Classic Chocolate Cake

I’ve said it many times, despite my love of chocolate and my love of cake, I am not a lover of chocolate cake; well, chocolate sponge cake, I love gooey and rich chocolate cakes and brownies but chocolate sponge I just find strange (usually). This chocolate cake recipe though (courtesy of Nigella) is pretty delicious; it is definitely a sponge cake but much nicer than any other I’ve tasted and the icing is absolutely divine; combined they make something truly great. It is a chocolate cake that will satisfy those grown ups wanting a rich/mature chocolate cake but also the kids who want their plain chocolate cake with enough icing to cover their entire face. This is that cake, it will keep everyone happy. For these reasons I decided to make it for a birthday party I went to (as well as an enormous spiced apple cake, which I will definitely be sharing soon!):


Ingredients: (Serves 8-12)

  • 200 plain flour
  • 200 g of golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 40 g of best-quality cocoa powder
  • 175 g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 150 ml of sour cream

For the icing:

  • 75 g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 175 grams good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa, broken into chunks)
  • 300 g of icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 125 ml of sour cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • sugar flowers, to decorate (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line or grease two 8 inch round cake tins (preferably ones with removable bases as this will make things easier).
  3. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl (or food mixer) and whisk together with an electric whisk until you have a smooth and well combined cake mix.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins (I use scales to get this as accurate as I can) and bake for 25-35 minutes, until they bounce back when lightly prodded or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter together in a glass bowl, either in the microwave (stirring every 30 s) or over a bowl of simmering water. Stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool down a bit, you’ve got plenty of time as the cakes need to be completely cooled before icing.
  6. Sieve the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and add the golden syrup, sour cream and vanilla extract, followed by the chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk together until you have a smooth icing, whisk for a few minutes until the colour is visibly paler and the icing has fluffed up a bit.
  7. Place one of your (cooled) cakes onto a plate and place about a third of the icing mixture on top of it. Using a spatula, spread it out until you have an even layer.
  8. Place the second layer on top of the first and cover the whole cake in the rest of the icing (using the spatula).
  9. Decorate with sugar flowers (optional).
  10. Slice, serve and enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Classic Chocolate Cake

    • Thanks Emory, it was the sour cream that sold it to me 🙂 It always helps to have a solid chocolate cake recipe for parties and times of crisis 😉

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