Nana Jose’s Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake

Nana Jose’s Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake
Print Recipe
10 servings Pastel de Chocolate y Nuez de la Nana Jose
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
  • confectioners' sugar optional
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream optional
  • Berries optional
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  • Bring about 2-inches of water to a simmer in the bottom half of a double boiler or in a medium saucepan. Place the top half of the double boiler, or a metal bowl or heatproof pan if not using a double boiler, over the simmering water and melt together the chocolate and the 1/4 cup butter. Set aside to cool.
  • Using a blender, chop the pecans finely. Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate mixture, blending until smooth. Pour the batter into the buttered springform pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out moist but not wet, about 40 minutes.
  • Once it has cooled a little, run the tip of a knife around the pan and release the cake from the pan. Invert onto a plate, and then again, or serve directly onto plates if left on bottom part of springform pan. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream and berries.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
  • confectioners' sugar optional
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream optional
  • Berries optional
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  • Bring about 2-inches of water to a simmer in the bottom half of a double boiler or in a medium saucepan. Place the top half of the double boiler, or a metal bowl or heatproof pan if not using a double boiler, over the simmering water and melt together the chocolate and the 1/4 cup butter. Set aside to cool.
  • Using a blender, chop the pecans finely. Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate mixture, blending until smooth. Pour the batter into the buttered springform pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out moist but not wet, about 40 minutes.
  • Once it has cooled a little, run the tip of a knife around the pan and release the cake from the pan. Invert onto a plate, and then again, or serve directly onto plates if left on bottom part of springform pan. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream and berries.

  • Kasi

    Amazing!

  • macy

    nana jose has a gem of a cake here! truly simple to make. used extra bitter chocolate. so delicious! thank you!

    • Pati

      Good idea!

  • Lisa

    Can you please modify recipe if using a 10-1/4″ spring form pan instead? Or your best judgement.
    Thank you!
    LMC

    • Pati

      Lisa,
      I’d just remove it form the oven 5 to 6 minutes before: give it a try!

      • Lisa

        Thanks Pati, but I ruined it a bit; went 10 over and did not use bittersweet, but organic without any sugar in it, chocolate;, adding a bit more sugar to compensate. Was too dry; my fault.
        Was so simple and yet my thoughts were elsewhere.. Will try another time.

        • lk

          baking is chemistry, you just can’t change the formula and expect the results to replicate the original recipe, people do this all the time and report a bad results.

  • jerry hollenback

    Patti – best and easiest cake I have ever made.

    • Pati

      Nice!

  • Cindy

    I am hooked on Pati’s show and cannot wait until the next episode. I was the star of our Sunday family dinner thanks to Nana Jose’s Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake. I’m not telling my family how ridiculously easy this was to make.

    • Pati

      So glad to hear Cindy! Let them think you slaved at it…

  • Mark

    Can I substitute almonds for the pecans and still expect good results?
    My wife hates “oily” nuts like walnuts and pecans. But she will eat almonds.

    • Pati

      Absolutely!

  • Nancy

    Pati,

    Love this recipe. Saw you on Create TV last weekend. I have made it 3 times all ready. Family loves it. It is so easy. We have pecan trees and we raise chickens so we have lots of eggs. Perfect recipe.

    Nancy

    • Pati

      Perfect!

  • Samantha Bergey

    My husband who happens to be from mexico city loves this cake, but says to him it tastes more like a brownie. Is it suppose to taste like a browniebor did I do something wrong?

  • Samantha Bergey

    My husband who happens to be from mexico city loves this cake, but says to him it tastes more like a brownie. Is it suppose to taste like a brownie did I do something wrong?

    • Pati

      It does taste a bit like brownie, Samantha!!

  • Karen

    Question – Do you serve this hot, right out of the oven, or does it need to be totally cooled?

    • Pati

      You can serve it hot, warm or cold! Doesn’t need to be totally cooled at all.

  • Judi Suttles

    Pati,
    Loved this show. I made the Coctel de Camarones and it was delicioso. Tonight I am trying the flourless chocolate cake. It sounds wonderful!

    • Pati

      Thank you for watching, Judi!! So happy to hear you are trying recipes.

