Cakes & Cupcakes Chocolate Currently Craving

Chocolate Cloud Cake

February 4, 2022

If chocolate is your love language, this cake is for you! This easy chocolate cloud cake is perfectly rich, fudgy […]

If chocolate is your love language, this cake is for you! This easy chocolate cloud cake is perfectly rich, fudgy and super chocolatey. All good things in my book!!

slices of flourless chocolate cake on baking sheet with forks

Valentine’s Day is almost here and sure we need roses and mushy cards and a box of Sweethearts or two. But you know what we need most of all? CHOCOLATE! I mean…a holiday all about chocolate?! What’s not to love?? This year we’re celebrating with this decadent flourless chocolate cloud cake. It’s rich, understated and positively irresistable. Oh, and did I mention it’s super easy to make. I’m SOLD!

slice of fallen chocolate cake with bite taken out of it

What is chocolate cloud cake?

Chocolate cloud cake is an airy, souffle-style cake that contains no flour or leavening. It bakes up with a fudgy brownie center and a wafer-like rim that falls away as the cake deflates. Also known as “fallen chocolate cake”, this version is inspired by Richard Sax’s iconic chocolate cake. It’s decidedly elegant and deceptively easy to whip up with just a handful of basic ingredients. It gets its lofty height and thin, crispy edges from whipped egg whites mixed with just the right amount of sugar.

The perfect dessert for dinner parties or date night – this cake delivers just the right amount of fancy without being overly fussy. And it’s naturally gluten free which means everyone can enjoy a slice (or two!).

close up of chocolate cloud cake sliced on top of parchment paper

Ingredients you need

With just 7 ingredients, this recipe doesn’t get much simpler. No need to run to the store – you probably have the ingredients already stocked in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need….

  • Butter – For faster melting, use room temperature unsalted butter. There is no added salt in the recipe but you won’t miss it.
  • Eggs – Egg yolks and whipped egg whites take the place of flour to give the cake substance and help it rise.
  • Chocolate – With so few ingredients in the cake it’s important to use the best quality chocolate you can get your hands on. For best results, use a chopped chocolate rather than chocolate chips. Chips are made with a waxy finish that can alter the texture of the cake.
  • Vanilla – All the best cakes are made with the best vanilla. Steer clear of anything labeled “artificial”.
  • Sugar – A little bit of granulated sugar whipped with the egg whites makes this cake perfectly sweet!
  • Cocoa and espresso powder – Reach for a premium Dutch process cocoa powder and be sure to sift it first. We’re adding just a sprinkle of espresso powder to enhance the flavor of the chocolate. Feel free to add an extra teaspoon or two if you want the cake to have a more robust coffee flavor.

How to make flourless chocolate cake

This ultra chocolatey cake is simultaneously light and fudgy all at once. It literally melts in your mouth! Prep your ingredients ahead of time so that you can easily flow from one step to the next.

whisking melted chocolate and butter in a glass bowl
  1. Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler over medium low heat until smooth and shiny.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Whisk to combine and set aside.
whipping egg whites to firm peaks using stand mixer bowl and whisk
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to mix on medium high speed. Mix on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes more until the peaks hold their form.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla until combined.
folding beaten egg whites and melted chocolate together with spatula
  1. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to the egg yolk and vanilla mixture and fold to combine. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and begin carefully folding together.
mixing chocolate cloud cake batter by hand with spatula
  1. Add another 1/3 of the egg whites and continue folding, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Add the last 1/3 of egg whites and continue folding gently until no more streaks of egg whites remain in the batter. Do not over mix. The batter should be light and airy, like a mousse.
  2. Transfer the batter to a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  3. Adjust the oven rack to the lower 1/3 of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350°F. The top of the cake will puff up and a few cracks will form. The cake is done when the edges are set and and a matte crust forms on top. Do not over bake or the cake will be dry.
flourless chocolate cake cooling on baking sheet
  1. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the springform ring from the pan and cool completely. The cake will deflate as it cools and the meringue top will break away from the cake, forming a crispy outer layer. Cool the cake completely before adding a towering cloud of freshly whipped cream.
slices of flourless fallen cake ready to serve on baking sheet

Tips for the best flourless chocolate cake

This is one of the easiest (and most impressive) chocolate cakes you’ll ever make. The trick is in the egg whites. Beat them just right and ever-so-gently fold them into the melted chocolate to create an airy, mousse-like batter.

