Chocolate birthday cake

Chocolate birthday cake recipe

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(100 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs



    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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

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

    Milk chocolate

    mill-k chok-lit

    Milk chocolate is classically made from dark chocolate of low cocoa solid content and a higher…


  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, questions and tips

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9th Jun, 2018
I don’t normally comment on recipes but felt I needed to on this one. We have just returned home from holidays and I was wondering how I would get a nice cake done for my daughter’s birthday the day after and this fitted the bill perfectly. It was the work of minutes to put it together and bake. Most importantly it has a really beautiful flavour which is not too sweet, and is really moist. I agree with another poster in that the batter is not too appetising and I wondered if I had gone wrong somewhere but sure enough it resulted in a terrific cake. I made a different chocolate buttercream icing as was I was a bit concerned about the other comments and wanted the kiddies to enjoy it. A terrific cake which I will be making again and again.
22nd Jun, 2016
This is really as good as others have said. I made it for my sons birthday cake, some kids took home extra slices and one kid wanted the recipe for his mother! My daughter wants me to make it for her birthday too albeit with pink icing. I made two cakes and sandwiched them together with a traditional buttercream, very wholesome and chocolatey cake, easy to make.'s picture
16th Oct, 2015
I recommend this cake. Easy and really moist. I made it with white flour and normal caster sugar. Doubled the recipe and baked in a large roasting tin. Read the comments and made a ganache icing with melted chocolate, butter and condensed milk. It was delicious! My best chocolate cake recipe.
6th Aug, 2015
This cake is sooooo good and easy to make! Fab recipe for big events and easy to double/triple even! Sure the icing isn't to everyone's taste but I just made my own buttercream one :)
7th Jun, 2015
I made this cake for my housemate's birthday yesterday and it went down a treat! It wasn't sickly-sweet but still really chocolatey, and the yoghurt kept it beautifully moist. I used white SR flour instead of wholemeal (as it was all I had), and I had to add a splash of milk as the batter was slightly too thick, but otherwise the recipe worked well and was pretty idiot-proof! Seeing others' comments about the icing I opted for a classic chocolate buttercream to decorate so can't give an opinion on the icing recipe given, but the cake was a hit and I'll definitely be making it again in future!
26th Jul, 2014
Made this today for my son's 10th birthday party to slice, wrap and give out for kids to take home. Thought it worked well as it was easy to slice and not all sticky and squedgy like shop party traybakes. I made it with 50/50 wholemeal and white SR flour and used Green and Blacks cocoa powder as I find this more chocolatey than cheaper brands. Decided to swap topping for a choc fudge topping using melted butter, cocoa, milk and icing sugar. Decorated with grated Cadburys Dairy Milk and 3 tubes of smarties. Cooked in 9' square silicone tin and it needed an extra 10 mins. It looked the business and would make again. Simple and easy. Tastes very moist and not too sweet. If you dislike the super sweet death by chocolate style cakes then try this recipe. A nice balanced cake for adults and children.
21st May, 2014
I used white self raising flour and an old recipe of Katie Stewart's for chocolate fudge frosting (having read the comments about the icing I thought I'd stick to my tried and tested recipe). I made the cake for a colleague's birthday - everyone really liked it and I thought it was lovely too. I give this recipe four stars, but with my amendments it would be a five star cake.
23rd Dec, 2013
Hi There ! , in the recipe it says " Natural Yoghurt" , what do they mean by this & what type of yoghurt would i use ? Please i need answers ! Thanks
24th Jan, 2014
You can buy natural yogurt from most supermarkets, it will say natural yogurt on the carton. I would think natural greek yogurt would be good.
17th Oct, 2013
a fab cake especially for kids parties as cuts into 12 squares, its not too sweet and the yogurt makes it so moist, it cuts nicely and is not too crumbly. keeps for a couple of days but best eaten fresh. I was not too optimistic the first time I made it, the batter looks a bit unappetising, but persevere! I would recommend you use the cake tin size as directed, I tried to be clever and make a loaf shape and was a complete disaster, I find a silicone 'tin' perfect for this. I haven't deviated from the ingredients listed, but have made it 6 or 7 times in the right tin and always had great results. I didn't get on with the topping either, I melt a couple of bars of chocolate and decorate with dolly mixtures and popping candy ( at the last minute) looks fab with candles and a sparkler or 2!


30th Jun, 2016
In Step 2 does Cocoa mean chocolate power, chocolate chunks?
29th Aug, 2014
i am battling to find the correct tin size for this receipe. If i was to use a 18x24cm tin instead would it make a hugh difference to the way the cake turns out. Any suggestions would be most grateful.
15th Sep, 2013
Add a bit more water to icing if need be to make sure it can be spread out smoothly otherwise it sticks to the cake too much
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