This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

Sharing a simple Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake for your mid-week chocolate fix. Don’t let the flourless detail scare you away, this chocolate cake is insanely delicious. Made using dark chocolate and olive oil for richness, sweetened simply with only a touch of sugar, made airy with whipped egg whites, and studded with chocolate chunks. Top with honey whipped ricotta for a sweet creamy balance to the rich, fudgy, molten-like cake. Trust me, this is SO GOOD, and extra chocolatey. Bonus? This cake is even gluten-free!

side angled photo of Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with 3 pieces of cake stacked on top of each other to expose the chocolate

The true gift of Valentine’s Day? Chocolate…all the chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love some pretty flowers, jewelry, or a restock of my favorite skincare products. But to me, nothing beats a warm chocolate cake. I mean, right? Baking up something sweet for someone you love is a true way to really show them how much you care.

Enter this cake. It’s great for Valentine’s Day (do you celebrate?), but equally great for any other day you’re craving a little chocolate. This is that go-to, super easy, insanely rich, but not too sweet, chocolate cake. It melts in your mouth and is truly “roll your eyes'” back delicious. And the crazy thing? This cake is completely flourless making it naturally gluten-free.

Promise it’s not too good to be true.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake batter before baking

The back story…

This cake took me some time to get right, but the extra effort was worth it. The keys to success? Good chocolate, good extra virgin olive oil, a decent amount of eggs, and apparently no flour.

For the chocolate, I usually use an organic chocolate bar from Whole Foods that’s 85% dark chocolate. If you want a sweeter cake, try using a 70% dark chocolate bar.

As for the olive oil, I love using Brightland olive oil, especially when baking. It adds the perfect, subtle fruit flavor and creates a cake that is extra moist. If that’s not easily available, any extra virgin olive oil will work well. Alternately, you can use melted butter in place of the oil, but we love this cake best when baked with olive oil. Shocking, I know, but it works.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake batter before baking

To make this flourless chocolate cake…

You need only a few simple, pantry staple ingredients. High-quality chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, eggs, sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Just seven ingredients.

You’ll want to melt together the chocolate and olive oil. I normally just do this in the microwave, but you can easily melt over low heat on the stove. I like to melt the chocolate and oil together in a large mixing bowl that will fit the remaining ingredients. The fewer dishes the better.

Once melted, simply whisk in the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, a pinch of salt, and the vanilla.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake just after baking, sitting on parchment paper

Next, take those eggs whites and whip them until stiff peaks form. This step is key to a lighter cake with a slightly crinkly top. It takes no effort at all and creates a truly luscious flourless cake. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

The real secret of this cake is the final ingredient, a handful of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chunks. Stir these into the cake batter, then bake, and in less then thirty minutes your kitchen will have hints of espresso and rich chocolate in the air.

The smell alone is better than any bakery…but the cake itself? Every bite is truly to die for.

overhead photo of Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with 1 slice cut

That’s not all…there’s whipped ricotta too.

This cake is rich. It’s not light and fluffy like a layer cake, but much more thick and fudgy instead. To balance the richness out, I knew I needed some kind of creamy topping. You can, of course, simply top with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, but why not try something a little more special?

Whipped ricotta…with honey and vanilla too. It’s creamy, lightly sweetened, and heavy on the vanilla…and tastes heavenly. The perfect compliment to this fudgy chocolate cake.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with 3 pieces of cake stacked on top of each other

This cake can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. If you’d like to prepare the cake a few days ahead of time, it stores really well. Just be sure to keep it covered and in a cool place. There’s also no need to refrigerate this cake. Making it the perfect make-ahead dessert for everything from Valentine’s Day, to Easter, to Mother’s Day, and any other occasion in between.

Like maybe some mid-week Tuesday night baking? Hey, it’s mid-February, we have plenty of snow falling here in Colorado, and that’s the perfect excuse to bake up this delicious cake.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with spoon going into cake to take a bite out of cake

Looking for other Valentine’s Day inspired desserts? Try these sweet lemon rose shortbread cookies. They’re an oldie, but one of my favorite cookies.

