Nut-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake
on Mar 10, 2023, Updated Feb 06, 2024
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This gluten-free cake is perfect for Passover or any time you need a rich chocolate finale without nuts or flour.
Many flourless baked goods rely on nuts for their structure, but when there are nut allergies in the house, that’s strictly off-limits. I have severe nut allergies myself, so I know how hard it can be to find something that is gluten-free but not made with nuts. This fudgy, dense cake bypasses the nuts and relies on eggs and cocoa powder for structure.
It’s based on a flourless chocolate cake from The Gourmet Cookbook, and it’s literally like a cross between chocolate cake and fudge… that’s a chocolate combo I dare any chocolate lover to resist.
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Nut-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake: This gluten-free cake is perfect for Passover or any time you need a rich chocolate finale!Tweet This
Chocolate Cake for Passover
A flourless chocolate cake is always welcome on Passover, a Jewish holiday where flour is forbidden. However, these days, with so many gluten-free folks out there for various reasons, it’s a terrific cake to serve on any occasion.
Warning: It is rich- RICH, I tell you. Depending on the type of chocolate you use, it’s also fairly intense chocolate-wise — not overly sweet at all. This is why I highly recommend serving it with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries to cut the richness. The cake will puff up a bit as it cooks but then fall as it cools. That’s fine; it’s what it’s supposed to do! The result is a very dense, very chocolatey cake.
When the cake is cool, you can either frost it with chocolate ganache or another frosting of your choice. Or sprinkle with a bit of additional cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar and top with berries if you like.
Nut-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- Chocolate – Use bittersweet, dark, or semisweet chocolate. Technically, these terms can be used interchangeably. Most dark or semisweet chocolate contains between 60 and 62 percent chocolate solids. Some brands will call this “bittersweet” chocolate, or sometimes extra dark. It’s better to chop a chocolate bar than to use chocolate chips, which may have extra stabilizers added. If you do use chocolate chips, make sure they are a high-quality brand like Ghirardelli or Valrhona.
- Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted butter, which allows me to control the salt content in a recipe. This is true for both sweet and savory recipes. Use a good quality butter for this cake — there are very few ingredients, and each one should be the best it can be!
- Sugar – To add some sweetness to the pleasant bitterness of the darker chocolate.
- Eggs – These are what provide the structure to the cake. Use large eggs.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – Another level of chocolatey flavor. You can also dust the finished cake with cocoa powder if desired. Another option for finishing the cake is confectioners’ sugar, or you can frost it with chocolate ganache, which takes this to a whole other level of rich chocolate bliss.
- Whipped cream and berries – Highly recommended for serving!
In this cake recipe, the eggs provide the structure, replacing the flour. Some flourless cakes use non-wheat flour, and some use nuts, but this does not. People with nut allergies can enjoy this cake as well.
A torte is a type of cake that is usually made without flour. Technically, this cake recipe could also be called a torte.
Some people eat flourless cake because they have a gluten intolerance or allergy, like celiac disease. Other times, people avoid gluten because they are adhering to a gluten-free diet for other reasons. And, during Passover, some observant Jewish people don’t eat flour for the 8 days of the holiday to observe the laws of keeping kosher for Passover.
- This cake will keep for up to 5 days. Store it in the fridge, and let it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes before serving for the best flavor. The cake itself will be even easier to cut when it is cool.
- If you want to freeze the cake, wrap it very well in a couple of layers of plastic wrap (they make a thicker plastic wrap designed to keep foods fresher longer, which is good for freezing). Freeze the cake for up to 4 months. Defrost at room temperature.
Slicing Fudgy Cake Cleanly
To slice cleanly, run a very sharp, thin knife under very hot water or dip it in a tall glass of very hot water. Wipe off the knife so it’s dry, then slice the cake. Dunk the knife in hot water and dry it between each slice, and you will get super clean slices! Slice the cake and serve with whipped cream and berries if desired.
What to Serve With Nut-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake
More Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes
- Simple Raspberry Fool
- Creamy Rice Pudding
- Brown Sugar Fudge
- Best Banana Cream Pie
- Easy Chocolate Mousse
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Nut-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 12 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate (chopped, not unsweetened)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for dusting, if desired)
- 6 large eggs
- Ganache (for frosting, optional)
- Whipped cream (for serving, if desired)
- Berries (for serving, if desired)
- Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit (or a parchment paper round) and butter the parchment paper as well
- Fill a saucepan with an inch or so of water, and place a metal or glass bowl in the pot, making sure the bottom is hovering over the water and not touching it. Place the chocolate and the butter in the bowl. Heat the water to almost a simmer over medium heat without allowing it to come to a full simmer. Stir the chocolate and butter until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan, turn off the heat, and whisk in the sugar. Whisk in the vanilla and salt, then sprinkle the 2/3 cup cocoa powder over the top and beat until smooth. Whisk in one egg at a time, beating until it is completely incorporated before adding the next one so that the eggs blend in thoroughly.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top has formed a delicate crust and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, or almost clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes (it will fall a bit; that’s ok!), then remove the sides of the springform pan. Invert the cake onto a plate, remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment, then turn the cake right side up and finish cooling on the wire rack.
- When the cake is cool, sprinkle it with a bit of additional cocoa powder and top with berries if you like. Or, frost with Chocolate Ganache and then top with berries.
- To slice cleanly, run a very sharp, thin knife under very hot water. Wipe off the knife so it’s dry, then cut the cake. Run the knife under hot water and dry it between each slice, and you will get super clean slices! Slice and serve with whipped cream and berries if desired.