Flourless Pecan Chocolate-Fudge Cake

This Flourless Pecan-Fudge Cake is velvety and smooth, with an intense, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate flavor and a wonderful crunch from toasted pecans. Rich and fudgy, this cake can be made ahead for Passover—or any time you need a dessert to impress.

The toasted, chopped pecans around the border of the glazed cake provides a little crunch that breaks up the smooth, soft texture of the cake. The lack of flour amplifies the flavor of the chocolate—in addition to keeping the texture moist and delicate. Adding a small amount of coffee to the cake also draws out and intensifies the chocolate flavor. Melting your chocolate in the microwave (rather than over a double-boiler) keeps this cake prep simple. Keep it gluten free and prevent white spots by dusting the pan with cocoa powder.

Be careful not to overbake your cake—it will set up when chilled. For the smoothest top, pour the warm glaze over the chilled cake and gently spread it with a spatula. The pecans will stick to the cake as the glaze hardens from the temperature of the chilled cake as the glaze cools down rather quickly.

Cover leftovers, and refrigerate up to 3 days (let chilled cake stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving).


Cake Serves 12. 3 hours active prep and bake time plus 8 hours to chill.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, sliced, divided, plus more for pan (or kosher-for-Passover margarine)

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting pan

  • 8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped (2 [4-oz.] bars)

  • 10 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped and divided (2 ½ [4-oz.] bars)

  • 5 large eggs

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

  • 4 teaspoons light corn syrup or honey

  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans


  • Step 1
    Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line bottom with parchment paper; grease with butter. Dust paper with cocoa. Microwave bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces of the semisweet chocolate, and ¾ cup of the butter in a microwavable bowl on MEDIUM (50% power) until melted and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after 1 minute and then every 30 seconds. Cool 15 minutes.

  • Step 2
    Beat eggs, sugar, coffee, salt, and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla with a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium-high speed, until mixture is very foamy, pale in color, and doubled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add melted chocolate mixture. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until well blended, about 30 seconds. Sift cocoa over mixture; beat on medium-low speed just until blended, 20 to 30 seconds.

  • Step 3
    Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted in center of cake registers 140°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes.

  • Step 4
    Gently push edges of cake down with your fingertips until top is even. Run a knife around edges of cake; invert onto a wire rack. Remove pan and parchment paper. Cool 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours or up to overnight.

  • Step 5
    Microwave corn syrup and remaining 6 ounces semisweet chocolate and ¼ cup butter in a microwavable bowl on MEDIUM until melted, 1 to 1 ½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla.

  • Step 6
    Place wire rack with cake over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake, and spread over top and sides. Press chopped toasted pecans along sides. Chill cake 20 minutes before serving.

Original Recipe from Southern Living The South's Best (April 2021)