  8. Just A Smidgen
    January 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Wonderful! I’ve never seen a cake rise this much without flour, etc, and so simple with only four ingredients!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Really? Thanks! I was surprised it only had four ingredients myself.

  9. Bethany Oliver
    January 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    This looks incredible! Adding it to the list of recipes to try. Happy Birthday to your mom.

  10. thelittleloaf
    January 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Absolutely agreed, flourless chocolate cake is one of the best desserts ever. And so superior to normal chocolate cake, even though you can’t ice it. Yours looks awesome. Yum.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

      I’m glad you do. You could ganache it though!

  11. Casey
    January 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Looks yummy! I make a very similar “cake” with bittersweet chocolate. It is so dense it is almost fudgy. Unbelievably delicious and smooth.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:22 am

      That sounds great. I shall have to try an even denser version.

  12. grainnep
    January 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    that looks yummy… I look forward to trying!

  13. La Deetda Reads
    January 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I calculate it will cost $4.50-$5.00 US depending on cost of chocolate. I think I will add a dollop of whipped cream just to guild the lilly.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Oh, that’s not too bad. That’s perhaps even a little less than it would be here. OH yes, cream is a fantastic addition.

  14. Kara Goldsborough
    January 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    This looks awesome!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

      It’s probably my favourite ever chocolate cake.

  15. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    January 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    This looks wonderful. I’m always amazed at how good flourless chocolate cakes are.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Thanks! They are usually wonderful, the taste comes through so much better.

  16. trialsinfood
    January 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Looks delicious! Happy birthday to your mom!

  17. spree
    January 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    You’re so right that chocolate suits itself perfectly to flourless desserts. And a few simple, well-chosen ingredients have resulted in a gorgeous birthday gift for your mum! Nicely done Frugal!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Thanks, Spree. This recipe works soooo well.

  18. homemadeadventure
    January 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    My sister would love this! I have never seen such a fluffy gluten-free cake

  19. latetedelegumes
    January 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I’d like nothing more than to go swimming in that chocolate batter. Messy, oui. Worth it, OUI.

    -Taissa

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Blimey. You’d better make a lot of it then.

  20. Dina Avila
    January 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I’m not gluten-free, but I feel chocolate cake is at it’s peak when flourless. You should try 101 Cookbooks No Bake Chocolate Cake (can search it on her blog.
    I made it over the summer and it was divine!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I’m not gluten free either. I shall look it up!

  21. Bridget
    January 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    This is one I have to make…sounds fab!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Oh yes, you should, it was absolutely fabulous!

  22. pursuitofhappieness
    January 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Lovely, I am hungry for cake now, 10:19am, darn…

  23. jo-lyn
    January 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    YUM!!! =)

  24. Abby
    January 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I think I know what I’m going to be making this evening!! Looks delicious.

  25. flowercityfoodie
    January 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    This looks great! I love your blog and nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award: http://flowercityfoodie.com/2012/01/12/and-the-award-goes-to/

    Congratulations!

  26. Kamterra Foods
    January 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    It looks truly delicious!!! :)

  27. Rita
    January 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    This looks so good!

  28. Gaby
    January 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    This cake looks amazingly delicious and is ridiculously simple to make. Happy birthday to your mum! (she’s so young!)

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Thanks! Is she young? Haha. The cake is really simple to make.

  29. Joanne Ozug
    January 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Gorgeous chocolate cake. I’ve never done a flourless chocolate cake but that needs to be remedied soon!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Thanks! Yes, it does. You simply have to try it – my version, or your own!

  30. Kay aka Babygirl
    January 12, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I LOVE chocolate.. and I absolutely love this flourless chocolate cake recipe. I can’t wait to give it a whirl.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Oh me too… who doesn’t? I hope it goes to plan :)

  31. ceciliag
    January 13, 2012 at 1:46 am

    There’s my cake, i knew it was around here somewhere! LOVE this.. will make this for sure! c

  32. a toast and tea
    January 13, 2012 at 1:54 am

    That very last picture looks especially exquisite – I’m sure no one who takes a bite would have any idea how inexpensive it is to make!

  33. glutenfreezen
    January 13, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Bravo! See, I’ve been telling people for quite some time now, there really is no need for gluten. :)

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Thanks! Well, I agree to a certain extent… there sort of is in bread :D. But I agree in that there’s no need to eaten gluten for the sake of it, especially when leaving it out makes something better.

