Chocolate birthday cake

Chocolate birthday cake

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(90 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 12
We used colourful candles rather than artificial sweets to brighten up this tasty birthday cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • Un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal432
  • fat18g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars51g
  • fibre3g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.41g
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  • 140g butter, plus extra for the tin



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 2 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 225g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 250g natural yogurt

To decorate

  • 300g golden icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3-4 tbsp boiling water
  • 50g each white, plain and milk chocolate, broken into squares


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 18 x 28cm cake tin or tray. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl; beat together with electric hand beaters until light and fluffy. add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition.

  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl, then tip in any bran left in the sieve. Pour in the natural yogurt. Stir everything to a smooth mixture and spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for 20-25 mins until just firm and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  3. For the icing, sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then pour in the butter and 2 tbsp just-boiled water. Stir together to a smooth, spreadable consistency. if it’s too stiff, very carefully add a little more boiling water, drop by drop.

  4. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, using a palette knife dipped in hot water. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  5. Melt the chocolates in three different bowls in the microwave on High for 1 min or over a pan of simmering water. Spoon the melted chocolates into three plastic disposable piping bags. Snip the ends off and pipe 12 simple shapes on top of the cake. Leave to set. Just before serving, cut the cake into 12 squares and push in the candles.

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Comments (151)

isa2122's picture

I made this cake for mother's day and everybody enjoyed delicious!
But I confess I had some doubts: the coverage needed much more water than the recipe demanded, the coverage was difficult to extend and much thicker than it seemed in the picture. Also did not find self raising wholemeal flour and had to use self raising white flour. Can you tell me how much I would have to use of baking powder in wholemeal flour?
Oh, very well and resulted in a square 20x20cm.

ctp1234's picture

The easiest cake Ive made so far. Instead of piping on shapes, I just grated a few blocks of milk and white chocolate across the top of the cake, went down a treat :)

clevedonacu's picture

I love this recipe. It's easy to make and delicious. I've used it as a birthday cake for my two children for the last 3 years! It's that good!

allensumi's picture

I make lots of different cakes and decided to try this one for a joint birthday for my husband and a friend.Made a ganache instead of icing as suggested by someone in comments and it was lovely but the cake itself was awful.Tasted like a "diet" cake.Had to apologise for it tasting so yuk even though it looked lovely.Gave most of it to my chickens.

batsheba's picture

Simply delicious!

kaintai's picture

I made this cake but didn't turn out that great I used a cocoa powder substitute. Does anyone know where I can get a good cocoa powder from I have looked every where from asda, tesco to co-op :( please help

peanutsmum's picture

I made this for my husband's birthday and it was lovely.

I used two 9 inch round tins as I haven't got a square one. I could only find drinking chocolate in the cupboard so I grated some extra chocolate in to the mixture and also used self raising flour rather than wholemeal flour.

I made the topping and used some of it to sandwich the two cakes together. My little boy and I then finished it off with grated chocolate and sprinkles.

It looked great and tasted delicious.

Everyone commented on how light and moist it was.
Will definitely make it again.

fbrowning's picture

A bit sharp for my liking, but it did age well.

lauraj2901's picture

Made this a fair few times now for various occasions. Everyone loves it and comments on how lovely and moist it is! It is also so easy to make!

lisadoll80's picture

Made this cake yesterday for my sons birthday. Bought everything except piping bags, but was good enough with icing pens and sprinkles.

profilea2's picture

The only chocolate cake my daughter will eat! Beautifully moist and easy to make.

dandgcook's picture

Have made this for birthdays and just as a treat, totally yummy, and given that it has some healthy ingrediants, you don't feel quite as guilty! So easy to make, and looks great just with choc sprinkles on it, or decorated in a way that is appropriate to the occasion, so not just a kids cake! Very versatile.

redroof's picture

Made this last weekend for my brother (35 but still loves a b'day cake), it turned out pretty well but didn't quite rise properly - not sure if this was because I didn't leave it in long enough or if like someone else suggested maybe there should have been more bicarb of soda in it - but it tasted good, if not a bit stodgy. Instead of the squares I made the cake in 2 rounds to make it more 'adult'; I also added buttercream in between and then iced it with dark chocolate to make it extra indulgent.

prills91's picture

Best chocolate cake recipe ever, highly recommend it.
Used it for several birthdays and everyone wants the recipe.
I'm not a lover of cake in general but this cake is moist and delicious but not too sweet you can't have more. Have only made it with normal self raising flour and always top it with melted Cadburys chocolate.

jogood's picture

If you make twice as much and use a 33cm x 30cm tin, anyone any ideas how long it would need to bake for?

bakewithlove's picture

Gorgeous light and moist cake and really easy to make. I used white flour (half of which was plain as I didn't have enough self raising) and added a spoon of golden syrup which helps to retain moisture.

xocupcakexo's picture

i made this recipe a couple of days ago for some friends and it turned out EXTREMELY rich but it was still nice and tasty xx

brownsauce87's picture

fantastic cake, have made it for all my friends at university and get compliments each time!

i have 8 flatmates and made one for them last week (we had just finished loads of work) and it was demolished in an hour.

has become a firm favourite with me!

kerryfrancis's picture

My daughters birthday is this Saturday and I would love to make her cake myself although I haven't got a good track record with baking. I have a round cake tin that is 26cm, do I need to adjust the ingredients for this. Any help would be appreciated.

jamespursey's picture

We had a household of kids for my son's birthday - and they all adored this cake. It would perhaps appeal less to adults and bigger children maybe, but it's absolutely perfect for smaller kids.


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