You only need 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to bake this magical chocolate cake

You only need 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to bake this magical chocolate cake

Please do not make any decisions to renounce the chocolate and butter variant because I am changing your life.

The mellow chocolate cake is one of the greatest achievements in the field of baking magic ever invented. It’s a smart little showstopper, the kind of thing that makes people say, “It’s so rich, I can only get one teensy record,” but you’re like, “I want to be the judge over that, thank you.” It is the perfect dessert to chase away the winter bubble, a cake that feels festive when the weather says otherwise.

There are as many varieties of flour-free chocolate cake recipes out there as there are brownie recipes and you will be hard pressed to go wrong with any of them. I discovered mine several years ago. (For the sake of good order, my colleague Ashlie Stevens’ gingerbread cloud version will knock you out.)

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I had ruthlessly offered to host a friend’s bridal show before I remembered that her mother was Ina Garten in her social set, a woman famous for her amazing parties and amazing food. I fussed and resented the entire menu, but this recipe from London’s River Café would somehow not stop calling my name. A streamlined version of the restaurant’s famous chocolate “nemesis” cake, it seemed like it would be either very good or very strange.

I can ‘t tell you a single other thing I did for that party, though the bride’s mother became a lifelong friend that day. It was definitely the cake.

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I’ve made this recipe for repetition over the years, and it has never failed me – not even once. This cake is a platonic ideal for a chocolate lover – soft and intense, but not too sweet. From the bridal shower to New Year’s Eve, it’s perfect for celebrating with an intimate group of friends – and it goes exceptionally well with a glass of champagne.

A word of warning: this is a very simple recipe, but it is also very ingredient and technology specific. There are only 3 ingredients, so choose the butter, chocolate and eggs you really love.

Yes, one really has to whip the eggs for 5 minutes; you really need a bain-marie; and you really need to cover it in foil and then remove the foil. See, this recipe is so good that if it encouraged you to dance a little, I would strongly advise you to do so. This one is absolute worth it.


Recipe: 15-minute chocolate cake

Inspired by “Italian Easy: Recipes from London’s River Cafe”

Dividends: 12 servings (or maybe 8, no judgment)
Baking time: 15 minutes


  • 1 pound of chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, broken up into pieces (I like Lindt.)
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter (I love Kerrygold.)
  • 6 eggs, organic if possible


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 ° F.
  2. Grease a 10-inch springform pan generously and line the bottom with parchment paper. (No springform? You can do this in a cake tin of the same size, but it will be harder to release.)
  3. Put a medium-sized pot of water to simmer. You will whip your eggs in a bowl over this water, then fill it about halfway.
  4. In a large enough microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave at 15 second intervals until completely melted. (You can make the melt over a simmering bowl of water if you are inclined to; but I have never done that, and I will not ask you to try.)
  5. Break all the eggs into a bowl large enough to fit over the pan of water. Put the pan over the water and beat the eggs until they just start to thicken, about 1 minute or so.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the eggs for another 4-5 minutes until very light and frothy.
  7. Meanwhile, pour your hot water into a frying pan.
  8. Fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture to combine, then fold in the rest.
  9. Pour the dough into your springform pan, then cover with a lightly buttered sheet of foil.
  10. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
  11. Take everything out of the oven. The cake should be slightly twisted in the middle. Take it out of the frying pan and let it cool completely.
  12. Remove the mold and sprinkle with pastry sugar, or serve with whipped cream and fruit.

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