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A rich, gooey and delicious Christmas chocolate cake with gingerbread Matchmakers, and all the Christmas sweets!

A Christmas showstopper!

Oh, heyyyyy Christmas showstopper that you will all want to devour and bake just like I did… seriously though, oh my actual days. Something sweet, gooey, chocolatey and gloriously spectacular for the Christmas season?! Yes, please! Whether you bake it and devour it before or after Christmas is up to you.

This beauty is essentially a carbon copy of my Easter chocolate cake, but I just couldn’t resist. Once I had found the gingerbread Matchmakers in Tesco, I desperately wanted to do a festive version of the cake, and I just knew you guys would love it all as well! You can use any flavour Matchmakers, but the gingerbread ones were too good to not use!


I used the Cadbury’s snowbites on top because they look like little snowy bundles of yum, obviously, but you have to use quiiiite a few packets to actually fill the top of the cake. You can use anything you really want to use, such as M&Ms, or anything else that’s reasonably round and not too large. I like how uniform all the snowbites look next to each other, like how the Mini Eggs did on my Easter Chocolate Cake.


This sort of recipe is designed to be extremely indulgent, and incredibly rich, so you only need a smaller slice. You can just use the actual chocolate cake and skip the rest of it, as its the same recipe from my Chocolate fudge cake post. The frosting is also the same, which if I can say so myself is the BEST chocolate frosting ever.


The thing that makes the frosting so extra special is the evaporated milk that is mixed in. Without it, it’s just a regular chocolate buttercream frosting, but with it… it tastes insane. Genuinely, I never understood before I made the frosting how it could be so delicious, but my god it was. It’s the sort of frosting you’d want to sit and eat with a spoon. Maybe dip in a biscuit or two.

Decorative seal

I use a festive ribbon to wrap around the cake to seal it all in, and it also helps keep it together. When you slather the frosting on the side, you need enough to basically ‘smush’ the matchmakers into the sides of the cake without them falling off. Not so much it all squidges out and goes everywhere but enough to make sure that they stay. However, the ribbon definitely helps. Also, it looks damn pretty!

Evaporated milk vs condensed milk

I often get comments saying ‘can I just use condensed milk’ and they are actually very different things, so I’d recommend sticking with the evaporated milk. Also, the evaporated milk tends to come in smaller tins as well so there isn’t much leftover at all!

When I gave this beauty to my taste testers, they were literally in shock and awe at such a thing. it properly didn’t help that they were also given a cheesecake and some traybakes on the same day to eat… maybe a bit overboard I won’t lie, it all disappeared and was appreciated. I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy! x

Christmas Chocolate Cake!

A rich, gooey and delicious Christmas chocolate cake with gingerbread Matchmakers, and all the Christmas sweets!
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Category: Cake
Type: Cake
Keyword: Chocolate, Christmas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 Slices
Author: Jane's Patisserie


Cake Ingredients

  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 175 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 75 ml buttermilk

Chocolate Frosting

  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 ml evaporated milk


  • 3 packets gingerbread Matchmakers
  • Christmas sweets/sprinkles


For the Cake!

  • Preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan and grease & line two 8″/20cm cake tins – leave to the side.
  • In a heatproof bowl, microwave the dark chocolate & butter until melted – mine takes two minutes! Pour the coffee granules into 125ml boiling water and mix – add the coffee to the chocolate/butter mix and stir well until smooth!
  • In a separate large bowl add the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, golden caster sugar, and light brown sugar and mix well so the ingredients are all mixed with each other well!
  • Mix the eggs with the buttermilk – add the chocolate mix & the egg mix to the dry ingredients and stir together, try not to over mix it – it should be thick but runny when finished and no flour lumps!
  • Pour the mixture into the two tins and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes (can take a little longer in some ovens) once baked leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes and cool on a wire rack for a softer cake.

For the Frosting!

