I remember when birthdays meant creating cakes in the shape of woodland scenes, with pixies and rabbits and cute things.




This weekend six hyped-up 12 (or soon to be 12) year old boys will be rampaging, sorry, quietly and considerately mooching, around our house as oldest child celebrates his birthday. There’ll be a trip to the cinema, a sleepover, and Minecraft.

Lots and lots of Minecraft.

I don’t get it myself.

But then I’m his Mum so I’m really not supposed to.

I just get to roll with it.

And bake the cake.

This is a really nice chocolate cake recipe. Chocolatey, a little drier than I would normally go for, but that works well when you have several layers of icing doo-dahs to perch on top.

For the cake
3tbsp cocoa powder
200g self raising flour
200g butter (softened)
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs (large)

Heat oven to Gas 4

Cream butter and sugar
Mix the cocoa powder with approx 4 tbsp boiling water and mix together. Stir into the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, sift the flour and baking powder in. Mix well.
Grease and line 2 cake tins and divide the mixture between the two. Bake for approx 25 mins.


I usually use a chocolate buttercream filling for this cake.
Dissolve 1tsp of instant coffee powder/granules and 1tsp cocoa powder in 2 tbsp boiling water.
Put in a small heatproof bowl and add 60g good quality plain chocolate (broken into small pieces). Melt, either in a microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Let cool
In a fresh bowl cream 250g softened butter with 75g sifted icing sugar. Add the chocolate/coffee mix and stir well. Beat until the mix is pale and fluffy.


Smother the top of one of your cakes with the buttercream


Add the top layer of cake and then whatever icing creation good taste, or small children, demand.




I drew a line at Mooshrooms.


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