Easy chocolate cake and icing

I LOVE this cake because it’s chocolatey but doesn’t have that whole palaver of having to melt chocolate. I believe this is the perfect kids recipe for a young ‘un having their first go at baking something. It’s a Royal Easter Show Award winning recipe that I got out of Delicious magazine many years ago (as in late90s, early00s). I can’t remember it’s owner, but I do know it was a bloke. It is an absolute snap and actually gets better with age – if it lives that long.

You can make it any which way – cupcakes (it will make 30 cupcakes, 20 or so muffin-size), two 20cm round cakes then wedged together with icing, one 26cm round or square cake or a slab cake.

See, it is a go-to recipe in this house.


The easiest one bowl chocolate cake in the world

  • 2 cups SR flour
  • 2/3 cocoa powder
  • 1tsp instant coffee powder
  • 185g butter – v soft but not melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease your chosen tin
  2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth and pale – about 6 minutes in my kitchen-aid
  3. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through
  4. Cool for 5 minutes or so in the tin and then turn out to cool before icing.

Ice with chocolate butter icing or lemon icing.

Chocolate icing
(quadruple for the cake if you do two rounds and sandwich them together)

  • 1 1/2 tblsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tblsp milk
  • 75g soft butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and beat until pale, light and fluffy and ice the cake accordingly.

Lemon Icing

  • About 2 cups of icing sugar
  • a knob of butter (a tablespoon would be a good bet), melted
  • juice of a lemon
  1. Mix together and add some more lemon juice or boiling water to get a nice consistency. You know, dollopy – not too runny, not too stiff.