Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake Recipe

Yesterday we had a small party at my office to celebrate my company’s fifth anniversary, and our pendaison de crémaillère, which is French for a housewarming party: une crémaillère is a trammel, the metal adjustable hook that was used to hang pots in the fireplace in the days of yore, and the hanging of this essential piece of equipment in a new house was as good an occasion as any to have a village gathering.

Our new offices are located in the south of the 13th arrondissement, close to the Parc Montsouris and the very nice Butte-aux-Cailles area. The street name happens to be Rue Brillat-Savarin, in reference to Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin*, who’s considered the first food writer/critic in history. Cool, huh?

I had offered to bake a cake for the occasion, and used a trusted recipe for fudgy chocolate cake — gâteau au chocolat fondant in French. It is a very easy recipe that does not require a food processor, and like all dark chocolate cakes, it is best made the day before, or at least in the morning if served for dinner.

Edit: Over the years, my way of making this cake has evolved, and I’ve updated the recipe below to reflect that. I now use 180 g of sugar (instead of the original 250 g) and 4 eggs (instead of the original 5). I bake the cake at 180°C (instead of the original 190°C) for slightly longer (25 instead of 20 minutes), and I sprinkle the surface with fleur de sel, which enhances the chocolate flavor and provides tiny jolts of saltiness here and there.

The cake was suitably wolfed down by my appreciative coworkers. It has a nice thin crust, while the inside is 100% melty gooey chocolate goodness. Needless to say, it is pretty rich, so it is best served with something refreshing — ideally, Marie-Laure and Ludo’s fruit salad, but your own fruit salad, fresh strawberries, ice cream and/or whipped cream will be great too.

* Brillat-Savarin published a treatise on the art of dining called “La Physiologie du goût” (“Physiology of taste”) and he’s the one who said “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es”, translated as “Tell me what you eat, I will tell you who you are” or “You are what you eat”.

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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Makes one 20-cm (8-inch) round cake.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake Recipe


  • 200 grams (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced (substitute almond butter or coconut oil to make this dairy-free)
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) high-quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 180 grams (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) unrefined blond cane sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 rounded tablespoon flour (all-purpose or other, including any gluten-free flour; can be omitted altogether to make this grain-free)
  • fleur de sel or kosher salt, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 20-cm (8-inch) round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt together the butter with the chocolate (in a double-boiler or in the microwave, slowly and for just a few seconds at a time, blending with a spoon between each pass). Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add in the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and let cool a little. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Finally, add in the flour, if using, and mix well.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the surface lightly with fleur de sel, and put into the oven to bake for 25 minutes, until the center is set.
  4. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Run a knife around the cake to loosen, then transfer to a serving dish.


  • Like most intensely chocolaty cakes, this cake is best made a day ahead, or in the morning if you serve it for dinner. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and take it out about an hour before serving.
  • The batter can also be baked in muffin tins lined with muffin liners; reduce the baking time to 15 minutes.
  • Deb

    Clotilde this cake looks incredible! I wish wish wish I could have had a peice.
    Something else for me to make once this baby is born, at the moment I’m not supposed to be eating chocolate either.
    No wine, no chocolate, no caffeine, argh, it’s not been easy but worth it.

  • No chocolate??? Man, you really gotta want that kid, huh? :) Seriously, I knew about the wine, but what could be wrong about eating chocolate?

  • Deb

    From what my friends have been telling me, my Dr. seems to be a little strict on what I can and cannot eat and drink. She doesn’t want me eating chocolate because of the caffeine, although I tend to wonder just how much chocolate she thought I was eating (grin). I did drink a lot of coffee, weaning myself off of that resulted in a 3 day migraine. I wonder if I nipped a little bit of chocolate now and then would it matter. (grin) Theres much longer to go, I guess I can wait, then it will be all that much sweeter, no?

  • But yeah, just *how much* chocolate did you use to eat? :) It does sound a little strict, but better safe than sorry! Although it’s true that a little square of really good chocolate from time to time can’t be that much caffeine. And if it makes you happy, it makes the baby happy!
    BTW, when are you due?

  • Deb

    I really didn’t eat all that much,but I like baking with it though! I agree with you about reallly good quality chocolate, a little square can be so divine and really all one needs for a happy mommy and baby. I’m due Jan 19 btw!

  • Robert

    Cool is not the word, that’s synchronicity or something.

    Hey, have you seen Banlieusardises? ( ) Neat site, en francais, which means I understand around 1/3 of what I’m reading, and can barely get the gist most of the time. Still an interesting site.

  • Hi Robert,
    Thanks for pointing me to Banlieusardises, it’s makes for a really interesting read! And the Quebec point of view (and language) has a very distinctive flavor to me.
    It’s already something that you can understand a third of it! But if you happen to need help translating something, let me know! :)

  • Thanks to both of you for the kind words! I’ll soon put up a section for my English friends, where I’ll translate some favorites from les Banlieusardises. I already registered the domain name, my templates are almost ready… so stay tuned ;-)

  • Looks absolutely delicious!

  • Radical Chef – And it is! Very easy, too…

  • Sharon

    Hi Clotilde-
    I just found your blog last week and I can’t seem to get enough of it!

    I tried this chocolate cake this weekend and it was indeed, melt in my mouth. I’m going to bake it again for a party next week.

