Making a decadent flourless chocolate cake doesn’t have to be intimidating! This simple recipe with just 5 ingredients and no butter will have everyone licking their plates.
I know sometimes it can seem overwhelming to make an impressive, decadent dessert. All the ingredients, the measurements, the complicated instructions… That’s why I always try to simplify the steps in a recipe like in this pure chocolate mousse cake, but there are times when you just want something quicker, less fussy, but equally delicious. Well, I have you covered my friend! With this flourless chocolate cake recipe all you need is 5 ingredients, your mixer, and an oven!
And as you might have figured from the photo, I strongly suggest serving this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The ice cream elevates it and makes it even more decadent and drool-worthy. And because it doesn’t have any leavening or flour, it’s also perfect for Passover and for everyone following a gluten-free diet.
But first of all, let’s just note that this 5-ingredient flourless chocolate cake has no butter. And since some kind of fat is required for this recipe to work, that fat comes from the dark chocolate (cocoa butter) and the nut butter. (I hope a no-butter recipe that contains nut butter doesn’t sound much contradictory!) Hazelnut butter, almond butter, peanut butter, even tahini, all will work perfectly with this recipe as long as they’re made with no additives and no hydrogenated fat (the ingredients should list only nuts and maybe some extra oil). All these butters are usually on the runny side. And in case you don’t have any nut butter in your kitchen, you still can make a homemade one, which is even better (more about that below).
Here, the nut butter (which essentially is finely ground nuts) and the cocoa powder provide enough structure so that it doesn’t sink as much as the other flourless cake recipes using butter. However, since there’s no flour, this cake stays extremely tender, soft, and moist. The texture is close to these melt-in-your-mouth olive oil brownies, but the center remains molten and creamy.
How to make homemade nut butter
- Use 9 ounces (260 grams) of your favorite nuts. Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, or sesame seeds will work fine.
- Toast the nuts for a deeper and more complex flavor. This will also make the nut butter creamier because when slightly warm, the nuts will extract their oils and blend more easily.
- Transfer to a food processor and process until a creamy mixture is formed (you can add a couple tablespoons of a neutral-tasting oil for extra smoothness). For this cake, it doesn’t matter if it’s not entirely smooth.
- There you have it, an all-natural nut butter!
How long to bake this flourless chocolate cake
- It depends! To achieve the texture you see in the photos (completely set edges and a little creamy at the center) you’ll have to bake it at 320°F (160°C) for about 45-50 minutes (you’ll also see some cracks at the surface)
- If you want it more molten, you’ll have to bake it for 5-10 minutes less, but this will cause it to sink a little more in the middle.
- Note that this cake will be delicious no matter you bake it 5 minutes more or less. Just don’t overbake it 🙂
- Warm eggs will whip so much better! Place the eggs (still in their shells) in a bowl filled with very warm water for 5 minutes.
- When you mix the first portion of the whipped eggs with the chocolate mixture it will thicken. That’s normal, so don’t be alarmed. 🙂
- Serve this cake slightly warm or store in the fridge and re-heat in the microwaves.
You may like these similar recipes:
Vegan olive oil cake (Fanouropita) with tahini ganache
Chocolate and candied hazelnut mousse cake (GF)
Roasted almond and white chocolate mousse cake
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- 10.6 oz (300 grams) chopped dark chocolate (55% - 65% cocoa solids)
- 1 cup (260 grams) runny natural nut butter (hazelnut, almond, peanut or tahini)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (35 grams) Dutch processed cocoa, sifted
- 1 cup (220 grams) white sugar
- 7 large and warm eggs (385-400 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso granules, 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- icing sugar or cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat your oven to 320°F (160°C). Line a 9-inch (or 10-inch) round pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
Beat the eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer for 2 minutes. Gradually add the white sugar and the salt, and continue beating on high until the mixture resembles thick shaving foam (about 15 minutes).
In the meantime melt the chocolate: transfer the nut butter, the chopped chocolate, the cocoa powder and the espresso granules (if using) to a medium sized pot and heat gently over low heat, stirring very often until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
Combine the two mixtures: Add half of the fluffy egg mixture to the pot with the melted chocolate and mix until well combined. The mixture will thicken, but that’s normal. Add the rest of the egg mixture and fold with a spatula using circular motions until homogenized.
