Chocolate Cake

This is a wonderful chocolate cake, beautifully light and moist and a perfect base for any additions with flavours and decoration. It’s the cake Ruth used in her Smartie Pants cake recipe featured in the Clandestine Cake Club: A Year of Cake book (available to purchase here)

Ingredients – cake

175g self-raising flour

1 ½ level tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt

75g caster sugar

75g soft dark brown sugar

150ml milk

150ml vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 tbsp golden syrup

½ tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate fudge buttercream

90g butter

60g cocoa powder

3 tbsp golden syrup

couple of drops of vanilla extract

5 tbsp milk

375g sifted icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line two 8″/20cm round tins.

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl, ensuring no lumps.

3. Put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix them briefly. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in.

4. Whisk together the ingredients until just combined, do not overbeat. The mixture is quite runny so do not be perturbed!

5. Equally divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25 minutes or until the cakes spring back after being lightly pressed or a knife comes out clean. Don’t open the oven door before at least 20 minutes are up.

6. Take a knife round the edge of the cakes after they’ve been cooling in the tins for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto wire cooling racks.

7. For the buttercream, place all the ingredients except the milk and icing sugar into a pan and melt them together over a low heat.

8. Once melted, remove from the heat, and the milk and stir. Then add the sifted icing sugar, mixing with a fork to ensure no lumps. Leave to set for around 15 minutes.

9. The icing should be enough for the middle and top of the cake.