Classic Chocolate Cake - The Sweet Rebellion
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Classic Chocolate Cake

Just about every baker out there will tell you they have the BEST chocolate cake recipe. But you can ignore them. Because this recipe is the only chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever need! I’ve been using this recipe for over 20 years and it has never flopped. That’s what I call fool-proof!

This is a simple and straightforward chocolate cake. No difficult techniques or fancy ingredients. It has a lovely, light texture and is not too rich. The beauty of this cake is you can make it as modest or as magnificent as you like. A basic topping of whipped cream is absolutely delicious, or for a sweeter option, tinned caramel works wonderfully as a quick “icing”.  If you’re after a richer chocolate flavour, pour over a chocolate ganache (try a mint or orange flavoured chocolate for something different). My all-time favourite topping and what I have used here, is my rich chocolate buttercream. It’s a deliciously chocolatey icing made with a secret ingredient that gives it the most heavenly texture…


(Makes 2 x 20cm cake layers)

125g butter (½ cup)
180g white sugar
2 large eggs
5ml vanilla extract (1 tsp)
180g flour
a pinch of salt
10ml baking powder (2 tsp)
35g of cocoa*
225ml of milk

1 quantity of Rich Chocolate Buttercream


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease and line two 20cm diameter cake tins.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric or stand mixer for about 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time and beat very well. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix well.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating well in-between every addition.
  • Divide the mixture between the cake tins, smoothing the mixture evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes in the tins, then remove and allow to cool completely on cooling racks.
  • Use my rich chocolate buttercream to sandwich the 2 layers together and ice the top and sides.

* If you prefer a dark chocolate flavour, add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder.

  • Lana Watkins
    Posted at 10:31h, 23 June Reply


    Can the classic chocolate cake also be done in cupcakes?

    I find the full cakes are a bit too much at times and i wanting to try cupcakes.

    • Astrid
      Posted at 07:22h, 30 June Reply

      Hi Lana! I’ve never used this recipe to make cupcakes but looking at the ratio of ingredients I’m sure it would work. You should get 24 cupcakes, bake for 20-25 minutes.

  • Heather Scott
    Posted at 22:29h, 26 April Reply

    I have a thermofan oven. Would I bake it at 170 degrees!

    • Astrid
      Posted at 19:31h, 27 April Reply

      Yes that’s right, Heather!

  • Audette
    Posted at 15:01h, 29 April Reply

    What brand of cocoa do you use?

    • Astrid
      Posted at 13:10h, 04 May Reply

      Hi Audette I usually use Nestlé cocoa powder!

  • Ashley
    Posted at 21:18h, 10 March Reply

    The chocolate buttercream, where can I find the recipe for this? Many thanks

  • Hannes Du Plessis
    Posted at 08:33h, 11 March Reply

    i do not see a soecial secret ingredient as displayed in the promo for this recipe!

  • Mallory
    Posted at 17:43h, 13 April Reply

    Absolutely the best chocolate cake ever, and I’ve been baking for a long time!

    • Astrid
      Posted at 16:56h, 21 May Reply

      Hi Mallory! Thank you for letting me know, so glad you enjoyed it!

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