Flourless chocolate hazelnut brownie cake

Dense, fudgy and deliciously chocolatey, this gluten-free brownie cake is a treat that the whole family can enjoy! 

My approach to Pesach (Passover) baking has always been to avoid the ‘traditional’ recipes, which tend to replace flour with things like potato starch and matza meal. I find they have a unique and identifiable ‘Pesach flavour’ which I don’t enjoy at all.

Instead I like to use recipes which are just inherently kosher for Pesach. There are enough gluten-free and Paleo recipes kicking about these days that it really isn’t too hard to come up with something suitable.

Chocolate brownie cake.

Plan ahead

A couple of months ago, in an unusual fit of being organised and planning ahead, I had a go at making flourless chocolate brownies. I picked a highly-rated recipe off the internet, and made it pretty much as written.

It was a disaster. So horrible in fact, that I went back and checked the ingredients list to make sure I hadn’t misread something. 

Chocolate brownie cake.

Too much butter

The main problem was that it had just too much butter. Way too much. When I took the brownies out of the oven, molten butter was bubbling up at the sides of the tin. After it had cooled, most of the butter had absorbed back into the brownies, giving a claggy texture and greasy mouthfeel. Yuk.

Great flavour

However, the flavour of the flourless chocolate brownies – darkly chocolately, slightly nutty and not too sweet, was great, so rather than abandon the recipe altogether, I tweaked and adjusted and gave it another go. My tweaked version was a huge improvement on the original, contains only about half the butter, and is frankly delicious. 

Dense, fudgy, deliciously chocolatey and pleasantly nutty. I added a handful of chocolate covered cranberries to this brownie cake, just because I had some, and they were fabulous! A sweet, fruity nugget in every other bite makes it even yummier. I also sprinkled the top of the brownie cake with flaked almonds, which look lovely and serve to advertise the nuttiness within.

Chocolate brownie cake.

Brownie vs Cake?

What exactly is the different between a brownie and a cake? Isn’t a brownie just a particular kind of cake? In any case I’ve called this a ‘brownie cake’ because I’ve served it in slices, like cake, rather than squares, like a classic brownie. 

I’ll definitely be adding this brownie cake to my list of Pesach-friendly baking recipes! 

Is it a brownie or a cake?! Dense, fudgy and deliciously chocolatey, this gluten-free brownie cake is a treat that the whole family can enjoy! 

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Flourless chocolate hazelnut brownie cake

Course Cake, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10
Author Helen


  • 200 g dark chocolate (8oz or approx 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips)
  • 100 g butter (scant 1/2 cup)
  • 100 g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 75 g ground almonds (2/3 cup)
  • 75 g ground hazelnuts (2/3 cup)
  • 75 g chocolate coated cranberries (optional, or use chocolate raisins or 25g chocolate chips) (approx. 1/3 cup)
  • flaked almonds to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Line a 22cm (8 1/2 inch) round springform tin with baking parchment.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together over a low heat. When fully melted, beat in the sugar and vanilla and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. While beating, gradually pour on the melted chocolate mixture. The mixture will thicken and turn glossy. Once all the chocolate is added, beat well.
  • Stir in the ground nuts and mix well to combine. Finally, stir in the chocolate cranberries, if using.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake at 170C (340F) for 25-30 minutes, until the centre is just cooked.
  • Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.


346 calories 26g fat 6g protein 25g carbs

If you’re after more Pesach bakes, check out this list of the best, family-approved Pesach treats, desserts, bakes and cakes. 



  1. plasterer bristol

    These are so delcious, they turned out perfect when i made them. Thanks so much for sharing.


  2. Yes! I was particularly disappointed as the original (horrible) recipe was by a very well-known celebrity cook. Feel very smug that my version is better 🙂

  3. Thank goodness you had the foresight to try the recipe in advance! As you say this would be a good cake for all year round. Thanks for linking up with this month’s Love Cake.

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