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

Easy chocolate cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(90 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


    For the cake

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



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

    • 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. While cow…

    For the buttercream

    • 100g milk chocolate, chopped



      Chocolate as we know it in pressed

    • 200g butter, softened



      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



      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…


    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.

    You may also like

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    18th Apr, 2019
    I didn't use the buttercream, I bought some chocolate buttercream instead so it was richer. I put caramel milk buttons in between the layers to make it sweeter and interesting. I then poured melted chocolate over the top and it was amazing! the cake itself is so nice!
    Cmckeo's picture
    13th Apr, 2019
    This made a lovely moist, chocolatey and impressive looking cake. It was relatively easy to make and could be easily adapted to suit any occasion. I’m glad I read the reviews before I made this recipe, because you really do only need about half the butter cream it says, so I made it on the half and it was plenty.
    13th Apr, 2019
    Brilliant, chocolatey, moist recipe and worked well cooked in individual bun cases.
    Anna Morrow's picture
    Anna Morrow
    25th Feb, 2019
    Like this, I adapt and reduce the butter cream, also add some jam into the middle. Once iced I quarter it and pop most of it into the freezer, for when we need a little cake, it comes out perfectly!
    26th Dec, 2018
    Nice cake but glad I read a comment about halving the buttercream ingredients- even half made far too much.
    Sue Wilcock
    22nd Dec, 2018
    I adapted this recipe to make a chocolate orange cake by adding the grated rind of an orange to the cake mixture, melting 100g of orange flavoured chocolate into the buttercream and decorated it with slices of chocolate orange and chocolate orange flavoured sticks for a birthday cake. It’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made; it looked and tasted amazing. There was enough buttercream to cover the sides as well. I baked it on the middle shelf at 170 for 30 minutes and turned it out of the tins straight away. I will definitely make it again.
    Juliet Goldschmidt
    30th Nov, 2018
    Really really moist, tasty, quick and easy to make!
    17th Nov, 2018
    Made this with 6yr old, it was very easy! Tasted delicious and very moist
    15th Oct, 2018
    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
    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!


    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?