Bake: Pour the mixture to the baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes, run a knife through the edges of the pan, invert on a rack and re-invert on a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar or cocoa and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream with a touch of vanilla.
- If your nut butter is very thick, mix it with some vegetable oil (corn, olive or canola oil) until runny and then measure the 1 cup for the recipe.
- This cake is not too sweet, so it’s best served slightly warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. You can also serve it with this homemade vanilla ice cream or this golden milk no-churn ice cream for a more interesting combination.
- If you want more of the nut butter flavor and less of the chocolate, you can reduce the amount of cocoa to 1/4 of a cup.
How to make homemade nut butter: Process in the food processor 2 cups of warm, roasted hazelnuts, almonds, or peanuts until creamy. You may have to stop and stir the mixture 1-2 times. Add a couple tablespoons of a neutral-tasting oil to make the nut butter smoother.
- For an "Oriental" flavor use tahini (and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
- For a "Greek" flavor use walnut butter
- For a "French" flavor use hazelnut butter
- For an "Italian" flavor use almond butter
- For an "American" flavor use peanut butter
Need more decadence in your life? Make sure you try this Classic Creme Brulee in 5 easy steps!
If you like this recipe, Pin it!
Akhila@Pepper Delight says
Wow…it looks perfect, I can’t even believe it’s a no butter- flourless cake..Pinned?
Thank you my friend!
Well it actually has butter, but it’s cocoa butter and nut butter, haha 🙂
I was lucky enough to eat a slice of this cake so I know it’s delicious!
Thanks Maria!!! ?
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
This looks FABULOUS! Decadent desserts are the best, especially when they’re easy to make. And your photos are so beautiful–as always!
Yuuuuup! I am SO making this for the holidays!! I can’t believe there’s no butter in this, but I am even more in love that it uses nut butter instead! You are brilliant sir.
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
Looks fantastic, Makos, especially with the ice cream. AND your photography is just great!
Thank you very much Fran!
Makos, two questions for you…
1) With regard to, “7 large and warm eggs” – is that 385-400 grams eggs IN the shell or without the shell?; and
2) Will you marry me? ?
Hahaha, thank you Monica!
I weigh the eggs without the shells (usually each large egg with the shell weighs about 60 grams)
I haven’t baked a cake before at 320, usually 325 f… ? just curious about 320?
Hi Ellen, most cakes bake at 350 F. For this recipe it hasn’t much difference if you bake it at 320F or 325F. The temperature is lower because the batter is different than the usual cake batter with flour.
Have you made it with coconut sugar?
I haven’t made it with coconut sugar, but I have seen similar recipes that use it, so I don’t think it will be a problem. Please let me know if you try it! 🙂
i made it today with coconut sugar and added some salt and vanilla extract to the melted chocolate. I baked it 45 minutes. It was very tasty but didn’t get that slightly gooey center i was hoping for. Taste is excellent. Next time I will bake it 40 minutes.
I’m very happy to hear that coconut sugar worked. 🙂 As for the baking time, if your pan is dark or the oven slightly warmer then probably 40 minutes (or even 35) will give you a gooey center.
Hi Makos, will it work with artificial sweetener stevia?
Hi May, I really don’t know because I haven’t tried it.
If you have used the stevia in other cake recipes successfully, it should also work with this one too 🙂
Will it work with artificial sweetener stevia?
I want to make this. Do you have a favorite nut butter that you use?
Hazelnut or almond butter are my favorites. I also make it with tahini, but the taste of tahini is more intense that the rest of the nut butters.
Hi Makos, do you have a favorite brand? I don’t know which ones have a runny consistency. I once bought a natural peanut butter that was hard as a rock!
Unfortunately I can’t because most of the times I make it myself (it’s actually easier than it sounds, you just process the nuts you want in a food processor. I have a post with a short video if you’re interested: https://www.thehungrybites.com/homemade-almond-butter/ ). The times when I don’t make it myself I buy it from a herb-spice-nut store here in Greece. If you can’t find a runny nut butter, I suggest to warm it slightly and mix it with a small quantity of oil (neutral tasting for best results)
I cannot thank you enough for this delicious recipe!!
I made it for a dinner party honoring a lady who does not eat wheat or dairy. It was absolutely delicious and we all enjoyed it!
I used Almond butter purchased at Whole Foods market, and Guittard’s bittersweet chocolate (70%)
That’s so great Carol, thank you very much for your kind words 🙂