An Easy Dessert for Whenever Chocolate Cravings Strike!
During the winter, I love cozying in for a special meal at home. Whether you’re cooking for a partner, friends, or family, these cozy nights call for a standout dish like Individual Beef Wellington, Small Batch Lasagna, or even Cheese Fondue. After dinner is over, I love serving up a dessert that’s just as impressive as the main event, but easy to throw together. Enter Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake!
Despite requiring only 5 ingredients, these individual flourless chocolate cakes are a totally bakery-worthy treat. Bittersweet chocolate lends intense chocolate flavor, while the aerated batter creates a dreamy texture that’s light & fluffy and rich & fudgy all at once – it’s absolutely unreal.
You can customize these chocolate cakes with toppings as unique as your loved ones, plate them like you’re at a fancy restaurant, & everyone will be amazed that you whipped them up in just 10 minutes! The ultimate chocolatey dessert for Valentine’s Day, a date night at home, or a fancy, leveled-up dinner party with friends!
Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe Highlights
Can’t resist a totally luxe chocolate dessert? You’re going to love this mini flourless chocolate cake recipe. It’s…
CHOCOLATEY WITH UNDENIABLE TEXTURE. Melted bittersweet dark chocolate gives these chocolate cakes a balanced fudgy flavor – not too sweet & not too bitter either! – while aerated eggs create amazingly light & fluffy texture.
EASY TO WHIP UP. You only need 5 pantry ingredients & 10 minutes of active prep time to make a batch of mini flourless chocolate cakes. Plus, they’re so bakery-worthy that no one will even guess how easy they were to make!
SPECIAL OCCASION-WORTHY. Topped with freshly whipped cream, salted caramel, or ripe berries, these easy flourless chocolate cakes are a total showstopper, perfect for date night at home, Valentine’s Day, or a catch-up with your gal pals – everyone will love them!
A chocolate lover’s dream! ♡ Read on to learn more about these Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes, or jump straight to the recipe & get baking!
What is Flourless Chocolate Cake?
Where does flourless chocolate cake come from? ⇢ First documented in Ferrara, Italy in 1900 you can still find these cakes throughout Italy in restaurants & bakeries – just ask for a “La Torta Teneria”. Since there is no flour present, this style of cake naturally doesn’t contain gluten, making it a great option for Celiacs or people who are gluten free for whatever reason!
What is the difference between a torte and a flourless chocolate cake? ⇢ Some recipe developers will call their flourless cakes a torte. A torte is another type of flourless cake but is much more dense in texture compared to this flourless chocolate cake recipe.
So, what are flourless chocolate cakes made of? ⇢ Recipes for flourless chocolate cakes typically call for simple ingredients like chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, vanilla, & toppings like powdered sugar, chocolate ganache, or berries.
What does flourless chocolate cake taste like? ⇢ Because eggs are beaten to add volume & help the cake rise, the texture of flourless cakes are light & airy but still fudgy like most cakes, & the taste is similar to a typical chocolate cake. The combination of flavor & texture are what made me first fall in love with flourless chocolate cakes. My all-time favorite flourless chocolate cake is Tyler Florence’s version, which is the base for this Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe.
Aside from its intensely chocolatey flavor & fudgy texture, my favorite thing about this flourless chocolate cake recipe is that it comes together using just 5 simple staple ingredients. Since the ingredients list is so minimal, it’s important to use the best quality you can find.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
- Chocolate – Flourless chocolate cakes don’t exist without chocolate so I recommend using the best quality bittersweet dark chocolate you can find & afford (learn more about bittersweet chocolate below!). You could use dark chocolate chips if that’s what you have on hand but for a special occasion, I usually opt for freshly chopped dark chocolate. It melts easier, & the rhythmic repetition of chopping chocolate is so soothing. I’m a big fan of Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars & Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars.
- Baking staples – Butter creates rich flavor, eggs ensure a light & tender texture, & a little granulated sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Instant coffee – If you’re open to adding one extra secret ingredient to your batter, I highly recommend throwing in some instant coffee or espresso. Instant coffee is one of the best flavor enhancers I use when I bake with chocolate – if you’ve been around PWWB for a while, you’ve seen this secret in action in our Lazy Girl Brownies. It doesn’t make your chocolate treats taste like coffee, but it does intensify their chocolatey flavor even more.
If you’re wondering, “what is the best chocolate for baking flourless chocolate cake?”, I highly suggest using bittersweet chocolate for this mini flourless chocolate cake recipe. Bittersweet chocolate is a type of dark chocolate with at least 35% cocoa but can go all the way up to 80%! Its balance of bitter & sweet means that the cakes won’t be too chocolatey or too sweet. It will be perfectly deep & rich in flavor, with some subtle sweetness.
How to Make Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes
The fun thing about these mini flourless chocolate cakes is that they come together really quickly, without any planning or foresight involved. The cake batter takes about 10 minutes to throw together & from there the oven does all the work!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Melt the chocolate. The goal here is to get your chopped chocolate melted but be careful not to burn it! Tip! ⇢ While you can set up a double boiler, I always pop the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl & melt it in the microwave in 30-second intervals until it’s perfectly smooth – so much simpler!
Beat the eggs. Whipping enough air into the eggs is one of the most crucial steps to making this mini flourless chocolate cake recipe successfully. Since the batter does not have any leavener, the cakes’ delicate & fluffy texture comes from light & airy whipped eggs. Tip! ⇢ Let your the whisk attachment of your hand mixer do all the work & beat the eggs with a little sugar for 2-3 minutes. By the time the sugar dissolves into the eggs, the mixture will get frothy & turn pale yellow in color.
