Willie Cake

Print This Recipe

Chef Willing Howard created this recipe and it is named after his son, Willie, and it is a very carefully guarded recipe. This recipe is supposed to be a copycat recipe for Willie Cake, but without the rum. It is a very rich, flourless cake made with lots of chocolate!


14-ounces good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (NOT unsweetened)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 large eggs, separated
12 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, not imitation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper, then butter the paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil.

Stir chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; cool until lukewarm, stirring often.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Fold lukewarm chocolate into yolk mixture, then fold in vanilla extract.

Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beat until medium-firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites into chocolate in 3 stages. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake cake until top is puffed and cracked. A tester inserted into the center will have some moist crumbs attached to it, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a rack. The cake will fall.

Gently press down the crusty top to make an evenly thick cake. Loosen cake from side and invert onto a platter. Remove parchment paper. Cover with Chocolate Ganache.


1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 pound good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (NOT unsweetened)

Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour hot cream over the chocolate in a metal bowl and stir until smooth. Cool until thickened; pour over cooled cake, covering completely.