The best chocolate cake

It’s always a good idea to have an excellent chocolate cake in your repertoire. I’m not overly fond of cakes containing oil, but I still like a cake that’s moist, dense and chocolatey. This cake ticks all of those boxes.  Paired with a rich chocolate icing, it’s the perfect birthday cake.

The method for this cake is a bit unusual. Instead of creaming the butter and sugar, the dry ingredients are whisked with the butter before adding the liquid. It doesn’t start off looking too appetizing, that’s for sure, but the batter ends up creamy and airy and bakes up beautifully.


265g flour
50g cocoa
330g sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
190g butter, cut into cubes and softened
190ml milk, divided
3 eggs (I use size 7)
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 180 C and grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, egg white, vanilla and half of the milk. Mix until everything is well combined and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sift the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder.
Add the butter and other half cup of milk and beat on medium until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl when necessary. (The mixture might all clump together in the whisk at first but it will loosen up.) It does not look very tasty to start with!

cake batter 1

not looking very cake-like

Add 1/3 of the egg mixture and beat for 2 minutes on medium.
Add another 1/3, beat for another 2 minutes.
Add the last 1/3 and beat again for 2 minutes. The mixture will have increased in volume and should look lovely and creamy.

Tip the batter into your cake tin, level the top with an offset spatula and bake for 60 minutes.
The cake should bounce back if you press it lightly.
Cool completely in the tin before removing it from the cake tin.

Finish off with chocolate icing and edible flowers. This cake will keep in an airtight container for 3 days but I guarantee it won’t last that long.

Chocolate icing
2½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted (you don’t need to be too accurate here, butter is good!)
1 heaped dessert spoon of cocoa (or more/less depending on your chocolate preference) Splash of vanilla extract
Boiling water

Mix everything together until smooth, adding little splashes of water as necessary. I like to use a butter knife for this. If your icing is too runny, just add a little bit more icing sugar.

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