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)

indrielangel's picture

Hmmm.... Well, my sons cottoned on to the wholemeal flour straight away, and both said they didn't like it very much. It isn't a 'luscious' chocolate cake at all. I like wholemeal bread, and so do my boys, but I'm not convinced that wholemeal flour is the best for this cake. However, it is very moist, and it got better the next day. The topping is very sweet. I'd make it again but with white flour and a dark chocolate ganache topping, which wouldn't be so sweet.

emsaustin's picture

i made this with a melted white chocolate topping after reading some of the comments. i didnt like the cake at all with the s/r wholemeal flour it made the cake too bitty and i kept picking the bran out of my teeth (not what i was looking for in a scrummy choc cake)

jacaline13's picture

Nice and easy and looks great

clionaf's picture

This cake was a total disaster! I don't know what I did wrong, but it completely collapsed in the middle and I had to go out and buy a birthday cake instead. It was moist as others have said, but the wholemeal flour gave a very "healthy" texture which wasn't really what I'd like from a chocolate cake (I think it should have been labeled as a "healthy alternative" or something similar).

The comments weren't available when I made the cake, but I made it based on the 5 star rating. Looking through the comments now, there are quite a few negative ones (though they're in the minority) that haven't been given a star rating, which is a pity because it means the recipe rating is biased high.

eleanormayo's picture

I agree with the minority - this cake was very stodgy and not a great texture. I won't be making it again.

sarah_clk's picture

I made this cake for a 30th birthday and it was really easy and quick to do. I used plain self raising flour and caster sugar as thats all I had in but it was still really light and moist. I just used a swiss roll tin for baking and it worked out perfect. I also cut it in to 24 smaller slices as it was to go with a mimi buffet. Will make this again...(oh and 1/4 tsp baking soda was fine)

barnetgirl's picture

This is a great recipe and makes a really moist cake. I couldnt find wholemeal self-raising, I know Allinsons do it but its not very widely stocked. I covered with fondant and did my own decoration for sons 4th birthday.

tracimac's picture

it was yummy - we decorated it with lots of chocolate sweets and marshmallows. i also made it for my sisters birth day

alfie1_2's picture

Not that experienced in cake baking but made two of these for my twin boys 3rd birthday and it went down a treat. Very easy to make and very tasty!!

poffigirl's picture

I made this cake for my daughters 3rd birthday party, the first chocolate cake I'd ever made. I have a history of mishaps with baking, I first made the cake with plain flour (I put that one in the party bags). However, I pulled myself together and made another with self raising flour and OMG it was gorgeous!! I don't have a rectangle cake tin so did it in a round deep cake tin but it turned out briliantly, although it did need 45mins in the oven. The yogurt really does make it nice and moist. I also used white flour instead of wholemeal. Instead of the recipies icing suggestion, I melted together 1/2 a big bar of dairy milk with the same weight of butter and added 3 times the amount of icing sugar. I then decorated the cake with smarties and white chocolate buttons - lovely!. I can't wait to make this cake again!!

gromit10's picture

Easy cake to make. I will definatley be making it again.

korbell's picture

I made this cake for my sons birthday. It is fantastic, easy and delicious.
I added chunks of chocolate to the cake mixture and white chocolate icing to write on the cake. Coloured candles, sprinkles and Maltesers to decorate made this cake a winner!
I have also made the cake with half brown and the rest white self raising flour. Yum Yum

stripyem's picture

I made this cake and it was a disaster! It didn't rise much at all and now I've had to make an another cake as its not suitable. Tastes quite nice though.

vanessaj's picture

This is a fab recipe for inexperienced cake makers like myself, my first thought swere that it was so moist it would last for ages... it didn't because we eat it in one day, it was so good.

supermalik786's picture

me and my sis mde 4 mah mum b-day as a surprise

no1 believe we md it cos we were young

i was 11

pillet's picture

i made this cake for my daughter in laws birthday , it was very yummy!!!

debsieeg's picture

Lovely cake but i had to cook it for about an hour and 20 minutes not 20 minutes!!! I used a round cake tin maybe thats why - still lovely and moist though!

zoeparkes's picture

I've made this now twice and today thought I'd try and put the mixture in muffin cases rather than a cake tin - it worked brilliantly and comes out less dense than muffins but moister than fairy cakes!

sweet_like_sugar's picture

I made this recipew ithout the yogurt and I added some milk and it worked just as well. I topped it off with solidified melted chocolate and it was delicous. A great recipe.

fifi84's picture

Will someone tell me that can I use plain flour instead of whole meal flour?


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