    I was thinking about putting it in a loaf pan instead. Do you think that I’ll need to vary the cooking temperature?

  • Sharon – I’m so glad the cake worked out well for you too! And the whole of the recipe book (published in English as “I Want Chocolate!”) is filled with other great recipes – and luscious pics…

    Baking it in a loaf pan would indeed require a longer cooking time, because of the increased thickness. I would probably bake it for 40 minutes, then check how cooked it is using a knife blade. Let me know how it goes!

  • Sharon

    The chocolate cake in the loaf pan looked quite nice. BUT, it was a little too crispy on the sides and not quite cooked enough in the center. Next time I will lower the temperature a bit and let it cook a little longer.

    BTW – The print function is great! Thanks.

  • Sharon – Thanks a lot for reporting back about the loaf pan cake! And you know, if it’s undercooked inside, you can just call it “mi-cuit (half-cooked) au chocolat”, it’s a trendy dessert! But you’re right, cooking it at a lower temp would probably give nicer results… :)

    And I’m glad you discovered and liked the print-me feature!

  • Jacqueline

    Clotilde, I baked this cake on Valentine’s day and it was great. Although after 25 minutes at 200F(made sure with my oven thermometer), the cake was quite wobbly in the center. But no matter. I refrigirated it overnight and brought it to the family gathering yesterday and got great reviews even from my brother in-law who works as a chef in Paris. On the ride home, my husband, who is not into anything chocolaty(and to think that I married him!), said that it was truly the greatest chocolate cake he’d ever had. So my compliments, Clotilde. BTW, love your blog.

  • Jacqueline – So glad you tried this cake recipe! And for Valentine’s Day, no less! It seems very suited indeed…

  • Jane

    Think I must have posted this in the wrong place before….but I would really like to bake this next week for my group of embroiderers. We meet once a month at each other’s houses and take turns to provide the desserts (the food is as important as the embroidery). My question is whether to use unsweetened chocolate or semi sweet.

  • Jane – I sure see what you mean about the food being as important as the official reason for the gathering! :) I had answered your question where you first posted it (in the “Fruits déguisés” post), and here is what I wrote : “I use dark chocolate (60% cocoa), I think you would call it semi-sweet? It’s true that there is quite a lot of sugar, so it might work with unsweetened as well… Or maybe sub half of the chocolate with unsweetened? Let me know how it turns out if you experiment a bit!” Happy baking and do report back!

  • Haide

    Tried this cake for a friend’s bday yesterday. Very yummy and brownie-like, soft and rich.

    I was using an 8″ pan but had some problems with the temperature and timing though. After 25 minutes, the top was burnt but inside was completely runny, so turned temp down to 150 degrees and added 20 minutes by the end. Perhaps it’s time to get a new oven…

    Also, only used about 180g sugar. Wonder if the semi-sweet wasn’t actually the real stuff.

  • Michelle

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this for a co-worker’s birthday today and – as with everyone else – met with rave reviews all around. A wonderful, sinfully decadent, yet EASY recipe. This is a keeper. Thank you so much!

  • Gina

    I have been trying to find a recipe that is similar to this, but I don’t know what to really look for. This is like a decadence or flourless chocolate cake. I recently enjoyed a dessert that came upsided down, unmolded from a ramekin. It was similar in that the top (pre-inversion) was cooked to a brownie consistence. The difference is that it was served warm and it was not like a cake at all. It wasn’t soupy like a molten cake or truffle centered mini-cake. It stood up on it’s own, though it didn’t seem cooked thoroughly since only the top was brownie – consistency. The texture was creamy in texture (not as in dairy cream) though, with a very chocolate flavor. I’m guessing that it had to have been cooked in the oven in a water bath. Perhaps it was a fallen souffle’? If anyone has any help to offer, I’d sincerely appreciate it.

  • Michelle – So glad you had good success with this recipe, I still have to meet someone who doesn’t love it!

    Gina – What you describe sounds like a “mi-cuit au chocolat” (half-cooked), a.k.a moelleux au chocolat. Some people make it by undercooking a regular chocolate cake like the melt-in-your-mouth one, but the original recipe (invented by Michel Bras) uses a disk of frozen ganache inserted at the heart of the cake batter… I don’t have a recipe to recomment, but with the names above, you may be able to find one on the web. Hope that helps!

  • Thank you for posting the recipe. I made it for my co-worker’s farewell party and it was well recieved.

  • Malvene

    I have just found your site and have picked this cake as Cake #1 for my twin’s first birthday….will move about this site to find Cake #2….any suggestions? What a lovely food freak haven you have created. Congratulations.

  • Milou

    I just tried this cake and it was very wobbly in the middle after 25 mins. So my husband left it for another 10 mins. The sides were quite cooked, but the middle was still wobbly. Anyway, I took the cake out of the oven and let it cool a bit, I then transferred it onto a wire rack – but when I did, some middle bits fell out! So I scooped up the cake and put it back into the pan… I will refrigerate it tonight and see if that improves the cake and will report back tomorrow. The bits I tasted seemed pretty yummy though. Fingers crossed!

  • Hello Clotilde,

    Just wanted to let you know that I have tried your recipe and it was as good as it looked on your photo. Good thing the recipe did not include frosting or I’m sure I would have bungled it.