  • Use good quality ingredients. The best cakes are only as good as the ingredients you put in them. Use a good quality chopped chocolate (I love Guittard and Ghirardelli) and reach for your best vanilla extract. I love this one from Rodelle.
  • Separate the eggs carefully. In order to whip the egg whites into a perfect meringue you’ll want to be sure no yolks sneak into the bowl of whites. Separately your eggs carefully and for added insurance, wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk with vinegar or lemon juice to remove any grease or fat from the surface.
  • Do not over mix the batter. I’m not going to lie, this step may take you a time or two to master. But once you do, you’ll be hooked! For the cake to billow and expand in the oven and then fall into itself once baked, you’ll need to fold the ingredients together just enough – but not too much. The key word is “fold”. Be careful not to “stir”. You’ll want to mix the batter until there are no longer any streaks of melted chocolate or egg whites remaining and then resist the urge to keep mixing. Deflating the egg whites will alter the texture of the cake. Less is more friends.
  • Do not over bake. To avoid a dry, crumbly cake caused by over baking, check for visual cues that your cake is done. It should be puffed on top with a smooth, matte finish and the edges of the cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. For a rich, fudgy cake always err on the side of under baking.
close up image of cracks on freshly baked fallen chocolate cake

How to serve

This flourless chocolate cake is every chocolate lover’s dream! It’s simple, elegant and perfectly decadent. To dress up the cake for a special occasion, try one of these toppings to make it a bit more fancy{ish}.

  • Add a dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream
  • Toss on a handful of fresh raspberries
  • Drizzle with dark chocolate ganache
  • Dust with sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla ice cream
slice of flourless chocolate cake on plate with fork and glass of milk


The top of my cake did not crack while baking. What did I do wrong?

If you cake does not puff up with the signature crackled top, you may have over mixed the batter a bit while folding in the egg whites. Not to worry – the cake may be more dense but it will still be delicious!

I don’t like coffee. Do I have to add espresso powder?

The espresso powder is totally optional. It’s used to rev up the flavor of the chocolate and your cake won’t taste like coffee. Promise.

I don’t have a springform pan. Can I use a regular cake pan?

Yes. A regular cake pan will work. Keep in mind that you’ll have to cut the cake in the pan so the presentation won’t be as pretty. Or you can place a piece of parchment paper inside the pan before adding the batter and then use the parchment overhang to pull the cake out of the pan once baked.

Can I make this ahead?

Absolutely! The cake is best served the day it is made but you can store it tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The inside of the cake will get more dense and fudgy when chilled.

Can I use bittersweet chocolate instead?

Yes! Bittersweet chocolate will work in place of semi-sweet. For best results, I recommend using a chocolate between 60% and 70% cacao.

Happy baking!

Looking for more decadently delicious chocolate desserts? You’ll love these recipes:

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Chocolate Cloud Cake Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This flourless chocolate cloud cake is rich, fudgy and super chocolatey. Made with just 7 ingredients, this easy dessert is perfect for dinner parties or date night. And it’s naturally gluten free!


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 9 ounces high quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 5 large eggs, separated and at room temperature (about 170g of whites and 100g of yolks)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup (142 g) granulated sugar


  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and pre-heat oven to 350˚ F. Spray the bottom only of a 9-inch round spring form pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop over medium low heat. Stir often until shiny and smooth. Add the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2-3 inches of water, and place a heat safe bowl over it. The heat safe bowl should not touch the water in the saucepan. Gently heat the water (but do not boil or simmer) and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted.
  4. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to a medium bowl with the vanilla and whisk together. Add the whites to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  5. Add the cream of tartar to the bowl with the egg whites. Whip the egg whites on medium-low until they begin to form bubbles. Slowly turn up the speed to medium-high until the whites form soft peaks. While keeping the mixer on medium-high, slowly add in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Fold in about a third of the whites to the yolks. Fold the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the yolks mixture. Finish by adding the remaining whipped whites in three additions. Gently fold in the whites with a large spatula just until there are no longer any streaks of melted chocolate or egg whites. Be careful not to over mix as this will deflate the egg whites and compromise the texture of the cake.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared spring form pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes. It is done when the top has puffed up and then has cracked but beneath the cracks, it still looks moist. The top will have a smooth, matte finish. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before running a knife along the edge of the cake to release the sides. Unhinge the spring form pan. The cake will deflate as it cools.


Serve at room temperature.

Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Cake may be frozen tightly covered for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before serving.

  • Reply
    Lucy Nguyen
    February 18, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Easy, easy recipe for a fabulous outcome. Light, and airy. I love the crust on top. I made this with homemade whip cream on the side… it cut down the richness of the chocolate, it gave it the best balance. Definitely will making this again!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    You had me at cloud cake! And it’s gluten-free, a perfect cake to serve while entertaining. Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Lisa M
    February 5, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    I love this chocolate cake because it absolutely delicious and I can serve it as dessert for all of my friends, including those that need to eat gluten free. I can make one dessert that everyone will love. Definitely give it a try.

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