An easy chocolate cake recipe perfect for everyday baking when you just want a slice of cake! This cake is topped and filled with whipped chocolate ganache which is also really easy to make and a great alternative to buttercream icing.
If you need a basic chocolate cake recipe for every day you are in the right place. In only about 10-15 minutes you can have this cake baking in the oven! This means it is great when you have a yearning for cake late in the day or have unexpected visitors coming over for a cup of tea at short notice.
I mean who needs a special occasion for cake, every day is a cake day.
Simple Chocolate Cake for Everyday
This simple chocolate cake doesn’t require any special equipment, you don’t even need an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for it, only a wooden spoon and a whisk. The delicious ganache frosting is also really easy to make using just a whisk, and makes the cake even sweeter!
Because you can make this cake from simple store cupboard ingredients you’d have in a basic baking cupboard, it feels really easy to throw together.
Once iced, filled and ready to serve up, the cake looks great with a lovely shine to the icing and a deep rich coloured cake. So good!
Rich Chocolate Sponge Cakes
The chocolate sponges themselves are made using cocoa powder for the chocolate flavour, and a melted butter and light brown sugar mixture instead of creaming the sugar into the butter, which is the normal technique used for sponge cakes for instance.
I think that when using light brown sugar which has a larger grain than caster sugar, melting rather than creaming gives a better result. It can be grainy if you using the creaming method whereas melting ensures there are no grains of sugar left.
Using melted butter gives a more fudgey and slightly denser texture to the cake than you would get from creaming the sugar and butter together. It also can produce a softer and richer texture.
Whatever the science behind it, I find it gives a great result in this recipe and tastes great.
How To Make This Easy Chocolate Cake
Step 6. Pour the cake batter into the lined cake tins, splitting the mixture evenly between the tins. To remove bubbles lift up the cake tins a few centimetres and drop them carefully on your kitchen side.
Place the tins in the preheated oven, if you wish on a baking tray to keep them stable and even.
Step 7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean from the centre.
Step 8. Remove the tins from the oven, leave to cool for five minutes or so until you can handle them without burning your hands. Push the cakes out of the springform pans by pushing up the base. Remove the base from under the cakes, peel off the baking paper and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Whipped Ganache Frosting
The thick chocolate ganache frosting gives this chocolate cake a special extra dimension which really elevates it too. Who would know that whipping your smooth chocolate ganache made from just melted chocolate and cream would make such an amazingly thick frosting!
I know I was amazed the first time I tried this technique. It works so well. This icing is so rich and chocolatey, because all you need is double cream and chocolate.
It is the cream which makes this frosting so thick, when you whip it you are essentially whipping cream with chocolate in it, so it thickens up and becomes really creamy and smooth.
How to Make Whipped Ganache
It only takes me minutes to whip the icing up by hand using a hand whisk so there is not much work involved. Then you’ll have a bowlful of icing to fill and top the cake with (plus there is enough to do a few taste tests if needed!).
I simply apply this ganache with a palette knife and then make some swirls in the icing too for a nice effect. If you prefer you can smooth it over (as it is thick it won’t drip off or run down the cake).
You will need:
- 125 ml double cream
- 150 g dark chocolate, broken up – I like to use Dr Oetker’s Fine Cooks’ Chocolate in Extra Dark
Step 1. Heat the double cream in a small saucepan on a low heat for a few minutes until nearly boiling. Remove the pan from the heat.
Step 2. Add the broken chocolate into the pan. Leave it for a few minutes for the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate.
Step 3. Stir stir stir until smooth and all the chocolate has melted.
Step 4. Whisk until glossy and thicken, then leave to cool until it reaches your desired thickness.
Step 5. Once your cake is cool, use a spatula or palette knife to apply the ganache frosting to your cake. I use it to both fill and top the cake so it is really versatile. It makes a great alternative to buttercream icing.
This chocolate ganache cake was so easy to make, and even though it is a simple cake it still looks impressive. Definitely one to try if you have visitors!
More Chocolate Recipes To Try
Chocolate lovers might like these other chocolatey recipes of mine:
- giant Nutella scone
- chocolate and salted caramel tart
- slow cooker chocolate fudge
- chocolate birthday cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake
For the chocolate cake:
- 190 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 200 g light brown sugar
- 125 g butter
- 3 eggs
- 180 ml milk I used semi-skimmed
For the frosting:
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 125 ml double cream
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan) (or 200 degrees C conventional).
- Grease and line two 20 cm cake tins (I use springform pans).
- Mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
- Place the butter and light brown sugar in a microwaveable dish. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted. Stir well. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Add the milk to the melted butter and sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold together gently.
- Then add the beaten egg in thirds, mixing after each addition.
- Pour the cake batter into the lined cake tins, splitting the mixture evenly between the tins.
- Place the tins in the preheated oven, if you wish on a baking tray to keep them stable.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean from the centre.
- Remove the tins from the oven, leave to cool for five minutes or so until you can handle them. then push the cakes out of the springform pans by pushing up the base. Remove the base from under the cakes, peel off the baking paper and put them on a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completey.
For the ganache frosting:
- Heat the double cream in a small saucepan for a few minutes until nearly boiling. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the broken chocolate into the pan. Leave it for a few minutes for the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate.
- Stir stir stir until smooth and all the chocolate has melted.
- Whisk until glossy and thicken, then leave to cool until it reaches your desired thickness.
- Once cool, use a spatula or palette knife to apply the ganache frosting to your cake for both filling and to top the cake.