This fudgy flourless chocolate cake, featured in “Beyond Chopped Liver: 59 Jewish Recipes Get a Vegan Health Makeover” by Kenden Alfond, has Ashkenazi origins. (Read our interview with Alfond here!) Flourless chocolate cakes are dense and rich; they are usually created using eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate. Grain-free chocolate cakes are a modern favorite Jewish dessert during the holiday of Passover, during which eating any type of grain-based leavened products is prohibited.


This healthier flourless chocolate cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and insanely delicious. It is also oil-free and lower in sugar than most traditional flourless chocolate cakes. The cake is very fudgy and velvety, with a slight crunch around the edges and a deep chocolate flavor.

You can also adapt this—for a citrus note, grate the zest from a whole orange or one to two lemons into the cake batter before baking. For a decorative peanut butter swirl, drizzle two to three tablespoons of creamy peanut butter over the cake batter and swirl with a toothpick before baking.

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake_JFH_09
(Courtesy Kenden Alfond)

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes; cook time: 60 minutes; serves 8


  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 6 ounces (170g) dark 70% chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (125g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray or a dab of coconut oil.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat the second it is melted.
  3. Meanwhile, put the ground flaxseed in a large mixing bowl and add the water. Whisk to combine and set aside for a few minutes until the flax mixture thickens up.
  4. Add the applesauce, mashed banana, brown sugar and vanilla extract to the flax mixture and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture of wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  6. Add in the cocoa powder, almond flour, espresso powder and salt. Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. The mixture will be thick and slightly glossy.
  7. Pour the chocolate cake batter into a lined cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is set and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before slicing and serving.
  9. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Excerpted from “Beyond Chopped Liver: 59 Jewish Recipes Get a Vegan Health Makeover” by Kenden Alfond.