Classic Chocolate Cake

For all the birthdays and occasions when you just want the classic. Decorate using my ganache recipe or classic American buttercream. Finish with sprinkles or berries and cream, the choice is yours. When chocolate is the focus, it's important to use it in good quality. I always opt for the brands Avalanche or Donovan's dark cocoa powder as they're more rich in flavour.


250g butter

1/2 cup dark Dutch cocoa powder

1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee

3/4 cup boiling water

2 cups caster sugar

1 3/4 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 160˚C bake. Line the bottom and sides of a cake tin with baking paper.

I prefer to use a 15cm tin for all my cakes as it gives great height, however most people have a 22cm tin at home. For this recipe the timings will be for 22cm, if you're using a smaller tin you will need to increase the cook time, as it will take longer for the middle to be cooked through.

Place butter, cocoa, coffee, water and sugar in a large pot on low heat. Heat for 1-2 minutes, until butter is completely melted.

Remove from heat and sieve in flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Finally, whisk in milk and eggs, until smooth and silky. This is a very runny batter, so don't fear.

Transfer mixture to prepared tin and place on top of a baking tray in case of spills. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Once cooked, allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely (I often wrap it in glad wrap straight away and put it in the fridge or freezer depending on how much of a rush I'm in!).

Finish with the icing and decoration of your choice!