NANA’S FRENCH CHOCOLATE CAKE + Dehydrated Orange Wheels

A Flourless Chocolate Cake

This is my Nanas recipe, it is super dense and fudgey, so a little goes a long way. The recipe below is for one small cake but can be doubled or tripled and baked in a lined oven tray if making for a larger gathering. Creamy Greek yogurt compliments the slightly bitter chocolate perfectly, and I topped this cake with the last of our homegrown oranges, simply sliced and dried in the oven for several hours. The combination of chocolate, yogurt and orange is divine, enjoy!


  • 150 g butter or coconut oil
  • 150 g 70% dark chocolate
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp ground almonds

To Serve

  • 500 g thick Greek yogurt
  • dehydrated orange wheels*


  • Preheat oven 175C. Line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
  • Melt butter gently in saucepan and add chocolate stirring until melted together. Remove from the heat. Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until creamy. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, beating to combine. Fold through the ground almonds. Pour into the lined tin and bake for 25 minutes. A bit of wobble is fine in the middle. Cool completely in the tin.
  • To serve remove from the tin and top with the thick yogurt and decorate with slices of dehydrated orange or fresh berries.


*Dehydrated orange wheels - use a mandolin or sharp knife to slice an orange into 1mm thick rounds. Arrange in a single layer on a lined baking tray and dry for several hours in a 50C oven until firm. Alternatively use a dehydrator, but don't over dry them or they lose their glorious colour.

I have made this cake more times than I can count, it is my go-to cake recipe. It is one of my Nana’s treasured recipes and is originally called French Chocolate Cake. My Nana has many tried-and-true recipes and luckily many have been archived in several cookbooks. The first cookbook is for family members only and includes several hundred of Nana’s recipes, typed up and catalogued in a ring-bound folder. The other is a condensed version of the family cookbook called Memories From My Kitchen. This was created as a Nelson Hospice fundraiser, a project we embarked on after my Poppa died and we were so grateful for the hospice support. The book raised around $20,000 for the hospice and I know it has become a favourite in many local kitchens, including my own [unfortunately it is now out of print]. My copy is almost constantly flipped open to the page for this cake, so when I pull it down from the shelf it is ready to go. I actually know the recipe off-by-heart so not sure why I even bother to pull it down from the bookshelf, memories I suppose.

Flourless Chocolate Cake | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN




Join the Conversation

  1. Congratulations and happy birthday!!! Well done. Your blog is amazing and you constantly inspire me. I LOVE your calendar!! You should be so proud you yourself! I will be making this cake super soon. Thanks doll Mx

    1. Thanks Madeleine, I feel so young! Thanks for your support, it is so nice to have met you in person earlier in the year and look forward to seeing you again sometime xx

  2. John & Melissa van Gosliga says:

    Well done Congrats, love your work …you inspire me to cook healthy food for my family x

    1. Thanks Melissa & John!

  3. Congratulations and happy blog birthday Nicola! It’s been wonderful having you make a regular appearance in my own little blogging world since we first connected (whenever that was…surely not two years ago!?).

    You always inspire me with your organised, meticulous approach, and of course, your gorgeous photos! xo

    1. Thanks Sam, It must be close to 2 years I think I came across your blog pretty early on in the blogging game. Yes, I am rather organised but that works for me and how I approach things… Thanks for your message x

  4. Wow can’t believe that cake only has 2 Tbsp of almonds to give it the cake texture, will definetely be giving it a go

    1. I know, isn’t it fantastic. My kinda cake, you only need a small slice and it hits the spot. Enjoy!

  5. Kimberley Robinson says:

    Congrats on your 2 year anniversary! This looks like my kind of recipe. Just wondering if I could replace the 2 Tbsp of ground almonds with equal part of ground flax seeds as my son has a nut allergy.

    1. Hi Kimberley, I have also made it with coconut flour or desiccated coconut and it has turned out lovely. Ground flaxseeds could dry it out a bit as they will absorb a lot of liquid. Otherwise ground sunflower seed would also work well.

  6. Happy blogging birthday Nicola , a fitting and lovely recipe to share with us all thank you .
    How wonderful that you helped fund raise so much for Hospice they really do so much good. Have you thought of reprinting another batch to sell along side you books and Blog to raise awareness of Hospice and fund raise more? Just a thought 🙂 I would be first inline for a copy it sounds amazing xx

    1. Thanks Rox, something to think about. I am talking with my publishers this week so will see what we can come up with. I like the idea of some kind of fundraiser 🙂

  7. A huge congrats to you! I am so grateful for all of the effort and passion you pour into this blog. It is always an inspiring place to come and our bellies so much better off with this wholesome (and delicious) way of eating! I am looking forward to what the next year will bring. Oh, and that cake is a beauty (and what lovely photos!). Looking forward to making it soon. xx Bonnie

    1. Thanks Bonnie, and lovely to hear you enjoy cooking my recipes. I put a lot of thought and time into them so really makes my day when others take the time to comment and tell me they enjoy them 🙂

  8. Congrats Nicola! You and your gorgeous online space are an inspiration. You’ve got such a deft touch with food and an incredible eye with photography / styling. I hope you’re proud of your hard work. Kelly

    1. Thanks for the kind words Kelly. And as you know there is so much time involved in running a food blog. I feel I have come into my groove this last year and found my voice and rhythm. Love what you do too, be nice to hang out again sometime xx

  9. Beautiful! Happy birthday! I love your blog & recipes & it’s been a joy watching it evolve x

    1. Thanks Fleur 🙂 Lovely to see you briefly the other night x

  10. Hi Nicola….your cake looks amazing !!!! Would I be able to use Coconut Sugar As my sweetener do you think ??? Many Thanks Sue

    1. Yes that would be fine Sue, just the same quantity. Enjoy!

  11. Do you have to use sweetner?

    1. Hi Claudia, you could skip the sweetener however I do find it is quite bitter with 70% chocolate even with a little sweetener added. You will want to make sure those who will eat it enjoy a bitter chocolate!

  12. Hi Nicola, just perusing your archives for a good cake to make for my parents-in-law’s 60th wedding anniv family get together. This looks wonderful and scale-up-able! Plus the stunning dried orange slices are so interesting to decorate. I love the story of how your Nana made it too.
    I would probably need to make it in 3-4 days in advance – do you happen to have a feel for how it keeps? No problem if you’ve only made it and served it fresh!
    Thanks and hope you’re having a lovely summer holiday 🙂
    I packed your cookbook to take on our holiday and it was brilliant to have on hand!

    1. Hi Nicky, this would be a lovely anniversary cake. It is super dense and a little goes a long way. I haven’t made it to last 3-4 days 😉 but I would say if it was well wrapped so it can’t dry out it would be OK. I would be more concerned that it would go stale than anything else so make as late as you can.
      Great summer here, busy with the garden and fruit to preserve – luckily I love it!
      Enjoy your holiday and quality reading material 🙂

      1. Hi Nicola, thanks for so kindly getting back to me, it’s much appreciated. I will let you know how it keeps if we decide to make it 3 days ahead, which would be what I would have to do as we’re traveling to Rotorua for it and won’t have an oven there. Might do a normal sized one as a trial.
        Bet you are busy preserving and gardening! I have been doing a very small amount – making your lacto fermented beans and gherkins – look forward to eating them shortly once they’ve had a chance to mature.
        Arohanui, nicky

        1. Oh lovely, I am just preparing for some lacto-fermenting myself, now there is a short break in the fruit.
          Good idea on testing first, I wonder if making several of the original sized cakes to serve layered may keep better??

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