Serves a Crowd

Tartine Chocolate-Almond Cake

March 16, 2017
9 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes two 9-inch cakes
Author Notes

Adapted from Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook by Elisabeth Prueitt, copyright (c) 2017. Published by Lorena Jones Books/Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • Unsalted butter, for the pans
  • 4 cups (480 grams) almond flour (sift it if there are lumps)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (70 grams) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed (90 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) whole milk
  • 2/3 cup (200 grams) raspberry, peach, strawberry, or apricot jam (optional)
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons water
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Butter the sides of two 9-inch (23-centimeter) round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit exactly.
  2. In a bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda and mix well, making sure that any lumps of almond flour are broken up.
  3. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fi tted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on high speed until very thick and pale in color, about 3 minutes. When you lift up the whisk, a ribbon of beaten eggs should trail back into the bowl.
  4. Whisk the vinegar and milk into the egg mixture. Pour the milk-egg mixture into the almond meal mixture and whisk until combined. Pour the batter into the cake pans. If the jam is too thick to drop off the spoon, slightly thin by stirring in the water.
  5. Evenly space dots of the jam over the tops of the cakes. Bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
  6. Set the pans on a cooling racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. To unmold, run a butter knife around the sides of the pans to loosen the cakes, invert the cakes onto another rack, lift off the pans, and peel away the parchment. Place a serving plate over the bottom of one cake layer and turn the cake right-side up, top with half of the whipped cream. Place the second cake layer over the whipped cream. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Yvette Jansen
    Yvette Jansen
  • Kelsey Fredston-Hermann
    Kelsey Fredston-Hermann
  • samanthaalison
  • Erin Lewis
    Erin Lewis
  • kumalavula

38 Reviews

cindymd December 25, 2019
Love this cake. Split the batter in half before adding the milk. I added regular milk to half and cashew milk to the other half. Both versions were delicious. The cashew milk version cooked a bit more quickly - was done 5 minutes before the cow's milk cake. My gluten, dairy-free friend was thrilled.
Yvette J. April 23, 2019
This was excellent. I used Dutch cocoa (helps if you cannot buy other kinds of cocoa in Dutch stores ;) ) and a raspberry-apricot jam. No cream, because I used a bunny-shaped tin and it's weird to frost a bunny. But I can imagine it would be yummy with cream as well! This will go in the high rotation stack of recipes.
Yvette J. April 23, 2019
Now I think about it, I used 460 grams of almond flour and 20 grams of wheat flour, as I had to little almond flour. Maybe this helped to reduce the crumbliness posters below are reporting?
Kelsey F. September 20, 2017
Has anyone tried making this cake using either lactose-free milk, a non-cow milk (sheep or goat), or a nut/seed milk?
samanthaalison August 24, 2017
I made this and didn't love it. I used Honeyville almond flour and the texture was perfect, but it didn't taste much like chocolate. I used whatever cocoa I had around - a mix of different things - maybe I'd try it again with something more potent, or pair it with a chocolate ganache.
samanthaalison May 30, 2017
Is this light enough to stack? I'm looking to make a gluten free black forest cake, and Prueitt is generally pretty brilliant.
Sarah J. May 30, 2017
Yes! This recipe is two layers.
Erin L. April 30, 2017
I made this cake tonight. Used trader joe's almond flour, and 2% milk. Came out wonderful! Not too sweet. Ecstatic to find a healthy version of chocolate cake that tastes great. Thanks!
deanna April 25, 2017
i love this rather unusual cake! gritty almond, yes, but such a opulent and rich looking dense chocolate ( dutch processes) cake with no flour and oil/butter! how is that for real?;) will definitely bake again. thanks sarah
suzanne April 18, 2017
Made this Sunday for Passover and was disappointed. Bought Bob's Red Mill Fine Almond flour and still it was gritty. I too found the cake a bit crumbly and difficult to cut. Flavor was good, but didn't love the texture. Agree the jam is a good addition. I think it would be better plopped in then run through with a knife so it spreads a little more vs having drops of it. Would not make again.
JessicaHansen April 10, 2017
I made this as a single layer for a pre-passover seder. It was very straightforward and tasty. Do not skip the jam and whipped cream, they make the cake! I decorated the top with raspberries, and you should too.
Alexis April 10, 2017
I made the cake for the first time yesterday to bring for a dinner party. and it cam out perfectly. However, I weighed all the ingredients after measuring them in standard measuring cups and noticed there was a difference, particularly in the weight of the almond flour. Perhaps that's why I didn't have the breakage and crumbling as the last baker did. Definitely a make again cake.....and, pretty to look at. Covered the whipped cream with berries!
Ginny April 13, 2017
Please clarify ... you made your cake by using quantities of ingredients from the measured or weighed method?
Nicholas April 8, 2017
This is a lightly chocolate cake and nothing more. Breaks and crumbles easily perhaps, too easily. Moist. Preserves make a nice addition. Looking for very good, flavorful, and well textured chocolate almond cake? Maida Heatter has at least two: Queen Mother's Cake, and Helen McCully's Orange Chocolate Cake.
foofaraw April 8, 2017
Where can I find Helen McCully's Orange Chocolate Cake ?
Nicholas April 11, 2017
It was included in Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts.
Carrie April 7, 2017
Other options besides whipped cream?
Jennifer M. April 6, 2017
Any thoughts on a vanilla version? Omit cocoa?
samanthaalison May 30, 2017
Not exactly the same, but I've had great luck with this recipe (also almond-based and gluten free) -
Trishington June 29, 2018
Also not exactly the same, but Claudia Roden's Almond Cake from her book "The Food of Spain" which is on is fantastic. I've made it so many times that I've lost count. But be sure to use blanched whole almonds and grind them yourself in a food processor - using almond flour will result in a dried, crumbly mess.
kumalavula April 5, 2017
i halved the recipe since i knew better than to have a whole extra pan at my disposal. i used seedless raspberry preserves and it came out great. as it baked the spoonfuls of jam i plopped onto the top of the batter sunk down into sugary crevasses barely visible on the cake surface when pulled out after almost 30 min in the oven. it's cooing now and my 2nd period high school students will be the judge tomorrow. i'm pretty sure this will be the go to item.
Lynsay April 5, 2017
Is it OK to use 2% milk vs. whole milk? Just want to make sure no major issue in making the swap.
Sarah J. April 5, 2017
Shouldn't be a huge issue! I don't think you'll notice a difference if you're not doing a side-by-side comparison. Good luck!
Emily May 18, 2017
What about a dairy free milk like almond or cashew?
kayellen April 4, 2017
I made a 1/3 recipe for a single 6inch cake with Valrhona cocoa powder, fig jam and a little bit of almond extract...perfect little cake for small dinner party!
LisaD April 4, 2017
How well would this keep? I am supposed to make "tiny desserts" for a dinner tomorrow night. I was thinking of making a half-recipe and then cutting 2" mini-cakes from it before the dinner (and then I would have the scraps for breakfast!). But my schedule is hairy tomorrow so I would need to make the cake tonight.
Sarah J. April 4, 2017
The cake itself will definitely keep for one day, but wait to add any whipped cream until you're just about ready to serve!
Irene April 3, 2017
Dutched Cocoa or natural?
Sarah J. April 4, 2017
Jane U. April 1, 2017
Can the layers be frozen? Or will they keep for a couple of days, wrapped?
Sarah J. April 4, 2017
They'll keep for a couple of days. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
Amanda L. April 1, 2017
Unsweetened cocoa powder, right?
Sarah J. April 1, 2017