We welcomed family into our home for dinner today, and I decided that it was the perfect opportunity for some chocolate cake recipe testing! I absolutely love chocolate cake, and think it’s the perfect kind of cake for any special social gathering or party. It’s simple to make, it’s a crowd pleaser and it is super versatile in the way that it can be modified or decorated to suit different tastes and requirements. Place it on top of a beautiful cake stand, polkadot doily and tablecloth, and you have yourself something absolutely delightful!
Obviously it’s fairly clear that chocolate cake is not groundbreaking stuff, and certainly hasn’t been invented by me (sadly), but there are so many variations of it and so many different recipes out there. My bookshelf is overflowing with baking books, so I’m guessing I probably have about 30 different chocolate cake recipes. Over time, I’ve tried and tested many of them, often sprawling hand drawn notes all over the pages. This recipe has derived from all of those little notes, alongside all of the baking mishaps I’ve suffered along the way to get to this point! (I’ll spare you the details!) If you feel like having a try, or you are baking for a special occasion, pop some music on, grab an apron and some pretty spatulas and have some fun with my recipe.
For the Cake
230g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
230g caster sugar
3 large eggs
180g self raising flour
60g cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon baking powder
For the Filling and Topping
350g icing sugar
80g cocoa powder
100g soft butter
4 tablespoons milk, to mix
Chocolate balls such as maltesers, if you’re looking for something similar to my cake. If not, you can use simple sprinkles or other cake decoration.
You will need:
Two 20cm round sandwich cake tins, greased with butter and lined with baking parchment
Makes 1 medium-large cake (serves 8-10)
1) Pre heat the oven to 180c (gas mark 4)
2) Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. With an electric mix or a wooden spoon, cream them together until they are fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Do not mix for anything over 2 minutes, as the sponge needs to be airy when baked.
3) Measure the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and sift into the bowl. Fold this in gently, preferably with a large metal spoon, until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.
4) Divide the mixture between your 2 prepared tins. At this point, you may want to use some weighing scales to ensure even dividing. Bake in a pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked through. (Inserting a cake tester or knife into the centre of the cake is a good indication on whether it is cooked through. The cake tester/knife should come out completely clean if it is cooked)
5) Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes. After this time, turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely for approximately 30 minutes or longer. Do not ice the cake until fully cooled, or a baking disaster may strike!
6) Mix all of the filling and topping ingredients (apart from the milk) together in a large bowl and mix until smooth. The milk should be added 1 tablespoon at a time, should the icing need loosening.
7) Spread half of the icing on one layer of the cake, which will make the buttercream centre. Take the remaining cake and place on top of this layer. Carefully spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake. Decorate with maltesers, or other chocolate/sprinkles of your choice.
The cake can be made the day before and will still taste delightful if stored in airtight containers or tins, but if possible, ice on the day of the event for added freshness.