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Chocolate-Apricot Clafoutis Cakes with Honey Drizzle: We’re in the Future Now

When you live in California, sometimes you feel hours behind everyone else. Weirdly, we watch a recording of the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, instead of our own. The sun lets many of us sleep a few extra hours, while most of the country is already up and at ’em. But come springtime, the tables turn and we’re living in the future. And, people, the future has officially arrived in the form of stone fruit season.

As someone who could eat at least a handful of apricots in one sitting, you could imagine my excitement when I spotted the month’s first crop at a local market. Plump and sunny, with just the slightest touch of fuzz, a bin-ful of apricots greeted me at the door. After purchasing a bagful that cost a fortune (they are the season’s first, after all), I immediately began dreaming up ways to use them in a recipe to share with you. I wanted to make jam. I wanted to churn them into ice cream. I wanted to make crumble. I wanted to grill them. I wanted to do all of these things, all in one weekend. But, mostly, I wanted a good reason to pair my little jewels with chocolate.

Apricots and chocolate aren’t the most obvious duo, but beyond the stunning color combination, when paired, these individual ingredients come together in a very interesting way. The inspiration for this recipe came from one in Donna Hay’s Simple Essentials: Fruit, in which the author presents a chocolate clafoutis studded with plums. Now, a chocolate clafoutis is already crazy enough; traditionally, the French dessert is reminiscent of a custard-like cake that is dotted with cherries, dusted with sugar and served lukewarm. It’s heavy on the eggs, contributing to the spring-like texture of the cake. Clafoutis purists would scoff, but I welcome a twist on tradition.

We’re not so far into the future that we have access to plums, so I had this crazy idea to turn the clafoutis into a few mini chocolate cakes encasing apricot halves. And then, I figured I’d drizzle them with blackberry honey. If apricots have already popped up where you live, I recommend using ripe ones, as you want them to soften quite a bit as they bake. That way, when you cut into the cake, the jamminess of the apricot will mix with the rich chocolate cake. The addition of chopped chocolate, along with the cocoa powder, means you’ll get a few intensely chocolatey bites along with a few lighter ones. If you’re in eager anticipation for their arrival, tuck this recipe away for a few weeks; I promise it will be worth it.

I like small things as much as the next person, but I must admit, I couldn’t resist eating two in one day. And, I’m not going to lie…the one left sitting on a plate and covered with a thin sheet of plastic wrap isn’t going to last long, either.

I would like to end this post with an important announcement: do NOT skip the honey drizzle. I enjoyed a fragrant blackberry honey with my cakes, but any good honey will really do. With Mother’s Day coming up, I think this could make the perfect ending to a homemade brunch. And if you’re looking for a few other ideas, how about this beautiful brunch menu from Sunday Suppers?

Need more clafoutis inspiration? Check out this brandied Plum Clafoutis, from the archives.

Chocolate-Apricot Clafoutis Cakes with Honey Drizzle
*makes 6 mini cakes

4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup of finely chopped chocolate (a few bigger chunks is ok)
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
3 ripe apricots, halved, pits and stems removed

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter six molds inside a 12-cup muffin tin. You can also line the muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder and sugar in a medium bowl, until combined.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, cooled, melted butter, and yogurt. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms, then stir in the chopped chocolate.
4. Divide the batter between the 6 muffin cups, filling them almost to the very top (leave about 1/4 inch of space). Place one apricot half, round side down, on top of each of the batter-filled muffin cups (the fruit will sink slightly into the batter).
5. Bake for about 25 minutes (until puffed and set). Once slightly cooled to the touch, run a knife along the edges of each mini cake, and carefully prod it out of its hole (be very gentle, and make sure you unhinge the cakes on all sides before pulling them out). If you used cupcake liners, you won’t need to do this. Drizzle each mini cake with honey, and serve either warm, or at room temperature.

Musical Pairings: Lemonade – Diver + Chocolate-Apricot Clafoutis Cakes with Honey Drizzle

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Wait just a minute! The temperature hit 95 degrees in Oklahoma this weekend and we don’t have any apricots yet! Hmphhh. This chocolate clafoutis (!!!) looks so good.