  • Judi Suttles

    I made this on Friday and all I can say is:”thank you Nana Jose!” This is so delicious that every time you walk through the kitchen you want a little pinch of that cake. I really think it improves over the next day. Also, this is the easiest cake I have ever made.

  • Marytere

    Pati,
    Esta increible el pastel y muy facil. Me encantan todas tus recetas; tengo tu libro. Las medidas siempre estan correctas y todas las recetas estan deliciosas.
    MG

    • Pati

      Que bueno que te gustan! Espero que pruebes muchas más!

  • I love you show, especially all the footage from your travels….

    • Pati

      Thank you!!

  • can this be made for a diabetic?

    • Pati

      Hola Sharon, You may try it with the sugar substitute of your choice instead of using sugar. However, I would only use half amount or less of sugar substitute, since sugar substitutes tend to be much sweeter than sugar.

  • Love watching you cook! Your recipes are so easy and delicious…

    • Pati

      Gracias, Mary!

  • perla perez

    Dear Pati
    I truly love watching your shows. I love how you are so proud of being Mexican and you enlighten your view of the beauty of Mexico and wonderful qualities!!! Thanks you again for being you!

    Perla Marina

    • Pati

      Thank you so much, Perla, for tuning in. You are so kind to leave me this lovely message!

  • I used Stevia instead of the sugar, as you suggested and my friend really enjoyed it.

  • robert

    I wish Patty would make this cake without butter. Maybe she could revise this recipe, and use apple sauce, or pears, or…..something so the cake would be reduced fat.

    • Pati

      Robert: you should play with it and let me know how you like it!

  • Ruthie

    really; I found the flourless, chocolate cake. have to try this and the pacifica shrimp cocktail… can’t wait till the weekend to get my ingredients!

    looking forward to tasting these fab dishes… first time to see your show last Saturday…
    thanks
    Ruthie

    • Pati

      Thanks for watching, Ruthie!

  • leanne

    As the (middle-aged) child of an excellent cook who loves to experiment, I was raised on international cuisine. The ingredients for this cake are so similar to the classic French flourless chocolate cake – but it’s simplicity make it very Impossible Pie-like. I am hoping it will become a family favorite for my own foodies. Thanks for the passion you bring to your show and to sharing with us the joy you bring to your family table. It is so evident in your show.

    • Pati

      Hola Leanne, Thank you so much for your comments! Hope your family likes the chocolate cake, too; let me know what they think…

  • Jess

    Patti, this cake is a winner. I made it tonight and my husband asked for seconds. Thank you for sharing!

    • Pati

      Well, my husband finishes right in front of me if I don’t take it away… Glad it works for yours too!

  • Mike

    Made this today and it is absolutely delicious! This will become a staple in my house, great recipe. Try it, you won’t regret it.

  • Pilar

    Thank you for this easy and reliable recipe. We can’t eat grain and we missed having a luxurious treat. This cake fills every craving. I added a little extra cocoa powder and this gives it a more cake-like consistency. Everyone should try this recipe at least once (but it will probably become a staple). Gracias, Pati….me encanta tu programa!

    • Pati

      Gracias, Pilar!!

  • Patricia Rose

    Pati,

    You are so sweet and cheerful, it is wonderful to see your enthusiasm for life. I am making this cake soon. Thank you so much!
    Patricia

    • Pati

      Thanks Patricia! I hope you like it… my husband LOVES it.

  • karen

    Just wondering if this can be made without the nuts, or if the cake will fail without the nuts (with so few ingredients I imagine they might be an important part of the cake’s structure)? I have a nut-free family but would love to try this…

    • Pati

      I suggest you try this one instead, Karen https://patijinich.com/2012/09/jujus_birthday_cake/

    • Priscilla

      This looks really good to me too! I have a child with a nut allergy. I’m gonna try using sunflower seeds, instead. It just might work. I’ve made sunbutter cookies, and they taste pretty good. So maybe that substitution will work.

      • Pati

        Hola Priscilla, Go for it!! Let me know how it turns out with the sunflower seeds…

      • Pati

        That is a GREAT idea!

      • Lori

        Hi! How did the sunflower seeds work? Raw or roasted?

