A Chocolate Souffle Cake topped with a sweet cloud of whipped cream and chocolate shavings makes an unforgettable dessert.

This rich Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake is ideal for chocolate lovers. With its crackled top and fudgy center, it’s always a hit!

Left side of a Chocolate souffle cake on a white cake stand.

Why You Must Make

  • It’s a gluten-free chocolate cake that nobody will know is gluten-free!
  • Though the crackled surface may give you pause, the rich fudgy center will have you swooning.
  • It can be topped with a cloud of simple sweetened whipped cream, any sliced fruit or berries, or chocolate curls and shavings!

Hold off on topping your souffle cake till right before your event. I knew I’d bring leftovers home so I added a packet of Whip-It, a whip cream stabilizer, to prevent the cream from separating. The berries deteriorated more quickly than I had hoped, so if you won’t eat this all in one sitting, I’d recommend serving wedges of unadorned cake along with cream and berries to garnish.

Labeled ingredients on a metal sheet pan.

Ingredient Notes

  • Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate – Use a good quality. Scharffen Berger brand is a splurge, but Ghirardelli bars are a nice grocery store brand.
  • Butter – Salted butter is fine as salt enhances the flavor of desserts, and there’s no added salt in this recipe.
  • Eggs – Large eggs, at room temperature (but separate the 4 eggs while cold as the yolks are less likely to break)
  • Sugar – White granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla – Look for “real” on the label. Never use artificially flavored vanilla.
  • Heavy Cream – Should be 36% butterfat
  • Powdered Sugar – Always sift to avoid lumps in your whipped cream

Book Club 2015 photo

Expert Tips

  • Use either Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate depending on the intensity of chocolate flavor you prefer.
  • PRO-Tip: Separate your eggs while they are cold. The yolk is less likely to break.
  • PRO-Tip: Once you have separated the eggs at room temperature. They will perform better in the recipe.
  • PRO-Tip: Adding alcohol will enhance the flavor of the cake. It is completely optional.
  • The cake is meant to rise, crack and collapse so be prepared.
  • The indentation in the top of the cake created by the collapse is the perfect spot for a mound of luscious whipped cream. 
  • Hold off on topping your souffle cake till right before your event. I knew I’d bring leftovers home so I added a packet of (affiliate link) Whip-It, a whip cream stabilizer, to prevent the cream from separating.
  • Cornstarch in powdered sugar also helps stabilize whipped cream.
  • The whipped cream can be sprinkled with sweet berries, chocolate curls, chocolate shards, or a simple dusting of cocoa powder.
Chocolate souffle cake on a white ceramic cake stand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cloud Cake?

There’s no definitive answer, but most likely, this cake and others like it are called cloud cakes due to their billowy white whipped cream toppings, which look very cloud-like. There is no official definition of a cloud cake in my culinary dictionary.

What if I don’t have a Springform Pan?

A springform pan enables the sides of the pan to be removed so the cake can be moved to a serving dish or at least sliced and dished out more easily than if using a standard cake pan. You can definitely use a cake pan, but it will be more difficult to cut and serve nice wedges of cake.

Why Don’t You Grease the Pan?

In this particular recipe, the ungreased sides help the cake cling to the pan which assists the rising process.

Why Do You Use Room Temperature Eggs?

There are two reasons to use room-temperature eggs. First, eggs will incorporate into the batter more easily if not chilled. And room temperature egg whites whip much better when not cold.
Note that eggs separate best when cold as the yolk is less likely to break.

What’s the Best Way to Melt Chocolate?

There are two good options. I prefer using the microwave, but make sure to do it in short spurts, stirring each time you reset the time. When there are just a few small unmelted pieces of chocolate left, let the residual heat of the chocolate finish the job.
You can also use a double boiler, which is a two-pan device where the top pan nests over a pan of simmering water. Place chopped chocolate in the top pan, watch carefully, and stir occasionally until smooth.

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Chocolate souffle cake on a white ceramic cake stand.

Chocolate Souffle Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 12 servings

A flourless chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Adapted from Richard Sax

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Toppings:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries, peaches, whole raspberries or a generous amount of chocolate shavings
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form with parchment. Do not grease the pan or the parchment.
  2. Gently melt the chopped chocolate with the butter in the microwave.
  3. Separate 4 of the eggs.
  4. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the sugar followed by the 2 whole eggs and the four egg yolks. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, beat egg whites till foamy. Gradually add the other 1/2 cup sugar and beat on high until the whites become firm but not stiff.
  6. Stir about a quarter of the whites into the chocolate to lighten, then fold in the rest of the whites.
  7. Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake until the cake is puffy and the center is firm, about 35-40 minutes.
  9. Cool on rack. Note that the center will sink as it cools.
  10. Before serving, if you're topping with fruit, gently toss it with a little sugar and set it aside.
  11. Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla till soft peaks form. Fill the center of the cake with whipped cream and any toppings.
  12. Carefully run a knife around the perimeter of the cake to loosen, then remove the sides of the pan to serve.

Notes

Cooling time not included in total time.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.

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26 Years of Book Club

My book club starts its 27th year in September. My youngest was a chubby 3-year-old toddler when I walked next door to my first meeting.  Many who gathered were already friends, but the rest of the gang became dear to me as well.

We’ve been through the deaths of parents, births of grandchildren, divorces, cancer, and more. We don’t meet in the summer except for the highly anticipated pitch-in dinner. This chocolate souffle cake was my contribution. For those of you who love to read, here is our comprehensive book list with ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, with higher rank given to those books that elicited wonderful discussion, that we would recommend to friends and other book clubs, and that we personally enjoyed. I’ve only given a handful of books a perfect 10.

This chocolate souffle cake is perfect for gatherings with your dearest friends, family, on holidays or any special occasion!