  • With an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until its very smooth and supple (couple of minutes).
  • Gradually add the icing sugar & cocoa powder alternatively with the evaporated milk until all is incorporated and add the vanilla essence – beat for a couple of minutes so its extra smooth & creamy.
  • The more evaporated milk you add the more runny it’ll be, and I have found about 100ml-125ml is perfect for me! 

For the Decoration!

  • Add one of your sponges to a plate, and slather on some of the frosting. Add on the second sponge, and slather on some frosting again.
  • With the rest of the frosting, cover the sides evenly. 
  • Add the Matchmakers around the edge next to each other. However, you have to do it quite quickly so that the frosting is basically the glue! I used the gingerbread flavour, and I used just over two packets. 
  • Once the Matchmakers are covering the sides, use a ribbon to keep the cake in place, and basically help make it set. 
  • Decorate the top with your favourite Christmas sweets! 


  • The ribbon I have had for ages, but you can buy really cute Christmas bits from Iced Jems!
  • I recommend putting the cakes in the fridge for 30 minutes before trying to decorate with buttercream on the sides as the sponge is so lovely and light it might crumble a bit if you don’t!
  • If you can’t access the buttermilk, you can make it yourself by using 75ml of whole milk, with 1tbsp of lemon juice and whisking together 
  • This cake will last for 3 days in an airtight container!
  • I found the gingerbread Matchmakers in Tesco, but they all work! The mint flavour would be delicious. 
  • I used about 5 bags of the Cadbury's snow bites!
  • Cake recipe Inspired by BBC GoodFood

Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.


  1. Emma G on October 10, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane, do you think I cut put chocolate fingers around this instead of the matchmakers? Or do you think the chocolate fingers won’t be tall enough?

  2. Amy on July 7, 2021 at 9:28 am

    My husband wants a Chocolate Birthdaycake with Peanutbutter Icing & Raspberry Jam. I made this cake for Christmas a few years ago and I was in love with it! Do you think the frosting recipie could be adapted to be a Peanut Butter frosting?

  3. Lauren on December 8, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is AMAZING, baked this last week and it went down a treat with my husband, it turned out just as the recipe said and I was super happy with it!

  4. Erin on December 5, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Jane, I want to use this cake recipe for Christmas! How would I modify it to fit 4 7inch cake tins 🙂 Thank you!

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 6, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Hiya! So I really am not completely sure – you could use the recipe as it is, but the layers may be thinner? I really don’t often bake 7″ cakes unfortunately. They are about 1/5 smaller in volume, so it depends I guess if you want the overall cake to be taller or not! x

  5. Alice on November 22, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Hi Jane, I want to make this for Christmas as none of us like Christmas pudding but there are a couple of kids that wouldn’t like the coffee flavours. If you aren’t including coffee do I have to increase the cocoa powder/flour or can I just take it out? Thank you x

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 22, 2020 at 11:08 am

      It does not taste of coffee as mentioned on the post, please keep the coffee in!

  6. Clare on September 19, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane, this cake is definitely on my to-bake list this year! But I have a small oven in which only 1 cake tin will fit. Can I make all the batter at the same time and bake it seperately? Or should I make 2 seperate batches of batter? Bye!

    • Jane's Patisserie on September 19, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      I would probably try and halve it and make two separate batches! x

  7. Jessica on December 29, 2018 at 11:42 am

    5 stars
    Lovely cake! Followed the recipe exact at it was delicious. Great feedback from all who tased it too!

  8. Stacey on December 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane, I’m a huge fan of your chocolate cake recipe and it always gets so many compliments! I’m thinking of making this next week but decorating differently. Do you think the frosting is likely to pipe well?

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 3, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Awhh yay!! It is a slightly slacker frosting as mentioned, but it can pipe, I would just be careful! I used it in my Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe where you can see its piping x

    • Stacey on December 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Lovely, thank you 😊 I’ll be sure to tag you in the end result!

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