Simple store cupboard chocolate cake

Simple store cupboard chocolate cake

Danielle Wood

This is my go-to recipe and everything you could want in a chocolate cake. The sponge is moist and the brown sugar brings out the chocolate flavour beautifully. It’s really versatile too. I’ve halved the recipe to make a batch of 18 cupcakes before and I’ve also doubled it to make a dramatic eight-layer wedding cake.

For the chocolate cake:


Quantity Ingredient
110g cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
260g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
225g soft dark brown sugar
6 medium eggs, lightly beaten
420g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
270ml whole milk

For the chocolate buttercream:

Quantity Ingredient
375g unsalted butter
520g icing sugar
120g cocoa powder
150ml double cream

To decorate:

Quantity Ingredient
sprinkles or chocolate curls


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 18cm round, deep cake tins
cake board or stand
How to level & split a cake
How to fill and cover a cake with buttercream or chocolate ganache


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Place the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and 180 ml boiling water in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool. In a clean bowl, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars for 3–4 minutes, or until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until they’re well incorporated. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and beat well.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the milk, continuing to beat and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add another third of the flour, the remaining milk and the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 50–60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. While the cakes are cooling, make the chocolate buttercream. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter in a bowl for 3–4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat for another 2–3 minutes until smooth.
  5. Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops and split each layer in half so that you have 4 layers in total. Fix the bottom layer of the cake to the cake board or stand with a small amount of buttercream. Spread the first layer with a generous amount of the chocolate buttercream. Place the second layer on top of this and repeat, and repeat again with the third layer, finishing with the final cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Once firm, cover with the remaining buttercream. Decorate with a single sparkler, candles, sprinkles or chocolate curls.
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