My favorite kind of cakes are the ones that beg to be eaten morning, noon and night. The kind of cake that gives equal permission to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine – and Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake does exactly that.

Ultra-moist yet not overly sweet, this cake has a flavor and texture that are just as good, if not better, on day three as they are on day one. Which makes it the perfect holiday cake recipe for a hostess gift, a teacher gift from the heart, a little something for your neighbors   – or you know, a gift to yourself while you wrap all those presents.

Think of it as one big massive brownie that you can tie up with a bow. And who wouldn’t want that?

Related: Fabulous homemade food gifts I wish someone would make me this holiday season.


A perfect holiday cake recipe to gift hostesses (or anyone really!) | © Jane Sweeney Cool Mom Eats


Although this is a recipe from Nigella Lawson’s 2005 How To Be A Kitchen Goddess (from our affiliate Amazon),  I first came across the it while reading Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change The Way You Cook.

 Fortunately you can find the chocolate cake recipe on Food52.

While it’s a fairly easy recipe, take note of the the tips within the baking instructions. The batter will be very wet, so you want to make sure your pan is properly lined. Since it’s a dense and moist cake – what Nigella calls “squidgy” – this will insure it releases without struggle.

My other tip is that you can easily substitute very hot coffee for the boiling water in the recipe. The cake won’t taste like coffee, but it enhances the flavor and brings out the richness of the chocolate. I’ve made it both ways and you really can’t go wrong.

You don’t even need any frosting — I sometimes even gift it with a little container of fresh whipped cream.

Related: 7 creative Christmas bark recipes, from melted snowmen to hidden reindeer faces.

Perfect holiday cake recipe for gift giving: Nigella Lawson's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake. | © Jane Sweeney Cool Mom Eats

Now, if you are a stickler about appearances, this cake may not be for you. It does collapse slightly in the center and has quite the homemade look, though that’s something I tend to like. But I promise after one taste, no one will quite remember – or care – what it looked like.

Find Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake recipe at Food52.