Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake) – Julia Child

Julia Child’s Reine de Saba recipe; Moist chocolate cake with speckles of almonds throughout. Finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar, a strawberry and homemade whipped cream.

Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake) Recipe from

This is an extremely unusual week. Normally the only time I make two desserts in the same week is over the holidays or for a special occasion. I blame the lovely Julie and JC100 for this sugar laden week. I’m not entirely complaining though because both desserts were tasty in their own ways. Thankfully they were completely different too!

Julia Child’s Reine de Saba or chocolate and almond cake is traditionally made in an 8″ round cake pan. I kind of have an obsession with mini desserts. They’re cute, fun and personalized portions, which is perfect because I hate slicing desserts for many reasons. My biggest gripe is when people ask for an itty bitty sliver. So as you can see… I made mini versions instead, six to be exact. They’re seriously the most perfect size.

Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake) Recipe from

My only complaint with this recipe is that it’s a bit messy but to be fair, it was totally my own fault. Normally when I make baked goods that don’t require a wrapper or paper underneath, I spray with nonstick baking spray. To follow Julia’s instructions, for the first time, I buttered and dusted the pan. Instead of using flour, I used cocoa powder. This ensured that the cakes wouldn’t have white powdered edges. Nice and chocolatey brown, inside and out.

The tops all puffed into beautiful round domes, but I wanted flat cakes so I trimmed them down. The cakes were just moist with speckles of almonds throughout. Each were dusted with powdered sugar, topped off with a sliced strawberry and served with fresh homemade whipped cream. Nothing beats homemade whipped cream. I’m completely a convert.

Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake) Recipe from

Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake)

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Chocolate
Servings: 6


  • 4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp rum or coffee
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 C granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tbsp
  • 3 large eggs divided
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 C almonds chopped
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 C cake flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and dust desired cake pan with cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • In a double boiler over simmering water (or a small saucepan placed into simmering water), melt chocolate with rum or coffee.
  • Chop almonds in a food processor with 1/2 tbsp sugar. Blend until only fine pieces remain.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and 2/3 cup sugar. Add egg yolks. Scrape down sides as needed.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites and salt. When soft peaks form sprinkle with sugar and continuing beating until stiff peaks form. Add melted chocolate to butter and yolk mixture. Gently stir in with a rubber spatula. Add almonds and extract. Stir in 1/4 of the egg whites. Fold in 1/3 of the whites followed by 1/3 of the cake flour. Repeat until all egg whites and cake flour have been gently incorporated.
  • Add mixture to your prepared cake pan or pans.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. When done, the cake should have puffed up, the edges should be clean pierced with a cake tester and the center should be slightly oily.
  • Rest in pan for 5-10 minutes. Turn out on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • When ready to serve. Trim domed tops if desired. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with optional strawberries and whipped cream.


Recipe source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

Celebrating 100 with Julia Child:
Week 1: Rolled omelette
Week 2: Chocolate mousse
Week 3: Coq au Vin
Week 4: Salade Niçoise
Week 5: Vichyssoise

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65 Responses to “Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake) – Julia Child”

  1. #
    Catie — June 16, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I follow Baked by Rachel on Twitter (@catie_russo)

  2. #
    Catie — June 16, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I follow Abrams Books on Twitter (@catie_russo)

  3. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — June 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

    These are so pretty! They do sound like a little more work but I’m sure they were worth it. I wish I could get a pan like that where I am.

  4. #
    Christina C. — June 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I love tiramisu! Ice cream is good too!

  5. #
    Christina C. — June 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I follow you on Twitter (@kawaiidragon88).

  6. #
    Christina C. — June 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I follow Abrams on Twitter (@kawaiidragon88).

  7. #
    Christina C. — June 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm
  8. #
    HJ — June 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    My favorite dessert is baklava! I lose all my will power in front of it!!!

  9. #
    Marisol — June 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    My favorite dessert is gelato and chocolate cake! Yum!!

  10. #
    Kate — June 18, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    My favorite dessert is rice krispies treats.

  11. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — June 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Oooh love these! Send me one!

  12. #
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — June 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Love the mini size. They look so moist and delicious!

  13. #
    Design a cake online — November 6, 2012 at 2:32 am

    You would have made Julia Child proud :), the cakes look amazing!

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