Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

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This gluten free chocolate cake is a rich, decadent, dessert, made without any flour. I love it when I can make a gluten free dessert and not have to change the recipe too much. It’s so much simpler when it’s naturally gluten free! This flourless chocolate cake is just that!

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake | What a Girl Eats

I’ll warn you though, a little goes a long way, and this recipe will easily serve 16.  This recipe from Bon Appetit, is called La Bête Noire, or the “Black Beast”. You won’t need any gluten free flour or almond flour for this easy recipe. I get requests for this cake for special birthdays, the most recent was for a 50th birthday for 16. (This post was originally published on August 26th, 2011. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)

gluten free chocolate cake for 50th birthday.

Ingredients for gluten free chocolate cake

Chopped chocolate on a cutting board.

  • Bittersweet or dark chocolate. I wouldn’t recommend milk chocolate as it will be too sweet.
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • whipping cream (for the ganache)
  • Bittersweet chocolate (for the ganache)

That’s all you need for the cake. Then you’ll top the cake with ganache. I like to use a bittersweet as a contrast to the dark chocolate cake.

What’s ganache?

A ganache sounds like a fancy French term but is actually very easy. Ganache can be used for a variety of desserts from truffles and turtles, to millionaire brownies and fondue, depending on how thin or thick you make it.

Ganache is made by pouring hot cream over chopped chocolate, then stirring until smooth. The ratio of cream to chocolate determines how thick the finished ganache will be. The ganache for this gluten free cake will be just thin enough to pour over the top and thick enough to create a thin, shiny top coat.

How to make gluten free chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter 9 inch diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round.
  • Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.

Wrapping the pan with foil.

  • Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  • Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly.
  • Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Smoothing out the chocolate.

  • Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  • Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

cooling flourless chocolate cake.

  • Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. 

Melting ganache.

  • Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.

ganache on gluten free cake.

  • Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream if desired.

This gluten free cake will keep for up to 4 days wrapped well and refrigerated.

Grand Marnier gluten free chocolate cake

Chocolate Flourless cake with grand  mariner.
La Bete Noir with Grand Marnier

I sometimes make a version of this gluten free chocolate cake with Grand Marnier. For this version, follow these steps:

  • Add the zest of one orange to the water/sugar syrup step.
  • After it cools a bit, add a couple of tablespoons of Grand Marnier before adding it to the eggs.
  • For the dark chocolate ganache, I added an additional 2 tablespoons of liqueur after incorporating all the whipping cream and chocolate together.

I finished baking it the same way. I make candied orange zest to top the individual slices on the Grand Marnier version.

How to Make Candied Orange Zest

Remove the peel from an orange using a channel knife, or knife, being careful not to get any pith.

orange garnish.
Bring 1/2 sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan.
Reduce heat to very low and add peels.
Cook for about 45 min. until peels are translucent
Remove from syrup and lay on a plate or parchment.
Form into shapes: swirls, knots, whatever.
Sprinkle with sugar and chill.

Gluten free dark chocolate Flourless cake with dark chocolate ganache.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake {La Bete Noir}

Cynthia
La Bete Noir (The "Black Beast", from Bon Appetit, September 2006. Tame it!)
4.98 from 34 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 16 servings
Calories 421 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter diced
  • 18 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate chopped
  • 6 large eggs

Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter 9 inch diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.
  • Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly.
  • Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  • Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

Ganache

  • Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.
  • Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream. Serves 16

Notes

  • DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
  • Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 6gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 65mgPotassium: 321mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 515IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 127mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
This rich, Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake with Fresh Raspberries is also gluten free!
This rich, Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake with Fresh Raspberries is also gluten free!

 

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30 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, this looks wonderful. I love the raspberries on the top. They will give the desert just the right amount of tart!

    Thank you for sharing this on my Facebook Birthday Party!
    Cynthia at FeedingBig.com

  2. Hi sorry to post here, but im trying to deal with a local lady who is blatently using other peoples cakes and advertising them as her own. The issue I have is that I ordered a cake for a special birthday and what I received was horrendous and I was mortified, it was as if a different person had made the cakes. I digress, I have reported her but as i dont own the cake images she is using i can inly go so far. So I have started to do a reverse image search on google to find the original cake makers in the hope she will be shamed into doing the right thing. which is where you come in, she is using your chocolate cake in her facebook and instagram pages facebook.com/muscatpatisserie Just wanted to know Regards Dawn

    1. thanks so much!I just reported it on FB and left the link with the recipe. Funny thing is she’s billing it as ‘Vegan” and it’s loaded with butter, eggs and cream! I appreciate it! cynthia

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite cakes ever! My son used to make it all the time when he was in middle school, it’s that easy! Everyone wants the recipe. Thank you so much!

4.98 from 34 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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