  • Ali

    Clotilde, I just found your site a few weeks ago and tried this cake last week as part of a series of experiments to find a good cake for my son’s birthday. Needless to say, this was far too good (and chocolatey!) to give to a 1 yr old, but me and my husband loved it. Turned out a bit gooier than in the photo, but that really didn’t matter once I’d tasted it.

  • Carol

    The cake sounds like it will be wonderful, but I need to know what grams equal to in ounces. I don’t have a clue about grams. As soon as I get that part figured out, I will be making that wonderful cake. thanks.

    Where can I find some more of your great recipes?

  • Carol

    The cake sounds like it will be wonderful, but I need to know what grams equal to in ounces. I don’t have a clue about grams. As soon as I get that part figured out, I will be making that wonderful cake. thanks.

    Where can I find some more of your great recipes?

  • Julia

    Hi Clotilde!
    Eagerly, I made Nathalie’s Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake last weekend, following the English translation of Trish Deseine’s book (“I Want Chocolate”). Disaster! I couldn’t turn it out (maybe because it wasn’t set enough in the middle?), and ended up with a porridge of fudge on a platter. How could I mess up such an easy recipe? My only guess is that the cake was underdone (even though it had well-formed edges and a trembling center just as Deseine instructs). Still, I’m determined to make this recipe work! So here are my questions, if you’d be so kind:

    1. Deseine doesn’t mention anything about greasing the pan beforehand, or about using parchment paper–so I didn’t. But you do: was that your idea, or is my translation of the book different from what the French version tells you to do?

    2. If the cake IS trembling in the middle when you remove it, how can you turn it out of the pan? My book says to do it quickly after removing it from the oven, but you say to let it cool a bit. The latter makes more sense, but again, this makes me mistrust the translated copy.

    3. My book instructs you to bake at 375F for only 22 minutes. I notice your blog recipe (I imagine that one comes out of the French translation) recommends 400F at 25 min! Big difference! Perhaps this explains it! Does it mean my book’s conversion is wrong? If so, can I trust the other recipes?

    Finally, thank you for your recommendations and your delightful blog: every sentence you write makes me hungry. And I made your chocolate and zucchini cake for Thanksgiving, with tremendous success (does that mean there’s hope for me?).

    Hungrily yours,

  • Lauren


    Made this last night. It was wonderful. Converting to US and ounces, used 7 oz chocolate (70%) and butter. Used scant 9 oz sugar. 8″ pan with parchment, buttered. 400 degrees, 25 minutes….did not even question it and it was perfect last night with lightly sweetened whipped cream and even better this morning. Initially the center was still very loose…wonderfully chocolate flavor and texture. This morning it had become more solid… My husband ate it for breakfast.

    I have a dinner party at my home in a month and have been experimenting with chocolate recipes. Thank you for this. Thinking about adding chambord…any thoughts?

  • linda

    Help!!! I am making this cake for Easter ( 3days) what type of chocolate do I use….Semi sweet or unsweetened? Could someone who made this cake please let me know…..Thanks!!! L

  • Will

    My cake is currently in the oven. I needed something quick, and my local shop had ran out of baking poweder.

    Things seem to be going well, but I did have to make a few substitutions, and I am slightly worried that my mixture seems rather….runny.

    (Milk chocolate+coco instead of dark chocolate)

    8 minutes left, and I might have to leave her in a little longer..

  • joey

    Just tried the recipe and it tastes fabulous! The middle was jiggly when I took it out but, as the recipe said it would be that way, I took it out anyway — exactly 25 minutes baking time. A little trouble getting the sides to unstick but they did and I was able to turn it out without incident. I served it to my brother tonight and he gave me a standing ovation. The middle was a bit runny but I just smiled, rolled my eyes, and said “It’s supposed to be like that”. Haha! Nobody argued ;-)

  • Carol

    Love the sound of your melt in the mouth chocolate cake but could you translate into cups instead of grams??? Many thanks

  • yasmine tannir

    I loved the website and the recipes! i’m going to try this chocolate cake for a gathering… Hope it’ll be as successful as it seems!

  • Adelene

    Hi Clotilde,
    I was wondering: if I bake the cake in a water bath, will it make a difference to the texture of the cake?

  • Lisa

    Clotilde, this cake is divine. I had one little problem, though. The first time I made it, despite using a buttered, non-stick pan, the cake still broke into pieces when I tried to turn it out. SO, I started over using a spring-form pan. That one was perfect! I guess it is just such a tender cake that it needed a little extra support. And the one that fell to pieces? Well, that one was eaten immediately with our fingers off of the countertop. Yum! Another note: This cake improves with age. After about 3 or 4 days, if there is any left, it tastes even better. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Christina Harpes

    Hello, That recipe was wonderful everyone loveded the cake thank you very much.

  • consuelo

    Hi Clotilde,
    as a chocolate lover, I’m gonna try this recipe and I’m sure it’ll turn out fantastic! But I have a question: Have you ever tried separating egg yolks and whites, then beating them separately and folding it all together like you would for a souffle? I imagine it would probably work and make it lighter and less dense. Let me know if anyone’s tried it and how it came out. Thanks!

  • Diane

    I’m making this cake today for a good friend’s baby shower tomorrow. You know it’s a good recipe when people continue to comment for close to three years! Thanks for sharing this one in particular, Clotilde!

