Chocolate Cake

Learn how to make this delicious chocolate cake – with a light sponge and dreamy butter cream, this is perfect for a birthday treat or afternoon tea!

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Calories: 523 per serving

Ingredients (serves 12 – 14):
For the cake:
200g golden caster sugar
200g softened butter (plus a little extra for greasing the tins!)
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

For the buttercream:
100g milk chocolate (chopped)
200g softened butter
400g icing sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk

For the chocolate shards:
50g dark chocolate
25g milk chocolate
25g white chocolate

1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter the bases and sides off two 20cm round sandwich tins and line them with baking parchment, then put them to one side.

2. To create the sponge mixture, beat together all of the sponge ingredients in a large bowl until it is pale and creamy, and add a small pinch of salt.

3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins and bake them for about 20 minutes, or until you can enter a skewer into the centre of the cake and have it come out clean. Once cooked, leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Whilst the cakes are cooling you can create the buttercream. Start by putting the chopped milk chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melting in the microwave. Stir it every 30 seconds, and once it is fully melted you can leave it to cool for 5 minutes.

5. Whilst the melted chocolate is cooling, mash the butter and icing sugar together with a fork, and then once gelled, switch to creaming it together with an electric whisk or wooden spoon. Sift in the cocoa powder and a pinch of salt, then pour in the melted chocolate and milk and mix again until smooth.

6. To make the chocolate shards, melt the 50g dark chocolate and pour onto a tray lined with baking parchment or foil. Next, melt the milk chocolate and white chocolate separately and drizzle them over the dark chocolate before it sets.

7. Gently shake the tray to level he mixture and then leave it to cool completely. Once cooled, chop the chocolate into shards.

8. Finally, on a cake stand or large plate, sandwich the cakes together with half of the buttercream and then spread the rest on top. Decorate however you like with the shards, and then it’s ready to serve!

Top Tip: to make it a real treat, add some fresh berries on top and serve each slice with cream!