An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

The easiest chocolate cake you'll ever make. And it's always a huge hit. It's the sort of easy dessert perfect for summer, and entertaining, because you don't need to heat your oven.

An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

I suspect this will be the easiest chocolate cake you'll ever make. And it's always a huge hit. It's the sort of easy dessert that is perfect for summer (and entertaining!) because you don't need to heat your oven. I think of it as a no bake chocolate cake, you wouldn't be far off calling it a slice-able truffle. Or, imagine an espresso-spiked, velvety, chocolate mousse you were able to cut into beautiful wedges. Sounds incredible, right? If you have ten minutes,  some dark chocolate, cream, and something to infuse the cream with, you're in business. I also have some non-dairy variations as well.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

When this Sort of Chocolate Cake is Perfect

This is the sort of thing I'll throw together if we're having friends over for dinner and I run out of steam on the dessert front. It's less trouble to make than it is to go out and buy something. A small slice really goes the distance. It's intense, it's hardcore chocolate. Paired with a touch of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream) it's a total crowd-pleaser. I infused the cream used in the cake with espresso adn allspice in this version, but you could play it straight. Or take it in any direction you're inclined - there are dozens of great suggestions in the comments.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Pan

This is a small but mighty chocolate cake. The choice of pan warrants a mention. You end up with with ~ two cups of batter, and for the most part you can pour that into any small-ish, parchment-lined cake pan you like. The parchment is important if you ever want to get the cake out of the pan. For this cake, I used a little loaf pan I like, but I've done this in small spring-form pans, and on occasion little tart pans. Just keep in mind, a bigger pan will mean a thinner slice. A small loaf pan like this yields a deeper slice, and so on. It's hard to screw up - I mean, it's a slice-able truffle cake. In the lead photo I've used a 6-inch springform pan. In the shot below, I've used a small loaf pan.

In a pinch - a number of you have mentioned that you simply pour the chocolate mixture into individual muffin tins, or dessert cups, allow it to set, and served this way. Brilliant! Less cake like, but I suspect no one will complain.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake


Want to avoid heavy cream? There are a number of substitutions that work well. I love using cashew cream in place of the heavy cream called for in the recipe. Make cashew cream by combining 1 part cashew nuts + 1 part water and process in a high speed blender until silky smooth. No need to strain. Coconut milk also works nicely as a substitution.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Chocolate

Because this cake is all about the chocolate, you don't want to skimp on quality. I've been using Guittard Organic 74% Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers for this cake. It works beautifully. I often use it straight, meaning, without the added espresso or allspice noted in the recipe. So it's just the beautiful chocolate notes coming through. San Francisco family-run chocolate represent! But, any good chocolate between 70% - 80% will work.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Finishing Touches

I like to bring a bit of extra flavor (and some pretty) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few dried rose petals, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Others like to finish things of with a few berries. Generally speaking, if it pairs nicely with chocolate, go for it. A few toasted nuts, or crumbled cookies wouldn't be unwelcome.

No Bake Chocolate Cake
If this isn't quite the right chocolate cake for you, I have a few others to recommend! This flourless chocolate cake is a classic all-time favorite, and everyone loves this Violet Bakery Chocolate Devil's Food Cake, and you can't go wrong with these incredible brownies.

More Cake Recipes


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No Bake Chocolate Cake

3.93 from 184 votes

  • butter, to grease pan
  • 8 ounces / 225 g 70% chocolate, well chopped
  • 8 ounces / 225 g heavy cream, cashew cream, or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground espresso (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • cocoa powder, to serve
  • optional other toppings: rose petals, cacao nibs
Prepare your Pan
  1. Lightly butter a 6-inch / 15cm springform pan or equivalent. I typically use small loaf pans which are less common, but many small pans will work here (see main entry). Line with parchment paper and set aside.

Make the Cake
  1. Barely melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gentle heat.
  2. In a separate medium pan heat the cream over gentle heat. Stir in the allspice and the espresso, if using. When the cream is very warm / hot to the touch, remove from heat and stir in the salt.
  3. Pour the chocolate into the cream, and very slowly and steadily stir until everything comes together smoothly. Make sure the components aren't at all separate. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled throughout, a few hours, or overnight.

Serve the Cake
  1. When ready to serve, remove from the pan, let set at room temperature for ten minutes or so, dust with a bit of cocoa powder, sprinkle with any other toppings you like, and slice. Alternately, you can slice and serve from the pan.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


Oh my, I am totally making this for book group in a couple weeks. What a beautiful treat!


Wow Heidi, you're crazy (in a very good way though;-))!! I'm reading this just after my resolution to cut back on chocolate.... then again, it's dark chocolate.... it's healthy... And I could add some raspberries... ;-)


Wow - looks like a wonderful summer dessert.

Orit Levi

sounds rich and decadent! thanks for sharing!


This sounds wonderful. I sure wouldn't want a big slice, but a small one would be nice. Yum!


Chocolate cake in snap! Perfect.


That cake looks absolutely delightful, the non-baking aspect as well as the result. Thanks for sharing, this is going to be tried out soon around here!


Mmm... I love chocolate desserts that fall under the hazy combination of of cake-truffle-fudgy brownie category. It tastes like pure chocolate but better! I would love to try this cake out. And as a side note, I made your otsu the other day and it was wonderful. Can't wait to try the black sesame version from your new book.


Yum, some nuts and dried fruit would also be lovely tossed into the mix. And for a dairy-free version I'd use coconut milk/cream in place of the heavy cream. I adore easy desserts :-)


I haven't heard of anything like this before, but being the chocoholic that I am, I'm hooked! This would make a brilliant low-stress dessert. Can't wait to try it.


Mmm, that looks amazing. I love that it's a cake that's basically a truffle. That is awesome and such a cute idea :D The cocoa powder on top makes it look especially beautiful!

Heidi @ Food Doodles

Katie, I like the way you think. I'm obsessed with cherries right now and was thinking a splash of kirsch could be nice. The no bake cake looks yum- dense and rich, and I'm sure a little goes a long way. I love a little nibble of desserts like this after a good meal.

la domestique

Wow...this looks incredible!

Paula at Dishing The Divine

It looks like solid chocolate fudgey heaven... Wow! Excellent idea Katie - maybe even a little Kahlua or Baileys...?!

jess☆ @ Multicultural Melbourne

Wow, this looks like a pretty seriously chocolatey cake! What's the consistency like? From the looks of the ingredients and the process, it seems not unrelated to the ganache you might find in the middle of a truffle. Would a splash of brandy be out of place if that's the case?


it's like eating a slice of icing without the cake!


miammmm un délice


I can imagine this garnished with a few fresh strawberries or raspberries and perhaps whipped cream (although that may be a little decadent). I love the no-bake aspect in this summer heat. Thanks


and I'm infusing it with lemon zest :-)


I'm so excited! I'm making this instead of chocolate ice cream right this minute!


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