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)

pbarbieri's picture

I'm disappointed with this cake. It has a very heavy texture and the icing is way too sweet. Very stodgy, won't be making it again.

blabberfast's picture

This is a five star cake, was really popular, and easy to make.

louisesheeran's picture

I make this again and again. It's easy, the children love it, it's not too sweet, and because of the wholemeal flour and yoghurt not as naughty as some cakes. My children prefer it with Smarties on top, though!

xxbabi-jadexx's picture

--Works just as good in cupcakes--. used this recipe for both cake and cupcakes, for mums 40th. --lasts up to a week--

instead of the chocolate melted shapes....i grated white chocoltae around the top and added three strawberrys in the middle. VERY presentable for adults.

loveeed it .. moist. tasty and couldnt keep it for long enough!

jammichelle's picture

This was a great succsess the only thing i would say is you only need a small amount because it is very rich even when i didn't bother to but the icing on but overall it was fabulous

p1763717's picture

Really nice cake. Wholemeal flour adds an interesting texture. Everyone who tried it liked it. Brought it into work and it disappeared in minutes. Followed the recipe to the letter (although only used half the quantity of icing so that there was only a thin layer of icing). Lovely contrast between the moist sponge which is not overly sweet and the very sweet chocolate topping.

lisahamadi's picture

Does anyone know if this recipe would be good for cupcakes?

sussexgirl's picture

Easy to make resulting in a moist cake. Didn't decorate with melted chocolate but used Smarties instead which looked great until my goddaughter decided she would pick them all off!

rwitsch's picture

The magazine version of the recipe gives the quantity of bicarbonate of soda to add as 1/4 teaspoon

fannycaillol's picture

Very easy and quick to make.
Maybe a bit too spongy but not too sugary so very nice.

bargainbuyer0070's picture

Hi, i'm new here. Does anyone know how long this cake keeps after you make it? Thanks.

patrick's picture

This cake was so easy to make. Lovely and moist, not too sweet as I didn't ice it.

mummaloney's picture

Made this cake yesterday it was very popular, even managed to tempt my son away from his xbox with this. I used the wholemeal flour but didn't have any self raising so I added 2 teaspoons of baking powder. The reipe also doesn't give a quantity for the bicarbonate of soda so I used 1 tsp which seemed to work fine. I also used plain icing sugar.

bevbailey's picture

do you think this cake would be nice if it didnt have the icing as i am planning to decorate is another way. someone mentioned it wasnt so sweet.

niamhlily's picture

Thanks very much for that!

Will have a go!

mehdi72's picture

Giggles! It's not daft, you won't find a 18 x 28cm tin in the high street. Use a deep 9 inch square tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.

I made two batches, once with the cocoa and one without for a double layer sponge. Didn't even last 2 days!

niamhlily's picture

I know this may sound daft, but I'm having difficulty in finding the right size tin!
Where can I find one?

sarah90's picture

I would suggest a level teaspoon full of bicarbonate of soda.

yun-mi's picture

Want to make this for my son's birthday, but how much bicarbonate of soda should I use though?

fluffy's picture

I mae this for my nieces 13th birthday and it went down a storm, nice and moist. The icing was a little too sweet for the adults but the kids loved it. Doubled the receipe to accomodate a large family and it turned out great!!


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