Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe
350g all-purpose flour
450g caster sugar
100g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
350g unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate sprinkles
1 batch chocolate sauce
3 batches Chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
100g dark chocolate
Serbes 30 people
(can be halved)
Level: medium baby!
Please note: the cake recipe will need to be doubled (two batches) to achieve the cake in the video. I halved it in the video because most people don’t have mixing bowls big enough in their kitchens to make the entire recipe in one go :0) Let’s get stuck into the recipe!
To make the chocolate decorations you’ll need a mini silicone mold. You can grab them on amazon or eBay. Fill a piping bag with melted chocolate and pipe into the mold. Give the tray a gentle trap and chill for 20 minutes. Then carefully take them out. Keep them chilled until you’re ready to use them.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (280F) or 180C (320F) for a conventional oven. Spray three 8” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarb soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together using a hand mixer to combine.
Next add the softened butter and mix on low speed until mixture reaches a crumbly sand like texture.
Add the eggs and milk and mix on low speed until no dry ingredients are showing. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
Fill three 8” cake tins with batter. I find using an ice cream scooper to help me do this makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly so that everything bakes at the same time.
Bake for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the pick comes out with wet batter, bake for a further 10 min at a time until baked fully. Allow the tins to cool for 2 min and then carefully flip the cake tins over on to a cooling rack to cool completely before using. Chilling your cakes overnight before decorating means they’ll be easier to trim and decorate. So I bake my cakes the day before I bake them.
To trim your chilled cake use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the first layer of cake by trimming it in half. Then trim the crust off the second layer so that you end up with two layers from each baked cake. When trimming make sure you aim to get both layers of cake the same height. Keep that in mind when trimming the first layer so the next layer will still be the same height as the first when trimming the crust off. Once you’re done trimming your three baked cakes you should end up with 6 layers of cake altogether.
To prepare crumb coat, add a dab of frosting onto an 8” cake board or serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread around a little before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring of frosting around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Smoothen out with an offset spatula and get it as smooth as you can. Repeat with the remaining layers . Add more frosting around and top of the. Use a your small spatula to smoothen out before using a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the outside of the cake. Chill for 2 hours or overnight
Pipe a fresh layer of frosting around the cake. Use your cake scraper to smoothen out the frosting around the sides. Then smoothen out the top using the cake scraper. Each time you go around the cake to smoothen out the frosting make sure you scrape off the excess frosting from the cake scraper and then go around again until it looks nice and smooth.
To finish decorating add some sprinkles to the cake starting at the bottom of the cake and using less as you go make your way to the top so you end up with an ombre of frosting.
Drizzle some chocolate around the top of the cake and let it drizzle over the sides. I have a recipe for that on my website.
Fit the end of a piping bag with an open star tip and frosting some swirls of frosting on top of your cake. Finish with your cute mini chocolate bars and some extra chocolate sprinkles!
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 1 hour before serving).
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CAKE TIN: For this recipe you’ll need at least one 8” cake tin but preferably three 8” cake tins. To prepare the tin, spray with oil spray. To prepare the baking paper use a pen to trace around the bottom of the cake tin on to the baking paper. Use scissors to cut slightly inside the circle you traced. Place the traced side down onto the baking tin with oil spray.
HAND MIXER: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.
OVEN TEMPERATURE: If you’re baking at home set your fan forced oven to 160C (320F).
BUTTER: Make sure the butter is very soft for the cake mixture. There’s two ways to do this. Microwave for 5 seconds at a time flipping the butter on each side until very soft (not melted). If you don’t have a microwave run a large bowl over hot water. Dry the bowl and place over the butter for 1 min. The heat from the bowl will create a warm enough environment to soften the butter.
SIMPLE SYRUP: To make simple syrup add 100g sugar and 100g of water in a a medium sized pot. DO NOT STIR! Bring to a boil and allow to cool completely before using.
BAKING TIME: This cake will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and caramelisation so that if the cake is coloured it doesn’t change colour and brown. After 30 minutes, stick a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.
Large mixing bowls
Magic Whisk for wet ingredients
Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
8” cake tin
Ice cream scoop (optional)
Revolving cake stand