  • shelley

    ohhh I just made the cake as cupcakes! absolutely divine! I ate it straight out of the oven with some double cream… magnificent! chocolately, gooey, melting and creamy!

  • Melody

    Well, hello everyone! i happened across this brilliant site last week.. and seeing as i was having a get together on saturday decided to try this recipe… i did everything like you said Clotilde…couldn’t wait to taste it as soon as it was done (greedy me!).. it was kinddaf spongy…but i decided to put it in the fridge like you said.. and MY-OH-MY! was it delicious the next day! it was gone before i could even get a piece for myself :o( am definitely gonna make this again and experiment with different kinds of chocolates! :o) Thanx Clotilde!

  • a great cake, and a raging success at my office too. i managed to transport it by bike, but fortunately no one minded the aesthetics. many thanks for the recipe.

  • heya,

    my boyfriend’s birthday is on saturday and i want to make cupcakes with this recipe. you said it’s better the next day but can i do it tonight (thursday) and serve it saturday or would it be too stale?


  • Meitje – I don’t recommend making them two days in advance: they would keep in the fridge, but you would lose something in the texture.

  • B

    hi madam cotilde ! this webpage is so INCREDIBLE !!!!! After three years, people are still complimenting your lovable choco cake. Kudos to you. Im a 20 yo guy, not that im advertising myself tho’ (:P), just want to warn in advance of my lack of cooking sense and skills. I am thinking of making a choco frosting for this cake. What do you think? From what i read, the cake is already soft and creamy inside, would a frosting makes it too creamy and thus taste strange? yeah, im such a rookie. Im just trying to impress my bf, tho.

  • meg

    oh wow! I made this last nite, am amazed how easy they are to make. I stuck them into a muffin tray. made just enough for a dozen servings. And they came out perfect! Thanks for the brilliant recipe. You have just made everyones’ day in the office :-)

  • sk


    I just tried this recipe – this one’s definitely a keeper! i only had a brownie pan on hand so i baked it at 170 degrees C for about 18 minutes. What i got was brownie-cake like and incredibly chewy and gooey in the centre. it wasn’t wobbly when i took it out though and the crust was crispy and good. served it with vanilla ice cream….yummmy

    i love your blog! <3 thanks for the recipe!

  • Ci

    Hi Clotilde,

    I love the look of this recipe and would love to make it for a dinner party I’m having next week. The only problem is that one of my guests is coelliac and cannot eat anything with gluten in it, so I will not be able to add flour. Can anyone advise me on what I could subsitute? I live in a very remote area and therefore substitutes are not easily available. Thank you very much.

  • Ci – I believe rice flour is a good substitute for wheat flour, but if you can’t find it you can just omit the flour altogether — the recipe will still work.

  • Elinor

    This cake is amazing! to me cake isn’t worth eating unless it’s dense and moist like this one! I now make when ever I have a birthday cake to make and everyone always loves it. I’ve tried adding other things to it and it’s worked fabulously some hightlights were…
    -Adding a little orange rind (so good!) with optional liqueur.
    -Adding some coffee.
    -Adding very finely chopped glaced ginger with a little ground ginger (sounds odd but my Dad loves chocolate ginger so I made it for him… he thought it was one of the best things he’s ever tasted- and he’s tasted a lot!).
    But then again this recepie makes such a good chocolate cake you don’t NEED to add anything… just if you want some to make it a little different.
    Thanks for the recipie!

  • Henriette

    Made it twice:
    1) with chocolate 60 % and
    2) with chocolate 78 %
    I must say I prefer the last- the sugar /dark chocolate balance seem better,….
    But then
    I´m really not a very “sweets/sugar” person.- prefer my chocolate rather dark.
    My daughter loved both versions- had the last 1 with whipped cream and raspberry… wonderful.

  • John

    As for the conversion for us good ole Americans, here goes:

    2 sticks butter
    7 ounces chocolate
    1 1/4 c sugar

    Just made this for Easter tomorrow. I’ve had this dish several times via a friend. I find it a bit heavy on the sugar for the my tastes, so added only 1 1/8 c sugar, and will see how that works out.

  • Kirsty

    I have tried to make this cake last night (my first time to make a cake!), it was really easy and the result was great! The only problem is i got a little bit burn…

    I would like to ask a silly question, if I want to make a smaller one, would that affect the taste of the cake if I half all the ingredients?

  • Kirsty – It’s not a silly question at all. You can halve the ingredients without any problem, but you will have to use a smaller pan and bake the cake for a slightly shorter time, say 20 minutes or so. Happy baking!

  • i’ll be trying the cake tomorrow! hoping ill be able to find that right chocolate for the recipe!

  • Susan

    This cake is absolutely delicious. One issue, though– my cake climbed the walls of the pan as it baked. The sides almost rose out of the pan! Could it be the fact that I used extra large eggs, or that I beat the batter too much, turning it almost into a collapsed souffle cake?

  • Karin

    I just made the cake and now i am tasting it; delicious!! :)
    have saved the recipe so i will always be able to find it back again.

    *love your site and your writing*

  • <Michele

    Really looking forward to trying this scrummy cake – sounds dreamy! might try adding some toasted hazelnuts!!

