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Birthday cake recipe - Chocolate Cake

This is our go-to easy chocolate cake recipe - the reasons it's easy is because it's a one bowl cake which we love but it also never lets you down.  It's a Victoria sponge type consistency and it lasts really well making it ideal to bake the day before.  It also works really well as a gluten free cake by just adding gluten free flour and a teaspoon of gluten free baking powder too. You also need to ensure that your chocolate is gluten free but other than those small changes, it's really easy. 


For the cake:

200g golden caster sugar

200g unsalted butter

4 large eggs

200g self-raising flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk


For the buttercream:

100g milk chocolate, chopped

200g butter, softened

400g icing sugar

5 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp milk


For the chocolate shards (optional):

50g dark chocolate

25g milk chocolate

25g white chocolate



Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter the base and sides of two 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

To make the cake:

In a large bowl, beat together 200g golden caster sugar, 200g softened unsalted butter, 4 large eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp milk and a pinch of salt until pale.

Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream:

Put 100g chopped milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 secs. Leave the melted chocolate to cool for 5 mins.

Mash 200g softened butter and 400g icing sugar together with a fork, then switch to a wooden spoon or electric beaters, if you have them.

Sift in 5 tbsp cocoa powder with a pinch of salt and pour in the melted chocolate and 2 tbsp milk. Mix again until smooth.

On a cake stand or large plate, sandwich the cakes together with half of the buttercream, then spread the rest on top. Decorate with chocolate shards, if you like.

To make chocolate shards:

Melt 50g dark chocolate and pour it onto a tray lined with baking parchment or foil.

Now melt 25g milk chocolate and 25g white chocolate and drizzle them over the dark chocolate before it sets.

Shake the tray gently to level the mixture then leave to set somewhere cool. Chop into shards.

Eat and enjoy!


Recipe & photo by BBC Good Food




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