Just about every baker out there will tell you they have the BEST chocolate cake recipe. But you can ignore them. Because this recipe is the only chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever need! I’ve been using this recipe for over 20 years and it has never flopped. That’s what I call fool-proof!

This is a simple and straightforward chocolate cake. No difficult techniques or fancy ingredients. It has a lovely, light texture and is not too rich. The beauty of this cake is you can make it as modest or as magnificent as you like. A basic topping of whipped cream is absolutely delicious, or for a sweeter option, Caramel Treat works wonderfully as a quick “icing”.  If you’re after a richer chocolate flavour, pour over a chocolate ganache (try a mint or orange flavoured chocolate for something different). My all-time favourite topping and what I have used here, is chocolate fudge icing. It’s a deliciousl fudge-textured icing that is streets ahead of any buttercream! If the occasion calls for a little more decoration, the chocolate curls add a lovely touch.


(Makes 2 x 23cm cake layers)

125g butter
180g white sugar
2 large eggs
5ml vanilla extract
180g flour
a pinch of salt
10ml baking powder
60g of cocoa*
200ml of milk

1 quantity of Chocolate Fudge Icing

For the chocolate curls:
200g of milk/dark chocolate


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease two 23cm diameter cake tins.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together well.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time and beat very well.
  • Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until the sugar is well dissolved.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating well in-between every addition.
  • Divide the mixture between the cake tins, smoothing the mixture evenly.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes in the tins, then remove and allow to cool completely.
  • Use whipped cream, Caramel Treat or chocolate fudge icing to sandwich and cover the 2 layers.
  • To make the chocolate curls: melt 200g of milk/dark chocolate then pour onto the underside of a baking sheet and spread it very thinly! Allow to cool and harden in the freezer for 5 minutes, then use a cake scraper or metal egg lifter to “push” against the chocolate, pushing away from you, until a curl forms. The chocolate must not be ice cold or it will crumble, and if its too warm the curls will melt as they form so the temperature must be just right! If necessary pop the tray back in the freezer for a minute or two. Keep the curls in the fridge until ready to use. To avoid making fingerprints on the curls, use a skewer to handle them and position them on the cake.

*For a more chocolaty flavoured cake, increase the cocoa up to 80g, and increase the milk by 50ml.