  • Mister choc

    I made this cake last night. People at work loved it.
    Mine was a bit of a mish-mash when I made it, as usual. I ran out of cooking choc so used a few Hotel Chocolat batons and a tsp of cocoa. I used 220g of golden caster sugar. I added 1 capful of almond extract.
    Is the flour meant to be self-raising. It’s what I used and like Susan it almost came out of the tin. Plus the centre split from the edge.Some of the flour hadn’t dissloved either, is that bad?
    Luckily the tin was very deep.
    Mine also burned. Maybe because I have a fan oven.
    Mine stayed together, thanks to the springform tin.
    The result was great though. A friend said it was my 2nd best cake. I think the almond gives it a little extra.
    Put your slice in the microwave for 20 seconds. Oh my god!!! It’s like Marks and Spencers melt-in-the-middle pudding.

  • Mister choc

    Someone at work thought this was so nice that they’re going to have it for Christmas instead of Xmas Pudding

  • ilona

    when using a fan oven, you should subtract 10% so bake at 180 celcius, instead of 200…..

  • Amy

    Hi Clotilde,
    Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring site. Would you recommend NOT making this cake to be served the same day? I understand that cakes are best prepared the day before but I need something for this evening and the birthday girl is a huge chocolate fan. I am definitely open to suggestions.

  • Amy – Although it is recommended to make it a day ahead, you can certainly serve it on the same day. Just bake it asap so it has time to rest before tonight!

  • Holly

    Is the flour supposed to be plain or self-raising?

  • Holly – You should use plain (a.k.a. all-purpose) flour here — there is no leavening agent in this cake.

  • Stephy

    Cannot wait to try this! Question: would it be okay to use brown sugar, or is it best to stick with white? Thanks. :-)

  • Stephy – Sure, you can use brown sugar. Unrefined cane sugar would make this particularly good, too.

  • sue

    I just made the cake, only I screwed up the gram to ounce conversion, and instead of 7 oz of butter and chocolate, I put in .7 of a pound of each. And still it is amazing! The crust is unbelievable, and the center is soft. Absolutely wonderful. Because of my mistake there was too much batter for one pan, so I made two thin cakes. Yesterday was May Day here in Minneapolis and we traditionally have waffles with whipped cream and strawberries before heading off to be in the parade – I garnished the waffles with thin chocolate triangles (the cake) and everyone loved it! (Also – browned the butter that went in the waffles – best breakfast ever!) Thanks.

  • Hi Clotilde,

    Thank you for posting this recipe – it is delightful! I just made the cake, and not only is it very good, but extremely easy to make. Just as you said, it melts in your mouth. Perfectly, I might add!

  • Jenny

    I made this cake for my sons birthday this weekend and it was delicious! I drizzled dark chocolate ganache over the top (using your ganache recipe printed on another choc cake recipe from this site) and it was beautiful as well. I used one 3.5oz bar of Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate and one bar of 85%, so it was indeed DARK! And so good! This recipe is definitely a keeper in my recipe box. Thank you Clotilde, and I love your site!

  • Sarah

    Thank you for such a great recipe! I can’t wait to try it out over the weekend. My boyfriend is going to bring it to work because he is finishing his “stage”, so it’ll be very nice for everyone.
    I only have a 26cm spring form pan–do you think it’d be okay (cooked for less time, I’m sure) or should I just increase the ingredients (1.5, not double)? I’d appreciate any advice, and thanks again!

  • Sarah – I suggest you increase the ingredients — to be acurate, you should increase them by 1.7, in proportion with the pan surface difference, but 1.5 is easier to do. I would also bake the cake at a slightly lower temp (say, 325) and for a little longer (say, 40 to 45 minutes) to achieve the same overall consistency.

  • Diane

    This is just the recipe I’ve been looking for: rich chocloate dessert which is easy and delicious. No need for any frosting, although I may try a drizzle of home-made caramel I have leftover.
    Used a 100g bar of 72% chocolate with nib pieces (they are very small pieces), plus a 100g bar of 56%. Wonderful. Thanks for my favorite blog-site!

  • jill

    I’ve been making a couple of these everyday for my wedding on Saturday and I would like to know why mine are so flat (almost as thick as a cookie?) and everyone else’s seem so much more substantial and not at all flat. What oh what am I doing wrong???

  • Jill – Forgive the simple question, but: what size pan are you using? Note that this is not meant to be a very thick cake — about an inch or so. And because this cake has no leavening agent, it doesn’t expand much beyond the volume of the batter.

  • Felicie

    I should have written a long time ago and thanked you. This cake has become a staple both for myself and my mother, with whom I shared this recipe. It is absolutely delicious and fool-proof. Every time now I need to make a rich, chocolate cake, this is a recipe I take. I recommend to all who are reading this to try this cake. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Just to say I noted this down when you first posted it and tonight I finally made it. I will leave the rest for tomorrow, I promise! But the first slice was divine. :)

  • Bianca

    This is in the oven as we speak! I couldn’t believe how easy it is. I also added a teaspoon of strong espresso and a tablespoon of sour cream as I do in all my chocolate cakes.
    Thanks a million. You’ve made my birthday party a whole lot easier with this cake.

  • ~Michelle

    Hi Ci and Clotilde,

    I am gluten-free (GF) too. Since the amount of flour here is so minuscule, I would try substituting a spoonful of cocoa powder…what do you think, Clotilde? And if you live in the US, Pamela’s GF all purpose baking and pancake flour is a great mix that replicates regular wheat-containing flour well.

