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

Easy chocolate cake

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(29 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 20 mins

Easy

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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Ingredients

    For the cake

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

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 4 large eggs
      Eggs

      Egg

      egg

      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

      Milk

      mill-k

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

    For the buttercream

    • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
      Chocolate

      Chocolate

      chok-o-let

      Chocolate as we know it in pressed

    • 200g butter, softened
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

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

      Milk

      mill-k

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

    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…

    Method

    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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    Biddlybong
    15th Oct, 2018
    5.05
    We tried it with duck eggs, and gave them a good whisking first. We cut the sugar to 150g. We halved the butter cream ingredients and omitted the chocolate from them and also didn't bother with the extra choc on top. It was very light and just the right level of sweetness. My two kids 5 and 3 enjoyed making and eating it. Also we put the entire batter in a square tin, which worked well.
    Andrew Wood's picture
    Andrew Wood
    21st Aug, 2018
    5.05
    I used this recipe to make my son's birthday cake, decorated with quartered Oreos, Maltesers & chocolate curls instead of the shards. Quite literally the best (and crucially easiest) cake I've ever made. He couldn't believe it was homemade!
    Kaytey Hurman's picture
    Kaytey Hurman
    17th Aug, 2018
    5.05
    This cake is delicious! I decorated it with some milk and white chocolate buttons and it was amazing!
    Natalie Greenhalgh's picture
    Natalie Greenhalgh
    14th Aug, 2018
    5.05
    So yummy didn’t do the shards however used the rest of the buttercream and spread this round the sides - no complaints
    awiddows
    22nd Jul, 2018
    5.05
    Our go to , fail safe chocolate cake. Since finding this recipe we must have made it about 20 times! It works well both as a sandwich cake and as a traybake. The icing is delicious.
    Sophiehendo
    30th Jun, 2018
    5.05
    Fabulous recipe. I made this cake for a work friend's leaving do and several people couldn't quite believe I'd made it myself! The buttercream was heavenly, and just the right amount to put in the middle, top generously and spread round the sides too. I used sugar flowers and skipped the shards, but will try those next time.
    Jessicarands22
    14th Jun, 2018
    5.05
    Made it for my sisters birthday and it's such a yummy cake! Think it's the best cake I've ever made!! Will be making again for my Dad's birthday! :)
    Emilie de Chazal's picture
    Emilie de Chazal
    28th May, 2018
    5.05
    I made this for a birthday cake, it was amazing! I found that it was perfectly airy but I did cream the butter and sugar before adding eggs and the other ingredients
    Kirsty Mcgurk's picture
    Kirsty Mcgurk
    21st Apr, 2018
    I used this recipe as the base to make a chocolate orange version - it has gone down very well with my family.
    Nat Dodge's picture
    Nat Dodge
    7th Oct, 2018
    Hi, Is the recipe using medium or large eggs? Thanks
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    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?.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    13th Jun, 2018
    Thanks for your question. For best results we'd suggest just freezing the sponges before filling.
    Madhu_Anvekar
    16th Mar, 2018
    5.05
    Hello, Can I substitute 200 g of golden Castor sugar with 200 g of powdered sugar in Easy Chocolate recipe ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    19th Mar, 2018
    Thanks for your question. We'd recommend using either golden caster sugar or caster sugar. In the US it is called superfine. It is not the same as icing sugar or confectioner's sugar.
    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.