One-Bowl Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake Flourless chocolate cake is a dessert that has been part of my kitchen journey since nearly the beginning. From the moment I was allowed to turn the oven on by myself, I wanted to know how to turn a bag of chocolate chips into a decadent, fudgy, not-too-sweet dessert. To this end, I’ve made hundreds of versions of fudge, brownies, molten-lava cakes, and layer cakes, but I have always returned to what I consider to be the model upon which all others are measured — the flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless chocolate cake is a cake in name and in appearance, but not much else. There is no flour, obviously, and none of the traditional rising agents (baking powder, baking soda) one usually sees in a cake recipe. It’s also entirely unfussy despite giving off the appearance of great skill and elegance. Compared against cake recipes with a dozen or more ingredients and just as many steps, this has 5 ingredients and only uses one bowl, one spatula, and one pan. It is, by my estimation, perfect.

I tend to make this chocolate cake when I remember, 45 minutes before I need to walk out the door, that I’ve agreed to bring dessert to a dinner party. I also make it at 10pm when I want a chocolate fix, or at 8am when I decide it’ll be the perfect day for a picnic. It’s an all-the-time, no-excuse-needed, just-because kind of dessert that doesn't require any fussy ingredients you don't already most-likely have on hand.

Before we get into the recipe, though, one last thing. While this cake doesn’t  need a topping, I do think it benefits from one that cuts through the sweetness with a little tart or bitter bite. Coffee ice cream is a solid pairing, but my favorite are the cherries we can in the summer-time to eat all year. Our favorites are English Morello, a black sour cherry that is grown at Fix Farm in Hudson, New York, a 5th generation fruit farm. We pit the cherries before canning them in a sugar syrup flavored with a dash of almond extract. It’s a major operation that tends to take up most of an entire day, but it’s worth it come February when we want to have a cherry clafoutis, cocktail, or a slice of flourless chocolate cake piled high with perfectly tart cherries.

While I don’t expect you to get into canning all of a sudden, I do highly recommend storing some pitted or chopped up fresh fruit in sugar syrup in your fridge, as it’ll keep for a few weeks. Cherries with almond, strawberries with mint, and peaches with Myer’s Rum are our favorites.

The Recipe

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Serves 6-8)


  • ½ cup high-quality chocolate, chopped or as chips*
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter + ½ tbsp for pan
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  • 8-inch round baking pan or similarly-sized rectangular pan.
  • 1 large, microwave-safe glass pyrex or medium metal bowl
  • 1 spatula


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Butter your pan before lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit**
  3. Melt butter in the microwave or by placing the metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  4. Add chocolate to hot butter, and stir constantly until smooth. Remove from stove if using double boiler method.
  5. Stir in sugar and eggs until combined.
  6. Stir in unsweetened cocoa powder until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan (see step 2) and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top has a thin ‘shell’.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake out onto a plate.
  9. Cut, top, and serve.

In the images, I've served the cake on our Palatine Collection plate in Mugwort, available here

Palatine Collection plate in mugwort

* Bittersweet or semi-sweet preferred, but anything other than unsweetened can do in a pinch.

**I trace the bottom of the pan with a pencil to make this simple

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