The Nervous Cook – Beautiful, Simple Chocolate Cake

By Guest Blogger Jane Barham

Jane and her spectacular cake.

Jane and her spectacular cake.

Food is central to my family life, and when we come together to celebrate, the cake will often be one of the highlights. As life gets busier, I look for beautiful, simple recipes that consistently produce lovely food without a lot of fuss. This chocolate cake ticks lots of boxes. The ingredients are basic pantry items – I take comfort in knowing what’s in my food! The cake is always delicious, it serves twelve people, it’s made in one bowl, it can be made as a 2 layered cake, or divided into cupcakes. It has a lovely moist texture and the smell when you open it’s tin is fudgy heaven!



2 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso
1 cup milk
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare two 23cm cake tins.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda into a large bowl of an electric mixer, then addsugar. Whisk through or use your paddle attachment to combine.
  3. Add milk, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso and mix on a medium speed until well combined.Reduce speed and gradually add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for

    about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

  4. Divide batter evenly between the two tins and bake for 35 to 40mins or until a skewercomes away cleaning from the centre of the cake.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10mins in the tins, then turn out and cool completely before frostin.

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

125g butter softened
2 cups sifted icing sugar
2 tablespoons coco
1 teaspoon Chicory essence Splash of milk

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, turn of beater and sift in icing sugar and coco. Slowly beat the mixture and add chicory essence and milk. Taste test – if it needs to be richer add more sifted coco.

Assemble the cake by using a small amount of icing between the two cakes, then coat the top and sides of the cake.

Beautiful, Simple Chocolate Cake.

Beautiful, Simple Chocolate Cake.

Decorate as desired.


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