  • Michelle – Yes, I think it would work, but it would also reinforce the (already powerful) chocolate flavor quite a bit. If you think that might be a problem, you can also substitute a gluten-free flour such as teff or rice flour.

  • ~M

    One more question – are you using European or American butter?

  • Michelle – I use French butter, but you can use the same measurement with American butter — just use the best quality you can reasonably afford.

  • nicole

    I am making this for my husband’s birthday and am so excited to have it. I am just wondering how I would serve this…just slice and serve like a regular cake, or do I need to do something else?

    Thanks again!

  • Nicole – Yes, you can slice and serve this like any other cake; just remember that it is quite rich, so small slices are best. As mentioned in the post, a fruit salad is a good accompaniment; it is citrus season now, so a citrus salad would be a good match.

  • oh – i feel terrible. made this cake for a friend for her birthday and it was a disaster. i have no idea what i did wrong. the sugar didnt melt in the hot chocolate-butter mixture (was it supposed to?). Also it refused to come out of the pan (I used a greased non-stick!). And when I finally thought it was coming out, it just fell apart and the bottom part of the cake stayed stuck to the bottom. it was very very soft – almost eggy. Not sure what happened. Please help!! Loved the bits I ate off the pan!

  • Arundathi – I am very sorry that the recipe didn’t work out. From what you describe, it sounds as if the cake was undercooked — this would explain the softness/egginess and the difficulty to unmold. Oven often run at a different temperature than what they say, and perhaps yours runs a bit low? (An oven thermometer is very useful to check that.)

    In any case, if you’re willing to give it another try, I suggest you line your pan with parchment paper — at least the bottom –, and bake the cake a little longer. (Also, the sugar is not supposed to melt in the chocolate-butter mixture, but it should be well combined.) Best of luck with your future baking projects!

  • Thanks for the quick response, Clotilde. I’m definitely going to try it again. And will keep it in the oven longer as well as keep it in the pan longer before unmolding. I hope that will help!

  • Michele

    This is the closest recipe I have found to a beautiful French dessert that I had on vacation years ago. Each time we go to France, I am in search of a mi cui. Am I spelling that right and where can I get a true recipe?
    Thank you for this recipe, I have it in the oven as I type for company tonight. It is a favorite around here!

  • Erbian

    Thank you Clotilde so much for this recipe!
    It is super easy and cheap, and I’ve made it FIVE times by now (since I first discovered it about a month ago), last one being devoured just yesterday. Everyone adores it and wants the recipe!
    The smell of it while it bakes is magical.

  • june

    Hello, I am not too huge a fan of dakr chocolate, I was wondering if it is possible to use baking milk chocolates instead? :)

  • How does one make a chocolate cake without flour and sugar ( I dont eat carbs anymore as I am addicted to sugar and Im weaning my self off with stevia and ground almonds and coconut flour)

  • Natalia

    Hi Clotilde! Just to thank you for this recipe as it was utterly a success! I baked it for a couple of special friends and they loved it, and so did I! :-D Besides, I put some orange zest within to enhance it and some saffron sauce to accompany so it turned out to be delicious! Thank you once more and congratulations for your blog ;-) xxNat (PS: And thank you to Nathalie! ;-P)

  • Elli

    Clotilde, is it possible to substitute the sugar with agave or maple syrup? if yes, then how much to add?

  • Elli – I think a little granulated sugar is necessary to give the cake structure, but you could try substituting part of the sugar with another sweetener. I’ve never tried it so I can’t suggest measurements, but if you experiment with this idea I’d love to hear how it turned out.

  • Elli

    Hi Clotilde,
    I made the cake last night using 100gms dark brown cane sugar (the only type i had at home) and 5 tablespoons of agave syrup. the consistency seemed to be good, but i made one mistake – i baked it in a 10″ pan (springform), and it got a bit overcooked as a result!
    the taste is rich and yummy, but i lost out on the melt-in-mouth texture.
    I added a little vanilla essence as the husband does not like the eggy smell…and i was afraid that with 4 eggs, that might happen.
    i used 100 gms of Lindt 50% and 100 gms of Lindt 70% chocolate, which turned out a tad too bitter for me. but eating it with whipped cream solved that problem.
    so in a couple of weeks, i will buy 50% choco, and an 8″ baking pan and go for it again. Which chocolate do you use? I am in germany so maybe i can find the same chocolate as in france.
    last week’s Daim cake turned out divine, so i guess the new pan will do justice to your choco cake too. :-)

    viva la C&Z! :-)

  • Elli – Thank you so much for reporting back on your experiments!

    I have used various types of chocolate depending on what I have on hand, but most often it’s 70% couverture chocolate that I buy in bulk.

  • gWrD

    Hi Clotilde,

    Are the eggs beaten before adding into the mix?


  • gWrD – No need to beat the eggs before adding: you just crack and mix them one by one into the batter.

  • Elli

    I must share this!! I must share this!! i just made this cake as I was craving a choco cake…and it turned out so good! just as described. crunchy crust and melty interior. thanks Clotilde. :-)

    didnt even wait for it to cool.

