This is an incredibly easy chocolate cake to make. Throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix for five minutes, bake for 45 and you’re done. No faffing about with creaming butter and sugar and slowly adding eggs. This is like making a cake from a box, without the nasties of a packet mix. I particularly like this recipe because it’s a great one for the kids to make on their own. As long as they use the microwave to melt the butter, you don’t even have to worry about them burning themselves, although they might need help taking it out of the oven.
The biggest hurdle to successfully making this cake is measuring out the flour. The most accurate way to measure is to use scales (120 grams = 1 cup), but sometimes they are a luxury you just don’t have. Cake baking was often something someone in the family would want to do on a beach holiday or a weekend at the farm. For some reason, these type of holiday rentals always have a cake tin (of whatever size or shape) and a mixing bowl, but they never have scales. Using a simple cup measure always saved the day, even if it meant relying on a balloon whisk or large spoon to do the beating. Admittedly it was never as good as using electric beaters, but making something under adverse conditions always won kudos for the baker, no matter how it turned out.
I digress…back to measuring the flour. There is a tendency to bang the cup on the bench, or push the flour down with the spoon, to get as much flour as possible in the cup. Hot tip – don’t! You’ll end up using more flour than needed and a very dry cake as a result. If the flour is sitting in a container, give it a stir to loosen it up. Then spoon the flour directly into the measuring cup until it is overflowing. Don’t bang the cup or pat the flour down. Instead, use the flat side of a knife to level the flour to the top of the cup, removing the excess.
An easy to make cake has its place. Undoubtedly the cake that has been made with more time and attention is going to be lighter, fluffier and better, but if time constraints are an issue, or children just want to make it themselves, this is a perfect option. Enjoy!
- 1¾ cups self-raising flour
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125 grams butter, melted
- 2 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a 22 cm springform tin with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and cooled melted butter. Mix together with electric beaters for 5 minutes.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla and milk and mix together, adding a little extra milk if necessary.
- Cover the top and sides of the cake with the icing.