Baking Series : Rich Chocolate Cake

For part 2 of my baking series I am going to give you the recipe for the most delicious chocolate cake.  I love this chocolate cake as it is rich and decadent and delicious. This recipe was taken out of a party cake book from Australia. I had quite a library of party books when my kids were growing up and every year they would be taken off the bookshelf and a decision would be made as to what the party would be. Home parties were stopped when the kids turned 10 and my party library was handed to my sister Carryn. I made sure to copy and keep this divine chocolate cake recipe before handing the books over. All the birthday cakes were made from this recipe.

125g soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 ¼ cups caster sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups self-raising flour

½ cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup water


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, beat on low speed with electric mixer until ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to medium, beat about 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and changed to a lighter colour. Spread into the prepared pan (sprayed with non-stick spray). Bake at 180C for about 35 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested. Stand cake for 5 or more minutes and then turn onto a rack until cool.


Notes :

This recipe only fills a deep 17cm / 20cm / 12 hole muffin pan. So it will only make one layer.

If you want to make a large rectangular cake you will need to triple the mixture (baking time about 1 hour).

Very, very important note!!! Rather leave the cake in the pan until it is almost cold. I was in a rush once and my cake became crumbs.

Test, test, test the cake to make sure it is cooked through.

Bake the cake the morning before and either ice that night or the following morning.

This cake freezes very well.


Now for the all important creamy butter icing :
125g soft butter

1 ½ cups icing sugar

2 Tablespoons milk, approximately

Beat butter with electric mixer until light in colour. Gradually beat in half the icing sugar, then the milk and then the rest of the icing sugar. Flavour and colour as desired.

Chocolate icing : sift 1/3 cup of cocoa powder with the icing sugar

Notes :

Don’t overbeat the butter.

If colouring the icing, slightly decrease the amount of milk used, otherwise, the icing could curdle. If it does curdle, just beat in a little extra icing sugar.

This amount of icing will not cover a 2 layer cake so you would need to double it.

If you need various colours of icing – double or triple the icing recipe and then split it into various bowls. Colour the icing in the bowls.

If you have leftover icing it can be frozen.


Here are pictures of the various cakes I made with this chocolate cake recipe.

Laura’s 3rd birthday cake with marshmallow flowers


Laura’s 4th birthday cake for her Swan party


Caleb’s 8th birthday cake for his Camouflage party


Laura’s 8th birthday cake for her Shopping party


Caleb’s 9th birthday cake for his Pirate party


In our pirate outfits


Caleb’s 10th birthday cake


Author: Nicola Meyer

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