Last week was a three-cake week. Sunday was the birthday of my oldest friend who doesn’t like fruit or nuts in cake, which basically only leaves one option: chocolate. I’ve done a few chocolate cakes this year and am still searching for my perfect recipe and this might well be it. I’m no master at piping so don’t judge my slightly dodgy writing. I will improve in the year!Finished


  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the frosting:

  • 200g good dark chocolate
  • 250g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 50g white chocolate, to decorate


  1. Grease and line two 20cm springform tins. I would only bother lining the bottom. Heat over to 180degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. If using a mixer, leave it on slow. If using a spoon, add in about three installments, stirring between each addition. You’ll be left with a thick batter.Batter before coffee
  5. Add the coffee and stir just to combine.                     Finished batter
  6. Divide between the tins and bake for 25-45mins. You can see here that I lined the edges of the pans as well. I don’t recommend this. As you  may be able to see, the paper drifted into the batter. I didn’t notice until they were nearly baked, which nearly caused problems.In tins
  7. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Break up the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
  9. With a hand blender, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for a further 3 minutes.
  11. Slowly add the icing sugar, then beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy.Frosting before choc
  12. Dissolve the coffee in 1-2teaspoons of hot water. Add the coffee and chocolate to the frosting. Blend until mixed, but don’t whip.Completed frosting
  13. Turn the first cake upside-down onto your serving dish and spread generously with frosting.Frosted first tier
  14. Pop the other cake on top, also, upside-down. Frost the top and sides.Chocolate frosting finished
  15. If desired, melt a small amount of white chocolate in a small sandwich bag (much cheaper and easier than a piping bag). I popped it in the microwave for a minute. Snip the tiniest corner off and pipe your message.Mini piping bag