Flourless chocolate cake is a favorite for Passover and perfect for those with wheat allegories. But it’s also the fudge, crisp-edged chocolate cake of our dreams — one I’d happily make any day of the week. This five-ingredient version is lovingly referred to as a chocolate cloud cake, as it gets its lofty height and crispy top from beaten egg whites. The extra step of whipping the egg whites makes for a truly spectacular flourless cake that everyone will love.
What Is Chocolate Cloud Cake?
Flourless chocolate cakes are often served for Passover because they don’t use leavening or wheat. Because of that, though, most flourless chocolate cakes are extremely flat and dense. That’s why we prefer chocolate cloud cake, which uses air beaten into egg whites to make a cake that is both taller and more interesting in texture — the top rises in the oven and then falls slightly as it cools, becoming tender-crisp, while the edges bake into a chewy cake-like texture and the center remains a dense layer of pure chocolate.
Some of the steps below will feel familiar if you’ve ever baked a flourless chocolate cake, but I’ve streamlined the ingredients and processes (for example, the chocolate and butter can be melted in the microwave). Personally, I love this cake with a cloud of whipped cream on top, but a dusting of powdered sugar and some berries makes for a stunning presentation, too.
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SERVES 8 to 10
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes to 35 minutes
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into pieces, plus more for coating the pan
- 12 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large egg whites
- Whipped cream and berries, for serving (optional)
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
- Place the 1 1/2 sticks of butter and chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is mostly melted, stirring with a spatula between each interval, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes total. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the sugar and whisk to combine; set aside.
- Place the egg whites in another bowl and use an electric hand mixer to beat on medium speed until foamy. With the motor running, gradually beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 8 minutes. (Alternatively, use a stand mixer, which will take 5 to 6 minutes.)
- Stir 1/3 of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a large spatula — swoop the spatula through the bottom of the bowl using the spatula to drag the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until the cake is doubled in size, cracked, and the center is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the cake for 10 to 15 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan. (As the cake cools, the top will shrink and crack.) Let cool completely before serving. Top with whipped cream and berries before serving, if desired.
Ingredient/Equipment Variation: Instead of the microwave, you can melt the butter and chocolate on the stove top. Cook in a medium saucepan over medium heat until chocolate is mostly melted, about 3 minutes.