French Chocolate Cake


This is a typical French homemade cake — dense, dark, and delicious. It is a European sponge cake, with a different texture than its American counterparts. It is excellent when dusted with confectioners' sugar and served with lightly sweetened whipped cream or a fruit coulis.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
1 9-inch cake


  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 10 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 5 eggs, separated

  • ¼ cup sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1 dash cream of tartar

  • salt to taste

  • ½ tablespoon confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Generously grease a 9-inch springform cake tin. Dust with a little sugar, and tap out excess.

  2. Set aside 3 tablespoons of sugar. Place chocolate, butter, and remaining sugar in a large, heavy-based pan. Cook over moderate heat until chocolate and butter have melted, and sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in vanilla, and leave mixture to cool slightly.

  3. Beat egg yolks into chocolate mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour.

  4. In a scrupulously clean, grease-free, and large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt, and beat to stiff peaks. Sprinkle reserved sugar over egg whites, and beat until stiff and glossy. Use a whisk or spatula to fold 1/3 of egg whites into chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in remaining whites. Carefully pour batter into the prepared tin, and tap the tin gently to release air bubbles.

  5. Bake until well risen and a skewer inserted into center of the cake comes out clean, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check cake after 30 minutes; if cake appears to rise unevenly, rotate after 30 to 35 minutes. If cake starts to crack or become too brown, place a piece of foil lightly over top. Transfer cake to a wire cooling rack, and remove the sides of the springform tin. Cool completely, and then remove the base. Do not attempt to remove cake before it's completely cooled as this cake is very fragile.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

294 Calories
21g Fat
24g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 294
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 12g 61%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 31mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 5g
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 49mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love