I have something to tell you that you won’t like (please don’t throw your hands and stop reading….hear me out…..it’s so worth it): this cake requires that you cut each grape in half and carefully remove the seeds. I know. It’s crazy.

It’s why you should only make it once a year. Since I first made it last summer, it’s been the one cake that everyone talks about. For a few months now I’ve gotten offers of help in seeding the grapes, just in case I wasn’t going to do it again when they finally showed up at the market.

If you can get people to have a seeding party with you, by all means do so. If not, it’s a great time to catch up and listen to that podcast you’ve been saving, sit down with a big dish towel (there will be purple juice) and find the zen in it.

The cake is crumbly and not too sweet, and it tastes even better after sitting out for a day, covered, when the flavors have really had some time to marinate.


I’ve made the non-vegan and vegan versions of this and they are both great.


Concord Grape Cake with Hazelnuts

1 qt concord grapes

2-3 oz bourbon

1 ½ cups cake flour

1 cup spelt flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1tsp. baking powder

a pinch of salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. grated nutmeg

zest of 3 oranges

¼ cup fresh orange juice

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup coconut oil

3 large eggs, or if vegan, the egg replacer equivalent


powdered sugar for sprinkling


Grease a 9″ spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Cut each grape in half and use a paring knife to remove the seeds.  Pour 1 oz. of bourbon over the seeded grapes and set aside (you could even do this the night before and keep the grapes covered in the fridge overnight).

Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, eggs, 1 oz. of bourbon, orange juice and orange zest., until they they start to become creamy.

Fold the flour mixture into the oil mixture, then fold in about 2/3 of the hazelnuts.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the cake pan. Add a layer of grapes, but keep them about ½ inch away from the edge of the pan.

Spread the remaining batter on top, then add another layer of grapes.

Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts over the top.

Bake for 1hr – 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.