I have three up-front warnings about this recipe:
- You’ll notice “Paleo” is not in the recipe title. This cake is not technically Paleo because it involves sugar and butter. I have not substituted maple syrup or honey because I’m pretty sure the consistency would be all wrong. And let’s be honest, it’s all sugar anyway. You might get away with substituting coconut oil for butter, but expect a coconutty taste.
- It’s not really a “cake” like you may be thinking about cake. The final product is actually more like fudge, which in my opinion makes it even better. If you’re looking for something resembling a Betty Crocker mix, this is not it.
- I bake this dessert about twice per year and only for very special occasions where it will be shared with other people. Believe me when I tell you that it would be difficult to eat this entire thing yourself. It is dense and rich and meant for small servings. A small sliver of this cake will be enough for most people.
On a positive note, this recipe is stupid simple and involves only four ingredients. Did I mention that it’s a gluten-free chocolate cake without nuts? I mean, come on.
If you’re having a hard time finding acceptable chocolate without nut warnings on the label, check out my post dedicated to nut-free chocolate for suggestions.
I whipped this up recently for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday, and our friends moaned in delight at its decadence. Despite its not-technically-Paleo status, it seems a crime not to share the recipe, especially since desserts without flour, nuts or cream can be a rarity.
Nut Free Flourless Chocolate Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Cool Time: ~8 hours (overnight)
Total Time: 9 hours 15 minutes
1⅓ cups (8 oz) dark chocolate discs or chips (I use these ones)
½ cup organic cane sugar
1 cup butter
Thawed frozen berries for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put a kettle of about 8 cups of water on the stove and warm until hot but not boiling.
Line the bottom of an 8” springform pan with parchment paper. If you don’t have a springform pan, a similar-sized regular pan will work, but still line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and butter to a boil, stirring regularly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Place the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the butter mixture into it, whisking to melt and incorporate everything. Allow to cool slightly.
Add the eggs and whisk until the batter is completely uniform.
Pour the batter into the lined pan. Place the filled springform pan inside of a larger glass casserole-type pan. Fill the outer pan with the hot water from the kettle until the water line is approximately 2” up the sides of the springform pan.
Carefully maneuver the pan into the preheated oven and bake until the center of the cake is set, about one hour. When a toothpick is inserted it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove the cake from the water pan and allow to cool slightly, then cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. If you don’t have an entire night to wait, cool for as much time as you have. The flavor intensifies and the texture improves while it’s cooling, so I don’t recommend eating straight out of the oven.
When ready to eat, warm the bottom of the pan over low heat on the stove. Do this 30 seconds at a time. Using a sharp knife, cut around the cake pan, then release the sides of the springform. Place a large serving plate on top of the cake and flip over and carefully peel the bottom of the pan off the cake. Don’t forget to remove the parchment paper.
Cut the cake with a sharp knife. For the prettiest cutting job, keep the knife moist and warm by running it under hot water between cutting slices. Top with fresh or thawed frozen berries.