Volcano-shaped chocolate cake topped with sweets

Easy volcano cake

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 12

Decorate a towering chocolate sponge with sweets and molten toffee 'lava' to create a dazzling children's treat

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal788
  • fat38g
  • saturates19.7g
  • carbs101.4g
  • sugars84.4g
  • fibre2g
  • protein9.8g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 300g butter, very soft



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

  • 350g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs



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

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk



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

  • red paste food colouring
  • 100g apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam, warmed
  • 500g marzipan
    Marzipan cake



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

  • 200g plain chocolate
  • about 250g assorted chocolate honeycomb chunks, chocolate raisins, Maltesers, caramel popcorn etc, plus plastic dinosaurs, cake sparklers or fountains etc, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and base line an 18cm round cake tin, a 800–900ml oven proof (Pyrex) bowl and a 1.2 litre oven proof bowl.

  2. Put the butter, 300g of the sugar, eggs, flour and milk into a large bowl and beat well until light and creamy. Spread just under half the mixture in the cake tin.

  3. Take just under half of the remaining mixture and put into a bowl and colour deep red with food colouring. Put 3–4 small spoonfuls of red cake mix onto the mixture in the cake tin. Using the handle of a teaspoon pull the red mix through to give a marbled effect.

  4. Using the remaining plain and red cake mix place spoonfuls in a random fashion in the two prepared bowls. Again use the teaspoon handle to give a marbled effect.

  5. Bake in the oven for about 30 mins for the small bowl, about 35 mins for the medium and 50–60 mins for the cake tin. The mixture is cooked when firm to the touch and when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  6. When the cakes are cold trim off any peaks that have formed. Place the round cake on a large cake board. Cut three small ‘v’ shapes on the edge of the cake, to make an uneven shape for the volcano base. Spread a little apricot glaze all over the cake and place the larger bowl cake, rounded side up, on top. Brush with apricot glaze and place the remaining cake, rounded side up, on top. Cut a small hollow in the top of this cake (to represent the ‘mouth’ of the volcano) and then brush the cake with apricot glaze.

  7. Roll out the marzipan to a large circle to cover the cake. It can be quite a rough shape. Lift it onto the cake and drape in a random fashion in the nooks and crannies to make a volcano shape.

  8. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Using a pastry brush, paint the volcano with chocolate. Attach chunks of chocolate, popcorn etc with melted chocolate. Add the dinosaurs. Drizzle any remaining chocolate over the volcano in a random fashion.

  9. To make the lava put the remaining 50g sugar into a small non-stick frying pan. Heat gently without stirring until the sugar has melted but is still clear. Lightly oil a metal baking sheet. When the sugar is just turning light brown at the edge, remove from the heat and carefully stir in a little red paste food colouring. Using a teaspoon, drizzle lava shapes onto the prepared tray. Leave to cool completely.

  10. When cold, carefully lift the lava shapes and place in the top of the volcano. For extra effect use birthday candles, cake sparklers, or cake fountains.

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Comments, questions and tips

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hungry eyes's picture
hungry eyes
5th Mar, 2017
This was the first time I've ever attempted a 'party' cake and I really enjoyed making this for my dad's 70th birthday . I didn't have the right size tins/bowls and ended up dividing the mixture haphazardly among four receptacles and then sticking it all together in a pile using the glaze before covering under rolled out choc icing, as my family aren't marzipan lovers. Sponge recipe was easy and tasted fine, and the end result was just really effective. Even the sugar work looked good, and I thought that might be beyond my capabilities. Wish I could share a photo! Recommended.
27th May, 2014
This was a bit of a disaster, though through no fault of the recipe. Cake came out all sloppy, tried a different sponge recipe and it failed again so I'm blaming my lack of self raising and not using the right amount of baking powder to substitute! Ended up buying a sponge, then my marzipan wouldn't role so rolled them in to rocks instead and then the chocolate pulled everything apart, BUT I covered it with sweets and it STILL looked amazing. My husband (yes, husband) loved it! Site won't let me rate, but 4 stars!
Real Mrs P
22nd May, 2014
I made this last year for one of my godsons. He's asked for the same cake again this year so it must be a winner! I didn't bother marbling the sponge - small boys don't care and to be frank, the less colouring they eat, the better. Really easy and fun to make.
26th Jan, 2014
the kids luvd it and it looked really great!!! highly recommended
30th May, 2013
I made this for my sons second birthday and it really looked effective and actually tasted very nice too.
29th Aug, 2012
As my son is allergic to nuts I would not be able to use marzipan so would give it a go with fondant. His birthday is coming up soon so I may well just give this cake a try!
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