birthdday chocolate cake

Birthday Chocolate Cake for family celebrations

Birthday Chocolate cake for family gatherings

April is the month for birthdays in our family. Well it is the month that seems to get silly season kicked off.

My eldest grandson’s birthday is actually at the end of March but by the time we get our acts together the joint birthday party happens at the beginning of April.

He has to share it with his little brother, his aunty Lizzie, his Great Grandfather and by now a new baby sister should have put in an appearance (she is due after my copy deadline… I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof).

I can’t concentrate on a fancy recipe and so you have a tray bake, artistic licence goes to the grandchildren who are enjoying noughts and crosses, and nervous and energetic eating is shared by the rest of the family…we all love chocolate cake after all! Waiting seems less of a trial with cake.


50g cocoa powder

6tbsp boiling water

100g butter, softened on the back of the Aga.

200g caster sugar

3 large free range eggs

125ml milk

175 self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder


200g milk or dark chocolate according to preference (place in a bowl  at the back of the Aga to melt)

100ml double cream

100g white chocolate to melt for decoration if you are using it…you could just pile lots of chocolate buttons or sweets on. Go wild!


  • If you are not using an Aga pre heat your oven to 180C/gas 4
  • Put the cocoa powder into a bowl and add the boiling water, mix until a smoothe paste is formed.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer add all the other cake ingredients and beat, when combined add the cocoa mixture and beat again.
  • Using bake-o-glide or parchment paper line the half sized roasting tin and pour in your cake mixture. Spread evenly.
  • Aga cooking: place in the baking oven and hang the roasting tin on the 3rd set of runners and bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm to the touch.
  • 2 oven Aga: place your half sized roasting tin inside a full sized roasting tin and hang this on the bottom set of runners in your roasting oven. Place the cold plain shelf on the second set of runners above. Bake for 30 minutes but check after 20 to make sure its ok.
  • Conventional cookers: bake at 180C/gas 4 for 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes
  • Turn out the cake (lift it out by the corners if using bake-o-glide) and peel off the parchment. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Once your chocolate has melted on the back of the Aga remove to a work surface and add the double cream stirring all the time. This will thicken as it combines, spread onto the cake and place in the fridge to cool and set. Then decorate as you wish.

Enjoy…and happy birthday to you if it’s your birthday as well! x

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