Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake and Passover Memories

My Aunt Rose knew how to create memorable Passover seders. Her table was beautifully set with her best china, linens, and crystal glasses. She cooked for a week making an extensive menu featuring her signature brisket and potato latke muffins. In fact, my aunt Rose was a colorful character herself. She dressed in bright colors and leopard prints. Her sentences were peppered with sarcasm and words in her native language, Yiddish. When I saw her, I always knew I would get a big hug and a satisfying meal. Passover seder at Rose’s house was extra special with a lively, warm atmosphere and scrumptious food.

Now generations have come and gone in my family, and it’s my turn to carry on the tradition and host Passover. I want my kids to have special memories of Passover like I do. Here’s my Passover table at my house:20120328-215438.jpgI like to set the table with family heirlooms to remind me of all the special women in my family who have hosted before me. As I prepare favorite family recipes, I feel connected to my mother, grandma and aunts– all amazing home cooks. I still make many of Aunt Rose’s Passover recipes such as haroset, brisket, and potato latke muffins. It just wouldn’t be Passover without those exact flavors. I hope I have done my Aunt Rose proud.

This year I have an outstanding edition to our usual Passover menu– Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake. This chocolate cake recipe is the best cake I have ever made. It’s flourless, so it’s perfect for Passover. But don’t just serve it once a year. This cake is an impressive finish to any dinner party. What’s amazing about this cake is the texture. My friend Jody called it “Nutella cloud fluff.” The cake has a surprisingly light and smooth texture that I just want to savor. My family is going to flip when they taste it.

Passover tip: Nutella is made with soy lecithin. If that’s not something you eat during Passover, you can substitute with another chocolate or chocolate hazelnut spread like Hashahar H’aole Special Cocoa Spread (parve and kosher for Passover). I found it at a local kosher market. Many online kosher markets carry it as well.

I came upon this recipe for Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake on the blog Ms Adventures in Italy. The original recipe lists the ingredients by weight in grams and requires a food scale. I have adapted the recipe so it can be made by volume with cups and teaspoons. Also, I added sea salt as a foil to the sweetness and added hazelnut liqueur to accentuate the hazelnut flavor.

Make the cake in 3 stages:



This Passover recipe post is part of a “Cyber-Seder.” Five other food bloggers and I joined together to do what we love to do– share recipes and our personal memories of Passover. We hope you enjoy reading about our diverse backgrounds, which are reflected in our recipes. To join our “Cyber-Seder” and see more Passover recipes, click on the links at the bottom of the post.

Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • Cocoa powder and butter to grease the pan
  • 6 large eggs (to be separated)
  • 3-1/2 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped (3-1/2 squares of Baker's Chocolate or 2 scored sections of a Scharffen Berger chocolate baking bar)
  • 1-3/4 sticks of butter (14 tablespoons), cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup scant Nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or coffee granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur (or substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • Powdered sugar to decorate the top
  1. This recipe uses 3 bowls that will be combined at the end. Bowl 1 is for chocolate and needs to be microwaveable. Bowl 2 is for egg yolks and needs to be the largest bowl. Bowl 3 is for egg whites and goes with the mixer. The first step is to separate the eggs into their respective bowls. Eggs separate more easily when cold. Then set eggs aside because egg whites gain more volume when beaten at room temperature.
  2. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper or grease the pan with butter and lightly dust with cocoa powder to prevent sticking. Place the oven rack on the second level from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (175C). If using convection oven, lower the temperature by about 12 degrees F.
  3. The chocolate bowl: melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave at 50% power. Stir after every 30-60 seconds until smooth. Do not overcook. Alternatively, the chocolate mixture can be melted in a double boiler over the stove, but it will take longer. Remove chocolate bowl to the counter. While still warm, stir in the Nutella, espresso, liqueur, and salt. Mix with a whisk until fully incorporated. The Nutella will completely melt.
  4. The yolk bowl: whisk the yolks and sugar together until well combined. Then add the chocolate mixture into the yolk bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  5. The egg whites bowl: beat the egg whites in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until peaks form. The peaks should be between soft and stiff, but not dry.
  6. Add the beaten egg whites to the chocolate/yolk mixture. Gently fold together with a large rubber spatula. Use as few strokes as necessary to fully incorporate. If a few stubborn clumps of egg whites remain, whisk the batter a few quick times to finish the incorporation.
  7. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. If your springform leaks, place a piece of aluminum foil under the pan in the oven for the first 5 minutes of baking, then remove. The cake will puff near the top of pan at the end of baking. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Jiggle the pan slightly-- if the center sways more than the rest of the cake, it is not ready. The cake should not be completely solid when finished.
  8. As the cake cools, it will crack on the surface and deflate substantially. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar for decoration.

