chocolate-buckwheat-cake Recipes

chocolate buckwheat cake

There are rainy, dreary, energy depleted days when the best thing you can do at 3 p.m. is to stop pretending that anything short of chocolate cake is going to improve your outlook. Tuesday was that kind of day and, just my luck, this happened to be a rainy Tuesday kind of chocolate cake.

chopping bittersweet chocolate
buckwheat flour with ground almonds

But before that, I really tried to tell you about soup, soup with whole grains and seasonal onions and floating croutons of pungent cheese. I really tried. But I found that the same conditions that led to the need for a hearty soup on a Monday night in May — a gray day in which my brain a little fried from a week at the beach and maladjustment back to real life — also made it impossible to discuss soup in any kind of articulate manner on Tuesday. And so, I made chocolate cake instead. If this site had a subtitle, that would be it.

what you'll need + bea's inspiration

beating and beating the eggs
melted chocolate, butter into batter

The cake is from the exact kind of book you want to pull down from your bookshelf on a damp, dimly lit day. I’d have bought it for the cover alone, but it didn’t hurt that it came from the chef/photographer/writer behind one of the most gorgeous sites out there. Gluten-free and market fresh, but not beating you over the head with either, page after page is filled with bits and pieces of a life full of great food, with photos so gorgeous they’re nothing short of lit from within.

filling the cake pan

The cake itself filled several unspoken Tuesday afternoon requirements: It wasn’t too sweet or too intense (it’s not molten or knife-sticking in a way that requires washing it down with a chug of milk) but excellently chocolaty, it went well with a much-needed 4 p.m. black coffee, and it was interesting, with a trace of nuttiness from the smallest amount of buckwheat flour and ground almonds. I know “interesting” sounds like a cop-out of a description, but really, it’s nice to have something to consider, something to mull over sometimes aside from the endless to-do list, clutter, tantrums and urgencies of daily life. In fact, it might even be the whole reason cake exists.

chocolate buckwheat cake

One year ago: Vermontucky Lemonade
Two years ago: Spring Asparagus Pancetta Hash, Pecan Cornmeal Butter Cake, Mushroom Crepe Cake and Braided Lemon Bread
Three years ago: Almond Raspberry Layer Cake
Four years ago: Cherry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Five years ago: Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins, Baked Eggs + Chive Biscuits + Bloody Marys

Chocolate Buckwheat Cake
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life

Because I’m obsessed with cooking formulas, I realized that this cake works out to an approximation of a fondant au chocolat, a classic French cake with a compact, fudgy crumb and little chocolate hesitation — think of it as an mostly flourless chocolate cake — that trust me, we all need more of in our lives. Ones scaled accordingly usually use 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour (nixing the buckwheat and almond) and a bit more sugar, up to double, in fact, but I wouldn’t go over 3/4 cup. I hesitate to tell you to swap regular flour if you wish given that I haven’t outright tested this cake with that formula, but I feel 98% confident that it will work just fine.

Nevertheless, the buckwheat is delightful here. I promise, it won’t taste whole wheat or earnest or like an apology for a run-in with French fries the day before. Buckwheat flour, with its fine, silky crumb and utter lack of gluten (yes, this cake is gluten-free), adds structure but not density and that structure has the mildest, faintest nutty earthy flavor which contrasts all the other wonders (chocolate, butter, sugar, vanilla) fantastically. Trust me.

If you don’t have almond flour, you can grind blanched slivered or sliced almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder. I find it easier to get a finer grind without it turning to almond butter by grinding it with a flour, such as the buckwheat here.

Yield: One thin 9-inch round cake

7 tablespoons (100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering pan
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) bittersweet dark chocolate (70 to 72 percent is ideal)
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces) granulated or blond cane sugar
A good pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (35 grams or 1 1/4 ounces) buckwheat flour
1/4 cup (30 grams or 1 ounce) almond meal
Confectioners’ sugar, lightly whipped cream and/or berries to serve (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double-boiler (a heatproof bowl resting on a pot of lightly simmering water) or in short bursts in the microwave, stirring frequently. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mix, beat the eggs and sugar with salt until light and pale and doubled in volume. This will take anywhere from 5 to even 9 minutes and I encourage you not to skimp on this because this thickened plume of eggs is an important part of this cake’s dreamy crumb. Plus, the mixer is doing all of the work for you, isn’t it?

Gently fold in the vanilla and melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the buckwheat and almond flours over the batter and fold gently to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake for… well, mine was done in 20, but Bea suggests 30, which means that the truth is somewhere in-between. A tester inserted into the center of the cake should come out dry.

Let cool for five minutes on a rack then invert onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and return upright on a serving plate. Serve in wedges, dusted with powdered sugar, dolloped with lightly whipped cream and/or scattered with berries.

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236 comments on chocolate buckwheat cake

  1. I love using buckwheat flour – I’ve used it in cookies and brownies recently and going back to all purpose flour is such a let down now! A beautiful cake from what I’m sure will be a beautiful book.

  2. s.s.

    So funny! Out of sheer gloomy weather desperation, I made your ‘everyday chocolate cake’ yesterday. This one also looks great! I can make chocolate cake two days in a row, right?

  3. This cake sounds like a warm hug from the inside. The only problem is, every time I hear the word “buckwheat” I think of the “Buckwheat Sings” sketch with Eddie Murphy from SNL back in the day. “Unt…Tite…Twee Times a Laaaadaaaayyyyy…..”

  4. swisscheese

    This looks amazing! I just bought some buckwheat flour an hour ago and was wondering what to do with it… excellent timing.

  5. Dawn Nowak

    OK – a question: is almond flour the same thing as almond meal? I happen to have the meal plus buckwheat flour in my freezer, and would LOVE to get started on this cake :)

  6. Jan

    I made the pistachio financiers from that book and adored them. I honestly want to live in Béatrice Peltre’s book. It’s gorgeous, the recipes are fabulous, and the whole thing is so bright and uplifting!
    And, you are totally right, our lives do need more flourless chocolate cakes. Seriously!

  7. Linderlou

    I would definitely make this one – had to give up wheat (and gave up gluten as well) for health reasons a month ago. Just haven’t felt inspired to bake anything gluten free except maybe a flourless chocolate cake but just might try this recipe instead! I’ve been hooked on my vegan buckwheat pancakes of late but I need my chocolate fix!!

  8. Anna

    The cake looks amazing! Small thing: I’m allergic to almonds. Is there anything I can substitute without sacrificing texture?

  9. This cake looks and sounds divine! It is going on my to-do list because I love everyday cakes, ground almonds, and things described with the words easy and chocolate! And I relate to your rainy day dilemma (being in Jersey) but good weather has arrived so maybe we can use this as a celebration cake.

  10. This is the way I’d want to spend a rainy Tuesday afternoon as well. Baking always puts a positive spin on the day. I like that your cake is made with buckwheat – I’ve had buckwheat in pancakes only, never in a cake and I love the idea of trying it. Definitely a fun way of changing up an already delicious recipe!

  11. Ahhhh, on the dreary rainy days, you have no inspiration but to make and write about a chocolate cake and you STILL manage to adapt the recipe to something “interesting” and gluten-free. I’m totally feeling this post, though, as it actually JUST started raining down here in FL while I was in the middle of reading it.

    Cheers. Literally.

  12. I love the idea of a “weekday chocolate cake.” I keep my buckwheat flour in the same glass jar as well with a little label. Aren’t those jars fun?

  13. what a bright and shiny find this morning right when i was DYING to bake something chocolatey without being weighed down by white flour. i even have the ingredients in my cupboards! i may try using coconut palm sugar. i will let you know how it goes if i use it! thank you!

  14. Aaaah. I was looking for another reason to eat even MORE chocolate cake (because apparently there’s only so much caterwauling I can do about being pregnant and ANCIENT, while stuffing self with my own choc mousse cake, before spousal eyebrows start getting raised…) but this is healthy, no? Good for anyone eating for two, I’d have thought… (surely that means I can have two (large) slices?) Thank you! Ps – I like the snazzy moving pictures.

  15. michele

    I love your blog. I would love to make this cake but can’t use almond flour due to allergies. Can you suggest an alternative? Thanks.

  16. I am a chocolate lover, especially at that low point of the day where only a cuppa tea and something sweet can get me through. The buckwheat flour and almond meal in the recipe intrigue me, and I think it’s good to enjoy a cake that makes you think. I’m so glad you “made cake instead.” :)

  17. Arti

    I love Everyday cakes..whose Tuesday does not need a cake? I know mine did. Though this will be a Wednesday cake in our house..Dinner/cake? I vote for cake with your earnest salad with goat cheese croutons.

  18. martina

    The cake looks so good!

    I know I’ve groused about this before, but it still bugs me. Can the links please be made more visible? They are dark gray without underlining and they give me serious eye strain trying to find them. I love this site, but I don’t feel like I’m getting the full intent if I can’t follow your leads… does that make sense?

  19. I understand and affirm your situation entirely. The I-made-cake-instead principle guides my life as well. And THIS cake looks delicious; I’ve made similar things but nothing quite like it. I shall tuck the idea away for my next rainy day!

  20. I am loving Bea’s book– and I think your description of the “food being lit from within” is entirely spot-on. Depsite reading her blog for years, it took me a very long time to realize that she was cooking gluten free food. I always just thought it was Bea being creative and cool! I think buckwheat flour will be a great addition to my pantry, particularly so I can quickly whip up a cake just like this on any given rainy Tuesday.

    Commenter Nicole’s idea of serving this with creme fraiche and strawberries makes me want it even more!

  21. Sara

    Ahem … SOME of us came here looking for a SENSIBLE dinner idea … ;) And thanks for posting a delicious cake on my birthday … although now I have way too many options for this weekend. I might just have to make them all …

  22. I love the way you write your blogs! I just have to say, all of your cooking materials (bowls, spatulas, pans) are so beautiful and shiny. At first I would assume that metal wouldn’t look good with food, but your photography makes it all look gorgeous. Oh yeah and I’m totally making that cake.

  23. Anne B

    I would love to transform this into more of a celebration cake for a friend of mine who is gluten free. Do you think this would work layered with frosting? If so, what kind of frosting would you recommend?

  24. Amy Bounds

    I too would love to know if there is a way to substitute for the almond flour. Could you just use more buckwheat?

  25. shari

    Ha! Your subtitle is my mantra! And love the batter pouring ‘special effects’. And hey, I didn’t know that buckwheat was gluten free. I learned so many things today! Thank you!

  26. Alexandra

    Where in NYC do you buy your baking chocolate? I feel like the good stuff is even outrageously expensive at NY Cake & Baking.

  27. Ada

    Yes. This is what I’m making this weekend when my gluten-free friend is coming over for dinner. It looks delicious!

  28. laurie

    Re: substitutions for almond meal/flour, I’ve seen both pecan meal and hazelnut meal at our local specialty food store in the bulk section. You might try an online search for them.

  29. I love the looks of the batter and of course the cake!I had a chocolate cake kind of day like this a couple weeks ago when I originally tried to make some crackers from mixed nuts. It was a fail coz I added too much salt and refusing to accept my failure, I managed to turn the thing into chocolate orange cardamom nut cake and life was ok again.

  30. Harmony

    This looks delicious.

    Question: I don’t have buckwheat or almond flour (and can’t leave the sleeping baby and toddler home alone, the husband won’t be here for a while, and I need to make this ASAP). I see your notes about subbing AP flour, but I also have cake flour, barley flour, and oat flour. Do you think any of those would work well (individually or a combination)? I’ve just started experimenting with flours other than AP, bread, and whole wheat and I’m still not quite sure how they all work.
    Thank you!

  31. Yum! This would be the perfect dessert to go with the goat cheese crouton salad. And this is my kind of gluten free recipe…one that naturally happens, not because I forced it to be.

  32. Kelly

    I think I laughed out loud three times while reading the description before the recipe. Very much appreciated after a long day of work :)

  33. Sarah Heat

    I just made this. It is delicious! Nice work! I think that this is by far the best use of buckwheat flour ever.

  34. Natalie k

    I just made this, and it’s delicious! Very much a weekday cake. Perfect for afternoon tea. I made mine dairy free too but subbing coconut oil for the butter. My chef husband was shocked to learn that gluten free / dairy free could be so yummy – with recipes like this, I’m slowly converting the unconvertable, thanks deb!

  35. Susan

    No contest here, cake would win every time! got those eggs whipped with the paddle attachment! I didn’t think it would whip eggs…at least not well. Cool! I’m glad you showed the consistancy of the batter in your mini-vid (also cool!). I am sponge cake challanged and it’s always helpful to see the finished batter for it.

  36. I’m doing a 3 days cleansing but Saturday when it will be over I’m going to fix me that gorgeous cake…can’t wait…I’m dreaming about food right now!

  37. It’s raining outside here now (6am), and dreary. I woke up hearing the drops and then instantly thinking about what I could bake today. I hear you, sister. Chocolate cake is a sure-fire on rainy days. I love trying new things, and especially new things that go fantastically with black coffee at 4pm. Thank you for a great looking option for an otherwise gloomy day!

  38. I have this book out from the library right now and it’s definitely one I’m going to endure late fees for. Your description of it–the tone and pics is perfect and the cake looks phenomenal. Although I *think* it’s supposed to stop raining this weekend, I’m going to still have to give this cake a go. Thanks!

  39. Did anyone make this without a mixer? I don’t have one, and am wondering if I should separate the eggs and beat the whites separately in order to get the volume Deb indicates… Or will that change the texture too much?

    TIA !

    1. deb

      jeannette — Do you have a handmixer? That would be just fine. No need to separate the eggs.

      Janet — Jacob is there! But, hilariously, last night my husband said to me, “What? No picture of Jacob?!” So, it’s not just you.

  40. beth

    I have to say this recipe comes at the perfect time for me. I coworker is going to a new job in a couple weeks, and since she has a wheat and gluten allergy your average cake wouldn’t do. This fits the bill quite nicely. Thanks for the perfect timing, once again. :)

  41. Amy

    HAH, here I thought for a second that you had gone ahead and made some sort of raspberry or strawberry sauce to drizzle over the top, even despite your so-called “energy depletion” and “needing coffee”, you overachiever you! But I was wrong, it was just the red stripes on your kitchen towels. :)

  42. Buckwheat takes me back to my childhood. My health-conscious dad frequently served up buckwheat pancakes on Sunday mornings. In fact, I think I’m going to have to recreate that moment soon. Thanks for taking me back to a place I just realized I miss desperately.

  43. Kimberly

    I’m stealing “Little chocolate hesitation” and keeping it in my brain for sometime later.

    Also, YAY Gluten Free Cake!!

  44. Vilma

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog except for one thing: how do you easily catch up if you haven’t read in a few days? There doesn’t appear to be a “next page” or “older posts” place to click.

    1. deb

      Hi Vilma — Of course there is — at the very top of each full post page. (I.e. Click on the title or first photo and you’ll be in “full article” mode. The arrow links will appear up top.)

  45. While I’m eager to make the cake, how might I persuade you to do a post on the soup? We’re all fighting colds around here and soup (preceding cake, of course) seems like just the thing. Soup post? Pretty please?

  46. Nikki

    Hey There,

    I just wanted to say that your site is really refreshing. I love food blogs ( as do most people these days) but yours is something different. I actually appreciate that you do not post every day. I find that endearing… like your remainging grounded and living a life outside the blog– YOUR REAL. I think the fact that you refuse to endorse or accept products is endearing. I’ve been seeing some of my very favorite bloggers start to fall down that hole and honestly, their sponsored posts aren’t fun to read anymore.

    I hope your blogs stays this way. I can’t wait to get your cookbook and to continue following your site.

    Thank you!

  47. eva

    yes, cake! for sure cake.. especially gluten-free buckwheat chocolate cake! but that SOUP looks fantastic and exactly what i should be using the pile of spring onions in my fridge for.. :)

  48. Marcia

    Ah..It was animated! I thought my IPad was malfunctioning..cake looks great and I am not as tech impaired as I thought I was.

  49. Kathleen

    I made this, too, from Bea’s lovely book, and it is really delicious. Give it a go with the buckwheat and almond flours. You won’t be sorry.

  50. Looks like a cake I could have used this past Tuesday too!

    Also, the HUSBAND noticed on Amazon that your book is available for pre-order and he pre-ordered it for me without any prodding on my behalf! I. Can’t. Wait!

  51. Sara

    I just made this cake. Since I didn’t have buckwheat flour I used rice flour & potato starch.It came out beautifully.

  52. Marilou

    Like lots of your admirers, I’ve visited Smitten Kitchen for years and vicariously celebrate your cookbook and other successes. Not at all sure about the animation. It’ll be interesting to read others’ views.

  53. Christina

    I love the animation! What fun! And of course the cake sounds delicious. How nice to have a recipe that actually intends buckwheat flour, not that I just swap in for half a cup of AP. I really do love that your desserts aren’t usually “crack-your-teeth” sweet, but instead are actually flavorful.

  54. This cake with buckwheat flour sounds incredible and healthy. Must give it a try. We are generally avoiding processed flour, so I am so excited to try this recipe!

  55. kerry

    I love your blog and the focus on healthier eating so I’m hoping that you still plan to post that soup with the whole grains, onions and cheese? pretty please.

  56. Vanessa

    I MUST make this over the weekend. I have some buckwheat flour in the pantry and have not known what to do with it. I love your recipes and have your cookbook on pre-order. Happy Friday!

  57. JanetP

    Oh, okay, I just found him. I guess it’s too much to ask you to bring him on your book tour, huh? Jacob show-n-tell? Yeah, that’s what I thought : )

  58. Sarah

    This looks lovely! Thank you for posting a gluten-free recipe here every now and again. I regularly convert your other recipes to gluten-free (out of necessity) but it’s nice to have something that is designed that way. I’ll have to try this.

    Your recipes, by the way, often produce better results when converted than recipes from gluten-free sites. I appreciate the testing and care you put into them.

  59. Elizabeth

    Unsalted butter contains flavoring. It smells and tastes like artificial butter, so for best results, use salted butter and stick to real ingredients.

    1. deb

      Unsalted butter, flavoring — I read the comment and was like, “noo, that’s not true…” and then I looked at my box of Land O Lakes butter and the ingredients are indeed “Sweet Cream, Natural Flavoring.” Whaa? Time to start buying a different brand of butter! Good butter is naturally delicious-flavored, is it not?

      JanetP — We’ve definitely talked about taking him along as much as possible. But I don’t know how well he’d handle a busy bookstore!

      Susan — I don’t agree that a speck of yolk prevents egg whites from whipping up. I think recipes that say things like that and all the “VERY dry!” “Scrubbed clean!” directions are overly sensitive. You get a different kind of volume (not a weightless one) from whipping eggs and yolks together but as you guessed, still a lot of volume. Another cake on the site that hingest heavily on the beaten egg volume is this delight.

  60. midgetsal

    It took three reading to find the picture of Jacob. What a reward! His personality shines through.

    I have to agree w/Hilary at 59: the Gif made it difficult to read the text. I must be old.

    I’ve never heard that unsalted butter contains flavoring. Wouldn’t that have to be stated on the label?

    Looking forward to baking this cake.

  61. Laura

    Hi! I love love love your site, but since cutting way back on wheat and most dairy a few months ago, I’ve been sadly unable to delight in actually making most of the tasty treats on your site. I have also fallen IN LOVE with buckwheat pancakes, though, and buckwheat chocolate chip cookies and… well, you get the idea. The pancakes are the best, though. (

    So, long story short, this is perfect and destined to be made with some goat butter and local eggs, to be topped by local strawberries and then promptly devoured by myself and my housemates. What is cake if not to be shared? (OK, possibly it’s purpose is to be hoarded and eaten all by ones lonesome, but I don’t think that’s as much fun really, especially when one considers the long-term impact on one’s personal health.)

    But the commenter above who noted that unsalted butter is made with artificial flavoring? I’m pretty sure that’s not true. That would have to be specified on the label.

  62. Nat

    I am so glad you have started writing gram and Celsius in your recipes as well. Makes it a lot easier for this European to jump right into the kitchen :)

  63. sarah g

    watching the cake pour, even out of the corner of my eye, made me car sick! very creative, but please, never again!

  64. kerry

    Not having gone to school for baking I always wonder if—-is the batter too thin? or how LONG do you cream the butter & sugar, and what should if look like? I feel like I’m just guessing. So I really appreciated the animation. I would love to see it at other stages too. TYTY for your creativity!

  65. I’m wondering how this stacks up against the similarly chocolate, similarly flat red wine chocolate cake, which I’ve now made twice with great success. Best way to find out is probably the obvious: make it. (I’ve got the buckwheat — blini once a year or so don’t go far to deplete the bag.)

  66. Susan

    You know what puzzles me? When making meringue, they tell you that you can’t have a speck of egg yolk (or any fat) in the egg whites or they won’t whip up well. Yet in sponge cake recipes, you whip whole eggs and sugar, and they whip up to triple in volumn when whipped for 5-10 minutes. I haven’t tested what happens if you try to brown the whole egg mixture as you do with meringue, but it puzzles me that they will triple in volumn. Go figure!

  67. Susan

    Well, since I’ve been baking a lot in the last few years, I’ve questioned that baking is that persnickity, too. Glad to know we can fudge a little.

  68. Elle

    I have celiacs disease and made this cake. It was fabulous! Thank you so much for the gluten free recipes you do include. Since your recipes focus on good, clean, fresh, quality ingredients, I find it very easy to convert them to fit the needs of myself and family – although I am still tweaking your banana bread crepe cake (I am obsessed with making a GF version as good as the original!). I help people who are new to a gluten free diagnosis and include your blog in my teachings and resource materials.

  69. Alex

    This was DELICIOUS. I used chestnut flour instead of buckwheat (since that’s what I had) and it was just insanely tasty. More non-gluten recipes, please!!!

  70. knifegirl

    I recently came across mention of ‘natural butter flavor’ by Frontier Natural Products in the comments for an ice cream book on Amazon. It also contains ‘natural flavor’ whatever that means..Frontier- I’ve been getting bulk organic herbs and spices from them like forever so, all this flavored butter and butter flavor knits my brow.

  71. therufs

    This cake was BOSS. I ate all the trimmings left over from the fancy version for my bf’s dad’s birthday dinner by making it in a quarter sheet pan, slicing it into thirds, and layering it with a couple of bricks of chocolate semifreddo.

    Achievement Unlocked: “ALL the chocolate.” Still, if I ever do it again, I’m going to put ganache on it, too!

  72. Val

    I don’t know what this was, a cake, a brownie, another desert I didn’t need right now, but it was delicious. Like a brownie but lighter. You can’t stop eating it. Because there are so few ingredients, it really matters what quality butter and chocolate you use. Everyone who has tried it, started harassing me to make some more. Thank the cooking gods that the mixer does most of the work.

  73. marilyn

    Just made this cake and am so impressed – it is so light and airy! And delicious – a gorgeous chocolately-ness and not overly sweet. I expected it to be much more dense that it is and was so pleasantly surprised. Thank you!

  74. Laurence

    Thank you, I just made it. I used 85% chocolate and it turned out like… a crumbly non-dry yet not moist perfection that I can only compare to the lightest airy cake mixed with the most carnal taste of brownies.

    Mixing the flour and almond really made me realize just how much this cake is really a sweet chocolate omelette at heart.

  75. amy

    I looooove buckwheat & always have it on hand but realized after I’d started melting the butter & sugar that…. the buckwheat jar was empty! I used some teff flour (also gluten free) in its place & it turned out beautifully.

  76. June2

    Everyone wondering what to do with leftover buckwheat flour Must give this cake: a try too – I made it for a friend I was studying French with and was blown away. The buckwheat flavor is not optional, it’s the point! So simple and so good. Can only imagine how chocolate combines with buckwheat. Oh wait, there’s also Alice Medricks buckwheat butter cookies with cacao nibs. ThosE are So Good! Buckwheat! who knew?

  77. Niranjana

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been a lon-time fan, but have never commented. I wanted to tell you that I made this recipe, with stevia instead of sugar (1/2 the amount, with a little more each of the buckwheat and almond flour to compensate for the loss of bulk) for a friend who has gestational diabetes. It worked beautifully, thanks for the unique, and very timely recipe!

  78. Carrie

    Re cooling the cake, do you do so on the plate? I.e., just flip it onto the rack momentarily while you peel off the parchment, then onto the serving plate to cool? Want to avoid any gumminess! Thanks.

  79. Sarah

    Any thoughts on a substitution for the almond flour for those who can’t eat nuts? More of the buckwheat flour or something different?

  80. Sara

    Deb, I make so many of your dessert recipes, and they’re all so wonderful. I rarely comment, but I had to on this one because it was an amazing combination of SO EASY yet SO DELICIOUS! It was also so light, and great after the brunch meal I served. I served it with a mixed berry fruit salad. It was a huge hit. This is going to be in the regular rotation, I have no doubt.

  81. kelli

    This cake is so great! I made it for my husband on Friday as a “Yay-you-made-it-through-the-first-week-of-a-new-job” treat, and he loved it! He is normally a hard-to-please cake connoisseur, but this recipe did it for him. I loved how un-fussy the prep was – so very easy. Thanks for sharing!!

  82. Tracey

    Deb, this recipe looks great, as they always do! I am the rare person who is allergic to buckwheat! No soba noodles or kasha for me! Is there another flour that will work the same way in this recipe? Thanks so much!

  83. Bunny

    Hey Deb,
    I have just watched an America’s Test Kitchen episode where a viewer asked about natural flavouring in butter, and Christopher Kimball said that the natural flavoring in butter is actually natural preservers- which is also used in Twinkies!

    1. deb

      Bunny — Interesting. But I don’t think something being used as an ingredient in Twinkies could ever be considered a plus is my book. I haven’t fully researched this, which brands use flavorings and why. Good butter tastes delicious without flavoring, however. That’s why I don’t like the sound of it.

      Replacing flours — At the top of the recipe, I list an amount for all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup. That amount should be swappable for other flours. If you’d like to keep the nut element here, only swap the buckwheat flour amount, 1/4 cup. There’s no reason a different nut cannot be used, either, you’re simply going to want 1/4 cup of another ground nut. I have tested this cake in any way but how it’s shared here, but I feel fairly confident that most other flours will work here. The flour provides some structure, but it’s a minority ingredient so it’s fine to choose one just for flavor, or an absence of one.

      Carrie — Yup, you cool it on the plate.

  84. Courtney

    I made this last night & it was a big hit! Very light and delicate for a (nearly) flourless cake. I’m happy to add another easy gluten-free dessert to my repertoire. That comes in handy for entertaining. Thank you.

  85. Bunny

    Deb- Well, I don’t know about dismissing an ingredient for its Twinkie-y existance. What i DON’T like is that it’s disguised as something else..

  86. Laura

    How many days ahead do you think this can be made? I’d love to make one in the next day or two for a graduation party on Friday.

    Secondly, do you think these would stack well interspersed with whipped cream? Sort of a clumsy torte?

  87. Gail

    How do you get your whipped cream to look so good? So shiny and dollop-ready? I beat mine with sugar and vanilla in what is I guess sort of a haphazard way, but I’d love to know how you get yours so reliably silky and awesome looking.. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi Gail — I under-whip it, mostly — if we’re being honest and all — because I tend to beat small amounts by hand. I mutter “skinny upperarms, skinny upperarms…” while I do as encouragement, but still find my arm gets tired long before the cream is whipped, and I quit early. Hence, under-whipped.

      Laura — Ours kept for a couple days just fine. I had it in the fridge under plastic wrap but it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. A whipped cream filling could be lovely, but I’d do that at the last minute. Whipped cream doesn’t hold up for more than a few hours unless you want to use some sort of stabilizer.

  88. Cristina

    What timeliness! Many thanks for this — it was a birthday miracle for our family this weekend to find something so delicious, easy, and gluten free. Thumbs up all around from our family. We added ice cream and a touch of chocolate sauce to amp up the chocolatey factor and it was a winner. Thank you again!

  89. Alex

    Funny you mentioned this in your recipe ingredients: granulated or blond cane sugar. I am always telling my partner not to buy blond cane sugar because it can’t replace granulated sugar for baking. I think of it as using “browner” sugar with a different flavor. He totally disagrees with me, though I have convinced him not to use it for angel food cake. What are your thoughts Deb? Are they always interchangeable? Googling this I seem to come up with all sorts of opinions. And to be sure I am talking about substituting these sugars in baking, not in sprinkling a little something sweet over strawberries . . . :)

    1. deb

      Hi Alex — Bea suggests the cane sugar in her book; I suggested granulated sugar to assure people they didn’t have to buy something special to make it work if they don’t already have it. Being interchangeable doesn’t mean that they have the exact same taste though, thought personally, I find it hard for the flavors of the two sugars to be differentiated unless they really stand alone in a cake, like a plain pound cake where a small variance in the sweetener would be noticeable. Here, with so many other flavors, I’m less positive you can taste it.

      Anonymous — See my answer in comment #29.

  90. circumfession

    loved this cake! I made a few changes. I used coconut milk (full-fat, in fact, the “solid” portion skimmed from the top of the can) in lieu of the butter, added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder, and quarter lb of chocolate (so slightly more than what you suggested). I was out of regular sugar, so used powdered sugar instead (1/4)–forgot to adjust the volume for the lighter weight. It made for a just-barely-sweet cake, which I really enjoyed–so I may keep it next time.

    On the second run (yes, I loved this enough to make it again), I added orange zest and brandy to the cake itself, and topped it with a fig glaze and some chopped walnuts. It’s definitely a keeper–indulgent enough to be a treat, reasonable enough to eat on a regular bases.

  91. wendy

    made it and love it! AND my snarky, suspicious teenagers liked it too! totally excited about experimenting more with buckwheat now. thanks

  92. Sally

    Thank you so much for a gluten-free recipe. My 5-year old has an allergy…haven’t tried this yet, but most definitely will.

  93. Erin B


    Just made this today. I realized as I was beating my eggs that I was out of good vanilla. The tears started. Then I remembered I had some good almond extract. I used a bit less than the full teaspoon. This cake is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Currently on slice number two with strawberries and vanilla soy milk.

  94. The timing of this recipe is perfect. I’ve been hankering for chocolate cake and the buckwheat intrigues me. It’s fun to explore alternative flours and how they interact with the flavor of chocolate. Great combo of buckwheat and almond flour.

  95. Susie

    I made this recently and while I liked it, it was missing something–more chocolate, a more pronounced buckwheat flavor, less chocolate perhaps. I’d like to tweak it to make it more of a buckwhat cake–perhaps ditching the chocolate in flavor of more almonds–or more of a chocolate cake. As it was it seemed a bit tepid. Truly great texture and pleasently undense (which makes a change), however. I also wondered how it would be as a rye/buckwheat/nut cake using the same proportions and methods.

  96. Jo in England

    I made this at the weekend as part of a picnic dinner for a festival I was attending with friends. (The weather in England is amazing at the moment. Woo hoo! Am so suprised at the rainy weather you’ve been having in New York!) The cake was beautifully moist and light. I swapped the buckwheat flour for plain (all purpose) flour as that was all I had at home and I was happy with the result and will definately be making the cake in the future. The only thing I would do differently would be to add more chocolate next time as it wasn’t chocolately enough for me. However, that’s just my personal preference and it may be chocolately enough for others! Lovely cake – would definately recommend you try it!

  97. Wow! Thank you for this. It sounds like a winner and I will plan on making this for my upcoming birthday as I’m trying to adhere to the gluten-free lifestyle my health dictates. Thank you!

  98. PatW

    I made this yesterday, on short notice– had to serve dinner for three guest plus son and self. It was a huge hit, even with his pickiness, Anton Ego– my 24-year-old son. Loved it!

  99. Ruth

    I have made this already a couple of times and it has been great. Just in case anyone else can’t have dairy–I substituted coconut oil for the butter and it worked great.

  100. Ana

    I recently got turned onto your wonderful blog and have been a huge fan ever since. Your recipes have been delicious every time. I tried this one last night and while I’m not a big chocolate lover, this cake was definitely to die for. I loved it!

  101. Erin

    Hi Deb, any suggestions on how one might substitute some or all of the butter in this for a lactose intolerant chocolate lover? I’m suspicious of just swapping out the butter with oil or whatnot…. wonder if you have any great ideas?

  102. Havanna

    I doubled the recipe and made a double-layered cake which I filled and frosted with a kind of molten dark chocolate ganache. Framed it with halved strawberries and served it with fresh whipped cream. Very pretty and very, very tasty. Thanks for the awesome recipe! Made a great gift to my husband’s first ever Fathers Day.

  103. Domino

    This cake turned out so good and easy! My first from the smitten blog and I was especially impressed with the use of buckwheat and almond flour for the extra healthy touch, please keep more healthy, wholesome recipes coming! You are so talented and inspiring! Thank you!

  104. Jen

    It was a rainy Saturday in June, kiddos driving me crazy…this cake saved the Saturday! Was amazed I had buckwheat flour (had ideas of making buckwheat galettes a few weeks ago in a crepe fervor, but got lazy), and really appreciated your tip on processing slivered almonds in food processor with the flour. This cake is a keeper, not too sweet, chocolatey, and moist. We had it with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. I like many things about this blog, but everyday cakes is your category…maybe next book should focus on those?

  105. PatW

    This is becoming a favorite, both with moi le chef and with M. Ego, my son, who gives me a nightly critique of my food. I may teach him to make it, and review HIS work!

  106. I just made this and can I say, Oh. My. God!

    I’ll never make another chocolate cake again! LOVE IT!!!

    You rock!

    btw- topped with cherries, perfection.

  107. Emma W

    Hi everyone!

    Deb, I love your site so much. I’m a bit of a secret lurker – I’ve never posted before but I spend the majority of my working day scouring your beautiful recipes and choosing which delicious creations to make next!

    I made this the other day for two girlfriends who came over for dinner. We ate the ENTIRE thing, and guzzled tons of red wine. Brilliant. I want to make it again to take to a family lunch on Sunday. How much would you recommend increasing the recipe by? Is 1.5X too much – will I lose the dreamy texture?

    1. deb

      Hi Emma — I’m so glad you’re enjoying the site, and the cake. What size do you want to make it? Did you want to make it thicker or just a larger circumference?

  108. Emma W

    I don’t think I can do larger circumference due to A lack of tins! Basically, I need to make enough for 8 greedy people. Not sure whether it would be better to bake two cakes and sandwich together (with vanilla mascarpone and raspberries..?), or double the recipe. What do you think? Is it too soft to sandwich? Totally open to suggestions!

  109. Emma W

    Sorry – just saw in the comment above that ‘sandwiching’ is successful! Will do that. Can’t wait to eat this again!

  110. Caterina

    This cake is a perfect after dinner dessert for a weekday or “girlfriend dropping by for coffee” cake. So simple to put together and so delicious. Thanks again Deb!

  111. Meg

    It being a chilly, rainy Tuesday, I decided it was time to try this cake (also, I finally acquired some buckwheat flour). Very tasty! I’ve realized that after making your dobos torte for my birthday this summer, I’m no longer intimidated by cakes getting their leavening from beaten eggs…and that I love my stand mixer. Thanks Deb!

  112. JessSF

    Hi Deb!

    I love your site and pre-ordered your book. Can’t wait to get it! I am really interested in making this cake this weekend and I want to add some pumpkin flavor for a fall theme. What would you suggest?

  113. Preeti

    Hi Deb,
    I have tried a couple of your recipes and have loved all of them. This one in particular was outstanding. I followed the recipe to the T and the cake turned out perfect! Keep up the good work :)

  114. Christina

    I made this and it was a revelation. I love the texture and decadent but mild sweetness, its perfect and I declared it our new family go to cake. It is delicious, but also a fantastic find since I’m going off wheat. My 6 year old and husband don’t care about those factors, but both had 2 pieces regardless and my 6 year old gave it 1,000 thumbs up. I am indeed happy to have found this and plan to cherish this recipe far into the future.

  115. Karen

    I need gluten free and your recipe looks great. On a totally unrelated note I have the same little crinkly glass dishes, like the one with the eggshells in it. Very pretty.

  116. Beth

    Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe; I made this a couple of days ago and it was delicious. I thought it might taste a little ‘eggy’ but it didn’t at all.

  117. Laura

    I followed the recipe as printed and baked the cake for around 20 minutes. The texture was really wonderful and quite unusual. It was so fudgy and I really enjoyed the texture of the almonds. (I had to grind my own almond meal, so the texture was not as fine a purchased almond flour). I ditto one of the previous comments, there is a fudginess akin to a brownie in the cake, but the delicate crumb sets it apart. I topped the cake with a scant layer of chocolate butter icing as requested by my better half, but I found myself just wanting to enjoy this wonderful cake on its own. Now that I have buckwheat flour on hand I look forward to baking off this delicious cake when I just need a chocolate treat. I love the ease in prep for this cake. I love that there are a minimum of ingredients and I love that the results were so worth the effort. Thanks for another great recipe–glad to have this one in my repertoire.

  118. Reva

    LOVE this recipe. have made it countless times since my greedy little hands got a hold of this book (as a long time latartinegourmande blogfan….i had pre-ordered this baby). so glad to have found your link to it with great lead-in and photos….makes it all the easier to share the wonderfulness with others.

  119. monique

    Made this tonight. I was looking to make buckwheat sables but wanted something easier but with buckwheat. It was absolutely delicious. You’d never think for how delicious it is that it was this easy.

  120. Shannon

    Just made this. It was super easy and fool-proof. My cake was done at 23 mins. Will definitely be making this again. Love the buckwheat and almond undertones of the fudginess.

  121. Jennifer

    Thank you for another fabulous recipe. Am just finishing my second piece of this delicious cake right now. I had never had any experience with buckwheat until today and it’s amazing how it gives this cake such a gorgeous silky quality. Unfortunately I only have a rotary beater at the moment so my 5 year old son and I took turns beating the eggs and sugar for about 15 minutes. A very sore arm is a small price to pay for such a lovely cake! Thanks again.

  122. Luna

    I made this last night, and it is fabulous. I didn’t tell my husband what it was. He took a bite and went, “Oh, that’s complex!” and after a pause to consider, “Is that buckwheat and some sort of nuts?” He’s got a good palate. Anyway, I loved it as well with the deep, rich chocolate and the complexity of the other flavors.

  123. Djamila

    Sounds like a delicious recipe, but I was wondering how to substitute the sugar. I eat glutenfree, (mostly) dairyfree, but also sugarfee (and no such things as stevia) at the moment. I see that I can use coconot oil extra vierge instead of the butter but what about the sugar? Is honey an option (and if yes, how many tblsp?)? Thanks so much!

  124. Kathleen

    I made this this morning with light brown sugar instead of white and it was wonderful- definitely would make again. The flavours were very balanced. I ended up beating the eggs and sugar by hand, because I don’t have a mixer, and other than a slightly sore forearm it worked fine, though I wonder if it would have been less dense if mixed by machine.

  125. Sonia

    I just made this for dessert and my (very picky) gluten-intolerant dad loved it!
    Although many gluten-free chocolate cakes tend to be on the heavier side, this cake was was pleasantly light yet still chocolate-y, which was a perfect ending to a heavier dinner. I ate one piece and certainly could have eaten another, whereas with flourless chocolate cakes, consuming one piece makes one feel like you have just eaten a chocolate and butter brick (which is fine as long as dinner is light).
    This cake is delicious as is, but next time I make it, I might add a tiny bit of cinnamon just to give it a little something extra.

  126. Kris

    I made this just now and it is easy, light and not too sweet, and the nutty flavour of the almonds comes through just enough. I would also add something extra to it next time – like cinnamon or maybe some orange zest. To me it’s more of a coffee-time cake on its own, but with some ice cream, fruit coulis or caramel it could be a nice dessert too.

  127. Lyn Houghton

    I found you rrecipe online and have to say it is the most successful online recipe I have ever found. As I am not on a slimming diet, just a reduced sugar and where possible wheat diet, I used Zylitol instead of sugar which meant I could go a little crazy with the topping. I added a Sacher Torte topping of melted chocolate mixed with hot cream which poured all over the cake and left it to set. Unbelievably rich, gooey and delicious. Also you could serve it with fresh cream and dark cherries for a deconstructed Black Forest Gateau!
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

  128. Laurel A.

    I found out about a wheat allergy last August, right before heading back to college, and this was one of my first baking endeavors after I was diagnosed (no kitchen in the dorm, sadly). I made it for Christmas eve dinner and sprinkled powdered sugar on top in the shape of a snowflake with the help of a stencil, and it was a huge hit! Definitely gave me hope that wheat-free baking can still taste good.

    Here are my modifications:
    1) Doubled recipe for a 10-inch round pan and 1 quite full ramekin.
    2) Replaced about 4 tablespoons of butter in the doubled recipe with Greek yogurt (added to egg mixture between the chocolate/butter mixture and the flour)
    3) Added a little cocoa powder to the melted chocolate/butter mixture to compensate for only having 60% chocolate instead of 70%.

    Parchment paper use is highly recommended; it didn’t quite make it out of the cake pan intact and needed to have a bit of the bottom smooshed back on.

    Thanks for your fantastic recipes!

  129. I’ve made this cake jillions of times exactly as written. It’s our go to cake (gluten free husband.) Love it, love it, love it. Today decided to try it with all almond flour instead of 1/2 and 1/2 and i’m really liking that too, for what it’s worth.

    BTW, Deb, I’ve seen a chocolate cake recipe going around that has quinoa as its base (seems REALLY weird, but actually, when you think about it, it kind of reminds me of this recipe… I love the way you test recipes and perfect them… do you have any interest in giving that one a try?!

  130. deb

    I haven’t made it as a layer cake but I think it would be just fine. It can get ever-so-slightly sunken in the center, so you might want to level it a little.

  131. Excellent recipe! Thank you for sharing this recipe and testing so perfectly. I made this just as you detailed and it is wonderful and relativly healthy all-in-one! Your description allowed for understanding of the purpose behind doing things a certain way – thank you!

  132. For your information, searching your recipe to finally realize it, I came across this blog in French that appropriates your photos and your recipe without quoting you…

    Thank you anyway for all these delicious recipes ! I can’t wait for tasting this cake!

  133. Mary

    Hi Deb,
    A little question–just wondering how you think this cake would be if I freeze it for a couple of weeks.

  134. Denise

    Hi Deb,
    This looks like it would be a great recipe for gf cupcakes. How would I do that? Cut time in half?
    I checked under your Cake pan/baking vessel section of tips, but couldn’t find the information…

  135. deb

    Denise — I haven’t made these as cupcakes, but based on the size of the cake and others I have made as cupcakes, I’d estimate that it will make around 12 and while it will probably need 20 minutes to bake, it’s safest to start checking at 15 just in case they bake faster. And yes, I’d love to get more information on cake pans/vessels over there, but it’s rarely a hard and fast conversion, even this. Soon, I hope, though, at least more guidance there.

  136. Alexandra

    Planning on baking this for my son’s first birthday party. I’m wondering if there is any reason why I shouldn’t use a springform pan? It’s all I have. Would this batter be too runny? Appreciate any insight Deb or other bakers can offer.

  137. Joce

    Just made this cake for a birthday at the weekend – have I perhaps made it too soon? Should I try and freeze it or will it be okay if I wrap it up well and store in the fridge? I love all your recipes btw – so accurately tested and always work exactly as you describe! I nearly saw you in New York when you released your book but unfortunately the hurricane stopped everything. My daughter caught you in Ely later however when you came to Britain and so I did get an autographed copy of your book.

  138. Priyanka M

    I’ve made several recipes (all vegetarian) from your website and just wanted to say that this cake is absolutely delicious! I made it today at 9pm (!) because really nothing else could salvage the day like a bite of this cake. Delicious!

  139. EL

    Dear Deb: I know that I’m going to sound like a grumpy old woman and a complainer, but I was really looking forward to reading the rest of your blog today whilst on my journey through the entirety. I unfortunately ran into my arch enemy, the videoed picture. What was the worst thing about it was that it didn’t even show anything really necessary that I couldn’t have learned in any other way. Please, please refrain from using these. Or if you’re going to use it, at least place it in such a large bank of stills that I can skip over it and read your blog. A certain group of readers (me, for instance) have problems with these jerky videos (when they occur within a book review, I generally don’t buy the book). They are distracting and make it impossible to concentrate on what was written — and most of the time, as herein, they don’t really add anything to the story, while detracting from your writing and truly luscious stalls. Thank you.

    I don’t know if I can go back and finish reading to see if I can make this cake (I mean, buckwheat!!!!!! Chocolate!!!! My mouth is watering). when I saw the title and the first picture it was bliss. And then. . .

  140. Nikki

    Hi! I love this cake and make it pretty often, but like it says 20-30 min, i always have to bake for 40-50 30 mins its totally liquid! wonder why!