Ooey and Gooey Double-Baked Chocolate Cake

February  3, 2016
11 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 4 hours
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes one 9-inch cake (serves 8 to 10)
Author Notes

From Food & Wine by way of Dana Treat comes the easiest way to get all the best parts of the molten chocolate cake with none of the stress.

For this cake, you make a standard batter from melted butter, chocolate, sugar, and eggs, then pour most of it into a springform pan and bake for 25 minutes. That right there is good enough to serve on its own, but the real hoorah comes when you then take the reserved batter, spread it over the top of the cake, and give it an additional 15 minutes in a higher temperature oven, until it's just barely baked.

The result is a firm, dense bottom—the chewy, feels-like-food element that many flourless chocolate cakes lack—that acts as a crust-like container for the melting, pudding-like top. Nothing will break or burst or turn to goo or go terribly wrong. Success is (practically) guaranteed. And when you put it in the refrigerator, the bottom layer will become brownie-like, the top like mousse.

Total chilling time: 1 hr, 25 mins
Total cooling time: 2 hrs, 10 mins
Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, separated
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
  2. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the chopped chocolate and the butter. Add the cocoa powder and a pinch of salt whisk until smooth.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 2/3 cup of the sugar until pale and light, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and beat until the whites are firm and glossy.
  5. Fold the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until barely combined. Fold in the egg whites just until no white streaks remain.
  6. Spoon 2 cups of the batter into a medium bowl and refrigerate—this will become your ooey-gooey topping.
  7. Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Don't panic if the sides of your cake has pulled away from the pan and the center is a bit sunken. This is a crater into which you will pull the reserved batter, after all. At this point, you can cover the cake and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  9. Remove the belt/girdle of the completely cool springform pan and spread the reserved cake batter over the top of the cake (it will be thick, so be gentle), leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Bake the cake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a thin crust forms on top and the batter is soft and creamy beneath the crust.
  11. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm. To store, cover the cooled cake in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pudding-like top will become delightfully mousse-y.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashley Bliss
    Ashley Bliss
  • charles
  • Valerie
  • Lisa L.
    Lisa L.
  • Fresh Foodie Mama
    Fresh Foodie Mama

61 Reviews

Dano February 5, 2022
This is by far THE best chocolate cake ever, gastronomique orgasme , thank you so much what à treat
Feedthatblonde September 16, 2021
This sounds absolutely divine! I love that it is gluten free! I just made a healthy version of chocolate crackles today to settle my sweet tooth cravings
Ashley B. September 23, 2020
Hi does anyone no if can use this recipe for cupcakes? I'm trying to find Good recipe for gluten free chocolate cupcakes but I find gluten free flour makes cakes quite grainy? Thanks
Barbara P. September 25, 2020
Try Betty Crocker gluten free rice flour blend - it's the best gluten free flour I have found yet and seems to work great in most recipes.
Dano February 5, 2022
Yes you can i did make it in muffin cups
aliagilbert February 20, 2020
This recipe is now my family’s absolute favorite for birthdays and special occasions. Everyone who has tried it absolute raves about it and I love doin a little *hair toss* because it’s a brilliant recipe! It takes longer than most cakes but it’s so worth it. When I have been in a pinch I have not let the first layer totally cool, and it turns out fine. Just FYI for people who look at it and don’t want to do it because of time constraints. It works either way and tastes delicious.
Oaklandpat February 10, 2019
Any thoughts on natural vs, Dutch process cocoa?
HalfPint February 7, 2020
A little late, but here goes:

Either should be fine. Since the leavening of this cake is coming from whipped egg whites, you will not need an acid/base combo for leavening. So either types of cocoa would work here. I guess whatever you have on hand :)
charles January 4, 2019
This is a delicious cake, but I wouldn't describe eating it as a cake. My opinion on this cake would to describe it as an under cooked brownie, which I loved. The "ooey & gooey," in the title was truly embraced. The cooking time was low, I ended up leaving mine in a eight minutes more than the recipe called for, to get the clean toothpick. I would also whip the egg whites before melting the chocolate next time as this took a lot longer than the chocolate and butter melting and I was worried about the chocolate burning or cooling/solidifying while I finished.
Sherri December 26, 2018
Truth be told I looked at the ingredient list and decided I had everything and would make this for Christmas. My guardian angel kicked me in the shins when I got to step 2 and realized it needed to rest etc etc and i could have made it a day or so before. It all worked out, however. This was so easy and I fumbled through it the entire way. I broke a yoke in the whites, i kept getting interrupted while counting how many eggs I put in. I had to borrow an oven because my roast could not be interrupted. It was amazingly delicious nonetheless. Next time I get it done the day before. A super simple and forgiving recipe. Works well with a dollop of whipped cream on top... didn't even need to sweeten the whipped cream. 6 stars
Valerie November 14, 2018
I'm a little obsessed with this recipe – or rather, its result. It's almost identical to Gateau Marcel, a Danish cake (by a French chef, hence the name), which skips the final bake and just keeps the cake in the fridge for 4 hours before serving. It finishes with a dusting of cocoa powder or a dark chocolate glaze.

