Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake is pure indulgence on a plate.
And Kahlua whipped cream will send this dessert right over the top!
Plus it’s naturally gluten-free and can be made dairy-free, alcohol-free, keto or Paleo as well.
This was originally posted on Dec. 1, 2019, and was updated on December 19, 2023.
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Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake
I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like flourless chocolate cake.
And in this version, two kinds of chocolate plus espresso powder make a deeply rich cake that’s great warm, room temperature or cold so it gets extra fudgy.
The cake itself is naturally gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free but no one will care. Everyone loves flourless chocolate cake anyway, no matter what’s in it (or not in it).
And to make it extra special, we’re infusing a fluffy cloud of whipped cream with Kahlua, that boozy elixir of coffee and rum.
It’s easy to make this a flourless dairy-free chocolate cake, a Paleo flourless chocolate cake, or a flourless keto chocolate cake as well.
See instructions below for how to make these changes.
What you need
Ingredients for the cake:
- 10 tablespoons (4.6 oz.) butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 oz. total) chocolate chips, semi-sweet or bittersweet
- 1 cup superfine blanched almond flour
- 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup coconut sugar or honey
- additional cocoa powder, for dusting, optional
Ingredients for the Kahlua whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1/4 cup Kahlua
- microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan with heat-proof bowl (for melting the chocolate)
- large mixing bowl
- a whisk
- stand mixer with the paddle attachment or hand mixer
- a spatula (the kind for stirring, not flipping)
- measuring spoons (<– I love these because they actually fit into spice jars)
- measuring cups
- 9″ springform pan
- a cooling rack
How to make a Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake
Heat the oven to 350°.
Grease the sides and bottom of a 9″ springform pan with butter.
First, melt chocolate chips and butter together. You do this in a microwave or on the stove.
For the stove method, fill a saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place a heat-proof bowl (like glass or stainless steel) on top, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the chocolate and butter and stir occasionally until it melts.
To melt butter and chocolate in the microwave, add both to a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 60-90 seconds or until mostly melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Once almost melted, stir the mixture until totally smooth.
Either way you make it, let it cool while you proceed with the recipe.
Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: almond flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt.
With a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the eggs and coconut sugar until it triples in size and becomes thick and mousse-y, about 5 minutes.
Then gently fold in the dry ingredients and then the chocolate butter mixture.
As for how to fold ingredients for a cake batter. Hold the bowl with one hand and a silicone/rubber spatula with the other. Gently scrape the spatula down the side of the bowl all the way to the bottom, lift it out the opposite side and fold the mixture back on top of itself.
Continue to do this, constantly rotating the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. This ensures you don’t deflate all the air you just whipped into the eggs (it will deflate somewhat, but shouldn’t lose all its air). Stop when the batter is evenly blended.
This video shows you how to do it.
Then you simply pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 40 minutes (45 if you want it less fudgy).
You want the top of the cake to be dry but it should still wobble a bit when you gently shake the pan.
Let it cool on a rack so the cake sets, at least 20 minutes.
Then you can eat it warm, let it cool completely to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes), or store it in the fridge which will make it extra fudgy.
To make the Kahlua whipped cream, simply whisk the Kahlua and heavy cream together until soft peaks form.
If you need a primer on whipping cream, check out these 7 ways to whip cream to find which one is best for you.
Once the cake is completely cool, you can cover the springform pan with aluminum foil and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Yep. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap (not so tightly that it smooshes the cake, but tight enough to lock out air). Place in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then leave out at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.
Simply replace the chocolate chips with dairy-free chocolate chips. I use Enjoy Life! Dark Morsels for this cake and they work great.
The butter can be replaced with coconut oil. I don’t find there to be any coconut flavor when I use coconut oil, but if you’re really sensitive to the taste of coconut, use a refined coconut oil.
Honestly, the cake is so good by itself that you don’t need any whipped cream. You can just sift cocoa powder over the top and serve it as is.
You can also serve the cake with whipped coconut cream (instructions included in the recipe). And yes, you can still add Kahlua to the whipped coconut cream if you’d like.
Replace the Kahlua with an equal amount of honey, plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, in the whipped cream/whipped coconut cream.
Use grass-fed butter or coconut oil for the butter.
Use Enjoy Life! chocolate chips (not fully Paleo but dairy-free with a small amount of cane sugar) or Hu chocolate chips.
Swap in an equal amount of honey for the Kahlua and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Use whipped coconut cream for the whipped cream (instructions included in the recipe).
Replace the coconut sugar/honey with a keto-approved sweetener such as this one.
Replace the chocolate chips with keto chocolate chips, such as by Luv or Lily’s.
You can use the regular whipped cream or the whipped coconut cream. Either way, leave out the Kahlua and add the same amount of the keto sweetener plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Other recipes you might like:
- 7 Ways to Whip Cream
- Hot Chocolate Skillet Cake
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Creme Brulee
- Chocolate Ricotta Pudding
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Whipped Cream
For the cake:
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. (6 oz.) chocolate chips, semi-sweet or bittersweet
- 10 tablespoons (4.6 oz) butter, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup blanched superfine almond flour
- 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for dusting the cake, if desired
- 4 teaspoons espresso powder
- ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 6 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup coconut sugar or honey
For the Kahlua whipped cream
- 2 cups heavy cream chilled
- ¼ cup Kahlua
For the cake:
- Heat the oven to 350°. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9" springform pan with butter.
- Melt the chocolate chips and butter together. Add them both to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 60-90 seconds, until melted. Let cool. (Doesn't have to be totally cool.) Alternately, you can heat 1 inch of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, until simmering. Add the chocolate and butter to a heat-proof bowl and place on the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat and let cool. (Doesn't have to be totally cool.)
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture: use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl, lift the batter up the opposite side of the bowl and then fold it over on top of over itself, rotating the bowl as you go.
- Gently fold the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the batter as above. Stop as soon as everything is blended so as to not deflate the eggs (the eggs might deflate a little bit, which is fine, but they shouldn't lose all their air).
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 40 minutes, until the top is dry but there's still a bit of wobble underneath. (Aim for 45 minutes if you don't want it quite so fudgy in the middle). Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before dusting with cocoa powder, if using. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.