Sunken Chocolate Amaretto Cake

This is one of those dark, squidgy-bellied cakes that is irresistible. The mixture of ground almonds and amaretto gives it a marzipan-like quality that balances perfectly with the bitterness of the chocolate.

100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) (1 cup)
100g unsalted butter, softened (7 tbs.)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
125g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
75g ground almonds (3/4 cup)
2 tbs. cocoa powder, plus more to dust
3 tbs. Amaretto liqueur

For the amaretti cream:

250ml heavy cream (1 cup)
1 tbs. Amaretti liqueur
4 Amaretti biscuits, crumbled

Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the sides and line the bottom of a 8″ springform pan.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of just simmering water. Stir to melt, then pour into a jug and cool a little.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, mousse-like and doubled. This will take 1-2 minutes. Fork the almonds and cocoa together in a small bowl, then turn the mixer to low and add to the egg mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon.

Stir the Amaretto liqueur into the slightly cooled chocolate, then pour the mixture into the egg batter, whisking all the time. Pour and scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is coming away at the edges, the top has formed a slightly crack and a cake tester comes out with just a few damp crumbs.

Remove to a wire rack, drape a clean towel over the top and leave to cool. Once cool, unclip the tin and transfer onto a serving plate. Sift additional cocoa powder over the top.

Make the amaretti cream by whipping the heavy cream until thickened then adding the Amaretti liquor. Serve dolloped over the cake and sprinkled with the biscuit crumbs.

Serves 10-12


23 thoughts on “Sunken Chocolate Amaretto Cake”

  1. Hi, my wife whisked the cream till thick then added the liquor, mixed again but after crumbling in the amaretti biscuits and whisking again, it went all gloomy and had a fair bit of liquid at the bottom… Basically we had to bin it… What went wrong please?


    1. I am so sorry to hear that. I have never stirred the amaretti crumbs into the cream, just scattered them on top when serving. Perhaps they changed the consistency of the cream, The next time I make it I will try to find out what might have happened and amend the recipe if needed. Thank you for bring it to my attention.


  2. Hiya Nigella
    When making this magnificent sunken amaretti chocolate cake – which I am very much looking forward to! Can you make the day before your event and store (at room temperature or in a fridge overnight at all)?
    Thank you ☺️


  3. Help, I have an inherited fan oven – what would the appropriate temperature be please 🙏 Love to do this for New Year’s Day after seeing you make it on the tv a few weeks ago.

    Many thanks


  4. Merry Christmas!
    I made this cake last night, left on the side with tea towel draped over it and got distracted, when to check it, it had really sunken! It’s a very thin cake and I’m worried as I think perhaps I left it too long on the side and should’ve put it in the fridge in air tight container? Has anyone experienced this? X


    1. It could have been that the cake was a bit underbaked and the center didn’t solidify. Another reason for a very sunken cake is too much leavening. This causes the cake to rise too much and then fall more than it should.


  5. Butter is listed as an ingredient but not mentioned within the method. I’ve made this cake without butter, it looks okay will it taste ok?


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