Sorrento Chocolate Almond Cake

This gluten-free cake, typical of the Sorrento peninsula and Amalfi coast, takes its name from the island of Capri. It’s said to have been created in the 1920s by a pastry chef who forgot to add the flour to his cake batter. You will need around 35 minutes to prepare this delicious Sorrento chocolate almond cake. Here is the recipe:

Servings 6-8


  • 200 g (9 oz) blanched almonds
  • 55 g (2 oz) pistachios
  • 180 g (6½ oz) raw (demerara) sugar, plus 2–3 teaspoons extra, for the
  • ground almonds
  • 250 g (9 oz) dark chocolate (60–70% cocoa)
  • 200 g (7 oz) butter, softened, plus extra, for greasing
  • 5 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch fine salt
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting



  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spread the almonds and pistachios on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, then allow to cool. Coarsely grind them using a coffee grinder or in a food processor. Add 2–3 teaspoons of sugar, to taste.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water, making sure the hot water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl). Let the chocolate cool until just warm.
  • Using an electric stand mixer or a wooden spoon, beat the softened butter in a bowl with 100 g (3½ oz) of the sugar until very creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the ground almonds,pistachios and salt. Pour the chocolate into the mixture little by little and gently combine.
  • In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks with the remaining sugar to make a smooth meringue. Using a spatula, gently fold it into the chocolate mixture, making sure not to collapse the meringue.
  • Grease a 22–24 cm (8½–9½ inch) round cake tin and line with baking paper. Pour in the batter and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the tin to cool and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Buon Appetito!