A chocolate cake on a cake stand with chocolate shards on top

Easy chocolate cake

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(163 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 12 - 14

Master the chocolate cake with an airy, light sponge and rich buttercream filling. It's simple enough for an afternoon tea but special enough for a party too

Nutrition and extra info

  • sponges only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (14)

  • kcal523
  • fat29g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars47g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.6g
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    For the cake

    • 200g golden caster sugar
    • 200g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for the tins



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

    • 4 large eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 200g self-raising flour
    • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    For the buttercream

    • 100g milk chocolate, chopped

      Chocolate ganache


      Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

    • 200g butter, softened



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

    • 400g icing sugar
    • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 2 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    For the chocolate shards (optional)

    • 50g dark chocolate
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 25g milk chocolate
      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…

    • 25g white chocolate
      White chocolate squares, stacked

      White chocolate

      why-t chok-lit

      To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…


    1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter the base and sides of two 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

    2. In a large bowl, beat together 200g golden caster sugar, 200g softened unsalted butter, 4 large eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp milk and a pinch of salt until pale.

    3. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

    4. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    5. For the buttercream, put 100g chopped milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 secs. Leave the melted chocolate to cool for 5 mins.

    6. Mash 200g softened butter and 400g icing sugar together with a fork, then switch to a wooden spoon or electric beaters, if you have them.

    7. Sift in 5 tbsp cocoa powder with a pinch of salt and pour in the melted chocolate and 2 tbsp milk. Mix again until smooth.

    8. On a cake stand or large plate, sandwich the cakes together with half of the buttercream, then spread the rest on top. Decorate with chocolate shards, if you like.

    9. To make chocolate shards: melt 50g dark chocolate and pour it onto a tray lined with baking parchment or foil.

    10. Now melt 25g milk chocolate and 25g white chocolate and drizzle them over the dark chocolate before it sets.

    11. Shake the tray gently to level the mixture then leave to set somewhere cool. Chop into shards.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Scarlet Andrews's picture
    Scarlet Andrews
    30th Jun, 2020
    This cake is amazing! Tip, when you make the buttercream don't add milk because the icing will go off if you are going to make it last for more than one day. Add more butter if it gets too dry.
    maggiebleksley's picture
    29th Jun, 2020
    I meant to add to my comment that I also added a thin layer of blackcurrant jam to the butter cream filling, which made it even better. Cherry jam would have been good too.
    maggiebleksley's picture
    29th Jun, 2020
    Having a senior moment, I missed out the 200g of butter in my son' sbirthday cake, but ended up with a lovely light sponge and didn't feel too guilty about the large amount of chocolate butter icing!
    28th Jun, 2020
    This recipe is great will definitely make again, is easy to make, rises well and comes out great first time. I do have some tips though to slightly alter the recipe. This cake isn’t very chocolatey so I would recommend taking out a tbsp of flour and adding another tbsp of cocoa powder instead. The buttercream is also extremely sweet so I took out 100g of icing sugar and it tasted great. If you do do that I would recommend adding less milk as with less icing sugar the buttercream won’t be as stiff. The recipe does make lots of excess buttercream but it’s easy to freeze and use for another time.
    17th Jun, 2020
    Great recipe. for something less "Rich" you can try this alternative recipe. https://donkeyhow.com/how-to-bake-a-cake/
    15th Jun, 2020
    Really awesome chocolate cake recipe - I would like to prepare and celebrate with my dearest one. Here two things we need to understand about your recipe : 1. Looks wise should be excellent - So anyone's mind will get captured 50%-70%. 2. Roles of our taste buds - they will bring happiness in our mind rest of the percentage I would like to thank you again -that both of the point are available in your recipe. Also check your love ones customized e-cake cards @ happybirthdaycake24.com
    Emily Gilchrist's picture
    Emily Gilchrist
    28th May, 2020
    The most amazing light, fluffy, moist chocolate cake I have ever made. Would highly recommend it!
    Bhavesh Madaan's picture
    Bhavesh Madaan
    25th May, 2020
    Thanks for sharing this amazing chocolate cake recipe. This recipe is really amazing. I love this recipe. Also sharing here an article on best chocolate cake recipe. Checkout the recipe here: https://www.quora.com/search?q=chocolate+cake+recipe
    Bhavesh Madaan's picture
    Bhavesh Madaan
    23rd May, 2020
    Best ever chocolate cake recipe i have ever tried. Thanks for sharing this recipe with all of us. They are really helpful. Also sharing here a 7up layered cake recipe. Check out the recipe here:https://www.recipespack.com/7up-layer-cake-sprinkle-bakes/
    NGK Firm's picture
    NGK Firm
    18th May, 2020
    Great Blog! Very useful! everyone should try Easy CHOCOLATE CAKE


    13th May, 2020
    Is it possible to bake this cake as one whole (entire recipe in one tin instead of two)? If so then could you advise on temperature and time?
    lulu_grimes's picture
    14th May, 2020
    Hello, I don't know the size of your tin so I'm afraid that I can't help you with this. If the tin is the same base size then you could make half of the recipe at a time and bake two cakes, this would mean you could follow the recipe on timings. I hope this helps, Lulu
    Ashley Linfoot's picture
    Ashley Linfoot
    6th Apr, 2020
    Could you use dark chocolate instead of milk? And would you use the same amount of grams? Thanks
    Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
    7th Apr, 2020
    Hello! Esther from the food team here. Yes definitely! just use the same quantity of dark chocolate as you would with milk chocolate. Thanks for your question.
    Caroline Huckerby
    17th Oct, 2019
    For a square sandwich cake an I tight in thinking I’d need 7inch square tins? I want to make it for my daughters party. There’ll be about 25 children. Do you think it’ll be big enough?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    21st Oct, 2019
    Thanks for your question - yes 7 inch/ 18cm tins would be the equivalent square. This cake is designed for 12-14 adults, 25 children might be a push unless you cut into very small pieces. We'd recommend making two and giving the leftovers to the grown-ups!
    26th Aug, 2019
    Is it possible to bake this cake in one tin instead of two and then slice in half to fill with buttercream? If so then could you advise on temperature and time?
    Nat Dodge's picture
    Nat Dodge
    7th Oct, 2018
    Hi, Is the recipe using medium or large eggs? Thanks
    goodfoodteam's picture
    12th Oct, 2018
    Thanks for your question. This cake requires large eggs and we have added this information to the recipe.
    angela scott's picture
    angela scott
    7th Jun, 2018
    Can I freeze this chocolate cake?.


    DACRACKING's picture
    28th Apr, 2020
    Oh yeah, almost forget, if you don't have parchment paper, not the end of the world. Just greese your pan really well and your good to go. Would not say it slid of, but it came off pretty easily with a little poke from a butter-knife. Enjoy
    18th Apr, 2020
    Lovely easy cake..... First time making a chocolate cake and it turned out lovely. I didn't have any milk choc to add to buttercream but I don't think it needed it anyway.... Tasted lovely without it x
    Kirsty Mcgurk's picture
    Kirsty Mcgurk
    23rd Aug, 2018
    This cake can be used as a base for many different flavours I used this to make a chocolaye orange cake and will be using this to make a caramel chocolate cake this afternoon.
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