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Photo by Isa Zapata, Prop Styling by Stephanie De Luca, Food Styling by Yekaterina Boystova

There’s something so elegant about the simplicity of this flourless chocolate cake recipe. Sometimes called a chocolate torte, it’s a Valentine's Day staple for good reason—not to mention an ideal choice for gluten-free diners. With just five ingredients it doesn’t get much simpler, especially because this fudgy single-layer dark chocolate cake comes together in less than 45 minutes.

Because the recipe is so simple, the rich chocolate flavor will directly reflect the quality of ingredients you use, so be sure to use the very best bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder you can get your hands on. You’ll melt the chocolate with butter in a double boiler—you can use a bowl set over a pan of simmering water if you don’t have one—and stir it until smooth before mixing in the sugar, eggs, and cocoa powder.

This cake is elegant served on its own, but you can always take it a step further by adding a fluffy dollop of whipped cream, a handful of seasonal berries, a drizzle of melted chocolate ganache, or a scoop of Coconut Lime Sorbet or your favorite ice cream. Even better? This cake remains moist and delicious for up to a full week if kept in an airtight container—just be sure to let it cool completely first.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in the November 1997 issue of ‘Gourmet’ and first appeared online April 16, 2017.


Makes one 8-inch cake

4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling
Accompaniment: Coconut Lime Sorbet (optional)

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter paper.

Step 2

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal mixing bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift ½ cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

Step 3

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

How would you rate Flourless Chocolate Cake?

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  • This flourless chocolate cake is absolutely scrumptious. I have made this from 2000 until now, off and on. My fellow employees have enjoyed it, and mention that a small slice is all the chocolate they need for the rest of the day! I sprinkled confectioners sugar over a template of hearts and it was beautiful. You can dress this up or dress it down, a cocktail party with an espresso mmmm, perhaps a touch of cayenne in the mix. Or, perhaps a good red. My hats off to you...thank you for the recipe!

    • Krystyna

    • Carnation Washington

    • 3/30/2022

  • Boy, what a delight this little number is. I've never been a fan of chocolate cake, always find it to be too dry, too crumbly, too sticky, too much ganache. This is the first time that I've tasted a chocolate cake that I was completely pleased with. My husband went to town on it. I would say this is an adult version of a brownie, enjoy it with bourbon on the side or espresso. If adding ice cream I would def do vanilla. Thanks for this recipe, very easy and quick to make. HUGE crowd pleaser.

    • Adult brownie

    • Santiago de Chile

    • 3/30/2022

  • I've bookmarked this cake since... I dunno.... 2010? 2009? It has always been a crowd-pleaser for GF and non-GF friends. I've made it in 8" glass pie tins and in individual ramakins. Either way, it's always great! I usually use powdered cocoa to top it, but last night I crushed up freeze-dried raspberries and served it with raspberry gelato. The color was delightful, but the freeze-dried raspberries gave it a nice tangy bite. In the past, I've also mixed in cayenne and served it with vanilla ice cream. It's always a treat. And I love how easy and fast it is to make.

    • Lamb

    • Orange, CA

    • 3/6/2022

  • This is a wonderful recipe. Have made it many times over the years. Very easy and so delicious. Made for a weekend dinner and served with vanilla ice cream. Awesome!

    • Memphis Mom

    • Memphis, TN

    • 2/14/2022

  • Positively delicious and so easy to make! This will certainly stay in the rotation to satisfy a chocolate craving. Thank you.

    • Lisa

    • Michigan

    • 2/8/2022

  • take me off the mailing list if no recipes.

    • Anonymous

    • Baltimore

    • 2/5/2022

  • They are ending free recipes, now you have to pay for them, with a subscription.

    • Jill

    • PA

    • 2/4/2022

  • I have been making this for years it it is always a popular dish. I sometime sprinkle the top with Fleur de sel (sparlkly sea salt for france) Or dust with powdered sugar . Served it last weekend with vanilla ice cream and a shot of Mescal on the side. Was awesome

    • theresa cross

    • Sna Francisco CA

    • 2/3/2022

  • You send me these nice cakes and no receipt. What's that about, count me out

    • Francie

    • Scottsdale

    • 2/3/2022

  • Where's the recipe? Take me off the mailing list if you're not giving it out.

    • Betty

    • Chadds Ford, Pa.

    • 2/3/2022

  • I agree. Take me off the mailing list as well if you can't make the recipe available.

    • Anonymous

    • Toronto

    • 2/3/2022

  • Take me off your mailing list if you don't want to share the recipes.

    • Karen

    • Bluffton, SC 29910, USA

    • 2/3/2022

  • I’m with Andy in Boston. I’m out. Sad.

    • Suzy

    • Detroit

    • 2/3/2022

  • If you can't make the recipe available, forget it.

    • Andy

    • Boston, MA

    • 2/1/2022

  • A hit, with lots of whipped cream and I added a tablespoon of dark rum. Absolutely elevates this!

    • Stinky

    • Madison

    • 1/31/2022

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