        Thinking about using pumpkin seeds, chestnuts at Christmas.

  • maluE

    as a fan of yours and your show since the beginning, i must tell you how much i’m enjoying season 3! .. luv seeing your sons and hubby – and your visits to mexico, your family there (esp papa 😉 .. you enlighten me about all the choices i have at good mexican restaurants .. and your simpler recipes inspire me to do mexican at home more often.

    i’m not a confident baker so this easy dessert goes into my MAKE SOON file ..
    thank you, pati!

  • Dan B

    Saw your show the other day. Tried your receipt and agree it couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. Thanks !

    • Pati

      Great to hear, Dan!

  • Yazmin

    Delicioso!!!!! Me pregunto si podría hacerlo sin chocolate para que solo fuera de nuez, añadiendo un poco mas de nuez, qué opinas?

  • Jackie

    Looks delicious!! I will do this recipe instead of the cake from the box, can’t wait to surprise the hubby. Thanks again for the wonderful Mexican recipes you showcase on your show. Gracias por la presentacion!! Felicidades!!

    • Pati

      Muchas gracias, Jackie! I am pretty sure you will love this cake… we LOVE it at home!

  • Rose Figueroa

    Hi Pati , enjoy watching your show. Excited to try your flourless chocolate cake . I have made your choco-flan and family loved it. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Rose

    • Pati

      Thank you, Rose!! So happy your family liked the chocoflan; let me know how the cake turns out!

  • Virginia Warburton

    Pati, thank you so much for the recipe. It sounds soo good. (I can’t eat the hot stuff.)
    Just wondering, how do you happen to be in DC?
    So glad for your show.
    Thanks again, Virginia.

    • Pati

      Thank you, Virginia! I hope you try the cake sometime. I moved to DC many years ago with my husband and oldest son.

  • Kalinamai

    I love that you are in Michoacán for your third season! My husband is from there. I am ready to print some more of your wonderful recipes to comfort my husband from missing home. Thank you for all your hard work:)

    • Pati

      With pleasure!

  • Sidney

    A really great and simple recipe. I’ve made it about 3 times so far. Each time was a bit different. The first time I stuck to the recipe exactly and it came out fantastic. Then for the other two I used Coconut oil rather than Butter (Works almost as well since both are solid at cooler temperatures although Coconut oil does begin to melt sooner than butter) and substituted Almonds for the Pecans (Although Pecans are a natural mix with the cocoa since they have a dark Maple type of flavor). Basically you can play endlessly. I should also note that I use Dutch Processed Baking Cocoa Powder. Works really well. I may be putting too much since it is pure Cocoa Powder and this makes the cake a bit more bitter and less sweet but this is desired by my wife and I.

    Thank you for the recipe Pati. I look forward to all of your other recipes.

    • Pati

      Hi Sidney, Great that you are experimenting with this recipe! Thank you for sharing!!

  • has anyone tried it with coconut flour?

  • JenQ

    Hi Pati, just made this for my family. It comes together so quickly and tastes great! I topped it with whipped cream and raspberries. For next time, I’m thinking almonds and orange . . . the possibilities are endless!

    • Pati

      Hola Jen, So happy your family enjoyed the cake! Sounds delicious with almonds and orange…go for it!

  • Caris O.

    Hi Pati,

    This is the fourth recipe I’ve tried from your show… I made it today because my husband and I had some friends over. I topped it with the confectioners’ sugar… Another instant hit!! I love that your recipes are not hard to follow, and they taste amazing!! I love love LOVE your show!!

    • Pati

      I am so happy you are trying more of my recipes!

  • Laura Boyle

    Hola Paty: A mi esposo y a mí nos encanta tu programa, yo soy Mexicana y él es Americano, pero a los dos nos encanta la comida!! Amo tus recetas y tu acento al hablar inglés yo hablo igual jajaja. Voy a comprar tu libro , me encanta que México tenga una imagen tan bonita y positiva como lo representa tu persona. Un gran abrazo y felicidades !!

    • Pati

      Muchas gracias, Laura!

