Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

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(86 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
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  • 85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for tin
  • 85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 1 tbsp brandy



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

  • 3 eggs, 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 pears, 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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anncwm's picture
12th Jun, 2020
This is stunning Better than a regular cake made with traditional flour
mtisa's picture
23rd Feb, 2020
I used tinned pears. It worked a treat. It's delicious and easy to make. I will keep it in my favourites.
15th Dec, 2019
Just made this for a friend who is gluten & dairy intolerant. A few changes: 1 -Swop butter for 100g veggie fat. 2 - Also didn’t have ground hazelnut so use ground almonds. 3 - Used 23cm pan 4 - Up the ingredients to 100g. 5 - Beat the egg whites till stiff 6 - Added the pear (2 x tinned) and scattered some flaked almond after 10 mins in the oven 7 - Baked in the morning & warmed it up in the oven for 10-15 mins with a foil over it before serving 8 - serve with single soya cream. Enjoy!!
9th Mar, 2018
I love this recipe! Does anyone know if you can freeze it?
11th May, 2017
Second time I have made this - I love it. Superb desert for GF friends. I used raspberries this time like a previous poster - good tip, it is much better IMO. I upped the ingredients to 100g of everything not 85g given the hazelnuts and chocolate came in 100g packs and I used 22cm cake tin which was the perfect size.
22nd Jan, 2017
Definitely more of a pudding than a cake but delicious nonetheless. The roasted hazelnuts give a wonderful flavour. I think I would have whisked the egg whites till they were stiffer, despite being harder to fold in, because the mixture was a little bit too loose and stayed very moist even when cooked.
salbal's picture
11th Oct, 2016
Made this last night. Used shop bought ground almonds which worked fine. Added pears at the beginning and they didn't sink. Also used a 23cm tin rather than 25cm as in recipe which would lead to a very thin cake I think. My husband and daughter had several helpings! Will definitely be making this again.
28th Jul, 2016
Love it. Absolutely fluffy and moist. Didn't prebake the cake before putting in the pears so yes they sunk in, but I personally don't mind that so much. I can imagine it would work with any kind of fruit and different kinds of nuts.
28th Jan, 2016
Can anybody tell me please if the oven temp of 180 fan is correct? I've never seen a fan setting that's higher than the regular oven setting.
6th Feb, 2016
180 is for the regular oven, 160 is for the fan oven hth :)


Sarah Haberfield's picture
Sarah Haberfield
28th Feb, 2018
Can anyone advise which is the best dark chocolate to use for GF recipes such as this? Cadbury's Bourneville states that it's not gluten free. Thank you.
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Mar, 2018
Thank you for your question. A 70 % dark chocolate such as Green & Blacks will work well in most of our recipes unless otherwise stated.
Gemma Cockerham
11th Oct, 2017
How long does this cake keep?
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Oct, 2017
Thanks for your question. This cake will keep in an airtight tin for 2- 3 days.
10th Apr, 2017
Anyone tried this without sugar or with something natural like honey, maple or agave? Thank you
11th May, 2017
1. Sugar is 'natural'. You know it comes from plants? 2. Agave is generally touted as being good as it is a low GI, but it is high fructose which is more harmful than higher GI of sugar.
12th Nov, 2015
Can this be made a day ahead?
13th Nov, 2015
I don't see why not, as long as you warm it up slightly in the oven before serving.
22nd Dec, 2013
Is it possible to freeze this cake?
23rd Mar, 2014
My suggestions for this recipe would be: 1. Use baking powder. There's none in the recipe and my cake was only a couple of centimetres high. 2. Use brandy rather than amaretto. I used Amaretto which made it too almondy (but then I did use ground almonds rather than hazelnuts).
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