Easy chocolate cake



For the cake

  • 200g golden caster sugar

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for the tins

  • 4 large eggs

  • 200g self-raising flour

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream

  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped

  • 200g butter, softened

  • 400g icing sugar

  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp milk

For the chocolate shards (optional)

  • 50g dark chocolate

  • 25g milk chocolate

  • 25g white chocolate


  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 4

    Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 9

    To make chocolate shards: melt 50g dark chocolate and pour it onto a tray lined with baking parchment or foil.

  • STEP 10

    Now melt 25g milk chocolate and 25g white chocolate and drizzle them over the dark chocolate before it sets.

  • STEP 11

    Shake the tray gently to level the mixture then leave to set somewhere cool. Chop into shards.

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