Cakes & Bakes

Simple Chocolate Cake


‘Life without cake is like cake without chocolate’, this quote was on a birthday card that my son got a while ago and I love it. I clearly love chocolate cake too. I have a few good recipes in my repertoire – a rich chocolate fudge cake, a nice birthday cake and now a new one ….. ‘simple chocolate cake (with fudge icing)’

I came across this recipe when flicking through a food magazine, it’s by Mary Berry and in her new book ‘Fast Cakes’. I’m a big Mary Berry fan and I like the idea of a fast cake too, so I had to try it.

It is not a big fancy cake. It’s the kind of cake that would be lovely for dessert after a Sunday lunch/dinner or just if you have some friends or family around.



  • 2 level tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 100 g baking spread, from fridge. (I use salted butter at room temp)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 g self – raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder

For the icing:

  • 25 g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 40 g butter, softened (the recipe doesn’t state salted or unsalted, I tend to use unsalted for icing but only had salted and it was still lovely)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons milk (I used 3)
  • 100 g icing sugar, sifted


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 (160 fan). Grease a 20 cm deep cake tine and line it with non stick baking paper. If using a foil container, grease well.
  2. Blend the cocoa with the hot water in a large bowl and leave to cool. Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Spoon into the tin and bake in the pre-heated for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk slightly from the sides of the tin and springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  4. Turn out, remove the paper and leave to cool on wire rack.
  5. To make the icing, measure the cocoa, butter, milk and icing sugar into a bowl. Beat well to a light, smooth consistency.
  6. Spread over the top of the cake and swirl attractively with a round bladed knife. Leave to set before serving.

Hints and tips:

  • Mary Berry often suggests baking spread (margarine or stork, I guess?), I always use butter in baking so don’t adhere to that part of any recipe. Rule breaker eh
  • The cake is not a deep big cake – I just want to make that clear. It’s a nice simple cake that serves 8
  • I took the cake out of the oven after 20 minutes as it looked done. Each oven is different – your oven might need the full 25 minutes, but do check it at around 20-22 minutes to be sure.
  • I didn’t put the full amount of icing on the cake, I kept a bit back as I thought it was a lot on one shallow cake. Turns out that my kids LOVED the icing, so maybe I should have used the whole lot.
  • I forgot (ahem didn’t bother) to sift the icing sugar for the fudge icing. It meant I had a few small white lumps in my icing which I discovered when I spread it on the cake. Do as the lady says – sift it.

Happy Baking

De (aka thecakemum)

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