Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(62 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins

More effort

Serves 8
A light, but luscious cake made with hazelnuts - serve a slice for dessert with a dollop of crème fraîche

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal334
  • fat23g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs28g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre0g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.28g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for tin
  • 85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 tbsp brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 3 egg, separated



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 85g hazelnut, toasted and ground in a food processor



    Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

  • 4 very ripe pear, peeled, halved and cored



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.

  3. In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (93)

zoegreenall's picture

Made this for my nephew who is gluten free and was surprised how light it turned out. I was really careful when folding the egg whites but it looked really flat when I took it out of the tin.

I made two smaller ones which probably made it look even less like a cake but it tasted great and looked nice once the icing sugar was added.

Would definately cook again!

srenabp's picture

Love the delicate mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts! Unfortunately the cake fell into pieces when I wanted to cut a slice, but I enjoyed eating it like that nevertheless.

salvia's picture

Hope this can be made with Pure sunflower spread instead of butter as I have wheat and dairy intolerances. Do like hazlenuts, but do almonds work as well.

donnasimon's picture

Absoute must this cake is so easy and tasty.. served with ice cream you and/or your guests will be very impressed!!

nerysflynn's picture

how do you stop the pears sinking???!!!!! hehe XD

paradisehouse's picture

I haven't made this yet, but thinking about the lovely g/free Lemon Drizzle Cake here (made with mashed potato) I wonder if, for nut allergies, it would work by substituting polenta for the hazelnuts. I use polenta instead of ground almonds in aforementioned Lemon Drizzle and it works very well.

chaton's picture

Sorry forgot to rate this!!

chaton's picture

I have made this lots of times now and it's yummy!!! I have used whiskey instead of brandy and almonds instead of hazelnuts. Works very well with tinned pears too. I do have a problem with the pears sinking but I'm sure it's because my tin is not the exact size.

mangion's picture

Hi Barney, I would like to try this for Christmas lunch. I would like to prepare it the day before! would it still be nice and moist or would it become too moist? Do you recommend to wrap it in foil for freshness? Many thanks

jomiftab's picture

hi, is there anything i could use to substitute the brandy pls? perhaps orange juice? tnx. jojo

lauraksmithers's picture


I want to make this as a birthday cake. Would it be possible to leave off the pears and decorate with chocolate cream and icing etc. I saw Lina's comment and was going to try that! Do you think it would works?


mmmmmmmmmmlekker's picture

I made this in small ramequins and they turned out great!!
It's one of my favorite desserts and so easy to make and so light and incredibly tasty!! A big time favourite in my house!

misslinaoh's picture

Superb cake, an absolute staple in my collection of receipies. Also works really well if you leave out the pears (I adjust the quantaties by an extra 1/3) and make up some rasberry coulis to drizzle over...

sieske's picture

I tried this recipe and it was really yummy!! I made little ones instead of one big one and everyone liked it very much. I'll make this one for a friend as a thank you-gift.

hayfaa's picture

very nice indeed! :-) a magic cake without flour!

sieske's picture

I loved this! I made four little ones instead of one big cake and it worked beautifully. But I have to admit I ate all of them (they were so good and yummy and lovely and ..and..), not at once ofcourse, and I made new ones for dessert.

drbeccles's picture

re: sinking pears - I forgot to put the pears on and added them 10 mins after the cake mix had gone in the oven. No danger of them sinking if you add them a little after?

drbeccles's picture

I made this yesterday and it was fantastic - I used a few more grams of chocolate than the recipe suggested, used hazelnuts and it was very moist, rich tasting and great. A different texture to your average sponge cakes and definitely will be making this again. I'm thinking of alternative toppings (the pears were delicious too) but thinking raspberries and choc fudge sauce for a really indulgent day.
Thank you for this recipe it's brilliant.

stefania's picture

An absolute winner! chocolately and moist, however the pears sunk and i lost the whole effect.


Questions (3)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (1)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…