Chocolate Cake – Back to Basics

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A Simple, Easy and Delicious Chocolate Cake with Easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting!
The third instalment in my Back to Basics series! 

So, recently (I say recently, it was like August time it started) I decided to start a ‘Back to Basics’ series on my blog because as much as I bake all these recipes, and usually, post two a week, they aren’t the most basic. Even down to the flavouring, they aren’t the most basic.

I’m not talking about dumbing down recipes or anything like that, as I like to make mine as easy to follow as possible for anyone of any skill level, but more like posting the recipes that most of my other recipes are based on. I’m not saying all my recipes ever are based on those from the Back to Basics series, but more because I thought I would cover all bases to help you guys out!

The first in my series of ‘Back to Basics’ was my No-Bake Vanilla Cheesecake. I had over SIXTY Cheesecake recipes on my blog by the time I posted a delicious, but basic, Vanilla Cheesecake. It was something that is technically in all of the recipes already on my blog, but the number of people that had been searching for one of my blog every day astounded me.

The second in my series of ‘Back to Basics’, was my Triple Chocolate Brownies. Similarly to my Cheesecakes, but not to the same quantity, I had basically used the same recipe quite a few times, but always put extras in such as Biscoff, or Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The reactions to both of these recipes were really quite astounding! I genuinely never thought they’d be so popular, but they still are now after months of posting!

So, for the third instalment in the series, I thought I would cover one of the most delicious treats that have ever existed, the Chocolate Cake. Some of you may think “but you already have a Chocolate Cake recipe”, and I do… with my Chocolate Fudge Cake, but that’s more an American style recipe and its super gooey, and utterly scrumptious, but definitely requires more ingredients and effort.

This beauty is basically a Chocolate Victoria Sponge. The only difference to the recipe from a classic Victoria sponge is that you remove some quantity of flour, and replace that quantity with cocoa powder. It’s still based on the idea that you have equal quantities of Flour, Eggs, Butter and Sugar, which is the base of practically most cakes on this blog, but some of the dry becomes the chocolate.

If your oven is definitely at the correct temperature, which most ovens technically aren’t, and you mix the ingredients in the right way, to the correct quantities, there is no reason that this cake should ever fail. With The Great British Bake Off, they apparently test all of the contestant’s ovens every day, by baking a Victoria sponge, and theoretically, they should all come out identical if the ovens work.

There isn’t too much more to explain about the cake itself, but be accurate when weighing it out. Also, if your bakes never tend to work properly, no matter the recipe, invest in an oven thermometer as it may save it all. In my rented house that I lived in last year, it was FIFTY degrees out. FIFTY. We ended up having to buy a new oven and swap it whilst we lived there as the landlord didn’t understand the significance of this.

For the Chocolate Buttercream, it’s quite a simple one. You MUST use ACTUAL UNSALTED BUTTER. I mean the kind you find in foil, and that when its fridge cold, is solid. You can use a spread for the cake, but NOT for the buttercream. I might get a few smart arse comments about this as to ‘why not’ but if you want a stable buttercream, that will last no matter the heat outside, use actual unsalted butter.

If its peak summer, and there is a heatwave, you won’t need to add any liquid to the buttercream. Technically, you don’t have to at all if you really do beat your buttercream well enough, but I actually like mine a smidge softer so its easier to pipe, so I usually add between one and two tablespoons of boiling water to smooth it out. But, if the weather is so hot you don’t even want the oven on, this won’t be necessary.

All in all, I have used this recipe technically loads of times on my blog, in my Oreo Drip Cake for example, but never done a post on a simple Chocolate Cake before. I personally, prefer using Light Brown Sugar in the sponge because I like the flavour, but either that, Caster sugar, or Golden Caster Sugar would work perfectly fine.

I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy! X

4.8 from 5 votes
Chocolate Cake!
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins

A Simple, Easy and Delicious Chocolate Cake with Easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. 

Course: Cake
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Chocolate
Servings: 14 Slices
Calories: 447 kcal
Author: Jane's Patisserie
Chocolate Cake
  • 300 g Stork/Unsalted Butter
  • 300 g Caster Sugar/Light Brown Sugar
  • 245 g Self Raising Flour
  • 55 g Cocoa Powder
  • 6 Medium Eggs
Chocolate Buttercream
  • 200 g Unsalted Butter (not stork)
  • 400 g Icing Sugar
  • 50 g Cocoa Powder
For the Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan, and line two 8" cake tins with parchment paper. 

  2. Beat together your Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy. 

  3. Add in the Flour, Cocoa Powder and Eggs, and beat again till combined. 

  4. Split evenly between the two tins, and bake in the oven for 28-32 minutes. Sometimes it can take a little longer - don't open before 25 minutes, and be as quick as you can checking with a skewer. 

  5. Once baked, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully. 

For the Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Don't use a spread such as margarine or stork. 

  2. Beat your butter on its own for about a minute, to loosen it up. 

  3. Add in the Icing Sugar gradually, beating in during or in 1/3 at a time. Don't add it all in at once. 

  4. Also, add in the Cocoa Powder, beating in fully. 

  5. If it's really very stiff, add in ONE tablespoon of boiling water at a time, beating fully each time, until it becomes smooth and lovely. 

To Decorate
  1. Place your first sponge on a plate/cake board, and pipe/spread on half of the buttercream frosting. Add on the second cake, and pipe/spread on the rest of the buttercream.