    I made it smaller – 2 eggs, 100 gms of everything except sugar. 75 gm of raw cane sugar. 6″ springform pan. 20 minutes baking time. Sarotti 50% chocolate bar.

    perfect!! am enjoying it with a load of mascaprpone cheese. :-)

  • Mister Choc

    I made the cake yesterday and it was a disaster. Nothing like the way it came out the last time, nearly 2 years ago. It was almost like a set custard or set rubbery paste.I used large eggs which was probably too much. I will use 2 less eggs next time. I also cooked it too long. I ended up making another one a few minutes later. I’ve not tasted that. I took it to work.

  • Just wanted to thank you for posting such a great recipe. I made it a few days ago for my husband’s birthday and it was SOOO GOOD! I would eat it everyday if it wasn’t for the CALORIES! Thank you for posting!

  • ninu

    wow! i made this today afternoon and its nighttime now. just had a slice straight out of the fridge and OH MY GOD. im actually msgn everyone advocating this cake!!! its so fuss free and oh so intense!!!
    its like eatin soft , kinda hard , chewy, crisp chocolate butter….SUBLIME

  • This type of chocolate cake is also very popular in Italy, for variations you can add one tbsp of italian ground espresso coffee, or a pinch of chilli. Both ingredients intensify the taste of chocolate.

  • Vivian

    HI Clotilde

    It’s a WONDERFUL recipe!!!

    I’m australian, used Aust ingredients but Lindt chocolate…

    Thanks sooooo much for posting. Absolutely amazing. And only just noticed that it’s now the 7th years ago you wrote this! Classic :)

  • Ena

    This cake is wonderful! The name you gave it is so appopriate, it really melts in your mouth. The best thing about it is that it has so few ingredients and you can memorize quantities and the procedure at once and never have to read it again.:-)

  • msue

    I’m making this cake for a gathering of friends next weekend. As I have to work up until the last minute, then drive 150 miles to the gathering, I was wondering if it is possible to make the cake ahead and freeze it after it cools. There might be a slight textural change, but would there be other problems I’m not considering?

    p.s. I’m also going to make & take your grandmother’s apple cake and the maple-macadamia nut granola for breakfast. Won’t I be popular!!

  • Msue – The cake should freeze fairly well. As you mentioned, the texture won’t be quite the same (the slight crust will probably soften) but it should be fine. I’ll note that you can also make it a couple of days in advance, wrap it well and keep it at room temperature. I think it actually improves with age. I hope you have a blast at your gathering!

  • I have just baked this cake but the version in your book with raspberry. I did not realise that it’s ok to be a bit wobbly, so I baked for a few minutes extra. Now cooling down to wait to go to the fridge, am excited to see how it comes out. Hope it would still be gooey. This is so easy to make, no food processor, really great as I like fuss free recipe. Wish me luck for tmr.

  • Phoebe

    this looks amazing! too bad I’m not a dark chocolate fan ):

  • Esther


    after reading the comments posted, i noticed that people are using several DIFFERENT temperatures.

    Ref 1: 400 degrees, 25 minutes….did not even question it and it was perfect

    Ref 2: Although after 25 minutes at 200F(made sure with my oven thermometer)

    What is the correct oven temperature?? Thanks in advance.

    • The temperature is correct as written in the recipe: 180°C (350°F).

      (When I first published this post, I was baking the cake at 200°C / 400°F but later attempts showed a lower temp yielded better results, so the recipe was updated. This explains the discrepancy in the comments.)

  • lc

    hi clotilde,
    i added 1/2 cup of flour to make it less fudgy but the whole thing became very wet. would you know why?

    • Very hard to say without being in the kitchen with you, but my guess is the cake is underbaked.

      • lc

        thanks for your quick reply. it was just a little overbaked i think just going by the smell. i now think its not a good idea to add more than the 1 TBS of flour stated in the recipe because it changes the mixture.
        will try again and be faithful to the recipe.

  • MJ

    I am thinking of turning this into cupcakes.

    Can you pls suggest as to how long I should bake them?

    • In muffin/cupcake format, I would bake these for 20 minutes or so. But naturally, it depends how much batter you pour into each mold, so I recommend doing a test batch first.

  • Jenna

    I love this cake and have made it several times. I put a twist on it this time (for a scotch lovers birthday):

    bring 200 ml of scotch to a boil in a saucepan,
    add the butter and chocolate to the mixture.
    proceed as normal
    before adding the flour, add a few spices – cayenne, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon to taste… it tastes delicious and sets just a little more quickly than the original (18-20 minutes at 350)

    thanks as always Clotilde!

  • Elli

    Hi Clotilde, i used this recipe, but omitted the flour and the baking part – voila! the tastiest choco pudding I’ve ever eaten!

    • Interesting idea! Be sure to use extra extra fresh eggs, though, if you’re not going to cook it.

      • Elli

        Absolutely! I use organic eggs, so its pretty safe. Actually I’ve also been eating the eggs raw in smoothies for 4 years now, and no issues so far. :-)

  • Joan

    Yesterday I shared this recipe with a family visiting husband/father in hospital…he’s very frail…we spoke of food…I asked “Do you like chocolate”..”Oh YES!”…his daughter is making it now! This recipe is truly quite something else again…I’ve made it soooooooooo many times now I’ve lost count..twice this week..for friends..tomorrow for my father…it’s wonderful!

    • I couldn’t be happier to hear that, Joan!

  • Sharon Pamamull

    Hi, you have some of the best recipes I have ever come across and even in my hands they seem to work great!

    One question that I have had on my mind for ages is to ask about this cake and the different versions of it.

