Simple Chocolate Cake

This is the cake from my childhood, although we would have it plain rather than chocolate. But the whipped cream filling and the dusting with icing sugar take me back to my childhood home and my mum’s wedding present electric mixer. (She still has this mixer. I used it a couple of weeks ago at their ruby wedding party.) Mum would also adapt this recipe for birthday cakes. We would have one plain sponge layer, one pink and one chocolate.

I’ve played about with it and added brown sugar, melted dark chocolate and milk to my mum’s original recipe.

You will need scales, two sandwich tins, an electric mixer (you can do by hand with a spoon though), a bowl to melt the chocolate and a spatula.

  • 6oz/175g caster sugar
  • 2oz/50g light brown soft sugar
  • 8oz/225g butter (yes butter not margarine!) slightly softened (but not melted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 7oz/200g self raising flour
  • 1oz/25g cocoa powder
  • splash milk
  • 200g bar of dark chocolate (I use Green & Blacks)


  • Pre-heat oven to 160 fan or 180 regular oven.
  • Break up the dark chocolate and melt. Allow to cool slightly – but not solidify.
  • Grease and flour the tins (I use white flora)
  • Mix the butter and both sugars until combined.
  • Add eggs with a little flour then beat gently.
  • Add the rest of the flour and cocoa powder with a splash of milk or two.
  • Mix again on a slow speed. Keep this going for a few minutes. The mixture will be dark initially then get a little lighter and smoother
  • Add melted chocolate to cake mixture – if it looks too thick and rough looking add a little milk.
  • Scrape around the sides to make sure all mixture is combined. Mix again.
  • Divide between the two tins. Spread out and make a slight dip in the middle (to compensate any rising).
  • Bake for 25 minutes – do not open the door before this time!
  • If still wet on top or doesn’t spring back when you press lightly with your finger bake for a further 5 minutes then check (frustratingly all ovens vary slightly in the timings).
  • Check again. If it springs back it is done. You can further check with a skewer or sharp knife. If it comes out clean the mixture is cooked.
  • Allow to cool in the tins until ready to handle. Then loosen edges with knife and tip out onto wire rack or a board – whatever you have available. (Be careful when you take it out, the warmer it is the more likely it might break or crumble)
  • When thoroughly cool, fill with buttercream or normal cream. I filled mine with whipped cream and strawberries then sprinkled icing sugar on top.