If you make this Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Olive Oil Cake with Honey Whipped Ricotta.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 522 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Fulfilled by target bullseyes logo

Shop ingredients at your local Target store. Learn more




  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 
    2. In a medium bowl, melt the dark chocolate and olive oil in the microwave until melted and smooth. Let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in the 5 egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt, and vanilla until combined.
    3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mix until just combined, fold in the remaining egg whites. Gently stir in the chocolate chunks. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it in an even layer. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the center is no longer jiggly. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes.
    4. To make the honey whipped ricotta. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ricotta, honey, and vanilla. Pulse until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Taste, adding more honey if needed to sweeten. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
    5. Serve the cake warm or at room temp, dusted with cocoa powder and dolloped with honey whipped ricotta. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.


Whipped Egg Whites: if you prefer, you can skip whipping the eggs all together and just use 5 whole eggs. Your cake will not have a crinkly top, but will still be delicious. 
Olive Oil Substitute: you can use an equal amount of melted butter in place of the olive oil. 
View Recipe Comments

horizontal photo of Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. Hey Debora,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that this recipe is always a hit, thanks for trying it out! xTieghan

  1. Would I be able to make this in a cupcake pan? Also, any suggestions for a different frosting/topping? I’d like to stay dairy free. Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Tamara,
      I’ve not tried this in a cupcake pan, I probably wouldn’t do that for this recipe:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  2. Hi! I LOVE all your recipes and I love your pictures and videos! So pretty.
    Question, can I use coconut oil instead of olive oil here?

    1. Hey Marin,
      Sure, that will work well for you! Let me know how the recipe turns out, I hope you love it! xx

        1. Hi Marin,
          Happy Sunday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Yes, that would be just fine for you to do. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Marnie,
      So sorry, that won’t give you the same result as the espresso powder. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    So excited to make this this week for Valentine’s Day. If I don’t have a spring-form pan, what would you recommend I bake this in?

    1. Hey Molli,
      You could try using a super deep pie dish. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Truly the best chocolate cake! This cake has become a tradition in my house during snow/ice storms and it’s always a hit! It’s hard not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. If you make it, which you should, enjoy every bite!

    1. Hey Mary Frances,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner. Have the best weekend:) xT

      1. Hey Tieghan,
        Hoping to make this for my dads bday but he does not like coffee. Can I emit the espresso or is there a substitute?

        1. Hey Kori,
          Yes, you can just omit the espresso. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

        1. Hi Jennifer,
          So sorry, I have not tested this recipe without the eggs, I really don’t know if it would turn out for you or not. Let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Wow! This recipe is incredible! I’m a huge dark chocolate fan and this turned out amazing!

    1. Hey Akta,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a wonderful weekend:) xTieghan

  6. 2 stars
    I used a 72% bar, an 85% bar, and regular cocoa powder. It was wayyyyyyyyy too dark for me. Barely sweet at all and slightly bitter. I like dark chocolate but this was just too much. It burned my stomach and the caffeine kept me up half the night!

    If I remade I would definitely use a much lower % dark chocolate and perhaps even increase the sugar.

    The whipped ricotta was nice and interesting but not enough of a contrast for me; thick, rich, barely sweet topping on a thick, rich, barely sweet cake. Vanilla ice cream would have been great as another commented, or a sweet tart berry sauce as another commented.

    1. Hey Heather,
      So sorry this recipe was not enjoyed, please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Made this tonight as a treat. It’s very easy and turned out perfectly. It’s great for a rich chocolate treat. Served it with whipped cream sweetened with the “chai sugar” from the gingerbread recipe. Made a great combo
    Thanks Tieghan

    1. Hey Sue,
      Thanks a lot for making this recipe, it makes me so glad that it was enjoyed. Have the best weekend!! xTieghan

      1. Hey Laurie,
        Yes, that will work well for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

    1. Hey Alexandra,
      Yes, I think that would work just fine for you. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

      1. So excited about this, I’m making it for mother’s day tomorrow! I’m thinking of serving it with a seedless raspberry jam and whipped cream with Chambord. Hopefully I didn’t mess anything up, your recipes never lead me wrong!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi! Is there any recommended measure changes if you want to do it for one person or you recommend to mate the whole recipe and put into ramekins? Is for one ramekin the same baking time? I would love to try!!