A rich flourless chocolate cake recipe. It makes a decadent chocolate cake with a cracked meringue top and a moist chocolate center. This gluten-free chocolate cake recipe is full of rich dark chocolate flavor.
The chocolate batter
This gluten-free chocolate cake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream. It is rich and decadent and looks fabulous with its meringue cracked top. The added bonus is that it is so simple to make.
The batter is reminiscent of a chocolate mousse, predominantly made up of eggs, chocolate, and butter. Whip egg whites until stiff and fold into the melted chocolate and butter. Fold it all gently to keep the air whipped into the whites intact, and ensure the batter stays light.
Bake the cake, and it rises tall and proud, but after baking, it will deflate. This leaves a pretty crackled chocolate top, similar to the cracked top of chocolate brownies, only crispier. The top of the cake is crisp, but the inside is moist as anything.
Egg whites need to be beaten to form stiff peaks for this recipe so you will need an electric whisk such as a hand-held electric beater or use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
The cake is baked in a 9″ round springform cake tin.
The ingredients amounts are listed in the recipe card below but here is a run-through with a few extra details.
- Chocolate – Good dark chocolate with 50% -60% cocoa makes a rich cake that is not too bitter.
- Butter – Melted butter brings moisture and flavor.
- Sugar + salt – Granulated white sugar for sweetness, salt to balance the sweetness.
- Eggs – Egg yolks add richness. Egg whites are whipped with the sugar until stiff peaks form and these bring lightness to the batter.
- Vanilla -An excellent pairing with chocolate.
- Cocoa powder – Cocoa powder enhances the chocolate flavor more.
Step by step
Melt together the chocolate and the butter and stir until glossy.
Separate the yolks from the egg whites and add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture along with the vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir it together until combined.
Add the egg whites to a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on low-medium speed until the egg whites are foamy, then add in a tablespoon of sugar.
Increase the speed to medium and keep whisking, adding the sugar in a tablespoon at a time until the egg whites are thick and glossy with stiff peaks.
Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and fold it through carefully with a rubber spatula. Continue with the remaining egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Take care not to beat the mixture and lose the volume of the egg whites.
Scoop the mixture into a prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of the spatula.
Place the cake in the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. After baking, leave it to cool completely before removing it from the cake pan. It will deflate as it cools.
Serving and storing
Serve the cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Leftover cracked chocolate cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Cracked chocolate cake FAQ
Yes, this cake freezes well. Wrap it in cling wrap or seal it in an airtight container before freezing. Let it thaw at room temperature.
No, this cake is gluten-free.
Serve it with whipped cream or ice cream and fresh fruit.
For this cake that is exactly what should happen! It is why it has the name cracked chocolate cake. The beaten egg whites cause the cake to rise and expand in the heat of the oven, but it will deflate once it has been removed.
It doesn’t need to be refrigerated but it will store for longer if it is chilled.
- 220g (8 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
- 113g (½ cup) unsalted butter (plus more for greasing)
- 5 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder (+ 1 tsp for greasing)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- Grease a 9-inch/23cm springform round cake pan with butter and add in a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder. Tip the pan to the side and tap it, turning it round and round to cover the greased bottom and sides with cocoa powder. Tip the pan upside down and tap it to remove the excess powder.
- Preheat the oven to 356°F/180°C.
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the chocolate and butter. Alternatively, place them in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave them together until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Let it cool slightly.
- Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and the vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir it together until combined.
- Add the egg whites to a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on low-medium speed until the egg whites are foamy, then add a tablespoon of sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and keep whisking, adding the sugar in a tablespoon until the egg whites are thick and glossy with stiff peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and fold it through carefully with a rubber spatula. Continue with the remaining egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Take care not to beat the mix and lose the volume of the egg whites.
- Scoop the mixture into the greased pan and smooth the top with the back of the spatula.
- Place the cake in the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes until the cake no longer wobbles when given a light shake.
- Place the cake in the pan on a cooling rack and leave it to cool completely before removing it from the pan. It will deflate as it cools.
The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use grams.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g