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)

kitkatchunky's picture

Made this for my mother in laws birthday at the weekend and although it was really easy to make, it took longer to cook (about 45 minutes) and tasted really bland and disapointing. I have definately made better chocolate cakes before. The adults didn't like the texture of the bran either. Although saying that it was demolished by the 5 kids over the course of the day (plus doggy bags!!)
Oh and for anyone worrying about the tin size - if you have a local cookware shop ask if they have a rental service as this size is quite common in the foodie world...

jbc777's picture

Looks gorgeous, could you double the ingredients and make a larger cake please comment back as soon as possible

verilion's picture

HI Toya, I posted the same question elsewhere and:
1 cup of flour = 1 teaspoon baking powder. Now all we have to do is convert 1 cup to grammes!!!

jennifert's picture

Have just done this for youngest's birthday.

Made it in a 8" square tin, and baked for 45 minutes as recommended elsewhere here. Really easy to make. Went half/half with wholemeal SR/normal SR flour. Brushed top with marmalade, iced with ready made roll out icing. Went down a storm! Nice and moist. Icing added a bit of sweetness, but not too much - the cake on its on is very chocolatey but not very sweet.

Definitely one to make again :)

toyajf's picture

i would love to make this cake but I have a problem...I can't get the self raising flour. How much baking powder should I use?

verilion's picture

Ok this is the dumb person's question, but what is the difference between baking powder and bicarbonate of soda?
The baking powder makes the cake rise right? So what does the soda do? Do you have to put it in?

missreebbie's picture

Made this cake with my daughter for her birthday. Used a 9" square cake tin and baked for the recommended time and it was fine. Made only half the icing amount as 300g sugar sounded an awful lot, it seemed enough. I found decorating with melted chocolate very tricky though - it was too runny and hot in the piping bag! Next time I'll make some standard butter icing. Daughter really enjoyed making it and it our party guests loved it.

nlwilliamson's picture

Adults loved this - kids ate the icing and left the cake. Well apart from my daughter who seems to eat anything. I think the kids could sense this was healthy! I will make it again to ensure that this type of cake is the norm in our house!

shaunaralph's picture

I want to make this cake as it sounds really nice .
I was just wondering in total how much does it cost to get all of the ingredients ? I must try it out ! It has alot of good reviews and everyone else is pleased so hopfully It works out the same for me .

digsydi's picture

great cake. it was liked so much that i had to make two!
i changed the icing but only because i personally prefer it a different way

nbooth's picture

I used a slightly deeper tin so needed longer (4o mins) to cook, used dark melted chocolate as the topping and used strawberry yoghurt instead of plain. Was delicious.

shanyb's picture

Im making this for my sons tomorow cant wait looks great

emmaht's picture

I have a baking tin which is 30cm x 24cm - am wondering how much I could scale up the recipe and how long to bake for. Think the size will be good for children's party and I am going to ice it as a Pirate Map for my 4 year old's birthday.

mandysidhu's picture

First time I've baked a birthday cake... used self raising flour and covered in Smarties - worked brilliantly and was so moist... Everyone loved it and was so impressed by my first attempt of baking!

tasneempatel's picture

I made this cake for my family but it didnt turn out so well was dissapointed wont be making it again. The cake was too soft and broke everytime I tryed to cut it and I had to throw the icing away because it tasted horrible and cover it with chocolate buttercream.

lisac4's picture

I made this for my son's birthday and it was very easy and very delicious. However, next time I don't think I'll use all wholemeal flour - maybe half and half or all white flour. It gave the cake a very bran-y texture and I don't think this would be to everyone's taste. I also agree with some of the other comments that the topping was very sweet and could be replaced with a different option. I also used the melted chocolate in a piping bag to write a birthday message on the top. All-in-all though, a lovely cake that can be easily adapted to your own personal taste!

lesmcal's picture

Made this for my daughter's birthday yesterday - didn't like the wholemeal flour at all - cake tasted like wheaten bread! Will try again with white self raising flour.

pcarey-lawrence's picture

Several people have mentioned topping this cake with melted chocolate rather than the icing sugar. Its my sons 2nd bday next week and I am going to attempt to make the cake and fancy making it and using the melted chocolate option to decorate. Please can somebody talk me through what I would need to do?

gillianlw's picture

I was disappointed with this cake ... however had I been expecting chocolate brown bread then it would have been fine. That is exactly how my cake turned out so all I needed was some chocolate soup to dip it in ;-)

jenny101uk's picture

Used white self raising flour and it was fine, very easy to make and tastes delicious. The topping is very sweet, I reduced by a third and still had plenty!


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