  2. Add on anything you fancy as decoration, I used sprinkles. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes
  • This cake will last at room temperature (not in the fridge as it will go hard) for three days. 
  • I use a cake tin, or a cake box to store it. 
  • You can use dark chocolate in place of the cocoa powder if you wish - use 100g for the sponge, and 100g for the buttercream. 
  • If your cake isn't baked fully, your oven might be at the wrong temperature, or it wasn't mixed correctly. Keep it in, till a skewer comes out clean, and it's springy to touch. 
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cake!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 447 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 119mg40%
Sodium 27mg1%
Potassium 151mg4%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 39g43%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 800IU16%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. These are only estimates.


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.

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About Author

Hiya! I'm Jane, and I adore baking, cooking and all things delicious. I'm also partial to homewares, lifestyle posts and more!


  • Ceinwen
    April 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe, cake turned out so moist and delicious, will definitely bake again!

  • Jess
    April 3, 2020 at 8:40 pm


    I am just wondering if I could use this recipe but put it into 3 6inch cake tins rather than 2 8inch pans? Would this work? If so would it take slightly less time to bake? Thank you!

    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 3, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      Yes that would work – and yes, less baking time!!

  • caitlin
    March 16, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    4 stars
    Great recipe and went down a treat. I made this for my mums birthday last minute and she loved it. The only reason its a 4* is because the butter cream was slightly stiff even after adding the boiling water so I added a splash of milk as well but apart from that it was great.

    • Jane's Patisserie
      March 16, 2020 at 8:37 pm

      Glad it was a success. For the buttercream – some buttercream will need less or more water, some times it won’t need any at all depending on the weather. It only needed a little more water, milk isn’t necessary!

  • Zakera
    December 17, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Hi,I made this cake n it came out really nice ,every 1 enjoyed ,thank you

  • Caroline Tierney
    September 30, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Jane.
    I’ve made this recipe a few times and I love it! I would like to make it in a rectangle shape could you tell me what size tin would be best please? Many thanks.

    • Jane's Patisserie
      September 30, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      Hiya – The general rule is an 8″ circle = 7″ square, but rectangle tins have different volumes to the square tins. I think I need more info to help more!

    • Caroline Tierney
      October 3, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Jane.
      Thanks for your reply. Im making this cake for a childs birthday party. There will be about 15 kids. It will be sandwiched together with buttercream in the middle. I know the above recipe makes enough for that many kids in a round tin I’m just trying to figure out do I need more batter to make it into the shape he has requested (A traffic light!) I have a size adjustable tin so i can make it to any size. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!

  • Sue Mcleod
    July 23, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    5 stars
    Jane just wanted to say i love all of your recipes, i am slowly working my way through them and i haven’t had a disaster yet ! they always turn out fabulous. Your instructions are easy to follow, you explain things clearly and the recipes easily adaptable. Today i am making this chocolate cake for work tomorrow and also doing the Toblerone brownies yummy 😋😋 Thank you so much xxx

  • Amy Bentham
    July 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hi I want to make this for my sons birthday next week, but I’m unsure of the cake tins to use. Do you use the sand which tins or the deep 8”? As I’m going to decorate with chocolate fingers round the sides and sweets on top. Thanks

    • Jane's Patisserie
      July 8, 2019 at 9:20 pm

      All of my cake tins are deep, even if the cakes don’t rise up too much per tin as they’re handier for all bakes! Just guarantees it won’t overflow!

  • Tia
    July 8, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Hi This looks yum but I only have three 6 inch tins can I use the same amount for 3 of them

  • steve
    June 13, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Keep it up, i followed the steps and baked a fantastic cake, we enjoyed with my family.

  • Carol Simpson
    May 4, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Hi what depth are the tins that you use?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 4, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      I happen to use ones that are about 4 inches deep as they work for cheesecakes as well, but you can use thinner ones for this particular bake.

  • nikki Huxley
    April 28, 2019 at 7:26 am

    I made this, as requested by my son, for his birthday cake this year. It was lush. Thank you for sharing this and all the other recipes you share.

  • Evie
    April 11, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Great chocolate cake recipe needed to cook fora bit longer,but as you say it could be my oven x

  • Khadijah
    March 22, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    I just made your recipe and it came out fantastic so thank you so much for sharing your recipe
    Just wanted to ask what the difference would be if next time I used light brown sugar instead of caster sugar?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      March 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      There won’t be any difference other than a faint flavour change x

  • Mrs Angela Smith
    March 19, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Hi if I wanted 3 layers how much would I increase the recipe by please? Thanks

    • Jane's Patisserie
      March 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Just add another 1/2 on top, and an extra tin – baking times will stay the same!

  • Paula
    December 5, 2018 at 11:07 am

    5 stars
    Hi Jane- I made this yesterday- it was so straightforward and looks amazing! My daughter and I are going to have a piece later- it would be rude not to! Thank you for this recipe- your other recipes are fantastic as well but it’s nice to go back to basics once in a while!!!

  • Eleanor
    December 4, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Could I add some espresso into the cake mix to give the cake a richer flavour?

  • Halima
    December 3, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    5 stars
    Hey I was wondering if I could bake this cake mix all in one 9” cake tin and split the cake in half after it has cooled down before icing?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      December 4, 2018 at 8:46 am

      I have no idea how deep the cake will be – but theoretically for a 9″ tin you need to use 1.3″ the recipe.

  • Hannah
    December 3, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Could I make this is 7” tins?

    • Jane's Patisserie
      December 3, 2018 at 9:39 am

      You could do! It will take slightly longer to bake however x

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