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Sep 20, 2023

Pierre Hermé's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake

This half-baked chocolate cake, or Gâteau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit, just oozes delicious gooey chocolate when you cut it open. 

Cut loaf of Pierre Hermé's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake with the soft chocolate.


If you're familiar with those little individual molten chocolate cakes, also known as lava cakes, that were all the rage a few years ago, just know that this cake takes the concept to another level. 

This cake shares the same five ingredients, but it is made in a loaf pan. The center is gooey and soft, and a slice tastes like a rich ganache-filled chocolate bar. 

Even the thinnest slice of this cake will satisfy your chocolate cravings. 

Origins of this Cake:

According to the book, Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano, this cake was posted on Pierre Hermé's Instagram account during that time when we were all stuck at home in the early days of the pandemic and taking up baking. This cake became a big sensation. 

Who is Pierre Hermé? He's a French pastry chef and chocolatier. He comes from a long line of pastry chefs and began his career as a baker at age 14. He has a long list of of cookbooks to his name and he is considered one of the world's best pastry chefs. 

Evidently, this cake was created by Suzy Palatin, a French cookbook writer, and a friend of Pierre Hermé. The versions of this cakes I've seen using Suzy's recipe are presented in a 10-inch cake pan. However, her cake has the same half-cooked center and simply oozes chocolate. 

Aleksandra, The Cake Slice Bakers' recipe source, recommends baking this cake in a long (11 inch by 4 inch) French loaf pan. I did not have the long French pan, nor could I find one the right length (my Pullman pan is too long), so I baked mine in an American 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan, also recommended by our author. 

Just know, as the cake is cooling, the center will collapse a bit. Don't worry, while it may not be visually pretty on the outside, the cake is amazing on the inside. 

By the way, Mi-Cuit means half-baked. You could also call it Moelleux au Chocolate Gateau, or "soft chocolate cake." 

I'm looking forward to trying this recipe in a 9 or 10-inch round cake pan, and even halving the recipe and baking it in a 6-inch round cake pan. 

Ingredients in this Gâteau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit:

For the original French recipe, there are only five ingredients in this cake, eggs, chocolate, granulated sugar, cake flour, and unsalted butter. 

You could add a little vanilla extract and a pinch of salt if you like how they enhance flavors. You can also switch to salted butter and brown or muscovado sugar. A teaspoon of instant espresso powder might be worth a try to enhance the chocolate flavor. 

For the chocolate, use a quality chocolate (not chocolate chips) that is between 60% to 70% cacao. I used a combination of the two. 

Gâteau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit uncut loaf on a white platter.


Making this cake really only takes a few minutes, plus baking and cooling time. It's incredibly easy. 

First, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler and set it aside. 

Next, beat the butter and the sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. 

After that, sift in the small amount of cake flour called for in the recipe and gently stir it in. Then, with your mixer on low, add the melted chocolate and blend it in until it's just incorporated. 

Finally, bake the cake at 350 degrees F for exactly 35 minutes. 

Half-baked chocolate cake loaf on a white platter.

Hints for Success:

Hint #1 - Depanning the Cake:

The cake can be pretty fragile when you try to remove it from the pan and can easily fall apart. It is recommended that you chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before turning it out and then letting it return to room temperature before serving. 

You can either line the pan with parchment paper and lift the cake out and place it, top side up, on a plate by grabbing the parment paper with your hands. Alternatively, you can grease and dust the pan with cocoa powder and then turn the cake out by flipping it over and placing it on the plate, bottom side up. I used the parchment method. 

Hint #2 - Butter and Eggs:

 Make sure the butter and eggs are truly room temperature. I set out the butter and eggs the night before and made the cake in the morning. 

Hint #3 - Oven Temperature:

Definitely use an oven thermometer. Place it in the center of your rack to make sure your oven is properly calibrated. You can adjust your oven's setting up or down so that the baking temperature is as close to 350 degrees as possible. This will pretty much assure you that the cake is done "just enough" without testing it with a cake tester, as long as you bake it exactly 35 minutes. After all, it is super gooey in the center! 

Another indication that the cake is done is that the top is slightly domed, not shiny, and the edges are set. The cake will collapse a bit when it cools. Don't panic. This just concentrates the chocolaty-ness. 

Hint #4 - Melting the Chocolate:

 If you choose to melt the chocolate in the microwave, do it at half power in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. The final bits of chocolate will melt while the chocolate sits. 


You can make this cake a day in advance, and leftovers will keep at room temperature for a few days. It's so moist! 

Two slices of Gâteau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit on plates.

Serving Suggestions:

This cake can be dusted with confectioner's sugar for a nice presentation. You could also top it with a drizzle of chocolate sauce for even more chocolate decadence. 

This cake would also go beautifully with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or crème fraîche. 

You could also layer this cake in parfaits with ice cream and whipped cream

Cake Slice Baker's Logo.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th we all post about our cakes. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Cover of the book, Gateau

For 2023, our chosen book is - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes - and our choices for August are ~

Chile-Infused Honey Madeleines

Pierre Hermé's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake
  • Karen's Kitchen Stories

Gluten-Free Fig Cake

One slice of Gâteau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit.

Pierre Hermé's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake

Pierre Hermé's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake
Yield: 20 slices
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 50 Min
This half-baked chocolate cake, or Gâteau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit, just oozes delicious gooey chocolate when you cut it open.


  • 250 grams bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 250 grams (1 cup plus two tablespoons) room temperature butter, salted or unsalted
  • 180 grams (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 200 grams (4 large) room temperature eggs
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cake flour


  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with spray oil and line the bottom and long sides with parchment paper with enough extra paper to drape over the sides of the pan (This will help you lift the cake from the pan once it had cooled).
  2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes on high speed.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition.
  5. Holding a fine mesh sieve over the bowl, sift the flour into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix the flour in on low speed.
  6. With the speed on low, slowly mix in the melted chocolate.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake the cake for exactly 35 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  9. Let the cake cool on a rack at room temperature. Once the cake has cooled, lift it with the parchment onto a serving platter. You can either slide the paper out from under the cake or cut away the sides of the paper (which is what I did).
  10. Serve the cake at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

16 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

9 g

Carbs (grams)

18 g

Fiber (grams)

1 g

Net carbs

17 g

Sugar (grams)

14 g

Protein (grams)

3 g

Cholesterol (grams)

65 mg
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Would you like to comment?

  1. That looks really good! I think I would save the gooey fudgy bites for last!

  2. Love that this cake has so few ingredients and is so quick and easy to make, perfect when deciding to invite friends for dinner at the last minute.

  3. Uhhh...YUM! That looks just heavenly, Karen!

  4. Absolute heaven! if you halve the recipe and bake in a 6 inch pan, how many minutes do you think would do the magic?

    1. I would think about 25 to 30 minutes. I want to try it soon myself!


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