Chocolate birthday cake

Chocolate birthday cake recipe

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(99 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
6th Oct, 2013
This is a firm favourite in our house. I have been using it as the basis for my children's and niece's birthday cakes for the last 6 years. Doubling quantities when necessary and baking in a deep round or square tin, then filling with buttercream and decorating. I use white SRF as I never think ahead to buy wholemeal. It has a lovely taste, not too sweet and is lovely and moist. It is light, yet a good density for carving if you are making a novelty cake.
15th Sep, 2013
I've made this a couple of times previously using normal SR flour, etc. The cake turns out fine as usual but for some reason the icing was too sticky so it didn't spread nicely on the cake. Need to add more water than suggested to the icing to make it nice and smooth
6th Sep, 2013
This is a lovely cake, but I changed it a bit: use half wholemeal and half white self raising flour. Because I couldn't find self raising wholemeal, I added one big teaspoon of baking powder too. The mix was very thick at the end so I added lots of milk until it was smooth and more mixable. Then I put it in the oven, very sceptical about its likely success. But it was delicious!
11th Jul, 2013
All I can say is that if you make this for someones birthday, it's not going to be a very happy birthday for them. I swapped the wholemeal flour for regular self-raising, added melted chocolate to the batter and it still did not turn out as well as I had hoped. Definitely not sweet enough and fairly dry. Although, when fresh from the oven it does go down a treat with vanilla ice-cream!
21st Feb, 2013
I'm made this tonight, smelt lovely, followed recipe, cake has sunk in the middle, don't know what went wrong
19th Feb, 2013
Could you use double cream instead of natural yogurt?
10th Dec, 2012
Gorgeous cake. Light and very tasty. Make it even more choctastic by chopping up a bar of dark choc (I used Green & Black's 85%) and adding that to the mix plus a couple of tablespoons of Cointreau. Yummmmmmmmmmm !
juliaprior's picture
23rd Sep, 2015
Great cake. My son has requested this cake for his birthday for the last 3 years! Always goes down a treat. The wholemeal flour gives a good texture. Now just made again for my son's birthday, must be 5 years in a row now! He asks for the same one every year :-)
2nd Sep, 2012
as a bit of a disaster in the kitchen I find simple - idiot proof recipes hard to come by and was relieved to come accross this easy recipe to make my sons birthday cake this year. He was so pleased and surprised he asked if I had brought it! Thumbs up from me. Completely dummy proof :)
19th Jul, 2012
wonderful however i dont use golden caster sugar or wholemeal flour but i did a bakeoff at school using this recipe and i came 2nd and got 10 out of 10 for taste cant get better than that i think its the yogurt which makes it so delicious now going to be making it for my teacher as its last day of term


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?