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Chocolate Birthday Cake

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This could be the best chocolate birthday cake recipe ever, for the following reasons. Firstly, it's a plain (rather than milk) chocolate cake and therefore tastes really chocolatey. Secondly, it's really rich so you only need a small slice each, which means you can feed lots of people with it. Thirdly, it can be made up in advance, frozen (complete with the icing) and defrosted overnight when required.

I got this recipe off my mother, who in turn got it from my sister's godmother. I believe it's originally from America. As it is a family recipe I'm afraid I can only provide imperial measurements.
- an h2g2 Researcher

Cake Ingredients

  • 8oz Butter (or unsalted butter and ¼tsp salt)
  • 6oz Plain chocolate
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla essence
  • 8oz Plain flour
  • 1½tsp Baking powder
  • ½ Pint milk
  • 1¼lbs Caster sugar


  1. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 400°F or 200°C. Butter and line three 9" cake tins with baking parchment. (8" will do if you can't find 9").

  2. Melt the chocolate (either in a bowl over boiling water or in the microwave).

  3. Warm a mixing bowl and make sure the butter is soft (otherwise the high proportion of sugar to fat makes creaming difficult). Cream together the butter and sugar.

  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla essence and beat again.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt (if using unsalted butter).

  6. Into the chocolate mixture, fold in the milk and flour alternately.

  7. Pour the mixture into the three cake tins. Bake roughly for 45 minutes, until the sponges are set and browned. (It's no good sticking in a skewer to see if it's cooked as the mixture remains gooey even when cooked.)

Icing Ingredients

  • 5 x 4oz Packets of dark chocolate polka dots (not Bourneville as this won't set)
  • ¼tsp Salt
  • ¾ Pint soured cream at room temperature (since the chocolate will seize if it is added straight from the fridge)


  1. Melt the chocolate drops (either in a bowl over boiling water or in the microwave).

  2. Stir in the cream and salt.

  3. Cool until the icing is stiff enough to spread, (this can take some time - leave it overnight if you can).

  4. Spread between the layers of the cake and around the outside.


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