I recently quartered this cake for my 8" springform (and smaller cake needs) and it worked perfectly. Used 2 small eggs, kept the oven temp the same and scaled the first bake down to 12 minutes and the second to 5. I stored the batter in the fridge but didn't return the cake to the fridge before the second bake and it came out beautifully.
Sherri December 26, 2018
Thank you for reducing the size here Valerie. My boyfriend just asked if I could reduce the size because he wants me to make it again without guests because he wants to eat it all and a "full cake would be dangerous!"
.... perfect!
Heather June 27, 2018
I don't ha e a nine inch cake pan only 13x9 would I just double the recipe of i make this?
Carla May 1, 2017
what adjustments would I make to do this as individual small cakes? Just less cooking time?
sdillon May 1, 2017
Yes, less cooking time and a low oven temp - I would suggest just testing it every so often to see when it seems done. It's easy to come out too wet in the middle if the oven temp isn't high enough but somehow I doubt that would be much of an issue with small cakes.
Carla May 25, 2017
Elizabeth W. February 14, 2017
Has anyone tried reheating this cake? Did you use the oven or microwave it? Does the top become gooey again or did it ruin the cake?
Sherri January 4, 2019
I have tried to freeze leftovers and have left in Frig. I put it in the microwave to reheat frozen. My microwave is 1300 watts. I reheated it for 30-45 seconds and it was perfect. Like I just made it. Served it with whipped cream and with ice cream on different nights. Ate it cold out of frig still good.
Lisa L. February 10, 2017
So what are the chances that this cake will be completely ruined if I let it sit in the fridge for 4 days instead of (the "maximum") 3?
Sarah J. February 10, 2017
Definitely won't be ruined (don't throw it away!!!), but the texture might be a little different: denser, harder, fudgier. I'd definitely eat it anyway... :)
Fresh F. January 22, 2017
This was a uge hit! We are a homeschooling family, and used this recipe in our Culinary Class Friday. My kids are 6, 4, and almost 2 and they all took part! They were able to learn about the techniques of separating eggs and the various stages of the peaks. From counting and measuring, to folding, hand and stand mixing, and baking twice, they learned so much! They served it for their friends and all LOVED it, thank you!
Mayra January 22, 2017
Awesome cake! Easy, delicious and beautiful! Thank you for sharing <3
Kitchen W. January 17, 2017
Can I use a hand mixer? I have no stand mixer.
SelEatsIt January 17, 2017
I used a hand mixer, no problem
Sherri January 4, 2019
Yes. I used a hand mixer... no problems.
sdillon January 5, 2017
Can one make this as 2 cakes and layer it (with care)? I'll make sure it's fully cool first of course... but is it too fragile? Will it fall apart in the process? Any tips or suggestions? Was going to put some chopped strawberries & sugar in the middle, sliced strawberries on top and glaze it with some chocolate glaze for a birthday cake tomorrow.
Sarah J. January 5, 2017
It's too fragile to layer, I think, UNLESS you freeze both layers first, but then you're going to compromise some of the ooey-gooey texture (it'd still be delicious, but more fudgy-cold-dense than ooey-gooey-puddingy). Does that make sense?
Sarah J. January 5, 2017
This chocolate cake might fare better:
sdillon January 5, 2017
That's an interesting idea! Maybe I can make the upper layer ahead and refrigerate it overnight then freeze it tomorrow for an hour and try then. Any suggestions on detaching it? Parchment paper is just going to cause problems I have a feeling.
sdillon January 5, 2017
Need I freeze BOTH layers? Is refrigerating the lower layer enough or could it potentially get crushed by the semi-frozen upper layer?
Aditi June 14, 2016
Great flavor and easy enough for a 'fancy' cake. My cake got a bit black on the sides and top, so maybe my oven was too hot. If I were to make it again, I plan to bake the bottom less (I don't think the toothpick needs to come out clean), bake the top less (10 minutes), and possibly add a little coffee powder.
michelle April 3, 2016
This is just fantastic. A keeper, the best chocolate cake I've ever had! My friend described it as a very very soft brownie. The top crust is ever so delicate and the cake underneath is lovely molten goodness.
Jesse P. March 10, 2016
Made this last night. So good. I actually think I liked it better today after it sat in the fridge for the night and set up a bit more.
Esther February 28, 2016
I never bake with a springform pan so I'm a bit confused, when it says to butter the pan I should put a circle of parchment paper on the bottom, and butter the exposed metal sides and the bottom parchment paper circle? Also, the two stick of butter are for the batter to be melted with the chocolate, and I should use more butter for the lining, right?