Fold the batter. Here you’ll use a technique called tempering. Tempering is a way to stabilize ingredients by heating & cooling them slowly. Simply fold the melted chocolate into the egg-sugar mixture but not all at once! Why? ⇢ If you add all the hot melted chocolate all at once, you’ll heat the eggs too quickly & they might scramble, which you definitely do not want! Take a little bit of the melted chocolate & gently fold it into the eggs. The texture here is key & the finished batter should resemble a freshly opened package of Cool Whip. Just be careful so the eggs don’t lose all the air you just whipped into them!
Bake the cake. Divide the chocolate mixture into the greased ramekins & bake! You’ll know your flourless chocolate cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the dish and the tops look matte. You can also use an instant read thermometer here to carefully check the internal temperature of the cake, which should be between 200℉ to 210℉.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Once the cakes are baked, the fun really begins! Let them cool slightly, then carefully turn them out of the ramekins. I love enjoying these cakes while they’re still slightly warm, but they’re delicious chilled too. Some of our favorite ways to serve these cakes include…
- topped with fresh berries & a showering of powdered sugar
- a la mode, with a generous scoop of your favorite ice cream
- doubled down on the chocolate with a sprinkling of shaved chocolate or a hot fudge drizzle
My ideal plate. ⇢ For an extra-delicious & show-stopping dessert, I like topping these mini chocolate cakes with a drizzle of salted caramel, a hefty dollop of fresh whipped cream, a dusting of dried raspberry powder (crush up freeze-dried raspberries with your hands), & a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt. This is exactly how one of my favorite Minneapolis restaurants served their flourless chocolate cake, & I’m telling you – the combination of flavor & texture cannot be beat!
Storage & Other Quick Tips
While we typically devour them the same day we bake them, these mini flourless chocolate cakes are so moist & fudgy that leftovers keep very well. To store for later, allow the cakes to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. If you want them to say light & fluffy, store at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you’re okay with them getting fudgier, put them in the fridge. They’ll be good for 4-5 days there.
Why did my flourless chocolate cake sink? ⇢ The simplest explanation is that the eggs probably weren’t whipped for long enough, or when the melted chocolate got folded in, the eggs lost volume before going into the oven. It is typical for cakes to sink a little after coming out of the oven, &/or after storing them in the fridge.
I can’t wait for you to try this Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe for Valentine’s Day or your next at-home special occasion dinner! We love how easy they are to make & how intensely chocolatey their flavor is – I’m pretty sure you’re going to be obsessed too!
If you do give them a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy baking!
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Special Occasion Recipes
This Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe is my go-to dessert whenever I want to whip up an extra-special treat. Not only are these cakes perfectly portioned for individual servings (which makes them feel so bakery-worthy IMHO!), they’re also so simple to make.
Adapted from my favorite flourless chocolate cake recipe from Tyler Florence, you can whip up this cake batter in about 10 minutes, using 5 simple staple baking ingredients! Made without any flour, these cakes are fudgy & insanely chocolatey, but they also boast a surprisingly light texture thanks to aerated eggs. Be sure to use the highest quality chocolate you can (I’m partial to Guittard & Ghirardelli), & take your time to whip up the eggs really well.
Half the fun of this recipe is serving them up. I like to top each with a generous drizzle of salted caramel, a dollop of freshly whipped cream, & some crushed freeze-dried raspberries for a bright pop of texture, but ice cream, fresh berries, & a simple dusting of powdered sugar are all great options too.
An impressive & easy-to-make dessert for at-home date night, Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s gatherings, or whenever you’re craving something extra-chocolatey – I hope you love them as much as we do! ♡ Happy baking!
- nonstick cooking spray
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- optional: 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules (see Recipe Notes)
- for serving, as desired: freshly whipped cream, salted caramel, crushed freeze-dried raspberries, flaky sea salt, fresh berries, ice cream, etc.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, ensuring an oven rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Generously spray four 8-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray, place on a small baking sheet, & set aside.
- Melt the chocolate: Place the chopped chocolate & butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals for 2-3 minutes, mixing well with a rubber spatula between intervals, until the chocolate is totally melted & smooth.
- Make the flourless chocolate cake batter: Place the eggs, sugar, & salt in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture together until the eggs are pale yellow & the sugar is dissolved – this takes 2-3 minutes, so be patient & keep mixing! Temper the egg mixture by using a spatula to carefully fold in about ¼ cup of the warm, melted chocolate, working quickly to ensure the eggs do not scramble. Once combined, gently fold in the remaining chocolate. It’s important to stir carefully to avoid deflating the volume in the egg mixture – this is what helps give the mini flourless chocolate cakes their light, airy texture.
- Bake the mini flourless chocolate cakes: Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. Transfer to the oven & bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the ramekins & the tops are set. Remove from the oven & allow to cool slightly.
- Serve: Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the ramekin, then carefully turn the cakes out onto a plate for serving. Serve as desired, topped with berries, ice cream, whipped cream, or whatever you happen to be craving. Enjoy!
- Instant coffee is one of my favorite secret ingredients to use whenever I bake with chocolate. A couple teaspoons won’t make your mini flourless chocolate cakes taste like coffee, but will instead kind of magically intensify their chocolatey flavor. I am partial to DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder, & I keep a bottle in my baking pantry at all times for chocolate cakes, mousses, & brownies.
- Only want 2 servings? Easy – feel free to halve the recipe.
Keywords: mini flourless chocolate cake, individual flourless chocolate cake, flourless chocolate cake recipe, easy dessert recipes
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Step-by-Step Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil