Chocolate Almond Fairy Cakes

In all fairness to Ms. Zoe Nathan, who wrote this recipe, she calls these "muffins" in her gorgeous cook book that happens to be named after her incredible restaurant/bake shop Huckleberry in Santa Monica, CA. To me, though, this is dessert-only fare. Besides, these rich, luscious beauties are more cake-like. Something you eat at tea time with girlfriends. Something you revel in. Something to delight the senses and fulfill any sweets craving. You know, a fairy cake!

This cake is decadent and faintly fragrant with almond. If you're thinking Almond Joy candy bars, these are not that. These "fairy cakes" are a rich cake, fortified by a nut paste that gives them a deep melt-in-your-mouth quality.

I mean, just LOOK at the chocolate. The melty, indulgent chocolate! Just try not to fall over with culinary joy. I dare you!

Thank you, Zoe Nathan, for the BEST dessert experience I've had since the chocolate tarte that is my favorite thing in the world. And a special thank you to Stacy for so kindly buying me this gorgeous cook book. I'm going to make every single recipe!



Chocolate Almond Fairy Cakes
Makes 16 cupcakes
3/4 C almond paste
1 C sugar
1 t kosher salt
1/3 C cocoa (I used Valrhona. I highly recommend using the best quality you can get your hands on)
1 C + 1 T butter, at room temp
6 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 C + 1-1/2 T flour
2-1/4 t baking powder (I only had roughly 1-1/2 t which is why my cakes look a little lacklustre)
2 C chocolate chips or chopped chocolate with about 3 T reserved

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line 2 cupcake tins with 16 cupcake papers and set aside.

3. In your stand mixer, blend the almond paste, sugar, salt and cocoa until the paste is no longer clumpy. If you taste at this point, the texture will be a bit like cornmeal.

4. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

5. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. I scraped the bowl after each addition, but that's not in the book.

6. Add the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips and mix on low speed until incorporated. You can finish mixing with your spatula, if need be.

7. Fill your muffin cups to the top and sprinkle a few more chocolate chips or chunks on top.

8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back when gently touched.

9. Cool completely and eat!


  1. I would make these in a heartbeat but.. I'm not a big fan of almonds. Would it be possible to omit or sub the almond paste? By the way gorgeous looking photos : )

    1. Hi Faye!
      The flavor is so faint in the almond I almost think you should just try it. BUT you could sub almost any nut butter if you like. Because almond paste and nut butters are binding agents, I don't know for sure whether the recipe would work without them, but I have several other chocolate cake recipes on the blog that might work well for you.
      I love your comments. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the quick reply Allison, with a bit of research it would seem its not that easy to get almond paste here in the UK. If the flavour is indeed quite faint I think I will try and get a hold of the almond paste and give these a go, I like to stick to a recipe before fiddling with it : )


Can't wait to hear from you. Thank you for commenting!