Belgian Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

This Belgian Chocolate Cake is one of the oldest and easiest desserts I make.  I have no idea why I’ve never posted it until now…maybe subconsciously I didn’t want to share.

Everybody needs a great flourless chocolate cake in their recipe repertoire.

This never fail recipe has always been my go-to for dinner parties, and it’s so incredibly easy.  I love the crackly top and silky interior.  My original recipe uses only 3 tablespoons of flour, and by substituting almond flour it becomes gluten free.  This cake is not as dense and rich as some flourless cakes, so you can actually eat a piece without feeling sick.  This one is very moist and slightly fluffy, with a mousse or souffle-like texture.

I don’t add any flavoring to this cake so that the chocolate gets a chance to shine forth ~ I just garnish it with a dusting of confectioners sugar.  But this cake can be a blank slate to show off your creativity.  You could add vanilla or almond extract, espresso, liqueurs, or even chili powder for a bit of character. Or top it with fresh fruit, or raspberry puree.  How about giving it a drizzle of white chocolate for drama?  And don’t forget about all the different kinds of flavored whipped creams that would be perfect with this cake.

For years I made this in cupcake form, but a spring-form, or cheesecake, pan makes it a little more elegant, and this way none of the precious cake gets stuck on the cupcake wrappers!  It comes out of the oven puffed up high, but sinks down as it cools.

The surface will have large cracks ~ don’t worry ~ embrace the cracks,  they’re part of the aesthetic.

Belgian Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces bittersweet (or semi-sweet) chocolate, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour (or regular flour)
  • 5 large eggs, beaten with a whisk until well blended
  • powdered sugar for sifting on top

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Put the butter and then the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and stir again. If it's not completely melted, put it back in for another 15 seconds, and stir until the chocolate completely melts.
  3. Add the sugar and flour to the chocolate, then the eggs, and blend well. The mixture will thicken. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour into an oiled 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until firm on top and cracks form across the surface. Cool on a rack, then remove the outer ring.
  5. Sift powdered sugar over the top.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/belgian-chocolate-cake-gluten-free/

Notes:

  • It goes without saying that the toothpick test will not work with this cake.  When the whole surface is cracked and has lost it’s shiny ‘uncooked’ look, it’s done.  You can’t really go wrong since this is supposed to be a super moist cake.

 

49 Comments

  • Reply
    Ann
    April 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I am drooling already! Want to fix this for tomorrow, but is it possible to use Stevia (Truvia) in place of sugar? I’m diabetic and realize that there’s not much sugar in this recipe already. Thanks so much.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 26, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      I think that should be fine, Ann, as long as it is in the same form as the sugar, i.e. powdered or granulated.

  • Reply
    Jo
    April 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I am going to make this for dessert Saturday night. Has anyone ever decreased the amount of sugar?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      I think you can safely decrease the sugar by about 1/4, Jo, and maybe add a bit more flour or almond flour to make up for the lost sugar volume. You might also try using unsweetened chocolate instead of bittersweet.

  • Reply
    Judy
    February 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I’m having to make this 2 days ahead for a farewell party for a gluten free friend. How should I store it? I’m a night shift nurse and won’t have time to cook it closer to the party.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      I think I would leave it out on the counter, maybe loosely covered with foil, Judy. The outside forms a light crunchy crust and the inside will remain moist. If you are going to use a powdered sugar coating, do it just before serving.

  • Reply
    Lucia
    June 27, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Hi Sue!!
    I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a long time! Here (in Peru) we know this as belgian chocolate cake but I hadn’t any clue as to how to make it! I have a question though, here we have normal flour (usually for salty things) and bakery flour (that has some baking power already in the mix). Which one should I use?
    I tried already one recipe that used way too much flour and didn’t go well and I wanna make sure I do it right this time!!
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 27, 2016 at 10:47 am

      I use all-purpose flour, which is plain flour with nothing mixed in… I hope that helps!

      • Reply
        Lucia
        July 4, 2016 at 9:00 am

        It turned out wonderful!!! Best cake ever, everyone loved it (especially me!)
        I wonder, if a add chopped pecans into the batter will the texture still be the same? Has anyone tried?

  • Reply
    Erica
    August 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I made this two weeks ago and it was a hit! I use to make another flourless chocolate cake, I had to separate eggs and beat egg whites … this has replaced that for sure!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Erica, that’s what I love about this cake, too, I’ve always been averse to separating and whipping egg whites…plus, I think this has a better texture…so glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    Wendy
    June 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Dear Sue,

    I’ve made this recipe half a dozen times and each time it’s divine. The recipe is simple, straight forward and with only 5 ingredients easy to whip up in a jiffy. I use coconut flour and a blend of semi and bitter sweet chocolates. My husband, children and co-workers all love it. Thank you for a simple and delicious treat – I’ll be sharing it again this weekend. :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 4, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      I’m SO glad to hear this Wendy, thanks for taking the time to let me know. It really is one of the oldest recipes I make, our family has enjoyed it for decades :)

    • Reply
      Katie
      May 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Wendy,

      What tweaks did you make to your measurements to use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

  • Reply
    Jean
    December 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you so much for positing this. I wonder if coconut flour would work well. What do you think?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 12, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Coconut flour is very different, Jean, and I have to say I don’t think it would work well, sorry!

