My Cake Decorating Gallery

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sugar Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

My dad does the "sugar free" and "flour free" thing so when his birthday rolled around this year, I thought I would try to at least make a flourless cake using unsweetened chocolate and splenda, and hope for the best. All of my cake decorating skills are lost on poor Dad, so this was the best idea I could come up with!

I searched online for a good recipe and there are a few out there but I decided to go with a "normal" recipe and just substitute splenda and unsweetened chocolate and hope for the best. This cake was based off of David Lebovitz's famous "Chocolate Idiot Cake".

I can't say it went smoothly but all in all, it was a success and my dad seemed to like the cake - see below for the notes about my adventure!

Sugar Free Chocolate Idiot Cake

One 9-inch (23 cm) cake

This cake is extremely rich, and tastes like the most delicious, silkiest, most supremely-chocolate ganache you've ever had. As mentioned, it's equally good a few days later, and only an idiot could possibly mess it up. You don't need to use ScharffenBerger chocolate for this cake, but use a good one—you'll appreciate it when you taste your first melt-in-your-mouth bite.

Note for sugar free: This cake will not turn out exactly like David's version if you use splenda and unsweetened chocolate, however a person who never eats sugar will find it enjoyable, and even I didn't think it was that bad. I had meant to use those fabulous Sugar Free Valor chocolate bars but the stupid market in Milford stopped selling those for some reason, so I had to go with unsweetened and hope I was adding enough Splenda. My sugar-free notes are included in the recipe below in bolded italics!

10 ounces (290 gr) ScharffenBerger bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 10 ounces of ghiradelli unsweetened chocolate bars)
7 ounces (200 gr) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 gr) sugar (I used 1 cup Splenda plus at least 1/4c extra due to use of unsweetened vs bittersweet chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350F (175 C).

1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn't 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim. (Okay, I did this and my cake was still swimming by the time it was supposed to be done baking. Just used a regular cake pan, why does it need to be springform? Bad idea for floating in water! Note: If you get water leakage, just pour the water off and bake a little longer and cross your fingers... mine turned out OK)

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. (You will notice that the Splenda does not play well with the eggs and it will cause this mixture to be all weird, lumpy, etc. I added a splash of Sugar Free Vanilla flavoring syrup to try and thin it down so it wasn't like spreading a cookie dough in the pan)

4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan. (I'm thinking that a regular pan would be easier here, or really don't mess up your foil wrap!)

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (I think I had to bake mine less, because (probably) due to the Splenda, the cake won't rise and you'll have a thin pancake that doesn't need as much time to bake, it seems. Or maybe it was all the water?? haha)

You'll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.

5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.

Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake at room temperature, with creme anglaise, ice cream, or whipped cream. (I bought a jar of sugar free Smucker's hot fudge sauce and spread it over the top. This never dried and it has a fake sugar flavor, but it dressed up the bitterness of the cake which needed a little more splenda I think. Served with sugar free cool whip, as well!)

Storage: This Chocolate Idiot Cake can be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

So, I tried a sliver after I gave the cake to my dad and for being sugar free and having used Splenda, etc etc etc... it wasn't half bad. It was like a thick brownie bar cake, and the sugar free hot fudge sauce on top was nice but also extra splenda or other sugar free chocolate or fruit on top would also be great, with sugar free whipped cream, of course!

My dad said it was good but I'm not sure if he'd tell me if he didn't like it or not? But - I at least tried it so for all of you sugar free people out there, this wasn't half bad and might cheer up the diabetic near you! Also, I know David Lebovitz has excellent recipes so I look forward to buying some fabulous quality chocolate and trying his original recipe sometime in the future, it looks awesome!


  1. thanks for sharing this one out. Ived been looking for sugar free desserts that me and my family would want to enjoy.. your post greatly contributes a lot!

  2. I'm glad this helps! I was hoping it might, as I also was having trouble finding reviews for sugar free chocolate cakes. Thanks for stopping in!!

  3. I have to bookmark this. We have a lot of family doing the low carb thing and I'm always looking to play with new recipes for them.

  4. Thank you for this post. I can't wait to make it!

  5. Thanks for this recipe! I did some searching for my brother who is a newly-diagnosed diabetic. It looks wonderful.

  6. can this items be eaten by diabetic child

  7. i want to ask a question

  8. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm hosting a baby shower tomorrow and the guest of honor doesn't eat sugar OR flour. I couldn't find anything on the internet so this completely saves me.

  9. Did you find that this ended up tasting an awful lot like a powerbar? Mine sure did! Going to serve it still... but will definitely serve it with raspberry sauce, raspberries and fresh cream to try to mask it's heaviness some!! Dessert was meant to be bad for you...... that's all I can say! ;) Thanks again!

  10. Any idea what the carb count on this cake is? I'd like to try it.