  • Chad

    Pati, my wife was recently diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and we saw you making this recipe on TV and were overjoyed that it did not call for any flour. We made it last night and it was wonderful! Now my wife can add another dessert to her choices of gluten free foods. Hope you continue to make gluten free foods in future shows. Thanks!

  • I saw your show this past weekend, and the flourless cake recipe was easy to make. hi how ever adapted it to a sugarless recipe using Splenda as I follow a low carb diet. it came out wonderful such great rich taste and so decadent. thank you, pati.

    • Pati

      Hola Joanna, Great idea to try it sugarless! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Adrian

    Hi Pati,

    I’ve tried a few of your recipes and loved them. I’m trying this one the flour less cake today. I just one question. Do we need to toast the pecans? Thank you!

    • Pati

      Hi Adrian, So happy to hear you are trying some of my recipes! No need to toast the pecans for the cake.

  • Phyllis G Davis

    I have made this cake on three occasions and absolutely love it. .as do my guests. Thank you Pati

  • Samantha

    Love this recipe!! I have made it 3 different times. Once I made 2 for a large family gathering. It was a huge hit, not even crumbs left! Told everyone it was your recipe. My family and I love your show. My hubby and I sit down with the 4 kiddos and watch. You make us sooooo hungry! Thank you for the good food and family time! Blessings, hugs and Besos!

    • Pati

      Thank YOU all for tuning in!

  • Tapi

    I LOVE your show on Create! Could this cake be made with pistachios?
    Thanks for your contagious love of food and your presentation of so many delicious recipes from Mexico!

    • Pati

      Thank you for watching, Tapi! Yes, you may try the flourless chocolate cake with pistachios. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Lori

    Hello! Would like to try this recipe at Christmas with roasted chestnuts, but unsure how to measure them. Would doing a rough chop before measuring give an accurate measurement?

    Also, this may seem weird, but would you please consider being a voice/reader for an audio book? Your voice is so sweet & soothing!

    Keep up the great job!

    • Pati

      Hola Lori, Yes, a rough chop would work for measuring 1 cup of the chestnuts! I’m laughing so hard over the voice for an audio book! Thank you for your comments!!

  • Angela

    This is always my go to cake, with a toddler always at my feet it so easy to throw together. It’s very rich and decadent, I always have to make two if I’m taking it to a party (one for home of course)! I’m not big on pecans so I always sub hazelnuts, turns out perfect every time! Thank you!

    • Pati

      Hm: Hazelnuts sounds even better!

  • cathyb

    Thank you so much. I put a doily on top and dust with powdered sugar. Absolutely the best cake ever.

    • Pati

      Thank you for making it, Cathy!

  • jo

    This cake looks wonderful. I can’t wait to try it. My family and I love watching your show. My daughter (19) has been inspired to try cooking because you make it look so fun and easy. ¡Gracias!

    • Pati

      Thank you!! I hope your daughter makes you many amazing meals!

  • Heidi

    Have you ever made this with cinnamon for more of a “Mexican chocolate” taste?

    • Pati

      I haven’t, but sounds great! Go for it!!

  • Heidi

    Have you tried adding cinnamon to this?

  • Julia Byrd

    Hi, Patti. I love your show so much. I gotta try this cake, could I use a 9inch glass brownie pan instead of springform pan?

    • Pati

      Yes, you can use a 9-inch brownie pan instead! Thank you for watching the show!!

  • Adriana Muñoz

    Hola Paty, soy uno de tus más fieles seguidoras me encantan tus recetas, he aprendido mucho Y te estoy muy agradecida, yo soy de Guadalajara y me encantaría que publicaras tus recetas también en español, gracias por tus consejos y tus tips, tienes una maravillosa familia!! Me encanta que enseñes tantos lugares en México se agradecen todos tus reportajes, que Dios te bendiga

    • Pati

      Muchas gracias, Adriana! Voy a tratar de publicarlas también en español.

  • Margaret Olivares

    I made this cake today to celebrate my mother -in-laws 82nd birthday. Mary Louise Meraz Olivares loved it! Neither she nor anyone else could believe there was no flour in the cake . This is a fantastic recipe. Thank you!

    • Pati

      We love it at home too, specially mu husband…

  • sue

    could you use sucanat or brown rice syrup instead of white sugar in this cake recipe & same amount?

