If ever there was a need for a dessert that's indulgent, over the top delicious and truly a chocolate lover's dream come true, then this flourless chocolate brown sugar meringue cake is the one. This cake is rich and densely chocolatey, fudgy and melt in your mouth.
Topped with a baked brown sugar meringue thats chewy and light, and marshmallow-like with caramel-like notes from the brown sugar, this cake is perfection, and perfect for any occasion.
Why You'll Love This Cake
If the description above doesn't lure you in to the amazingness of this cake, then here are some other reasons why you'll love this cake.
- It's naturally gluten free.
- While it looks impressive, it's straightforward and fairly simple to make.
- It serves a lot of guests. Because it's very rich, you make smaller slices of this cake to get more servings out of it.
- It keeps well for days, and even tastes better on the following day.
- You can opt out of making the meringue, if time doesn't allow, and top it with whipped cream instead. Also very delicious.
Cocoa powder - natural cocoa powder
Bittersweet chocolate - You can use chocolate chips, but make sure they are a good quality brand.
Coffee - needs to be very hot, freshly brewed is best
Eggs - yolks for the cake, whites for the meringue
Unsalted butter - melted but cooled
Apple cider vinegar - makes for a sturdier and more stable meringue
Cornstarch - keeps meringue from weeping, by soaking up any liquid when baking
Espresso Powder - optional, but adds a deeper flavor to the meringue
- Butter a 9" springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment and dust buttered sides of the pan with cocoa powder, to prevent the cake from sticking. Line the sides with parchment paper, about an inch higher than the cake pan.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cocoa powder, sugar and bittersweet chocolate.
- Slowly stream in the hot coffee while processing the mixture.
- Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a bowl and the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Process the mixture while streaming in the egg yolks, butter, salt and vanilla.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. This can take a few minutes to fully incorporate.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the cake bakes, prepare the meringue. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and espresso powder (if using).
- Place the egg whites and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. You can use the same bowl you whipped the egg whites in for the cake.
- Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
- Add the sugar mixture to the whites, a tablespoon at a time. Whip to stiff peaks.
- Fold in the vanilla, cornstarch and vinegar.
- Once the cake has baked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven.
- Spread the prepared meringue on top of the cake, place back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. The internal temp of the cake should be 200F in the center.
Push the inflated meringue back into the pan with an offset spatula. As the cake cools, the meringue will deflate quite a bit, and the meringue will crack. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, before removing from the pan. Cool completely before serving.
Storage and Freezing
The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Note that storing the cake in the refrigerator will make the cake more dense and fudge-like.
Yes, you can omit the meringue. Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until the cake is puffed up and the top looks dry, or registers 200F on an instant read thermometer. Cool to room temperature before serving.
If you choose to make the cake without the meringue, consider serving it with whipped cream or ice cream with raspberry sauce.
Let the cake cool before slicing into it. This allows the cake to set up. Trust me, the cake tastes better at room temperature than it does hot.
An instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the cake should read 200F.
Totally normal. It might look like the meringue will overflow, but it won't. It will overhang the pan, and deflate and crack as it cools down. I like to take an offset spatula and push the meringue back into the pan after I pull it out of the oven.
If you make this flourless chocolate brown sugar meringue cake, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes!
For more chocolate recipes, check out these posts:
Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies
Peppermint Bark Fudge Brownies
Flourless Chocolate Brown Sugar Meringue Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ cups bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup coffee, hot, freshly brewed
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Meringue
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- 3 large egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 9" springform pan with butter. Dust the sides of the pan with cocoa powder. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan. Cut an additional piece of parchment to collar, or go around the inside of the pan, an inch higher than the height of the pan.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cocoa powder, sugar and chopped chocolate. Process the mixture to pulverize the chocolate.¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 ¾ cups bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips, 1 cup granulated sugar
- Pour the hot coffee slowly into the feed tube while running the processor on low speed. Process until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.¾ cup coffee, hot, freshly brewed
- Separate the eggs, placing the egg yolks into a small bowl, and placing the whites into the bowl of a stand mixer.6 large eggs
- Process the chocolate mixture again, on low, streaming in the melted butter, egg yolks, salt and vanilla until smooth.1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the bowl with the egg whites onto the stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Beat the whites on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula. This can take a few minutes to ensure everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, before adding the meringue.*If you are not making this cake with meringue, bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is puffed and dry. The internal temperature should read over 200F when done.*
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and espresso powder (if using).⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed, 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and the salt.3 large egg whites, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Beat the whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Beat in the sugar/espresso powder a tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar has been added, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Fold in the vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch.1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- After the cake has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven. Top the cake with the meringue, carefully spreading it evenly over the surface of the cake.
- Return the cake to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.
- Push the meringue back into the pan with an offset spatula as the meringue will deflate and crack as it cools. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
- Remove the cake from the sides of the springform pan. Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving.
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