| November 13, 2012

Almost no dessert is as rich and decadent as a flourless chocolate cake, and this traditional Italian variation doesn't disappoint.

Widely enjoyed throughout the Campania region, Caprese-style chocolate cake (or "torta Caprese") gets its sophisticated flavors from the addition of toasted almond meal and lemon zest.

Our "torta Caprese" recipe below comes courtesy of celebrity chef and Campania native Serena Palumbo, who recently appeared at the 15th annual New York Chocolate Show to share her passion for Mediterranean-style desserts. And, as she pointed out, her recipe is not only delicious, but it's the perfect gluten-free treat for those who may suffer from celiac disease.

Try Palumbo's recipe at your next holiday gathering or dinner party, and don't forget to enjoy your slice with a dusting of powdered sugar and a shot of espresso.

Caprese-Style Flourless Chocolate Cake

Cooking Method: 
Prep Time: 
15 minutes
Cook Time: 
45 minutes
Total Time: 
1 hour


  • 11 ounces almond meal
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread it with the almond meal. Lightly toast the almond meal in the preheating oven, then remove and let cool.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until the mixture is perfectly combined.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (in 30 second increments) until it is completely smooth. Let the chocolate cool until it reaches room temperature, and fold it into the butter and egg mixture.
  4. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt, followed by the toasted almond meal.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the lemon juice until they reach soft peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture, a third at a time.
  6. Line a round cake pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely before cutting. Serve with whipped cream or powdered sugar, if desired.