I adore chocolate cake and spend a great deal of time drooling over Pinterest recipes. But lately, a lot of moody luscious cakes made with “healthy” buckwheat have been especially catching my eye. And because those tall reddish-brown spires of curly dock seeds growing in fields, yards and lanes are from the buckwheat family – I put two and two together. The result is this Double Chocolate Curly Dock Seed Cake which (after several attempts) turned out just how I wanted it – rich, dense, moist and intensely chocolatey!
I wanted to make this cake entirely with ground curly dock seeds (no flour) so I knew it would be a bit of a challenge. There was no guide to curly dock seed cakes online! So it took a little experimenting to get the texture and flavour I wanted. My first cake turned out pretty good but the texture was a little too gritty and crumbly.
For my next attempt I added honey and extra eggs for moisture, which was better – but not quite there. For the last cake I roasted the seeds before I ground them. Not only did this give them a nice sweet nutty aroma, they ground up into a much more fine, less gritty flour. And it turned out so good I ate half of the cake while taking these pictures!
Curly Dock seeds are super easy to find. The spawn of Rumex Crispus, they are an invasive plant that grows in a wide variety of habitats, including disturbed soil, fields, meadows, shorelines, and forest edges -and you can’t mistake their tall dark spires in our landscapes. And from root to leaf, they are well-known to herbalists for their many healing and medicinal benefits.
Curly dock seeds are simple and quick to harvest, each stalk contain thousands of seeds which can be easily pulled off by hand. Because they are so fertile (curly dock seeds are viable for 80 + years) and abundant (each plant is estimated to contain 40,000 seeds) they have long been associated with fertility, abundance, and prosperity magic. Which makes this cake perfect for serving at harvest festivals like Thanksgiving and Samhain.
I harvested my curly dock seeds on a dewy damp October morning, so I lay the seed heads on cookie trays to dry out for the day. But you’ll want to do this anyway even if your seeds are dry – it gives a chance for all the little critters to run out!
Then I roasted the seeds, chaff and all, in the oven at 350 until they started to darken into a deep brown colour, about 4-5 minutes. After they cooled, I took the entire seed heads (yes husk and all) and ground them to a fine flour in my coffee grinder. This process is quick and easy, far easier than winnowing the tiny seeds from the chaff. These husks don’t detract from the flavour – plus they add fibre!
But if you want to use just the seeds, you can rub the seeds briskly between your palms to take the husks off, then use a sieve with holes large enough that will permit the seeds to go through but not the chaff. But I promise it will take forever.
About two cups of unground curly dock seeds will yield about one cup of flour. High in protein, vitamins and minerals, this nutritious flour can be used like buckwheat (which isn’t a grain but a seed) in anything from crackers, breads, muffins to chocolate cakes.
Good news is this cake is super easy to make. Because I love dark chocolate cakes with deep rich flavour I added some coffee. But after that there is no fussing or creaming, everything goes into one bowl with a big stir. It’s that simple.
Double Chocolate Curly Dock Seed Cake
- 1 cup ground and roasted curly dock seeds
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of cane or brown sugar
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup of coffee ( the liquid kind not coffee beans!)
- 1 cup of semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all your ingredients in all large bowl, blending well.
- Pour batter into pre-greased 9 X 11 cake pan or small bundt mold.
- Bake in oven for approx 35- 40 minutes, or just as the top begins to firm.
- Cool and then glaze with chocolate ganache or icing.