Rachel Allen's Chocolate cake

Do try this versatile and absolutely delicious cake, or use the same recipe for cupcakes
By Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen's Chocolate cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the cake

  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 150 g butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • cocoa powder or icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

For the chocolate butter icing

  • 75 g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder

Tips and Suggestions

Add the finely grated rind of one orange to give the cake a chocolate orange flavour or replace the vanilla extract with one tablespoon of instant coffee powder for a mocha flavour. This can also be turned into chocolate cupcakes if you wish the recipe will fill 12 paper cases in a cupcake or muffin tray, and will take about 1820 minutes to cook.


1. Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4. Butter and flour the sides of two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with greaseproof paper.

2. For the cake: place the chocolate and the milk in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until the chocolate has melted. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesnt touch the surface of the water.) Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Beat the butter until very soft then add the caster sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the melted chocolate.

4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda, and fold in gently to mix. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

5. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to sit for five minutes before turning them out of their tins and placing them on a wire rack to cool.

6. For the chocolate butter icing: beat the butter, cream and the vanilla extract until very soft. Then gradually sift in the icing sugar and the cocoa powder, beating all the time, until it is all added. Continue to beat until very soft, then whisk the mixture until it is light and fluffy.

7. Once the cakes are cool, sandwich them together with the chocolate butter icing. Place the cake on a plate or a cake stand and either dust with cocoa powder, or make double quantities of the chocolate butter icing and spread over the cake.

Rate This Recipe