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

Easy chocolate cake

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(170 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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    liliana georgiou's picture
    liliana georgiou
    16th May, 2020
    love this
    DACRACKING's picture
    28th Apr, 2020
    OMG! This is like the first thing I have ever baked in my 21 years of life apart from a fruit Plait i made when i was in secondary school and this came out great. Had to cut the amounts of the other ingridennts in proportion to the amount of butter i had availble at the time (215-230g), but thanks to some good gusess, I manged to nip this in the bud and make it. It came out tasting amazing and was pretty easy to make. This a 5/5 recipe which even someone as inexprienced as me can make.
    Alice Davies's picture
    Alice Davies
    25th Apr, 2020
    This is an easy Chocolate cake recipe and looks so impressive even though it’s simple to make!
    Heather Smith's picture
    Heather Smith
    21st Apr, 2020
    It's a nice cake. Very dense though and the buttercream amounts make twice as much as you need. Decent recipe. very easy.
    Abi Windsor's picture
    Abi Windsor
    14th Apr, 2020
    Made this recipe and something is not quite right I bake an awful lot and the buttercream is way to thick the cake tastes nice but doesn’t quite work weather it is to do with the temp of the oven or the mixture
    Angela Liddell's picture
    Angela Liddell
    10th Apr, 2020
    Have made this cake numerous times always half the ingredients for the buttercream or it is way too sweet, I half the amount of chocolate too much a much nicer cake it is lovely and gets lots of compliments.
    Lynn Halliday's picture
    Lynn Halliday
    15th Mar, 2020
    If I can make this anyone can! As per other comments, halve the icing and increase the cooking time. It's the best, easiest cake recipe around!
    14th Mar, 2020
    I've just baked this- super easy and tastes good- however, I think the icing is much too sweet. I'd actually recommend halving the amount- 400g is ridiculously high (no I'm not at all anti sugar or a health freak, but this almost ruins the taste of the cake)......
    Jenna Jones's picture
    Jenna Jones
    6th Feb, 2020
    Beautiful cake but it definitely needs a lot longer to cook on gas mark 5. The cooking time is more like 40 minutes at least. I opened the over after 20 minutes just to find it was still in liquid form and that possibly resulted in the cake rising a little less than it could have done.
    29th Oct, 2019
    Excellent! Easy & delicious. Lovely, moist & light (as chocolate cakes go!) This is definitely going to become an old reliable in our house. Covered the whole cake generously with the icing with the above quantities.


    goodfoodteam's picture
    13th Jun, 2018
    Thanks for your question. For best results we'd suggest just freezing the sponges before filling.
    16th Mar, 2018
    Hello, Can I substitute 200 g of golden Castor sugar with 200 g of powdered sugar in Easy Chocolate recipe ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    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.


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