Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake for Dorm Bakers

Had I planned for the exorbitant temperatures plaguing our humble corner of Ohio right now, perhaps I would have chosen a recipe that doesn’t require any heat at all — such as gazpacho or a no-bake cheesecake — but, unfortunately, this recipe gets quite hot. 

I’ll admit it: I’ve adapted this cake recipe from the King Arthur Baking Company Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe — what a flour company is doing with a flourless recipe, I have no idea. My version tones down the original’s sweetness, but beware: this cake is not for the faint of heart. Prepare for an onslaught of chocolate. 

I preheat the crusty oven in my communal dorm kitchen to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, propping the door open and trying to crack all the windows — yes, even the screenless ones — but to no avail. I resolve to march on. Ironically, there is a silver lining to the lack of air conditioning in the kitchen of Burton Hall — the butter used to line the tin softens almost immediately. Grease a cake tin with your sweating butter and cut parchment paper to fit. When the paper is placed into the pan, smooth it down with some more butter. 

Dump the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl and microwave it until they melt into one gloppy conglomerate (if you’re afraid of radiation, leaving the mixture out to liquefy in the heat is an option). Transfer this butter-chocolate concoction to a mixing bowl, and then add the sugar,, vanilla, salt, and coffee grounds or espresso powder (the black coffee grounds from DeCafé worked surprisingly well). Next come the eggs, yet another novel DeCafé convenience. Mix them up and add the cocoa powder, continuing to stir until just combined. Pour the whole deal into your slicked-down pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick can emerge as clean as it went in. Take the cake out and let it cool for five minutes. I like to take my cakes back to my dorm room for this interval, not only so I can submerge it (and myself) in the sweet relief of my army of fans, but also to discourage the sticky fingers of people on my floor. If the edges are stuck, run a knife around them, then turn it onto a serving plate. At this point you will probably freak out and wonder why the cake looks like it’s caving in. Relax. This is supposed to happen. Quiet your bloodlust for the dorm-baked goodie and let it cool completely before putting anything on top of it. 

You could just stop here. You’ve already created a masterpiece. If you’re fancy, sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa powder on top (beware mouth-breathers, those fine little particles will stick like glue in your lungs). If you’re in for decadence, a super simple glaze doubles the cake’s richness and gives it a cool breath of moisture. All you need to do is combine chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl and heat it in the microwave for one minute and 10 seconds, depending on the microwave. Next, stir it and let it sit for five minutes, then stir again until it’s melted. Once the cake is cooled, pour the glaze on top and allow it to set for a few hours. At this point in the recipe, you may be on the path of a chocolate overdose — some whipped cream can serve as a valuable antidote. Though homemade whipped cream always reigns supreme, forgive yourself if you’re strapped for time and concede to buying some at the Oberlin IGA Foodliner. Dollop that sweet nostalgic Cool Whip on top of each individual slice, add a slew of raspberries for some brightness, and voila! You (and your floor, if you’re feeling generous) are ready to dig into your sumptuous, gluten-free, seasonally-inappropriate dessert.


  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate 
  • ⅓ cup bittersweet chocolate 
  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for lining 
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 1-2 tsps espresso powder or strong coffee 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ cup cocoa powder 


  • Glaze: 
  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate 
  • ⅓ cup bittersweet chocolate 
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream 
  • Raspberries 

1 cup heavy whipping cream