Last updated on January 18th, 2024.
There’s nothing quite like the rich and indulgent taste of Torta Caprese, the Italian almond chocolate cake that has captured the hearts (and taste buds) of dessert lovers around the world. This delectable treat is not only a feast for the senses but also surprisingly straightforward to make. Its dense, moist texture sets it apart, making every bite a heavenly experience.
What is Torta Caprese?
Torta Caprese cake hails from the beautiful island of Capri in Italy, where it originated in the 1920s. Like all good things, it was created by mistake when the baker misplaced the flour with ground almonds. This flourless chocolate cake is known for its intense chocolate flavor, combined with the nutty richness of almonds. (For almond-free chocolate cake, check out this Torta Tenerina)
While I have yet to purchase a private villa on the stunning isle of Capri, I love to drift into the fantasy of it. Torta Caprese: where decadence meets the struggle of deciding which luxurious world to indulge in: chocolate or almonds? who would have thought that a century-old recipe was the answer?
The complete torta caprese recipe is below in the recipe card.
- Bleached Almonds. You can also use almond meal, slivered almonds, or a combination.
- Dark chocolate chips. Or any chocolate you like.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. I used natural cocoa powder, but if you wish for a milder chocolate flavor, use Dutch cocoa powder.
- Baking powder.
- Unsalted butter, soft.
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs, separated.
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean.
- Almond extract
- Rum. It’s optional; note that it does make a difference in the flavor. Brandy, Amerrato, or Cointreau (orange liquor) can also be used.
- confectioners’ sugar. To dust the cake.
How to Make Torta Caprese
- Using a food processor, processor the almond and chocolate chips for about one minute.
- Transfer the ground almonds to a medium bowl, sift the cocoa powder and baking powder, then use a fork to blend.
- In a large bowl (or a bowl of a stand mixer), beat half the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the extracts and rum.
- Use a separate bowl to whip the egg whites using the whisk attachment until foamy, and gradually add the sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
- Add one-third of the dry ingredients and one-third of the meringue to the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula to fold.
- Repeat twice, pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, and bake.
Tips And Serving Ideas
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Allow eggs and butter to come to room temperature before starting. This helps in achieving a better emulsion and even mixing.
- Separate Eggs when cold: Cold eggs are more likely not to break the egg yolks into the egg whites. Then, allow them to reach room temperature.
- Cake pan. Use a 9-inch round pan or a springform pan. Grease the bottom of the pan and line it with parchment paper.
- Fold Ingredients Gently: When combining the almond flour and melted chocolate mixture with the whipped egg whites, fold them in gently using a spatula. This preserves the airiness of the whipped egg whites.
- Check for Doneness: Baking time can vary from oven to oven; use the toothpick test to check for doneness. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out with a few moist crumbs (not wet batter), the cake is ready.
- Cooling. Allow the Torta Caprese to cool completely in the pan before transferring it to a wire rack. This helps the cake set and prevents it from collapsing.
Torta Caprese is a rich cake with a decadent chocolate flavor that can be served warm or at room temperature. Traditionally, the cake is dusted with powdered sugar over ribbons to create a pleasant geometric design.
A slice can be topped with homemade whipped cream, fresh berries, a dollop of fruity preserves, vanilla ice cream, or a drizzle of chocolate ganache.
Torta Caprese stays fresh when stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. To freeze for a longer shelf life, allow the cake to cool completely, wrap it with plastic wrap, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze for up to four weeks.
While dark chocolate is traditional, feel free to experiment with milk or even white chocolate for a unique twist.
The almond flour contributes to the unique texture of Torta Caprese. Using regular flour will alter the cake’s character, so it’s best to stick to the original recipe.
Use any nut that will not overwhelm the chocolate flavor; I recommend Hazelnuts.
While they are both flourless, the Sacher torte is denser, is made of two layers, and is frosted and tipped with chocolate ganache.
More Recipes You Might Enjoy
Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. I would love to see your creations!
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Torta Caprese Recipe
Dense, rich and flourless Italian chocolate and almond cake
- 1 1/2 Cups Blanched or slivered almonds (200g) OR 2 cups of almond meal
- 1 Cup Dark chocolate chips (150g)
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened natural cocoa powder (40g)
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 3/4 Cup Unsalted butter, soft (180g)
- 1 Cup Sugar (200g)
- 5 Large Eggs, separated at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoon Rum, optional
- Powdered sugar for dusting the cake
Preheat oven to 340F (160C) and grease the bottom of one nine-inch pan. Line with parchment paper.
In a food processor, process the almond and chocolate chips for one minute until you get an even crumbs mixture.
Transfer the almonds to a medium bowl, then sift the cocoa powder and baking powder over. Use a fork to blend, and set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, use a hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar (100g) until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg yolks, one yolk at a time.
Add the extracts and rum and mix to blend.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy, about one minute.
Increase the speed to high and gradually add the rest of the sugar. Whip until you have a stiff peak meringue. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
Add one-third of the almond mixture to the butter mixture and fold it along with one-third of the meringue.
Repeat the previous step twice, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out from the center of the cake with a few moist crumbs.
Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cook in the pan before inverting it to a serving plate.
When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the sides of the cake, then invert it to a wire rack, or a serving plate.
Place 4-5 nine-inch ribbon strips over the cake in a random order, allowing them to cross each other.
Dust the cake with powdered sugar, then gently remove the ribbons.
- Note that the run affects the cake’s flavor, so feel free to skip it or replace it with Cointearu (Orand liquor) or Amaretto.
- Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature.
- Separate the eggs when they are cold, and make sure there are no yolk drops in the egg whites, or else the meringue will not whip. (To learn more, check out my post on How to make Meringue)
- Store the cake covered or in a cake dome at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- The cake is best when at room temperature or slightly warm.
- To freeze gently wrap the cake with plastic wrap and place it in a plastic bag, and freeze for up to four weeks.
- Top the cake with homemade whipped cream, or ice cream, drizzle with chocolate ganache, or serve with fresh berries or fruit.
- My oven is different than yours, so baking time may vary. To know if the cake is ready, insert a tooth pick to the center of the cake, if it comes out with a few moist crumbs it is ready.