Layered Chocolate Cake

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For the cake:

  • 150g cocoa powder
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 360g butter, softened
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 360g self raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½tsp salt

For the buttercream:

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 200g dark chocolate plus extra
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp milk

You’ll also need:

  • 3x 25cm round baking tins or 4x 20cm round baking tin


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease and flour the 25cm round cake tins.
  2. Combine the boiling water with the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Leave to cool.
  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla then the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  5. Add all of the flour, gently mix until just combined. Fold in the cooled cocoa.
  6. Divide the mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake for 35 mins or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Loosen the edges with a knife to reduce cracking the cake as it cools and shrinks. Leave to cool for 20 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream:

  1. Melt the chocolate over a bain marie.
  2. Cream the butter until smooth, gradually add the icing sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the chocolate and beat until combined. Finally add the vanilla and the milk, creaming until combined and the mixture is soft, add a little extra milk if you feel it is not a spreadable mixture.
  4. Cut the tops off each cake and level. Using a palette knife spread a coating of buttercream onto the top of the bottom two cake layers. Sandwich the three layers together.
  5. Spread a coating of buttercream over the top of the cake, then coat the sides. Garnish the top with grated chocolate.

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