Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Cake

9/17/2012 10:30:00 PM

Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Cake

I know that there has been a trend (perhaps more so in the 90s than now, but still), for dense, rich, adult chocolate cakes - with the darkest of dark chocolate, loads of butter and the scantest amount of flour or almond meal to bind everything together. This is not one of those cakes. This is a simple, light and fluffy confection - easy to make, and even easier to eat. And on a prosaic note, as it doesn't contain any melted chocolate or cream, it is very cheap to make.

It's the perfect cake to make when you need to whip up something quick and delicious, but don't want to spend loads of time or money - children's birthday parties, bake sales, bring-a-plate occasions with people whose tastes you don't know that well, that sort of thing. Funnily enough, I made it for a work morning tea where I wasn't sure if my efforts would be appreciated, and it went down really well!

I found the cake recipe in an issue of that free magazine they give away at Coles to advertise their products, replacing their ganache-icing with an easy icing based on icing sugar and cocoa. I'm glad I made the substitution, not just because it was cheaper (hah!), but also because the cake itself wasn't very sweet, and it really benefited from the sugar icing.

Both the cake and icing were really easy to make, just a little whisking and stirring.
Making the cake

I baked the cake in a big slab, for ease of sharing, and once it had cooled, lazily spread it with a thin layer of the icing. I loved how the icing drips down the sides of the cake!
Iced cake
I also love the way the icing goes a little crackly as it sets - it's a little messy to eat but so delicious!
Sliced cake

Although I've gone on about how light and easy this cake it, rest assured that it is a proper chocolate cake - the large quantity of cocoa in the batter gives it a deep chocolatey flavour without making it dense or overly rich. Win win!

Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Cake
Cake recipe from the September issue of Coles Magazine, icing recipe from

For the Cake
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
125 grams melted butter

For the Icing
195 grams icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
10 grams butter, at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons boiling water

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 30x20cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre.
Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients with the melted butter, and stir gently until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the butter and enough boiling water to make a spreadable consistency. (Start with 1 tablespoon, and add the 2nd tablespoon if necessary. Once the cake is cool, pour the icing over and smooth with a palette knife or spatula. Allow the icing to set before slicing into squares to serve.

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  1. Is it just me or does that dripping icing look particularly lickable?! :)

  2. Lorraine - Hehe, I *swear* I didn't lick the icing before I gave it to my coworkers!

  3. Isn't all chocolate cake crowd pleasing?! Although this one looks particularly so....

  4. Omg awesome!! I love Coles so much. So thanks for blogging this recipe. Looks simple and perfect to me. And I want to bake it in a big slab too because it looks like a giant Tim Tam hahahah!! Though, I'm really bad and never have cocoa powder in my pantry so always substitute it with Milo powder LOL. Pls don't scold me for being too Malaysian for wanting Milo in everything haha. This is great will surely make this soon. Yummo

  5. Can't see why a crowd would not be pleased with this cake.... although with a cake that good looking I'd probably eat the whole thing first :P

  6. Cara - You got me there! :)

    Winston - Omg yes, I thought it looked like a timtam too, and wondered if anyone else would see it. No no, I'm a Milo-fiend too. I eat it out of the tin with a spoon! Let me know if it tastes good with Milo and then I'll try it too!

    Iron Chef Shellie - The danger with slab cakes is that you just keep going back for another little sliver.. and then another to neaten it up... and then another...

    xox Sarah



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.