This flourless chocolate cloud cake is a wickedly elegant dessert that’s deceptively easy to make. Just four ingredients–chocolate, eggs, butter, and sugar–come together for a crunchy-on-the-outside, airy-on-the-inside cake.
Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Serves 8 to 12
- For the cake
- For the finishing touches
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with a round of wax paper.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over but not touching gently simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter until it’s melted and completely incorporated.
In another bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs and the 4 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until foamy and well combined. Slowly whisk in the warm chocolate mixture. Whisk in the Cognac or Grand Marnier and the orange zest, if using. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the 4 egg whites until really quite foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until the whites form soft peaks that hold their shape but aren’t stiff when you remove the beaters. Gently, gently fold about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake until the top is puffed and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to overbake the cake.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. The center of the cake will sink as it cools, forming a sort of crater.
When ready to serve, whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until not quite stiff. Using a spatula, carefully fill the sunken center of the cake with the whipped cream, pushing the billowy cream gently all the way to the edges of the cake in decorative swoops and swirls. Sprinkle the top lightly with cocoa powder. Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the cake, carefully remove the side of the pan, and serve.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This cake has been my family’s go-to flourless cake for Passover for several years. There are plenty of flourless cakes out there, but this one is easy to prepare and always gets rave reviews. This recipe has never failed and the removal from the springform pan has always been flawless.
The whipped cream topping is a great accompaniment to the chocolate and makes for a terrific presentation, although truthfully, the cake does keep better without the cream on top, so whenever I think we may have leftovers I serve the cream alongside the cake. Otherwise I mound the cream in the middle of the crater and it looks just like this photo.
I’ve made this cake with several types of chocolate and suggest that you experiment with semisweet and bittersweet–my family prefers semisweet. I have never added the Cognac or Grand Marnier, nor have I put in grated orange zest, as we prefer the pure chocolate flavor. Add it to your recipes for Passover as well as for anytime a celebration calls for a chocolate cake.
I have also frozen the cake prior to putting the whipped cream topping on it and there has not been a very significant change in texture. I usually wrap it well right in the springform pan after it has completely cooled.
This flourless chocolate cloud cake recipe is identical to the one I use frequently and that I call "baked chocolate mousse," one of the whole family's favorite chocolate cakes. But this recipe features two fundamental differences, which significantly improve the taste of the cake: a higher chocolate content and the subtle but very nice taste of Cognac and orange. It's a very light cake but at the same time moist and intense. It's also very easy to prepare. One of my favorite chocolate cakes!
I had no problems removing the cake from the pan and the underlying paper. Also, it sliced well, it didn’t crumble.