November 1, 2018

Christina Tosi’s Compost Pound Cake

Recipe: Christina Tosi

Try this recipe for Compost Pound Cake from Christina Tosi’s cookbook, All About Cake.

Christina Tosi All About CakeThis cake is an homage to the team of hardbodies at Milk Bar who have been mixing this seemingly odd collection of cookie mixins since November 15, 2008. That’s when we opened the doors to our little bakery, having no clue what the world outside would think of this kitchen-sink, fudgy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside, salty-yet-sweet cookie. This pound cake version is pretty darn special, too.


  • 90g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 90g (1/3 cup) buttermilk
  • 30g (3 tbsp) grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 10g (2 1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 240g (2 cups) cake flour
  • 180g (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) sugar
  • 30g (2 tbsp) light brown sugar
  • 30g (1/4 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4g (1 tbsp) ground coffee
  • 4g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 4g (1 tsp) kosher salt
  • 75g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) mini chocolate chips
  • 75g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) mini butterscotch chips
  • 50g (1/3 cup) graham crackers, crumbled
  • 10g (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) all-purpose flour
  • 65g (1/3 cup) mini chocolate chips
  • 2.5g (1/2 tsp) grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 75g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) mini butterscotch chips
  • 10g (2 tsp) grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 25g (1 cup) potato chips
  • 25g (1/2 cup) mini pretzels


Yield: Makes 1 pound cake/serves 8 to 10

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 1-pound loaf pan.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, 30 grams (3 tablespoons) oil, vanilla extract, and eggs together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the cake flour, sugar, brown sugar, oats, coffee, baking powder, and salt together in a separate large bowl.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir to combine. If the batter looks lumpy, use a whisk to break up all the lumps.
  5. In a separate bowl, toss the 75 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) chocolate chips, 50 grams (1/4 cup) butterscotch chips, and graham cracker crumbles, with the AP flour. (Tossing them in flour first helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake while it bakes.)
  6. Pour half of the compost batter into the loaf pan, then fold the remaining batter into the bowl with the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and graham cracker crumbles. Pour this mixture on top of the batter in the loaf pan.
  7. Bake until the cake rises and puffs, about 70 minutes. At 60 minutes, tap the top of the cake with your fingertips: The cake should bounce back and the center should no longer be jiggly. If it doesn’t pass this test, leave the cake in the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Let the cake cool in the pan for 45 minutes, then run a small butter knife or offset spatula between the edge of the cake and the pan to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the pan onto a wire rack to fully release the cake. Turn the cake right side up and let it cool completely.
  9. Melt the 65 grams (1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon) mini chocolate chips and 2.5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of oil in the microwave in 30-second increments. Repeat this step with the 75 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) butterscotch chips and 10 grams (2 teaspoons) oil in a separate container.
  10. Decorate the top of the compost pound cake by dipping the potato chips and pretzels, broken up if desired, in the melted chocolate and butterscotch, using each as a glue to stick the chips and pretzels to the top. Put the cake in the fridge and let the chocolate harden and cool for 5 minutes, then dig in!
  11. The cake will keep in the refrigerator, wrapped, for up to 1 week. Let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

All About Cake by Christina Tosi, Clarkson Potter, 2018, HC 288 pages, $47.