Flourless chocolate cake

Flourless chocolate cake is a dense cake made from an aerated chocolate custard.[1] The first documented form of the cake was seen in Ferrara, Italy,[2] though some forms of the cake have myths surrounding their origins.[3] The dessert contains no gluten which makes it acceptable for those with celiac disease,[4] gluten-free diets, and during religious holidays in which gluten and grains are not permitted.[5]

Flourless chocolate cake
Flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream
Quinoa chocolate cake


A traditional baking method for a variety of flourless chocolate cakes involves whipping the whites alone and then whipping the yolks into the sugar to increase the air content. The overall effect of this process is a sturdy, but light cake.[6] The chocolate and butter are melted together in either a microwave or double boiler. Once all the ingredients are combined, the resulting batter contains only the starch naturally present in the chocolate.[1] The use of Dutch cocoa powder instead of simple cocoa powder will allow the cake to have a denser fudge-like consistency that the cake is known for.[7] Flourless chocolate cakes typically use simple ingredients including: chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and an optional dusting of powdered sugar, chocolate ganache, or berries. The Torta Caprese includes an additional ingredient of almond meal.[6]


La Torta Tenerina is an Italian flourless chocolate cake that was first seen in Ferrara, Italy in 1900. It is the first recorded version of the cake. It has an alternative name, Queen of Montenegro, as it was said to be served when King Victor Emmanuel III took the throne of Italy making Elena Montenegro the Queen of Italy.[2] In Ferrara, Italy La Torta Tenerina can be found on many restaurant and bakery menus.[2]

Special Diets

In Jewish cuisine

Flourless chocolate cake is a common dessert among Jewish people during the holiday of Passover since leavened grains cannot be consumed during that holiday.[8]

In gluten-free diets

Flourless chocolate cake is a popular dessert in gluten-free diets. There are several varieties including topping the cake with a chocolate ganache, adding raspberries, or it is frequently served with vanilla ice cream, all of which can be enjoyed by those with gluten-free and celiac-appropriate diets.

The use of alternative sugars would allow this cake to be enjoyed by those on a keto diet as well.[9]

Similar cakes

Torta Caprese, originating from the Italian island of Capri, is a traditional flourless chocolate cake popular in that region that includes almond flour. This cake has a number of myths surrounding its origins including a baker forgetting to add the flour and that it's a version of an Austrian cake called the Austrian Sachertorte.[3] A similar cake with little or no flour is known as "fallen" or "molten" chocolate cake and was popularized by, among others, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurants.[10]

See also


  1. Baking illustrated: a best recipe classic (1st ed.). Brookline, MA: America's Test Kitchen. 2004. ISBN 0-936184-75-2. OCLC 54454496.
  2. Fabricant, Florence (2016-12-02). "Flourless Chocolate Cake Finds an Ancestor in Italy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  3. "Tales of a dolce born by mistake in a corner of Paradise". www.itchefs-gvci.com. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  4. "Flourless Chocolate Cake". Eat! Gluten-Free. 2020-06-15. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  5. Wolly, Brian. "A Gentile's Guide to Keeping Kosher for Passover". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  6. "Italian Chocolate-Almond Cake". www.cooksillustrated.com. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  7. "Different Types of Chocolate and How to Use Them". www.cooksillustrated.com. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  8. "Flourless Chocolate Cake". Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  9. Childress, Author Logan (2018-02-14). "Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake". Better Than Bread Keto. Retrieved 2021-04-17. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  10. "Molten Chocolate Cakes Recipe". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
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