My First Chocolate Cake (27/01/22)

So today (2/01/23) is International Chocolate Cake day! Now I have never, ever made chocolate cake. I did once lose a bet with my youngest and my forfeit was to make him a chocolate cake. He never really specified what type so I used a healthy weetabix recipe to wind him up 😂 It looked like a cow pat!!! So I don’t count that effort. For some reason I have always felt intimidated by the idea of making chocolate cake. I have no idea why. I decided that now was the time. I started looking up recipes and it seemed that I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes I looked at. I decided to experiment using the consistents I spotted in each recipe. What could possibly go wrong?! I was really pleased when the pans came out of the oven. Both had risen beautifully. Couldn’t believe I had made them. I used ganache to decorate because that’s what I had ingredients for. I used an 80% dark chocolate and I found that too strong for my taste though everyone else loved it, next time I’ll go for maybe an 80% /45%dark blend or even a caramel chocolate. (Tips – Buttercream will work just as well on this cake. You can also change the pan sizes. Use 3 smaller round pans for a triple cake or a large deep sided rectangular baking tray for a traybake. Grease bottoms and side, line bottoms with baking paper.) You can get as fancy as you want with decorations. It’s a very light, moist cake and lasts well. Even improving over the few days it lasted. I didn’t store it in the fridge. 12/14 servings.

Chocolate Cake


  • 280g SR flour
  • 60g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • good pinch salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 230ml milk
  • 120ml vegetable oil
  • 315g granulated sugar
  • 220ml hot water with 2 tsps instant coffee added
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract


  • 200mls double cream
  • 240g dark chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat – oven to 180c
  2. Line 2 8″ round cake pans ( or see tips above) I used the fairly recent method of scrumpling and wetting baking paper then fitting it into the pans. (My pans are loose bottomed so I had the paper going up the sides too to prevent leaking.)
  3. Using a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients. Add salt (I used flaked sea salt, couple of pinches rubbed between my fingers). Gently whisk by hand until all ingredients are combined.
  4. In another bowl, lightly whisk the 2 eggs then add the sugar, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
  5. Add the wet mix to the dry, mix until just combined then pour the hot coffee in and stir until smooth. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Divide into the 2 prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in tins for 5 minutes before transferring (still in the paper) to your cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before putting on the ganache.


Heat the cream to a simmer in a small pan over a medium heat. Put the chocolate pieces or chips in a heatproof bowl. Add the warmed cream and leave for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate then mix through and whisk until glossy. Cover and allow to cool and thicken before spreading on the cake. Apply generously to the top of the first layer, pop the second layer on top. Smother on remaining ganache. Face plant in cake if desired.

Recipe by M Campbell

Photo by M Campbell

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