Flourless Chocolate Cake







Our fun with interfaith baking continues, as both Passover and Easter are upon us!  I’m no Torah scholar, so I’ll leave the explanation of the symbols, foods, and rituals of Passover to the fine folks at www.chabad.org.  As a baker, though, I can speak to the creativity that Passover requires; observant bakers turn to matzoh meal, potato flour, and all manner of unleavened ingredients to produce cakes, cookies, and other treats for this special time of year.

Tomorrow night, Mike and I will celebrate the beginning of Passover with a Seder, and for the next eight days, Mike won’t eat chametz, or anything that contains leavened grain, like bread, cereal, pasta, even beer.  I don’t abstain from chametz for two reasons; as a Catholic with Eastern European roots, Easter bread is an important component of my faith tradition, and (to be totally honest) I’m nowhere near disciplined enough.

This cake is an excellent flourless option for Passover; it is very rich, so I recommend slender slices served with fresh whipped cream.  You can omit the espresso powder if you don’t have it and use unsweetened American-style cocoa powder instead of Dutch-process, but if you’d like to stick to the traditional recipe, you can get both ingredients from King Arthur Flour; Williams-Sonoma also carries Dutch-process cocoa.

A note about the chocolate glaze: mine didn’t turn out as smooth as I’d like, which means I need to spend more time stirring it once the chocolate has melted to make sure all of the tiny bits of chocolate are incorporated evenly.



  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a round cake pan; line with parchment paper and grease the parchment.

Cut butter into chunks and combine with chocolate chips in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave in 30-second intervals until butter melts and chips become very soft, stirring after each interval.  Stir to melt chips completely and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla and beat until just combined.

Add eggs and beat until incorporated.

Add cocoa powder and beat until just combined.

Gently pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, until the top of the cake has formed a crust.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes; loosen edges with the tip of a knife and invert onto a cake stand or serving plate.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.

Garnish with toasted sliced almonds, if desired.

Chocolate Glaze


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy cream


Combine chocolate chips and heavy cream in a saucepan and heat until cream is very hot, but not simmering.

Remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.

Pour over cake, allowing to drip over the sides.

Allow the glaze to harden for several hours before serving.