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Flourless (Gluten Free) Chocolate Cake

January 12, 2012

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


• 160g butter

• 230g dark chocolate, 50-70% cocoa

• 6 eggs

• 100g caster sugar


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.

109 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 10:55 am

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

  2. January 12, 2012 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!

    • January 15, 2012 10:26 am

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

  3. January 12, 2012 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. January 12, 2012 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. January 12, 2012 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. January 12, 2012 12:25 pm

    Looks delicious, and £2.70 is a bargain!

    • January 15, 2012 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. January 12, 2012 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!

    • January 15, 2012 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. January 12, 2012 12:52 pm

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

  9. January 12, 2012 12:54 pm

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

  10. January 12, 2012 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.

  11. January 12, 2012 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.

  12. January 12, 2012 2:51 pm

    that looks yummy… I look forward to trying!

  13. January 12, 2012 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.

    • January 15, 2012 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. January 12, 2012 3:35 pm

    This looks awesome!

  15. January 12, 2012 3:43 pm

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

  16. January 12, 2012 3:53 pm

    Looks delicious! Happy birthday to your mom!

  17. January 12, 2012 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!

  18. January 12, 2012 4:02 pm

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

  19. January 12, 2012 4:08 pm

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


  20. January 12, 2012 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!

  21. January 12, 2012 5:06 pm

    This is one I have to make…sounds fab!

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

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

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

    YUM!!! =)

  24. January 12, 2012 5:56 pm

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

  25. January 12, 2012 6:11 pm

    This looks great! I love your blog and nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award:


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

    It looks truly delicious!!! 🙂

  27. January 12, 2012 8:16 pm

    This looks so good!

  28. January 12, 2012 10:05 pm

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

  29. January 12, 2012 10:46 pm

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

  30. January 12, 2012 11:21 pm

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

  31. January 13, 2012 1:46 am

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

  32. January 13, 2012 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. January 13, 2012 2:30 am

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

    • January 15, 2012 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. January 13, 2012 4:27 am

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

  35. January 13, 2012 4:27 am

    That is so pretty! ❤

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

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

  37. January 13, 2012 5:46 pm

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

  38. January 13, 2012 9:59 pm

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

    What a beautiful thing to do for your mother 🙂

  39. January 13, 2012 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 🙂

  40. January 14, 2012 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. January 14, 2012 7:45 pm

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

  42. January 15, 2012 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!

    • January 15, 2012 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. January 15, 2012 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.

    • January 15, 2012 9:47 am

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

  44. January 15, 2012 12:33 pm

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

    • January 15, 2012 9:43 pm

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

  45. January 15, 2012 2:07 pm

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

  46. January 15, 2012 4:05 pm

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

  47. January 17, 2012 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…

  48. January 19, 2012 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.

    • January 21, 2012 10:00 am

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

  49. January 23, 2012 8:12 pm

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

  50. February 5, 2012 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

    • February 5, 2012 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 permalink
    February 5, 2012 6:24 pm

    I am making these right now! Thanks!!

  52. February 10, 2012 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. February 17, 2012 10:24 pm

    This sounds delicious and the pictures are very promising!

  54. April 23, 2012 8:37 pm

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

  55. February 18, 2013 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?

    • February 20, 2013 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!


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