Flourless Chocolate-Vanilla Marble Cake

A flourless chocolate and vanilla marble cake that will serve your gluten-free and Passover needs perfectly as well as your dense, fudgy, cheesecake-y cravings.

A whole flourless chocolate vanilla marble cake on a plate with a knife resting on a blue napkin beside it.

This dense, luscious flourless chocolate and vanilla marble cake has a texture a little like fudge and a little like cheesecake. A small slice goes a long way. To slice this moist marble cake neatly, use a hot knife (run it under hot running water and dry it), and wipe the blade clean between slices.–Editors of Fine Cooking

What is the point of flourless cake?

Okay. Not to sound like we’re begrudging cake-that-isn’t-really-cake, but this is definitely not your run of the mill chocolate cake. It’s more like a fudgy, cheesecakey, dense dessert of chocolate and vanilla. But the whole point is that without flour, this cake is accessible to even more people. Obviously, it’s gluten-free but it’s also a lovely Passover dessert.

Flourless Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 5 M
  • Serves 16
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge cookbook

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  • For the vanilla batter
  • For the chocolate batter


Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until blended. 

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. 

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, rum or espresso, vanilla, and salt on medium-high until the mixture is pale and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.

To combine and bake the marble cake, spread about half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan. Alternately add large scoopfuls of each of the remaining batters to the cake pan. Using a knife or the tip of a rubber spatula, gently swirl the 2 batters together so they’re mixed but not completely blended. Rap the pan against the countertop several times to settle the batters.

Bake the marble cake until a pick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out gooey but not liquid, 40 to 42 minutes; don’t over-bake. The top will be puffed and slightly cracked, especially around the edges. It will sink down as it cools. 

Let the cake cool on a rack until just slightly warm, about 1 1/2 hours. Loosen it from the pan by holding the pan almost perpendicular to the counter; tap the pan on the counter while rotating it clockwise. Invert the cake onto a large flat plate or board, then remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment.

Tester tip: To make the cake ahead of time, you can wrap the cooled and unmolded cake in plastic and refrigerate until firm and well chilled. Then slide the cake off the plate and wrap it again in plastic. Freeze for up to a month. To serve, unwrap the cake and set it on a flat plate that’s been sprinkled with a little more cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for an hour or two.

Sift some cocoa powder over the cake (this will make it easier to remove the slices when serving). Invert the cake again onto a similar plate so that the top side is up and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, or freeze. Originally published November 03, 2009.

Print RecipeBuy the Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This flourless chocolate-vanilla marble cake is a wonderful dessert. It’s sublimely rich and chocolate-y, smooth and creamy, dense and slightly fudge-y, yet despite this, it had us all going back for seconds. The cream cheese is the perfect foil to all this chocolate and lightens up the dense brownie-like texture.

I used espresso and a splash of Kahlua to bring out the coffee flavour a bit more, and it really enhanced the depth of chocolate nicely. It tasted even better the next day, so next time I would make this again the night before, rather than the morning of, to serve it at it’s best. No chocolate lover will be disappointed with this dessert.

Easy enough to make. Actually, my teen made it all by herself, and the end result is exactly as promised: it “has a texture a little like fudge and a little like cheesecake.” This will be a repeat, and the fact that one can freeze it is also very convenient.

It's just as easy to make two (as she did) and you can keep it in the freezer for last minute guests that show up. What I also loved about it is that even though it was very rich, it was not overly sweet. A slice DOES go a long way, but if you have a sweet tooth, it is easy to go for the second slice.

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