Cyber Seder Recipe Links:
Nancy Rose Eisman from Adventures with Nancy Rose – Cyber Seder and Moroccan Fava Bean and Potato Soup
Rachel Kaganoff Stern from Inside the Kaganoff Kitchen — Matzo Strata With Tomatoes and Zucchini
Deena Wachtel from Stay at Home Foodie – Roasted Spring Vegetables
Susan Licht Salzman from The Urban Baker – Claire’s Brisket
Jillena Hernandes from Eat Well Live Free – Passover Sweet Potato Latkes, Apple Butter and Charoset

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23 Responses to Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake and Passover Memories

  1. Chris March 27, 2018 at 11:22 AM #

    I’ve been making the first Seder for about 30 years now. I’ve made many flourless chocolate cakes, but for the first time – this year I’ll be using your recipe for Flourless Chocolate Nutella cake. I really appreciate the help found I. your first paragraph about using 3 separate bowls and what goes in which bowl. This is the kind of recipe I LOVE to make. I’ll get back to you with commentary on the finished product (I hope to even get a taste of it myself!). Thank you.
    Gutt Yom Tov

    • Dana March 27, 2018 at 5:06 PM #

      I think it’s fun to add something new to the lineup. It keeps things interesting. Make sure you cut a piece for yourself. Enjoy.

  2. Diana September 24, 2017 at 5:56 PM #

    Favorite cake in my house!

    • Dana October 1, 2017 at 4:26 PM #

      So glad to hear. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Melissa Bunis April 9, 2017 at 5:48 AM #

    can you make the cake a few days in advance?

    • Dana April 9, 2017 at 7:44 AM #

      You can make the cake 1 day before and once cooled, store on the counter in a cake holder or wrapped well with tented foil plus plastic wrap. Take care as the top is a little bit delicate.

  4. Rin October 5, 2012 at 5:23 AM #

    Hi! I just made this cake for a co-worker’s birthday (she can’t eat wheat) and it was a big hit. Genius that I am, I did not have a springform pan, so I used 2 8-inch cake pans which produced two thin layers that I spread a little bit of nutella in between. It still turned out great and I had lots of requests for the recipe, so thank you!

    • FoodieGoesHealthy October 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM #

      I’m glad the recipe was such a success for you. Thank you for sharing that the recipe also works in cake pans– good to know.

  5. Chocolate Wine April 14, 2012 at 9:51 PM #

    Yummy…..! love that cake looking to try it out.

    • FoodieGoesHealthy April 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM #

      Hope you like it. Several of my friends made this cake too and got raves.

  6. Susan April 1, 2012 at 5:17 AM #

    I’m in agreement with all the previous comments, Nutella makes for a very good day!! Now, please forgive me if this is a rude question, but, what are those beautiful plates you have on your table? I’m green with envy!

    • FoodieGoesHealthy April 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM #

      Susan, the spring flower china plates are a discontinued pattern by Royal Worchester. I’m in love with antique china too.

  7. Deena@StayatHomeFOODIE March 29, 2012 at 7:43 PM #

    I’m with Susan … anything with nutella is DELISH!

    • FoodieGoesHealthy March 30, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

      Deena and Susan- thanks for stopping by. You are so right– Nutella is good with everything. I’m going to try it on matzo this year.

  8. Kim B March 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM #

    This recipe sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it. We are thinking of doing a Seder at my friend Michelle’s house for all the friends we have who have never experienced one. I will definitely want to bring this!

    (BTW, how is Jody???)

    • FoodieGoesHealthy March 30, 2012 at 7:39 PM #

      Hi Kim- I think this recipe is perfect for you since you are into baking. Let me know how your Seder turns out if you have it. PS- the Jody in the story is a mom at my kid’s school. The Jodi you know is well; I recently had lunch with her. I’ll tell her you asked about her. She’s the same, only decade(s) older.

      • Kimberley Diamond Burkovich April 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM #

        Thanks! I am pulling the recipe now for Friday’s Seder. Also making the chicken stock for matzoh ball soup. My grandmother would be proud.

      • FoodieGoesHealthy April 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM #

        Kim, Yum! Hope you enjoy your seder and cooking for it.

  9. danna March 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM #

    Everything looks great. i can’t wait to try some new recipes!

    • FoodieGoesHealthy March 30, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

      Danna, thanks for checking out the recipes. Let me know when you are ready for a guest post.

  10. susan March 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM #

    wow – cake + nutella = yum yum!!


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