Skip to content

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomate

Flourless chocolate cake is every chocolate lover’s dream… it’s gooey and delicious and, in this recipe, is served with a velvety vanilla bean crème diplomate to balance the intense chocolate flavor.

You might recognize the almond version of this cake as the base of my Chocolate Bavarian Cream Domes. Bake this cake in advance and freeze it for future use! If you don’t have time to make the crème diplomate, substitute store-bought ice cream or whisk together 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar to make homemade whipped cream. For a decorative touch, serve with fresh berries and dust with powdered sugar.

Some of the links below on this page are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This flourless chocolate cake comes together in a pinch and can be mixed by hand (give the stand mixer a break!). Since this recipe excludes flour, the cake itself is also a great gluten-free dessert for those with dietary restrictions. The use of both unsweetened chocolate and dark cocoa powder gives this cake as much flavor as possible!

Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomate – The perfect accompaniment to flourless chocolate cake

The difference between pastry cream (crème pâtissière) and crème diplomate is heavy cream (and sometimes gelatin for added stability). Once you master pastry cream, your options are endless! In my recipe for Chocolate Fraisier, for example, I use pastry cream to make crème mousseline, another delicious French filling!

The pastry cream can be made one day in advance for this recipe and finished just before serving.

A few ingredient notes

  • Vanilla beans – Storebought vanilla beans can be expensive if purchased in small quantities, so I purchase mine on Amazon. You can also substitute 1/2 of the vanilla bean for 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract if needed.
  • Corn flour – Corn flour can be difficult to find, so I purchase Bob’s Red Mill Yellow Corn Flour on Amazon. Do not use corn meal or masa harina corn flour for baking, they are not the same! If needed, use corn starch as a (1:1 ratio) substitute, heating and constantly whisking the corn starch with the hot milk mixture before tempering the eggs.

Equipment needed

  • (1) 9-inch round cake pan
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment
  • Bain-Marie – or a heat-proof bowl that can be set over a saucepan of simmering water.

Prepare in advance

  • Measure and set out all ingredients ahead of time.
  • Set out the following ingredients to bring to room temperature:
    • For the flourless chocolate cake:
      • 6 large eggs
    • For the crème diplomate:
      • 2 egg yolks
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomate

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Amy @ The Pastry Blog
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Units Scale

For the flourless chocolate cake:

  • 6 large eggs (300 g), at room temperature
  • 323 g dark brown sugar
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 226 g unsweetened chocolate
  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 30 ml freshly brewed espresso
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 30 g dark dutched processed cocoa powder

For the Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomate:

  • 1/2 of one vanilla bean pod
  • 27 g egg yolks (from 1 1/2 – 2 eggs), at room temperature
  • 50 g granulated sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 15 g corn flour
  • 240 ml whole milk
  • 13 g unsalted butter
  • 240 ml heavy cream

For garnishing:

  • Fresh raspberries
  • Confectioner’s sugar


For the flourless chocolate cake:

  1. Grease (1) 9-inch round cake pan with butter and line with parchment paper, buttering the parchment paper as well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars, and salt together until fully incorporated.
  4. Place the chocolate and butter into a bain-marie over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until just melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
  5. Into the chocolate mixture, add the espresso and vanilla extract.
  6. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously while pouring to temper the eggs.
  7. Whisk in the cocoa powder and mix until fully incorporated.
  8. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the outer edges begin to darken and pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly dry. Be careful not to overbake! Since this cake is naturally very gooey, a cake tester will not come out completely dry once it is fully baked.
  9. Place on a wire rack and let cool completely.

For the Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomate:

  1. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Place into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 50 g of the sugar until thick and pale in color.
  3. Whisk in the corn flour until fully incorporated and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk and butter to a very light simmer.
  5. Slowly pour a third of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously while pouring to temper the eggs.
  6. Return the remaining hot milk to the stovetop (with the heat turned off) and let the whisk rest in the pan. With one hand holding the bowl of the egg mixture and tipping it slightly over the pan of hot milk, use a rubber spatula to push the mixture to the corner of the bowl. Gradually tip the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking continuously as it is added. Once the majority of the mixture has been added, rest the whisk into the saucepan and scrape any remaining mixture into the pan with the rubber spatula.
  7. Once all of the yolk mixture has all been added, turn the heat to medium, whisking continuously. As soon as the mixture begins to lightly simmer, or “burp”, remove it from the heat.
  8. Pour the hot pastry cream into the bowl with the vanilla seeds and stir until combined.
  9. Let the pastry cream cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you are making this in advance, cover the pastry cream with cling film and store in the refrigerator, waiting to complete the remaining steps prior to serving. 
  10. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and 1 tbsp of the sugar in a chilled bowl until medium peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl and set aside.
  11. Remove from the pastry cream refrigerator and transfer into the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment. Whisk the pastry cream until smooth.
  12. Into the bowl of the stand mixer on medium speed, add one fourth of the whipped cream into the pastry cream and mix until blended.
  13. Add the remaining whipped cream and increase the speed to medium-high, whisking until thick and creamy.

To garnish:

  1. Top the cake with fresh berries and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with the vanilla bean crème diplomate.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star