    • Reply
      Wendy
      June 6, 2015 at 6:10 am

      Hi Jean, I always use coconut flour because my children are allergic to nuts. This cake always gets rave reviews from my husband, children and co-workers. In fact, I’m baking it today to bring to a dinner this evening and I just know it will be devoured. Use the coconut flour – it will be divine! :)

      • Reply
        lynn
        February 9, 2016 at 8:45 am

        I have been searching all morning for a recipe like this. I was going to comment and ask about coconut flour…..Thank you for answering in advance! I’m making it for my daughter’s bd…..on Valentines Day :)

        • Reply
          Sue
          February 9, 2016 at 9:13 am

          Enjoy!

        • Reply
          lynn
          February 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

          I made it with coconut flour and it was absolutely delicious. It was the “test” cake, and since I passed the test, I’m making it again for my Valentine girl.
          Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Amber
    July 24, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Does this freeze well?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 24, 2014 at 6:35 am

      I have not frozen it but I assume it would, Amber.

      • Reply
        Amber
        July 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        Thank you :)
        I’ll give it a try…

  • Reply
    15 Belgian Recipes - Growing Up Gabel
    July 5, 2014 at 4:00 am

    […] Gluten Free Belgian Chocolate Cake from The View from Great Island […]

  • Reply
    Candace
    July 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Today I will make this cake again. My lucky guests will rave like they always do after the first bite! In over two years this recipe is the most frequent cake I serve. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

      That makes me smile, Candace, thanks!!

  • Reply
    Michele
    April 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Oh my God! I made this fabulous cake and I’ll never look at another flourless chocolate cake recipe ever again!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      :)

  • Reply
    Margaret
    March 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I prefer mine cold, straight out of rhe fridge. It is even more decadent; almost like eating ganache. Jensen’s sells a delishious Rasberry sauce in a squeeze bottle that would pair well with this cake.

  • Reply
    Wholesale Chocolates
    June 12, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Great post..cake is looking yummy & fantastic!

  • Reply
    CandyKid
    March 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    This was the finale of a dinner party for 8. It tastes absolutely superb, the crumb and texture is perfect, yes perfect. I used a mixture of half semi-sweet/bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate. The next day is was unchanged. So a person could make this one day in advance of serving.

  • Reply
    Bites from life with the barking lot
    August 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Looks lovely! I’d like mine undressed….just plain chocolate. I think Maita Heatter has a similar cake and when she water baths it the cake doesn’t crack. Thanks for this one!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    August 22, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I am on a GF roll at the moment and this has popped up just at the right time and looks truly scrumptious. (we have overdosed on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the moment too!) Definitely a PIN.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve never been into GF but I might have to try this one…

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    August 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Sue,
    I’m so happy you decided to share! This looks like something I need to have in my “go to” file for fast and fabulous desserts. I always admire your photography.
    annie

  • Reply
    Choclette
    August 22, 2012 at 9:56 am

    This type of cake is one of my favourites. As you say, you can dress it up with all sorts of things, but it’s pretty much perfect just as it is. Yours looks superb and I’m all for embracing the cracks ;-)

  • Reply
    Marina {Yummy Mummy)
    August 22, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I have been craving deep dark chocolatey goodness for the past few days. THIS is exactly what I need. Looks absolutely amazing!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    August 22, 2012 at 2:43 am

    I can see why you wouldn’t want to share! LOL!! I made one flourless recipe years ago, it was FABULOUS and I lost the recipe!

    Thank you for sharing, it looks delicious!

    Mary

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    August 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    well I for one am certainly glad you did decide to post it and share the love so to speak!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Oh Sue – not wanting to share this beautiful, rich delicious dessert. I’m going to send you back to kindergarten to learn that one again! Really terrific dessert. I might try this with cornstarch instead of flour too. But the almond flour is so good. What to do, what to do?

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Well now I’ve got a bad chocolate craving! That looks decadent.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    August 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Yes, this is the one I’ve been making for years, and I didn’t taste any difference between the flours— there is so little in there, anyway.

  • Reply
    Sulpicia (III)
    August 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Is this the recipe you use for those flourless chocolate cupcakes? Delicious. Is there a taste difference between wheat flour and almond flour? Does the almond flour provide a richer flavor?

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    August 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Naturally gluten free – love it when that happens. Because there’s so much chocolate you’d never miss it anyway :)

    Funny I recently saw a similar cake to this on a blog and thought yes! the ‘messy’ cracked surface look is okay, and MEANT to happen and was drawn to it!

    And ironically I just baked a choc cake yesterday and am about to take pics of it right NOW b/c i dont have a solid choc cake recipe on my blog. Ironic!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      I think we bloggers get wrapped up in posting about unusual food and we sometimes forget about the fantastic plain old classics. I’d forgotten how much I love this cake, and I can’t wait to see yours.

  • Reply
    grace
    August 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    i love it when it doesn’t matter that a cake cracks and is less than attractive when it comes out of the oven because it’s so darn delicious. this sounds heavenly!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      I think the cracks make it look really delicious, actually, I think they give a hint of the molten chocolate underneath!

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I adore flourless chocolate cakes. Your version does look and seem a bit lighter than mine with just the little bit of flour added into the mix. I am loving that it doesn’t need to cook in a water bath. I wonder how differently that affects it? I’ve loved my recipe for so long now that I’ve been hesitant to try any others, but you have NEVER let me down, Sue. I’m saving this one to try some day. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      I don’t know why it’s different from the others, either, but I think it’s almost a souffle, with a higher eggs to chocolate ratio than some others. I’ll have to try yours and we can compare :)

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