  34. Recipes for Serena
    January 13, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Will be making this soon as I’m always looking for good gluten-free recipes. It looks mouth-wateringly delicious!

  35. KatsHealthCorner
    January 13, 2012 at 4:27 am

    That is so pretty! <3

  36. Salads and Sneakers
    January 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Mmm…chocolate. Can’t wait to try this…looks wonderful :)

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Thanks! Please do, you won’t regret it at all.

  37. Lorna
    January 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I often find chocolate cakes with flour are way too heavy so I love recipes like these.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

      I agree, this also concentrates the chocolate flavour.

  38. lolitawalters
    January 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    mmmm… wow! Love that it’s gluten free.

    What a beautiful thing to do for your mother :)

  39. k.m.
    January 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Oh this looks incredible!

    I’m laughing about how having our own cocoa plantation and processing facility could save us money…somehow I imagine the hens are a bit more attainable and lower maintenance :)

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Thanks! Hens are a little more attainable perhaps…

  40. thebigfatnoodle
    January 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    This looks amazing, gooey and rich and everything I love in a chocolate dessert. Happy belated birthday to your mum too!

  41. skinnyfatgirls
    January 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    This looks to die for! Yum! I think I need chocolate right now.

  42. Aimee@clevermuffin
    January 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Oh. My…. butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar. Yea, that’s some cake. Or a heart attack in a tin (in a good way!). Very smart the way you use the air in the whipped egg whites to give it some texture.

    So all I need now is my own cocoa plantation. No problemo!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

      It’s quite light really. Yes, the whites really act (sort of) as the flour. Yeh, everyone should have their own.

  43. Corina
    January 15, 2012 at 8:16 am

    It looks great – looking at it I’d never believe it didn’t have flour in! I always love chocolate cakes though.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Thanks! Chocolate cakes are lovely, I just think gluten free ones are better :D

  44. thehealthyfitdiva
    January 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    This cakes looks rich but amazing!!! a few simple ingredients and bonus that it’s gluten free too

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks! It was absolutely delicious. Gluten free really is just a by-product :D

  45. foodblogandthedog
    January 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    That does look better than most floury chocolate cakes! Sounds really moist too, I am powerless to resist!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks! In my opinion, it is. give it a try :)

  46. Cara
    January 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Yeah so, my birthday is in November and you can just make me this too :)

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Well, I don’t know about that :D. You could make it for you :)

  47. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy
    January 17, 2012 at 2:24 am

    looks fantastic!!!!! Will be calling in an order when I turn 50…except that I might not be telling anyone when I turn 50…

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Thanks! Hmm, well it’s up to you. I think it’s worth it :D

  48. jennrambles
    January 19, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I always think the fewer ingredients the better, and this looks amazing! I’ll have to figure out how to convert the measurements and try it.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Absolutely – the fewer ingredients, the more it’ll taste like chocolate i.e. how it’s supposed to.

  49. sylviangirl
    January 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    This looks absolutely mouth watering. I don’t think I’ve tried a flourless cake before.

  50. wutheringbites
    February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Gotta love a gluten free chocolate cake recipe, it’s just delish. Even if you’re not gluten intolerant it is oh so indulgent. one for the baking books i feel! x

    • frugalfeeding
      February 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Oh yes, I think chocolate is better without gluten, the taste comes through more. I do hope you try it.

  51. smoresnmore
    February 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I am making these right now! Thanks!!

  52. A WAH Mom's Point of View
    February 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Looks delicious! I’ve never made a cake without flour but think I’m going to have to try this one.

  53. nadel&gabel
    February 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    This sounds delicious and the pictures are very promising!

  54. Sophie33
    April 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    A divine & very chocolately cake! Just gorgous !!!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks, Sophie! It is my favourite chocolate cake.

  55. lizziegrigio
    February 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU! Gluten free baking is proving to be very difficult for me….this looks amazing and can’t wait to try it! Could you also post the brownie recipe?

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      No problem! Enjoy it! Just search for it in the recipe index! However, I’ll get round to it soon, just for you!

  56. Nathalie
    April 1, 2014 at 4:54 am

    A four-ingredient gluten free chocolate cake! Can’t get better than that! I have ten more days to make the perfect flourless chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday – this will definitely serve as inspiration! Thank you!

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