    • Pati

      Same amount for brown rice syrup…

  • Nancy Kepford

    Patti, love your show and the simple down home recipes with easily found ingredients! As my hubby and I both love seafood and fish your recipes today will be my menu this coming weekend. We are 60 and 64 respectively and as you get older the taste buds go on the fritz so mexican recipes are a staple at our house. Your recipes have been a wonderful addition! Hope to see you cooking for many years to come and love your travels too! By the way what were the little fish you were shown fishing for today?

    • Pati

      Those tiny little fish are called charales. They are the white fish or “pescado blanco” from Patzcuaro, but when they are very tiny. Thanks for watching my show!

  • paty primero mis respetos a ti y tu familia disfruto mucho de tus resetas las que puedo ver esta me a gustado y gracias por permitirme prepararla a mi familia le a encantado y tienes uans galletas y otros postre enfin muchas delicias saludos y que tengas muchos exitos

    • Pati

      Muchas gracias por tu mensaje 🙂

  • Annie Nagashima

    The recipe is the perfect answer to a diabetic’s sweet tooth! Since the carbs from flour wasn’t there, my reading was much lower than when I’d have regular cake. I used a Ninja, but I think that was a mistake. It was harder to clean the blades to get the yummy batter. Will use my Cuisinart next time. I will also send this to my friend who has celiac disease. I think it’ll be okay. I looove your show.

    • Pati

      Hola Annie, Thank you so much! Good to know it works for diabetics. And, yes, you can recommend it to your friend; it is gluten free!

  • bernadine pipkin

    Hi Patti,hope you and your family have a peaceful holiday.I enjoy your program so much. It’s just wonderful!

  • Margaret Olivares

    Hi,
    I first made this cake in July 2015 for my mother in law for what turned out to be her last birthday. She loved it! On December 29th I served it again in her honor at a gathering we had after her Memorial Mass. All the generations loved it!

  • Martha

    I am such a big fan! Love, love, love your show. While I’ve enjoyed many chefs’ teachings over the years, your cooking I would eat every day! Your recipes are so much more than ingredients…they are treasured family stories and/or history lessons. I appreciate the complexity of flavors you bring to every dish. I cannot eat peppers but even when you have them as an ingredient, the dish has so many flavor layers, the peppers are never missed.

    This cake is perfection, especially for my gluten free family members. Thank you for sharing so much!

    • Pati

      Martha, thank you thank you! What a kind note! I am thrilled that you and your family enjoy my recipes. =)

  • David

    This cake is soooo good! Being gluten free I was anxious to try it. If you love chocolate this is the cake for you!

    • I’m thrilled you liked it David!!

  • Dee

    Came out yummy. My husband want 3 of them next time since we have 3 spring form pans. 🙂 I made one change-I couldn’t find bitter sweet so I used semi-sweet and then only added half the sugar. It seemed to be fine but will try bitter sweet in the future when I have more time to get to a traditional grocer. I do have one questions Pecans are pretty pricey-have you ever tried it with walnuts or other nuts?

    • Yes!! It’s great with other nuts!

  • Michael Semon

    Gluten free, schmooten free… I just love this cake!!!! Pati, I am the Program Manager of a place called Valor Home, a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans, in Akron OH . You and your family have an open invitation to visit (and perhaps cook a meal!) anytime. Did I mention I just love this cake? …Michael

  • Yes absolutely!

  • Mari Tamanaha

    I love this cake!!! Made it last Thanksgiving and it was a hit! Do you have the nutritional info for those on low carb life style? Mahalo- Mari

    • I do not at this time but will look into it! I’m happy you like the cake!

  • It should have hills and valleys, which makes it create a delicious uneven chocolaty crust in some areas. It is one of my favorite things about this cake… =)

  • Jes

    I am out of pecans….do you think almonds would be a good substitute? LOVE your show on PBS & your website, thanks!

    • Yeah!!! Thanks, Jes!

    • Yeah!!! Thanks, Jes!

  • Jes

    I am out of pecans….do you think almonds would be a good substitute? LOVE your show on PBS & your website, thanks!