Chocolate cake

No-fuss easy chocolate cake recipe!

Special everyday cakes and treats

It’s hard to believe all-in-one-bowl cakes work so well!  I was sceptical but tried it out and am now addicted to this simple chocolate cake with a great springy sponge texture and lovely chocolatey icing.  Sooo easy and practically foolproof.  I might be posting more complex recipes later this year, but right now let’s have simply satisfying comfort food:  chocolate cake!  It’s special enough for a birthday or party, perhaps with a little decor.  Not to mention Valentine’s Day, which is coming soon – always a good excuse for chocolate. 🙂  As usual, you can use a gluten-free flour mix but I used self-raising flour (you can make your own).  The sponge has unsweetened cocoa powder but the fluffy icing, with its reduced quantity of icing sugar, also has melted milk chocolate for extra deliciousness.  This is a smallish cake and extra slices freeze perfectly.  Friends have given theirs a big thumbs up.  Want some yummy chocolate cake too… ?

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

Apologies for the lack of photos of the process and cake or illustrations.  I didn’t expect to post this super simple cake, so didn’t take many photos (just ate the various cakes) and don’t have much time to draw at the moment.  But I couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with you – it really has become my favourite go-to cake when I get a chocolate craving.

RECIPE – for a 16cm/6in diametre layer cake (8 to 10 slices)


  • Lightly butter 2 x 16cm/ 6in sandwich tins then place circle of baking paper at bottom of each tin.
  • Preheat oven to 160ºC/320ªF (fan) or 180ºC/355ºF (static, non-convection oven).

Sponge ingredients

  • 125g/1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 125g/1/2 cup + 2 and 1/2 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 medium-large eggs (150-160g beaten egg) at room temperature
  • 125g/1 cup self-raising flour (or make your own by adding 3/4 tsp baking powder to plain or cake flour)
  • 9g/1 tbsp + 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 21g/1 tbsp + 1 tsp milk


  1. Beat butter and sugar with whisk in large bowl until creamy.
  2. Add all other ingredients to bowl and slowly stir with whisk until just combined then stop.  Don’t overwhisk.
  3. If cake batter is very stiff you can stir in a tablespoon or so of milk so it’s at dropping consistency (so slowly drops off spoon when lifted over bowl).
  4. Pour into the 2 cake tins, dividing equally.  Even the surface with back of tablespoon or small offset spatula.
  5. Bake 20-30 minutes until skewer inserted in middle comes out clean and if you press top lightly with your finger the sponge springs back lightly.  This is important – the first time I baked this cake the skewer came out clean but the sponge didn’t spring back and in fact the top was a little underdone (still perfectly edible and very moist); see photo below.
Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

Note:  don’t worry if your cakes don’t rise much in the oven.  They should still be spongy with great texture.

Have cakes cool 10 minutes then carefully remove from tins.  Allow sponges to cool completely on wire rack before icing.


  • 38g/1.34 oz milk chocolate
  • 75g/1/3 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 100g/3/4 cup + 2 and 1/3 tsp icing (powdered) sugar
  • 11g/1 and 1/2 tbsp pure unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 9-10g/2 tsp milk (enough to get right consistency)
  1. Melt chocolate in small metal or glass bowl over a bain marie (or in appropriate container in microwave, in short spurts).  Don’t overheat.  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.
  2. Whisk butter and sugar in medium bowl until creamy.
  3. Add in melted chocolate, cocoa powder, salt and milk.  Whisk until smooth and fluffy.


Use serrated knife to slice off bumps, if you like, to get flat sponges.  Spread a little over half of icing evenly on bottom sponge.  Top with 2nd sponge.  Spread remaining icing more or less evenly on top of cake.  It can be pretty slapdash and ‘rustic’.

Chocolate cake

Tada!  So easy.  So fast.  So relaxing.  And so yummy!

Eating and storing

Eat immediately, or allow to set a little first.  Stores well at cool room temperature for 4-5 days in airtight tupperware.  If it’s warm at your place, store in fridge in airtight tupperware then allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes or so before eating.  You can freeze the cake or slices for up to a few months, then defrost at room temperature 4-5 hours.  Defrosted slices are impressively delicious.

Right, here’s a last look at this lovely chocolate cake (feeling the distinct urge to make another).  Possibly a heart-shaped one for Valentines.  Maybe you’d like your own chocolate cake…?  🙂

Chocolate cake

Thanks for dropping by dear reader!  Wishing you a lovely week and a great year too, with lots of love, happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x

Posted by

Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

3 thoughts on “No-fuss easy chocolate cake recipe!”

  1. Pingback: No-fuss easy chocolate cake recipe! — lili’s cakes | homethoughtsfromabroad626

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