Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cake

A couple of days ago I shared these snowmen cake pops that I made for a holiday party. For my family’s Christmas party, I wanted to do something a bit bigger. I often make individual desserts like cake pops, whoopie pie pops, and cupcakes, but there’s something about a cake that’s just so festive.

The only issue with making a cake is that my sister and her wife and gluten-free. I’m not a big fan of gluten-free flours (I don’t have a lot of experience with them but it hasn’t been very positive) so I’d rather make something without flour instead. Last Christmas I made these wonderful chocolate souffle cupcakes that were flourless but also extremely rich. When I stumbled upon a “lighter than air” flourless chocolate cake at Smitten Kitchen, I thought it might be a nice medium of both flourless but not too heavy.

Smitten Kitchen had doubled the original Gourmet rolled cake recipe and made a 4 layer cake, so I went back and used the original proportions to make a 2 layer cake. It made 9 good-sized slices (see above) and was, as promised, quite light for a flourless cake. Paired with fluffy whipped cream (sweetened with crushed candy canes for extra festiveness), this cake didn’t make our stomachs feel heavy or overly full. After a big holiday meal, you know how important that can be!

Do you do have to accomodate for any food allergies? How you do deal with them?


“Lighter than Air” Flourless Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Gourmet

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray.

Over low heat, melt chocolate and water together in a small saucepan or double boiler. Stir until mixture is smooth, remove from heat and let cool.

In a medium or large bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony. Gently mix in the cooled chocolate.

In a separate large, clean bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites and salt until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of stiff egg whites into the chocolate/yolk mixture to lighten it. In 3 additions, gently but thoroughly fold the remaining whites into the batter.

Pour half of batter into each prepared cake pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cake is puffed and dry to the touch. Transfer pans to cooling racks. Once cooled, sprinkle cocoa powder over the cakes. Place a piece of wax paper over the tops of the pans and top with a plate or baking sheet, then invert. An hour before frosting, place cakes into freezer until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking.

*Note: cakes will slightly sink in the middle.


Peppermint Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of finely crushed candy canes (use a food processor until they are a fine powder), to taste
  • Handful of lightly crushed candy canes for garnish

Beat heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. Mix in 1/4 cup of candy cane powder and add more to taste.

Remove cake layers from freezer. Spread half of whipped cream onto the first layer. Place second cake layer on top, then spread remaining whipped cream onto it. Sprinkle crushed candy canes onto the top of the cake. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

24 Comments on Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cake

  1. Becca from It's Yummilicious
    December 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm (10 years ago)

    What a beautiful and festive cake! I’m not eating gluten free, but I’m going to try this anyway… especially the frosting! YUM!
    I have an allergy to ALL forms of coconut (the meat, oil, milk…everything). It makes cooking with Indian flavors challenging, since coconut milk is so often used, but I’ve been able to substitute almond milk, which seems to work fine.

    • Stephanie
      December 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm (10 years ago)

      @Becca – thank you! It’s a delicious cake for everyone, GF or not. It’s good to know that almond milk works well in Indian food. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    December 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Flourless chocolate cake is always amazing, but that peppermint whipped cream sounds like it really puts it over the top!

    • Stephanie
      December 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm (10 years ago)

      @Lauren – thanks! It’s such an easy cake topping and I love the flavor and color crushed candy canes give to the whipped cream.

  3. C&C Cakery
    December 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm (10 years ago)

    Love this recipe. I agree with you about flourless cakes being a bit iffy – they always seem a bit heavy to me. But if this is really “light as air”, then I’ve got to give it a try! Thanks!

    • Stephanie
      December 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm (10 years ago)

      @C&C Cakery – It’s definitely much lighter than the average flourless chocolate cake. Enjoy!

  4. Michaela @ piquantprose
    December 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve seen a similar idea for light flourless cakes, but I’ve never seen the freezer idea. I bet that would work really well for frosting a lot of cakes. I always have problems getting the frosting on smoothly without breaking the cake apart.

    • Stephanie
      December 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm (10 years ago)

      @Michaela – Briefly freezing other cakes probably will help with frosting. I hope that helps you!

  5. Beth Michelle
    December 31, 2011 at 6:23 am (10 years ago)

    This cake is beautiful. I love the color. It sounds super wonderful too!

  6. sara
    January 1, 2012 at 9:04 am (10 years ago)

    WOW, this looks insanely good, I definitely need to make it soon. So festive! 🙂

    • Stephanie
      January 20, 2012 at 8:04 am (10 years ago)

      @Kita – Thanks! I love this cake. My friend recently made this recipe into cupcakes and declared them her favorite chocolate cupcake ever. I definitely recommend this recipe!

  7. Julia
    March 26, 2012 at 11:34 am (10 years ago)

    Well, in my quest to find the perfect flourless chocolate cake, I’m going to HAVE to try this one. I love the peppermint whipped cream added!

    • Stephanie
      March 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm (10 years ago)

      @Julia – I hope it doesn’t disappoint! I can’t wait to see what you find in your quest. I’m always looking for a good flourless recipe for my GF relatives. Enjoy! 🙂

  8. Francine
    December 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm (9 years ago)

    Has anyone tried this with Stevia instead of sugar? Just wondering how it might turn out?

  9. Prue
    January 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Made a flourless cake last night and it too heavy. This was beautiful and easy to make. I put a chocolate butter ganash topping! It was to die for!

  10. Meg
    February 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm (9 years ago)

    Do you think you could use this cake as a base for cake pops?

  11. Shelby
    October 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm (9 years ago)

    Could you please have a print recipe option on this site? I am printing it and comes out to 12 pages of text, only 2 of which I need. Looking forward to making it!

  12. Susan
    December 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm (8 years ago)

    This looks so good. I am going to try it for Christmas for my mother who has to eat gluten free because of Celiac’s. I think she will love it.


4Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cake

  1. […] Baking without gluten is notoriously difficult, so this statement made me smile. My sister and her partner are gluten-free so I’m always trying to find something to bake for our family get-togethers. In the past, I’ve avoided gluten altogether by making flourless desserts, such as flourless chocolate peppermint cake. […]

  2. […] holiday scarred me and intimidated me to try gluten-free baking again. Since then, I’ve made flourless cake and flourless cupcakes just to avoid gluten-free flours. It gets so complicated with all the […]

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