Italian Tenerina chocolate cake: no flour, plenty of chocolate


Tenerina is a splendid delicacy, it is the most toothsome chocolate cake I have ever eaten. Cooked once, it will get your favorite to enrich every special occasion. It makes a perfect dessert at the end of a both formal or informal dinner. Have it for breakfast: no better start of the day. Dust Tenerina with plenty of powdered sugar, and serve with a scoop of ice-cream (I like black cherry variegato, definitely super yummy!): your guests will ask your for a second serving! The cooking method does make the difference as the ingredients are simple and easy to find: it must not be too overcooked or undercooked! Creamy, moist, so good!

tenerina cake

It is served in every restaurant around Italy; at first, you may not be tempted, but if you try Tenerina, you won’t be able to do without this dessert any more!

A few ingredients, no baking power, no flour, only one secret: the baking.

It looks easy to make, but you need some tricks for the right texture…otherwise you will cook a delicious chocolate cake, not Tenerina.

No flour no baking powder: the tastiest cake for people who suffer from celiac disease!

Actually, this is a truly simple delicacy without flour- I don’t use it, but some recipes add it to make the batter more stable (for me it is an extra ingredient); if you combine evenly all the ingredients  and carefully beat the eggs (yes, you use them!) until fluffy and lighten you won’t need any flour!

A useful piece of advice: use a springform cake pan

You can’t turn this cake upside down: it would fall apart, a complete disaster! So, bake Tenerina cake in a springform cake pan, a 22cm diameter would be the perfect size.

This pan lets you remove the cake without any risks of breaking it; keep in mind that this is a very moist sweet, so it can fall apart easily even when it is completely cold. If you are not careful about the details you may either break its tempting crispy crust or spoil the whole cake. You don’t want that, do you?

The most important part of the recipe: the cooking!

Cooking this cake may be a little tricky: if you cook it too long, it gets hard and dry: on the other hand, a shorter baking time makes it too soft and liquid; impossible to slice it. Follow my advice, you won’t make any mistakes.

Italian chocolate tenerina cake
Tenerina cake: no flour, plenty of chocolate

Crucial moments of the recipe: what result you have to achieve and what you have to do!

This cakes looks like a meringue which enshrines a moist creamy core (a sort of brownie without flour): when you slice it, you will break a crispy crust and the knife will sink into a delicate chocolate fluffiness: a blast of taste in your mouth.

It tents to flatten after the cooking but it is ok (no panic: it must not rise, only the edges should rise and turn crispy).

Watch out for:

  • Carefully divide the egg yolks from the whites;
  • Whip the egg whites to very stiff peaks; 
  • Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until super fluffy and lighten;
  • Gently combine the ingredients with upwards motions not to deflate the batter;
  • Cook the right time, not too long, nor too short.

Tenerina cake: no flour, plenty of chocolate

Tenerina, a super toothsome dark chocolate cake, comes from Emilia Romagna. It is commonly quite flat, and doesn’t contain any flour nor, baking powder, but plenty of chocolate! 
A truly melt in your mouth delicacy, Tenerina is exceptionally moist inside and as crunchy as a meringue outside. You are drooling, aren’t you? 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chocolate tenerina cake, italian tenerina cake, no flour chocolate cake, tenerina cake
Prep Time 16 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes


  • 200 gr dark chocolate
  • 100 gr butter
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • (extra) 40g of flour
  • powdered sugar to taste  to garnish


  • Finely chop the chocolate; 
  • Prepare the bain Maire (put a high sided pot into a bigger one and pour a little water); turn on the heat; 
  • Put the chocolate into the high sided pot and melt it; 
  • When the chocolate is completely melted, but not very hot, add the diced butter; the chocolate melts at 50°C (122°F), when you add the butter, you have to make sure it doesn’t exceed its melting point, about 32°C (90°F), so the compound will remain stable. 
  • Stir carefully with a wooden spoon until a smooth liquid mixture without any clumps; 
  • Remove the pot from the bain Marie and let it sit to cool down; stir occasionally; 
  • In the meanwhile, crack the eggs and carefully divide the yolks from the whites; put them into two big mixing bowls; 
  • No traces of yolk must contaminate the whites, otherwise they won’t whip properly; 
  • Add the same quantity of sugar into both the bowls; 
  • Beat the yolks with the sugar with an electric whisker for about 3-4 minutes until the fluffy and lighten mixture doubles its volume. It must result thick and compact; 
  • Pour the melted chocolate into the whipped egg yolks;
  • Mix with the electric whisker at low speed, or with a hand whisk; 
  • Combine for a few seconds until even and smooth; 
  • Add lukewarm milk (warm it for a few seconds in the microwave) a little at a time. If you want to use flour, add it now; 
  • Whip the whites until stiff peaks with the sugar and a pinch of salt; 
  • When they are white and compact, add them to the egg and chocolate mixture a little at a time with upwards movements not to deflate the whites (watch out; this is a very important step of the recipe); 
  • When the mixture is even and smooth, transfer it into a buttered and floured spring form pan (or you may line it with parchment paper); spread evenly and smooth over the surface; 
  • Do not  beat the pan, you will deflate the batter; 
  • Pre-heat the static oven at 170°C (338°F) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, but check its doneness a few minutes before the cooking time is over. You should not use fan oven because the cake tents to cook too much outside and remain undercook in the center; 
  • During the baking, the cake may seem to rise; if it gets golden brown take it out of the oven fast and put in onto a lower rack;
  • When the crispy crust starts to form on the surface, after about 30-35 minutes (never open the oven before that), make the toothpick test: remember that Tenerina cake is a very moist cake, so if it comes out wet, well done! The surface should be drier; check a few parts of the cake! 
  • If it looks too liquid, bake it a few minutes more; 
  • When the surface cracks (it should look like a cracked meringue), your cake is ready; take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely. Garnish it with plenty of powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder (it will tent to deflate as it doesn’t count any flour, so don’t worry the cake is ok).   

How can you garnish Tenerina cake?

Powdered sugar best fits this cake; sprinkle out with unsweetened cocoa powder for an even stronger taste and  silky surface.

tenerina cake italian

How can you store it?

Tenerina cake keeps fresh up to 3-4 days in cake container at room temperature. It can be refrigerated; defrost it in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours at room temperate before enjoying  it.   

Don’t miss any recipe! Subscribe to Stefania’s Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *