Chocolate Chocolate Teacake From 'Huckleberry'

Photograph: Matt Armendariz

A name so nice, they said it twice. In this recipe from the new Huckleberry cookbook, author Zoe Nathan layers melted and chopped dark chocolate over a foundation of cocoa powder and strong coffee to make a dark, densely delicious teatime cake. Of course, teatime can be extended to mean anytime, which is lucky for you.

Tips: Let's say you've got the chocolate and coffee all ready, but not the buttermilk. Fret not, 1 tablespoon of vinegar stirred into a cup of milk and allowed to sit approximates buttermilk closely enough that it will pass muster in this teacake. Plus, there's no need to buy a liter of the stuff and wonder where else to use it (making more cake, perhaps?)

Tweaks: If your fondness lies more toward coffee than chocolate, using a coffee-infused dark chocolate imparts delicious results. I happened to have a bar of 67% cacao chocolate that contained little crystals of Huehuetenago coffee; it melts well and blends easily with plain dark chocolate, adding a little extra coffee edge.

Excerpted from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan (Chronicle Books). Copyright (c)2014. Photographs by Matt Armendariz.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Makes: 1 loaf

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  • 3/4 cup/100 g pastry flour
  • 6 tablespoons/45 g all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons/30 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups/300 g coarsely chopped dark chocolate, 60 to 70% cacao
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons/140 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons/225 g sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Powdered sugar for topping (optional)


  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F/ 180°C. Grease a 9-by-5-in/23-by-12-cm loaf pan.

  2. Sift together the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

  3. Combine the coffee, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside. Melt 3/4 cup/ 130 g of the chocolate gently over a double boiler or in a small bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water. Remove the pan from the heat, but leave the chocolate over the double boiler to keep warm while you mix the cake. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the coffee mixture. Fold in both the melted and chopped chocolate.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool completely.

  5. Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate. Once cooled, top with powdered sugar, if desired.

  6. This keeps beautifully, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 4 days.