  • sarah kieffer

    These are beautiful! I am in love with the second photo – gorgeous. My husband and I keep dreaming of moving to a warmer climate – and reading posts like this helps convince me we should make it happen. I think I could live in the future. πŸ˜‰

  • So funny that you say you feel behind, because I always feel like we’re ahead! Isn’t that why so many east coasters roll their eyes at us…? CA folks eat apricots in May and take our lunch break in the sun or at a yoga class. Sigh. I’m all over that brandied plum recipe, too.

  • 95 degrees??? I gotta say – living in the fog, I do miss those super hot days of summer sometimes. Clafoutis is one of my favorites!

  • Thank you, Sarah! That means a lot πŸ™‚ Truth be told, San Francisco isn’t quite the warm weather hub, but we rarely dip below 50, and just as rarely top 70…There are days I dream of warm summer nights (we NEVER have those!). Grass is always greener, eh? πŸ™‚

  • I think there’s definitely a back and forth movement when it comes to cultural trends, fashion trends, and political trends. But, scientifically speaking, we’re always going to be behind, right? πŸ˜‰ Yes, brandie plums! They’re magical!

  • What a beautiful dessert! I just love the glisten from the honey in your gorgeous photos. Mmmm…the sound of the ripe apricots, rich chocolate and of course, the honey. Lovely!

  • This is torture! We’re soooooo behind on fruit crops in southern Ontario. We MIGHT have strawberries in two weeks. I’ll bide my time munching on ramps, radishes and asparagus until those sweet, sweet stone fruits arrive. This looks so wonderful, I love the chocolate addition (how could you not?!). Breaking tradition with clafoutis and running with it = badass.

  • OMG I’ve been listening to Lemonade for the past two weeks–so good! Neptune is my sooong! Anyway, chocolate! I actually never thought to combine apricot and chocolate. And honey? Yum. YES!

  • Thank you, darling! I love a good glisten of honey on a plate!

  • I’m sorry I’m doing this to you! I want to eat all of the apricots on the land! I couldn’t help myself. That said, you’re soooo close. I can feel it!

  • Always like to hear when a Pairing resonates πŸ™‚ Chocolate + Apricot + Honey = rich and jammy…just the way I like it!

  • There were apricots at your farmer’s market this weekend? There sure weren’t any at mine–and I live practically right down the street! I bet they sold out early. But I will be watching for them next week…oh yes.

  • Sounds like a bit of a mouthful but looks absolutely divine!

  • No honey drizzle should ever be skipped really. I take my honey drizzles very seriously. And love the idea of mini clafoutis cakes!

  • This looks so beautiful and delectable. Love how you presented it, simple yet very chic!

  • Being a serious chocolate lover I’m all over these! I’m in clafoutis zone too- watch for rhubarb clafoutis on la Domestique later this week.

  • There sure were! They’re popping up everywhere and I couldn’t be happier. Hope you find some soon!

  • Ha! You’re right about that, Spencer πŸ™‚

  • I like the way you think!

  • Thank you, Angie!

  • Ohhh, I will look forward to the rhubarb clafoutis for sure. Love rhubarb!

  • This looks so good! Sometimes you just need that double chocolate. Or is it always? Do you think I can make this with raspberries?

    I saw peaches(!) last week at my Pasadena market!

  • Renee

    Chocolate + Clafoutis? Amazingness. Can’t wait to try!!!

  • Kasey, these photos are gorgeous! That honey is making my mouth water. What kind of honey are you guys buying? Can’t wait to get back to the states for some flavorful, local honey!!

  • Double the chocolate. Always double the chocolate. I just bought a big bag of peaches, nectarines and apricots. I’m pretty much in heaven.

  • Yes! It is!

  • Thanks, Jesse! I love trying honeys – they are all so different! The one I used was from the bulk bin (tin?) at Rainbow Grocery – it might be from Oregon. I also have been loving Manuka honey my friend sent me from New Zealand. I know eating local honey is supposed to be really good for you (esp. for people who have allergies) but I love trying things from all around the country and the globe…it’s kind of like wine tasting!

  • Pingback: Chocolate-Apricot Clafoutis Cakes with Honey Drizzle | cumint()

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