    Once ages ago I printed out a similar version with 5 eggs and 250g sugar and a 200 degree preheated oven. This is the one I always used (1000 thanks btw).

    Now I can see that you have a slightly different version, which no doubt would work and be just as yummy. But is this current one a better version, maybe better translation of the french recipe, healthier etc.? Just curious if I should change my old go to fail proof recipe now that you have done so here.

    Regards Sharon (from Australia)

    • Thanks for pointing it out, Sharon: over the years, my way of making this cake has changed a bit, so I’ve updated the recipe to reflect that. I’ve added an “edit” note in the post to explain these changes — the most important one is probably the lower amount of sugar, as I feel 200 grams is plenty. Glad to hear you’ve adopted that recipe!

  • Sharon Pamamull

    Thanks Clotlide, you are so right about the sugar. I will try your updated version next as it sounds even more chocolatey now! And I agree about the longer baking time at lower temp.

    I have also used this recipe thanks to you to make those underbaked little choc cakes that you serve warm and the inside pours out when you cut into it. To increase the melted gooey pouring out effect, you can add things to the inside before baking. eg ball of frozen ganache, frozen lindt ball etc (I know death by choc)…

    • You’re right, this is the perfect recipe for that kind of cake, too. The original “molten chocolate cake” invented by Michel Bras has a disk of frozen ganache in the middle…

  • khi

    Clotilde, I have made your chocolate chili bites so many times and always to rave reviews, causing many people in addition to me to be thankful that I stumbled upon your blog!

    I typically make the chili bites in an 8″ x 8″ pan (cutting them into miniature brownies) and reduce the amount of sugar, as you have done in this cake.

    I am wondering what the consistency of the cake is in comparison to the bites given that you use one less egg in this recipe. Should I just use the cake recipe and perhaps add chili pepper to it?

    Thank you for your fabulous recipes and your blog!

    • Happy to hear the chocolate bites are a hit with you! If you make the chocolate chili bites into one single pan, I think you’ll find the consistency of this cake is very similar, and it actually holds up pretty well in little squares.

  • Ingrid

    would a 9-in round cake pan work? or would the cake be too flat?

    • I wouldn’t recommend it: I think the cake would be too flat, as you mentioned, and it would be difficult to get the baking time right to have that nice, fudgy center. You can, however, bake the batter in muffin tins, if you have those.

  • Asma

    Hi.. Can this be made in cupcakes?…
    At what temp shoul I bake?
    Will the bittersweet choclate make it bitter?
    Can I use plain milk choclate or even nutela?
    Plz replying I wanna make this so much

    • Yes, these can be baked as cupcakes. I would keep the same temp, but shorten the baking time to 15 minutes or so. The bittersweet chocolate makes these intensely chocolaty, but not bitter. I don’t recommend using milk chocolate or nutella as the end result will be too sweet in my opinion. Happy baking!

  • Asma

    Hi .. Sorry. But I wanted to ask u.. I bought daboga cocoa powder is it good quality.?

    • sam


  • Elli

    Hi Clotilde, from my old comment I realised that I have been baking this luscious cake for 4 years now. Many thanks!
    Now coming to the reason I am writing this comment – by accident I discovered last week that if you omit the flour from the recipe and simply stick it in the freezer, it makes an awesome ice cream without the effort of beating or long freezing times. The thing does not freeze up into icy bits, but remains soft and creamy. I made it again tonight, and with a 10-minute effort in the prep, and an hour of freezing, I had the best, creamiest chocolate ice cream ready. Summer’s here and I will never need to go to a store for my icecreams! Yay! :-)
    (It does not even freeze hard after 3 days in the freezer – I have tried it.)

    • Thanks for the tip! I do that with chocolate mousse but hadn’t thought to with this cake. I’ll give it a try for sure.

  • Nina Khosla

    Has anyone tried this with coconut oil?

  • Nina Khosla

    Made it twice, one with butter, one with coconut oil. Both very good, although the coconut oil didn’t seem to emulsify with the chocolate. Have you tried freezing this cake?

    • I’ve had great success freezing this! Allow it to cool completely, wrap carefully in plastic film, and freeze. It can then thaw overnight in the fridge.

  • irma

    Chère Clotilde,
    I make these every time I want to make some of the family happy. I make muffins out of the recipe, all is great but I don’t get a crust. Is there a way to fix that ?

    • It’s supposed to be a pretty thin crust. If you want it more pronounced, try increasing the oven temp a little.

  • Elli

    Hi Clotilde, do you think one could use this cake as a base, and top it with a coconut-based white cake to make it a double layered cake? Do you think it would be an atrocity?

    • I worry that the texture of the white cake would be too different from the dense texture of this cake, and that it would be weird to eat. I would be more inclined to stack two of this one with a layer of raspberry preserve in the middle and a ganache frosting on the sides and on top. What do you think?

      • Elli

        True! How about a coconut flavoured cheesecake? I am afraid my audience is mixed and so much chocolatey goodness will not go down well with all of them. Half of them absolutely love the chocolate cake though. :-)

        Ah! the moral dilemmas!

        *Edit: or maybe I will do as my husband said and make 2 different cakes!*

  • Anita Orsino

    I need to make 2 cakes. How much should I increase the baking time?

    • I recommend you bake them one after the other. Too risky to do both, unless you know your oven super well.

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