A deep dark chocolate cake is the perfect dessert to celebrate any special occasion with.

This sweet treat is unique in that it doesn’t require flour to bind it and instead relies on ground almonds which makes it gluten-free but also results in a rich and moist finish. With a glossy chocolate glaze and a topping of toasted hazelnuts, this cake will be a true showstopper.

Dark chocolate hazelnut mud pie recipe

Serves: 8


- 8oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

- 4½ butter, diced

- 6oz caster sugar

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 4oz ground almonds

- 6 large eggs, separated

For the chocolate glaze:

- 4oz of good-quality dark chocolate

- 1oz of butter

- 2oz of icing sugar, sifted

- ⅓ of double cream

- 3oz of hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch diameter spring-form tin with baking parchment.

  2. For the mud pie, melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the sugar, vanilla extract and ground almonds with a spatula. Stir through the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing after each addition, until you have a thick batter. Put the egg whites in a standing food mixer (or use an electric hand-held mixer in a bowl) and whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the egg whites to the chocolate batter and fold through gently until just combined.

  3. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven to bake for about 35 minutes until it is firm but with a slight wobble. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to sit on a wire rack to cool in its tin. Before removing the tin to cool completely.

  4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl sat over a pan of just simmering water. When melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the icing sugar and the cream.
Allow to cool until the mixture becomes thick enough to leave a figure of eight on the surface. Pour over the chocolate mud pie and then sprinkle with hazelnuts. Leave to set before slicing and serving.

Donal demonstrates how to make this chocoholic delight in the video below. 

About Donal Skehan

With ten years under his belt as a TV host & award-winning food writer, Donal Skehan provides his audience with doable meals that anyone can master. A dad of two, Donal knows a thing or two about juggling parenthood, work and cooking!

Donal has released 10 cookbooks, with his most recent, Everyday Cook, having won Ireland’s Cookbook of the Year in 2021 and reached number six in the Amazon United Kingdom book charts.

* Originally published in July 2014, updated in May 2023.