Men Just Want it Simple for the Holidays – Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake

This Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake recipe is perfect for holiday entertaining and the gluten-free crowd!

 Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake

When I asked my husband what I should make for dessert for our annual Progressive Dinner the other night, he said, “Just keep it simple, Baby!”

Guys have it figured out. They’d rather make or bake something familiar, easy, and low-stress. Which, by the way, did you know that “desserts” spelled backwards says “stressed”? :) I think men would say, do what’s easiest and you don’t have to slave in the kitchen!

Especially during the holidays, my husband really wants low-key, since we have quite a few commitments.

I posted on my Reluctant Entertainer Facebook page, “What should I make for dessert?” and many gave excellent suggestions. (Thank you!)

But I ultimately resorted to a recipe that I’ve made for years, but one I had never served to this group.

Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake.

There are different ways that you can serve this dessert … one with whipped cream, the other with ice cream. (PS. Here’s the 4 ladies, a tradition to get our picture every year.)

Since our house was the last stop for the Progressive Dinner, I knew our bellies would be full.

I set my table, pulled out the espresso cups just in case (which we ended up not using), and baked my cake. That’s what I love about Progressive Dinners. You are only responsible for one course!

What’s your go-to dessert recipe for the holidays?

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Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake

A rich flourless dark chocolate cake where each bite melts in your mouth. Adapted from Nigella Lawson.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 8


  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 6 eggs: 2 whole 4 separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange optional
  • 9- inch spring-form cake pan


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line the bottom of the spring-form cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave on low, then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.
  • Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 1/3 cup of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture and orange zest.
  • In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the whites hold their shape but are not too stiff. Fold in the egg whites to the chocolate mixture.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
  • When you are ready to eat, place still pan-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its pan. Fill the center with freshly whipped cream, or serve plain with ice cream.

12 comments on “Men Just Want it Simple for the Holidays – Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake”

  1. Pingback: Like truckers lined up on diner stools… | Elen Grey's Blog

  2. I tend to buy gifts that are practical…however, in saying that and seeing the book “Where Women Cook: Celebrate!” I just might have to purchase this inspirational book for my practical best friend! : )

  3. YUMMY! I have been making Nigella’s cake for years. Its so delicious and everyone loves it. Actually, I will be making it for my hub’s bday coming up.

  4. Pingback: How to Stencil a Cake with Wilton - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  5. My daughter was wanting a chocolate cake as part of the desserts for her grad party. This is perfect! My go to dessert is a chocolate chip almond cheesecake. Super easy and can be prepared a day or so in advance.

  6. Its the most magical time of the year…but cakes disappearing? Hmm… ; D
    I was amazed to read your factoid about ‘desserts’ and ‘stressed’
    Plus your photo’s as usual are fantastic..really setting the scene.
    I think its a lovely tradition to take you and your friends photo every year. You look a close knit group.

    My family all adore Sticky Toffee Pudding and without it they just wouldn’t think it was Christmas…I know because I tried….there were lots of grumbling in the camp!
    I’ve also found an exquisite Chocolate and Cognac cake thats devine too….here’s the recipe link

  7. A stunning cake and perfect to end a meal with! Very, VERY nicely done…and delicious photos!

  8. Do you know Sandy, I’ve NEVER made a flourless cake before? I hear they’re divine! Yours looked so pretty (even without a full pic!). Btw, a few weeks ago, my hubby came home and said “Guess what?! I heard one of your blog friends on the radio today! Don’t you know the “Reluctant Entertainer”?” So funny! What a great opportunity for you…do you know where I can hear it? Hugs, ~K

  9. looks fantastic! Hope you’re well! Miss you my friend

  10. Hi Sandy,

    Your cake looks delicious! And yes, I think men know the secret to stress free entertaining! LOL! My husband would say the same thing as your husband. He would even go as far as to suggest just buying something as it is hard for him to understand liking to cook. :-) Yesterday it was cold and rainy here (yes…we’re finally getting some rain in this parched land!) and so I made meatballs and spaghetti. As my husband watched me shape the meatballs he commented on how much time it takes to make things homemade but observed how happy I seemed in my repetitive task (I love the relaxation that comes with repetitive tasks!) and was happy that I love to cook…as he is the beneficiary! LOL!

    My favorite go-to dessert is an apple pie. I make the crust in the food processor which makes everything so easy. I also us a butter/lard combo and a touch of vinegar which guarantees a perfect crust even if it’s overhandled, etc…so it’s easy and fool-proof.

    Have a great week.



  11. Sounds yummy, Sandy. Can’t wait to see how you decorated it. I think you may have used a doily and powdered sugar from what I can see of the remains in the photo. But I’m excited to see what you did.

  12. Better yet, this cake is gluten free! No flour! Looks absolutely delicious. I’m saving the recipe. Merry Christmas, Sandy!!

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