Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake Recipe

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

I love pound cakes, or quatre-quarts* in French. As a child, I went through a phase of eating Breton pound cake for breakfast day in, day out. I’m talking about supermarket pound cake, baked in long yellow logs and wrapped in soft paper. I liked it on the stale side, so I sliced it in advance, and let it age three to four days. I was an affineur of pound cake if you will.

I only recently discovered the beauty of homemade pound cake, and it has become one of my could-make-it-blindfolded cakes, in rotation with my French yogurt cake.

You know how pound cakes work, right ? You weigh the eggs, and add the same weight in sugar, melted butter, and flour. This means these ingredients each form a quarter of the batter, hence the French name, four-quarters. The English name comes from originally using a pound each of the ingredients, but that yields a pretty big cake. The French ratio allows for more flexibility.

Of course, it doesn’t tell you if you’re supposed to weigh the eggs with or without the shell, and how much baking powder to add. In truth, you can just relax about both. We’re not building a rocket ship; we’re baking a cake. Weigh the eggs with or without, add one or two teaspoons of baking powder, it will be fine. Channel your inner French grandma and do what feels right.

And it is a recipe that lends itself to variations with remarkable grace; my favorite kind of recipe for sure. Today I will share one of my favorite riffs: the buckwheat and chocolat pound cake.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

I’ve been enjoying the buckwheat and chocolate pairing for years, by ordering a chocolate buckwheat crêpe for dessert at crêperies (Brittany again!). It is divine. Almost better than sugar-and-butter. Try and tell me what you think.

In this spirit, I make a pound cake with 100% buckwheat flour (this makes it gluten-free) and fold a generous amount of chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) into the batter. The result is deeply flavorful, fluffy and moist, with chocolate in every bite, and a lovely crust dotted with sugar, my signature touch.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

For the maths majors out there, let me confess two things: this becomes, in effect, a five-fifths (cinq-cinquièmes) rather that a four-fourths, just like my pistachio pound cake. And because I prefer my cakes not too sweet, I decrease the amount of sugar a little bit, which admittedly throws off the ratio, but who’s counting?

You will also notice that I give you the option of using coconut butter here, a magical ingredient I told you about here and here. In baking, it can replace regular butter, and here the coconut note is hardly noticeable against the buckwheat and chocolate.

It is a cake that is quick and simple to prepare, and because the formula is easy to memorize, it’s a great cake to bake on vacation with no cookbook and no Internet connection, to impress your friends as the baking fairy (or wizard) you really are. A skill that happens to be on my bucket list for cooks.

* I’ll let you get away with pronouncing this cat-car.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

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Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves 6.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake Recipe


  • 3 large eggs (see note)
  • 2/3 cup (130 grams) raw cane sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (see note)
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) coconut butter, heated and stirred to a smooth consistency, or unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/3 cups (170 grams) buckwheat flour (gluten-free-certified as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free-certified as needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) good-quality dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper (my pan is 10 by 3 1/2 inches, or 26 x 9 cm; a standard 9-by-5-inch loaf pan can be used).
  2. Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake : Pan
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and coconut butter until slightly frothy.
  4. Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake : Batter (1)
  5. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate.
  6. Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake : Dry ingredients
  7. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a spatula, until no trace of flour remains.
  8. Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake : Batter (2)
  9. Pour into the pan, sprinkle the top with sugar, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (melted chocolate is normal; it's uncooked batter you don't want to see).
  10. Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake : Baked
  11. Lift carefully from the pan and cool on a rack.
  12. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.


  • The idea of a pound cake is that you weigh the eggs, and use that weight for all the other ingredients. My 3 large eggs typically weigh 6 ounces, or 170 grams. Adjust accordingly.
  • By the above principle, I should use 6 ounces of sugar, but I like it a bit less sweet, so typically use 3/4 of the egg weight in sugar.
  • The pound cake is best eaten on the day it is baked, but it will keep 2 to 3 days under a cake dome or in an airtight container. I keep it at room temperature when it's not too warm out.
  • Margee

    I like pound cakes too and love how this one has a surprise filling inside. I never knew about the origin, how interesting!

  • Jessi Lashakmitis

    Love this great recipe!!! Looks so tasty and super easy to make. Thanks for sharing:)

  • Katie Lilley

    Mixed and in the oven. I’ve not had a lot of luck with pound cakes before, in fact I remember a blueberry one erupting like a volcano and dripping all over the oven! To start with I have made it with goat butter, but if I like it I’ll have a go with the creamed coconut as then I can serve it in my café as gluten and dairy free. Fingers crossed!

  • shannon mcfarland

    I love when your things pop up in my inbox! We moved “home” from Paris almost a year ago only to discover that home IS Paris. So you bring a little piece of home to my inbox ❤️❤️❤️Xoxo!

    • Aww, thank you so much Shannon! You made my day.

      • Annabel Smyth

        I know the feeling! It took well over 20 years for Paris to stop feeling like “home”….

  • Anna

    Clotilde, I have noticed that your baking pan appears to be thinner and longer than the ones we have in US. I actually noticed that before with some of David Lebovitz’s posts (e.g. polenta cake which I adore) but thought is was how the photo was taken. With that said, his loaf ends up not baking through in the middle and drying out. Of course, I cannot say this will be the case with this loaf but before I set myself up for failure (your recipes are very reliable) – do you think I need to adjust baking temperature and time?

    • I have made this in a standard American loaf pan and it has worked fine, though I always recommend you keep a close eye on the baking because ovens vary so widely. But the standard American loaf pan is wider, so the cake is less high, which evens things out in my experience.

  • Cindy Sigal

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I’d like to try it, however, in addition to gluten and dairy allergies, my son and I also have an egg allergy. Could you recommend an egg substitute for this recipe?

    • I haven’t tried a version without the eggs so I can’t offer guidance unfortunately. You could try it with ground flax seeds, but then I would recommend you bake it in muffin liners because the cake may be more fragile. Let us know how you do!

  • NotJoking

    I’m not a big pound cake fan, they’re ok just not my favourite cake. But this sounds worth giving a go. And I would dearly love for you to give us your chocolate buckwheat crepe recipe. Please?

    • No recipe, I just order a buckwheat crêpe with melted dark chocolate in it!

  • Connie Rogers

    Clotilde, I absolutely love your posts! I was not familiar with coconut butter, so I followed the links and found the coconut bars recipe. They will be perfect for a social gathering that includes a couple of vegans, providing I can stay out of it long enough to make the treat! Thank you again, you are a joy to read.

    • Wonderful! What a good friend you are. Keep in mind that the bars need to be kept refrigerated.

  • Luca De Angelis

    Wow, i really like your pictures and recipe

  • Angie Quantrell

    I want a piece right now! Looks so yummy! As far as sugar, you said you decreased the amount in recipes (I do, too). In the above ingredients, is this your decreased amount or should I reduce it more? Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

    • I make the recipe as written, the amount of sugar listed is the amount I recommend. (In general, you can trust that the recipes on this site are given in the exact way I make them.)

  • Annabel Smyth

    I didn’t know the cake had a special name. In my family, “2 eggs and their weight in butter, sugar and flour” is the go-to cake recipe, known as a sponge cake or a Victoria sponge. I didn’t make one for years, as my oven wouldn’t cook them nicely – it was my oven, not me, as they do cook very nicely indeed in my current oven, but as we lived without them for over 30 years, I think we can happily continue to do so except for special occasions. A slice of sponge cake, perhaps with cream and jam in the middle (or, even better, cream and fresh raspberries) is one of life’s minor pleasures, and I am delighted to learn one can also make this cake with buckwheat flour, as some of my husband’s family have coeliac disease (he, fortunately, appears not to) and it’s useful to be able to bake delicious things they can eat when they are coming to visit us!

  • rachelsloan79

    I made this for a housewarming party yesterday and it was promptly inhaled – I was lucky to be able to snag a piece myself! One of the easiest and tastiest cakes I’ve ever made, and will no doubt make again many times… buckwheat and chocolate are two of my very favourite things, both apart and together.

    One small question though – how did you manage to get even distribution of the chocolate chips? Most of mine fell to the bottom… not the end of the world of course, I just wondered if you had any tips!

    • I’m so pleased, Rachel, thank you!

      Re: the chocolate chips, the ones I use have the shape of coins (you can see them in the step by step pictures) and I wonder if this increases the resistance and prevents them from sinking. That’s my only tip as I don’t do anything in particular. :)

  • Rodney Foster

    Infusing your dish with magic truffles/mushroom will certainly give you a different kind of satisfaction. But not everyone can be that adventurous and has guts to experiment specially when it comes on something they eat. I came across this article about a very common dish infuse with mushroom

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