This Torta Caprese (flourless chocolate almond cake) is different than most recipes: it does not require whipped egg whites. The texture is rich and fudgy, with a soft, pudding-like center. And because it’s made with ground almonds (no flour), it’s naturally gluten free!
If you’re looking for a simple yet elegant, easy-to-make, classic Italian cake recipe that everyone will love, I have two words for you: Torta Caprese.
I’ve been making this Torta Caprese recipe for years. Recommended by my friend Adri Barr Crocetti (excellent cook and trusted source on all things Italian), I’ve never made a single change to the original recipe, which is saying a lot. Not. One. Single. Change. The taste and texture is just perfect: it’s fudgy, decadent, and packed with a double dose of intense chocolate flavor. Perhaps, it’s the almond extract too? I’d honestly wear it as perfume…
What is Torta Caprese?
Hailing from the Island of Capri, Torta Caprese is a rich, flourless Italian chocolate cake made with ground almonds. Because it does not contain wheat flour, it’s naturally gluten free. What’s interesting is there’s no baking powder or baking soda; the eggs naturally “lift” the cake.
While most Torta Caprese recipes include whipped egg whites to gently lighten the texture (a common technique found in most torte recipes), you can skip this step. The result is more dense and fudgy, with a curious pudding-like center.
Why This Recipe Works
- Cocoa powder gently binds the batter adding richness and flavor. I like Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder. This is a key ingredient.
- The batter is baked in a high sided 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan as opposed to a regular cake pan, to encourage height (something most tortes lack).
- Almond extract deepens the flavor making it wildly addictive. Do not omit. Permission granted to lick the spoon.
You Will Need: Ingredients & Equipment
- Dark Chocolate (60% or 72%- it’s up to you)
- Fine sea salt
- Cocoa Powder
- Almond Extract
- Almonds (skinless)
- Springform Pan
- Food Processor (see tips below)
Torta Caprese Tips
- No food processor? No problem. Swap the whole almonds for almond flour, using the same amount by weight, not measuring cups- it’s not an even substitution. The texture will change slightly because almond flour is more fine.
- Make it ahead. The texture of Torta Caprese improves with time. I usually make it in the morning, cool at room temperature all day, and then serve after dinner. This is an excellent birthday cake, fyi. Can you freeze Torta Caprese? I’d only do so to preserve personal leftovers (not necessarily to make ahead).
- Thoughts on dark chocolate. Dark chocolate ranges in intensity. Generally speaking, the higher the %, the stronger and less sweet the chocolate will taste. What you choose for this recipe is up to you. I recommend Trader Joe’s Belgian Dark Chocolate or Ghirardelli brand.
More Italian Desserts To Try!
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This Torta Caprese (flourless chocolate almond cake) is different than most recipes: it does not require whipped egg whites. It’s rich, fudgy and naturally gluten free! You can make this cake several hours in advance- it gets better as it sits. Recipe adapted from Food Lovers Odyssey.
- 255 g (9 oz) dark chocolate, 60-72%, chopped into pieces
- 225 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pats, plus more for coating
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 25 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 250 g (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 180 g (1 1/2 cups) blanched slivered almonds
- 6 large eggs (about 320 g cracked weight)
- Powdered sugar, whipped cream or both, to serve
Tips, Notes & Substitutions:
- You will need a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan.
- I recommend Trader Joe’s Belgian Dark Chocolate or Ghiardelli brand.
- You can swap 180 g whole almonds, for 180 g almond flour (don’t go by measuring cup amounts- it’s not an even swap). The texture will change slightly because almond flour is more fine.
- Preheat your oven to 310 F (155 C).
- Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with butter; line with a circle of parchment paper.
- Melt the chopped chocolate, butter, and salt in a double boiler, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the almonds until light golden brown. Pulse in a food processor until fine and sandy.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment: mix the melted chocolate mixture, cocoa powder, sugar and almond extract until combined. Add the ground almonds; whisk to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Give is a light tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake on the center rack for about 50 minutes. When finished, the texture will be very moist in the center and more cooked or dense on the outside. Do not over bake. Cool for at least 2-3 hours or more before serving- the longer it sits the better the taste and texture will become. Note: as the cake cools, the center might sink slightly- this is normal.
- To serve, run a knife around the cake to loosen it from the sides. Remove the cake from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into slices, plate up and enjoy!
Keywords: Torta Caprese, Italian cake recipe, classic, authentic, chocolate cake, flourless chocolate cake, almonds, gluten free