Julia Child’s Chocolate Almond Cake may just be my new favorite cake. It’s incredibly rich and decadent. The center is purposefully undercooked, leaving a fudgy center you’ll crave long after the cake is gone. 

Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com

After spending two weeks away on vacation, I very much enjoyed coming home and slipping into our old routine— grocery shopping on monday, laundry on thursday, pizza night on friday. I also relished returning to my kitchen. It felt so good to be cooking and baking again.

And after weeks of talking about things like sugar and canning on the blog, I wanted to share a purely beautiful and completely delicious indulgence. Like this chocolate cake.

Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com
Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com

And not just any chocolate cake, Julia Child’s chocolate almond cake from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you were only to bake one chocolate cake for the rest of your life, this may be it. It’s not super fancy, with multiple layers, a complicated filling, and intricate decorating, and it doesn’t need any of that. It’s perfect as it is.

I left the recipe as she wrote it, with one exception. I could barely frost half of the cake with the chocolate butter frosting recipe provided, so I made another batch. I’ve given the recipe below with the doubled icing, but feel free to cut it in half if you’d like to try it with less.

Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com
Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com

How to Fold Ingredients Together

“Folding” is a method of combining ingredients without knocking the air out of the mixture, such as the folding of egg whites and batter to make this chocolate almond cake. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Use a rubber spatula and make sure your bowl is big enough
  • Add t1/4 of the lighter ingredients (i.e. whipped egg whites) to the batter to lighten it
  • Fold the remaining egg whites in small batches
  • Using the spatula, cut through the egg whites at 90 degree angle to the bottom of the bowl
  • Scoop of the batter and fold it on top of itself and the egg whites.
  • Rotate bowl a quarter turn and repeat only just until the lighter ingredients are incorporated into the batter.

Chocolate Almond Cake, rich and decadent! completelydelicious.com

Chocolate Almond Cake
Julia Child’s Chocolate Almond Cake is incredibly rich and decadent. Be sure not to over bake or you'll destroy its fudgy center.
Yield: One 8-inch cake
For the cake:
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rum or coffee
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup (132 grams) + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup (35 grams) almond flour/meal
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup (57 grams) cake flour, sifted
For the icing:
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons rum or coffee
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Slivered almonds, for garnish
To make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the chopped chocolate and coffee or run in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it's smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and ⅔ cup sugar until pale and creamy. Add the 3 egg yolks and beat until thick. Add the cooled melted chocolate. Stir in the almond extract and almond meal/flour and mix until just combined.
  4. In a separate bowl and with a whisk attachment, whip the 3 egg whites and salt on high speed until foamy. Slowly add the tablespoon of sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
  5. Add ¼ of the whipped egg whites to the batter and fold gently until combined. Add and fold in the remaining whites in 3 additions, alternating with the sifted cake flour. Fold only until the streaks of egg whites disappear, do not overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles when the pan is bumped, about 25 minutes.
  7. Let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing:
  1. Combine the chopped chocolate and coffee or run in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it's smooth.
  2. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and use a whisk to beat it into the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Let the icing cool to a spreadable consistency, stirring it every 5 minutes or so. It should take about 15-20 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  4. Spoon the icing on top of the cooled cake and spread it to cover. Garnish with slivered almonds.

You may also like these posts:

Keep in touch! Subscribe to Completely Delicious and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This page contains affiliate links, which provide me a small percentage of all purchases made through them.


35 Responses to Chocolate Almond Cake

  1. I am in love with this cake! The almonds on top make is so pretty – yum!

  2. Love the flour less chocolate cakes. It means your cake always comes out delicious and fudgy! lovely flavour combo and so pretty with the icing

  3. I love Julia Child! She’s such an inspiration to me but I have to admit I’ve never had the chance to make one of her recipes so far. I’ll be definitely trying this out, since it doesn’t look complicated to make but the final result is…beyond perfect!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    xo, Elisa

  4. This is gorgeous, Annalise. Especially with all the sliced almonds on top. It looks simple and decadent.

  5. I love this! So simple, yet beautiful!

  6. Love this, I have a birthday coming up, will be requesting this

  7. Liren says:

    My little guy has a birthday in a few weeks, and he adores chocolate! I’m going to have to show him this – I have a feeling he’ll want it for his birthday :)

  8. Haley says:

    mm a cake with which I am very familiar. One of my favorites! Beautiful pictures :)

  9. Sues says:

    Whoa. This looks so chocolatey and awesome!!

  10. Deborah says:

    I am totally smitten with that fudgy center! Can’t wait to try this!

  11. This cake sounds like one giant brownie. How delicious.

  12. Mercedes says:

    Oh my goodness. That fudgey center is enough to make my mouth water! And that frosting, yum!

  13. 2 great flavors together You cannot go wrong here at all Wonderful recipe

    NYC Style and a little Cannoli

  14. I know how you feel, Annalise! Vacationing can be fun, but there’s no better feeling than slipping into your own bed after being away. Welcome home! This cake is a stunner, and your photos have got me drooling! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Love the almonds! The more on there the better!

  16. Gabrielle Elliott says:

    I made this today! turned out perfectly.

  17. Erika Beth says:

    I’ve been on such an almond kick recently. (For instance, I’m currently eating some brown sugar almond butter.) I’m totally saving this recipe! Thanks for posting!

  18. Cecilia says:

    Need to bake this cake!!

  19. Carlotta says:

    i’m in love with this cake and i’ve just watched “Julie & Julia”.
    Maybe Tomorrow i’ll try and let you know and publish on my blog!
    Of course, i’ll try some of your website’s receipes, your photos are wonderful!!



    p.s i’m sorry for my terrible english but.. i’m italian and not so good in it…

  20. Carlotta says:

    ok, i’ve just made this cake.
    no words….. <3

  21. David says:

    Hello –

    I searched for a chocolate almond cake to make for my mom’s birthday and this site popped up.

    The funny thing is that our family was just talking about Julie and Julia last week so when I saw the connection to this recipe, I just had to give this recipe a shot.

    In short, this cake had a completely amazing taste. I didn’t spread the topping around the sides but opted to just let it ooze over when leveling on top. It gave it a molten lava visual effect.

    This recipe also taught me a new technique regarding egg whites. I usually get impatient with recipes that call for those few extra steps, but these sure made a difference in the taste and texture of this amazing little cake.

    Thanks much for sharing and now it’s off to the blueberry hand pies.

    • Annalise says:

      Hi David, I’m so glad you gave this recipe a try and enjoyed it so much! Thanks for the comment. Let me know what you think of the hand pies! :)

  22. dana says:

    Can I use cocoa powder instead of melting chocolate?

  23. Aino says:

    This cake is the best! I’ve made it with and without icing, and every time it’s been absolutely magic – all I need is more occasions to bake it for :-)
    You’ve got a new follower – thanks for sharing

  24. Ileana says:

    Can I replace the sugar with agave, honey or coconut sugar? Has anybody tried that?

    • Annalise says:

      I have no experience substituting the sugar in a recipe like this with something like agave or honey, so I am no help, sorry! Perhaps another reader can provide some advice. I can guess that you’ll need to change the method some, as the creaming of granulated sugar and butter helps give cakes rise and texture.

  25. Mert says:

    Whoever is telling that he/she made this cake, have you not followed the instructions? Obviously you didn’t, because I just did and 170g of butter for the icing just messed up all the cake. Please check and correct the weight of your ingrediants.

  26. Renata says:

    Hello! and thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I’ve been craving this cake since the movie came out! I wnated to know if there’s any way to replace the almond extract! Can I replace it with amaretto? I live in Peru, and I can’t find it anywhere! please help! thanks again! Love your blog!

  27. Kelley says:

    I am so disappointed…tasteless. The icing is terrible. Wasted my time and money…

    I think people making comments BEFORE they make the cake is useless…

  28. Don’t think i’ve ever tried this cake. Sounds so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe. will be giving this a go.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>