Little Baharat Chocolate Cake

Baharat is a spice blend popular across the Arab world.
large rectangular chocolate cake on white parchment paper that has been cut into many small square slices. wooden handled knife on left hand side of photo pinit

Introducing our newest love – Little Baharat Chocolate Cake!

We first created this for our Baharat SpiceScription box last year. After recently making it again, we’ve fallen in love with it all over again!

This surprising cake is based on the method of making a Texas Sheet Cake but in an everyday size and with a spicy kick of Baharat.

What is Baharat?

We were first introduced to Baharat by AJ, a customer, who came into SpiceTopia with his personal recipe to be blended. Eliah tried it and fell in love with this distinct spice blend! He’s tweaked the recipe just a bit to make it our own, and we are now happy to offer it as one of our regular organic blends. Our Baharat Spice recipe is also gluten-free, salt-free, fat-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

In Arabic baharat simply means spice. It is believed baharat originated in North Africa, but today it has spread across the Middle Eastern world. Like so many spice blends, baharat’s recipe varies from region to region or even household to household, but usually includes black pepper, cloves, cumin, paprika, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Our version, based on AJ’s recipe, includes a smoked paprika and adds rose petals, turmeric, and allspice to the core spices. Traditionally, this unique blend is used as an all-purpose spice for many different savory dishes. It is a wonderful seasoning for meats and fish. It also forms the flavor basis for rice dishes such as pilafs and biryani.

We’ve found it an unique addition to our favorite chocolate cake recipe!

In addition to the Baharat, this recipe differs from a traditional chocolate cake recipe by calling for Onyx Cocoa Powder. This deep richly flavored cocoa is the same cocoa powder used in making Oreo Cookies and has a different ph balance than other cocoa powders. When using it you’ll need to add an acid to your recipe. This recipe uses sour cream for that acid–buttermilk would also work. The rich dark flavor is worth this extra consideration, and the flavor balances well with the spices found in our Baharat Blend.

large rectangular chocolate cake on white parchment paper that has been cut into many small square slices. wooden handled knife on left hand side of photo pinit
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Little Baharat Chocolate Cake

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 45 mins
Best Season: Spring





  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

  2. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

  3. Stir together egg and sour cream. Set aside.

  4. Combine 1 stick of butter, water, and 2 tablespoons of cocoa in a small pat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

  5. Immediately, add flour, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon baharat, and granulated sugar. Stir well.

  6. Stir in the egg and sour cream mixture.

  7. Pour into the buttered baking pan.

  8. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.

  9. While the cake is baking, prepare the topping by bringing to a boil, butter, milk, and cocoa.

  10. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in baharat and powdered sugar.

  11. Pour over baked cake.

  12. Top with nuts.


Allow to cool before digging in!

If you love learning about new spices and how to use them, we invite you to join SpiceScription where we explore one spice or blend each month through exclusive recipes!

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Keywords: cooking from scratch, Spices, Dessert, holiday baking, holiday

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