I recently attended my friend's son's 4th birthday party for which she had made him a delicious chocolate party cake. It suddenly occurred to me that I had never actually made a cake with my children before! Okay, well not strictly true. I had made some of those instant 'packet' fairy cakes with them once or twice but that hardly makes me Nigella Lawson now does it.
I felt bad. How could I have gone six years without making a cake?! I have fond memories of being a child and getting great pleasure from making cakes with my own Mum and yet somehow I had still to tick this off my 'what makes me a domestic goddess' list! Oops!
I therefore recruited the help of my said 'domestic goddess' friend in showing me how to make a cake with the children and her own little boy. I must not be getting out much these days because I could barely contain my excitement as I rushed around the supermarket buying the ingredients!
3-rounded tbsp Cocoa Powder
200g/7oz Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs, preferably free-range
200g/7oz Self-Raising Flour, sifted
1 rounded tsp Baking Powder
100g/3 ¾ oz Butter
100g/3 ¾ oz best quality Plain Chocolate
(I used 300g Silver Spoon Chocolate Flavour Cake Covering!)
100g/3 ¾ oz Icing Sugar
3 tbsp Milk
Pack of Large Chocolate Buttons
Pack of Royal Icing Halloween Cake Decorations from Sainsburys (optional!)
450g Betty Crocker Chocolate Buttercream Icing (used as pregnant and doesn't contain raw egg)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
2. Line the bases of 2 x 20cm/8" cake tins with greased greaseproof paper.
3. Mix the cocoa powder with 4tbsp of boiling water until smooth.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and butter until fluffy, add the cocoa mixture, eggs, flour and
5. Mix well and divide between the baking tins.
6. When working with children, licking the rest of the cake mixture from the bowl is compulsory!
7. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes (a skewer inserted into the centre should
come out clean when cooked).
8. Allow to cool then remove from tins.
9. Melt the chocolate topping ingredients in a bowl over some lightly simmering water. Stir until
blended well and allow to cool.
10. To assemble the cake, remove the greaseproof paper from both sponges.
11. Spread the buttercream over one of the sponges.
12. Sandwich the second sponge on top and press down.
13. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to smooth if off and drizzle over your chocolate topping.
14. Allow the chocolate topping to firm up slightly before decorating with chocolate buttons and
halloween decorations and enjoy!
Important - WHAT NOT TO DO!
1. Do not leave your domestic goddess friend's house with sponges in tins as it got too late to finish the
cake and then forget about them and leave the sponges sat on the side to dry out for four hours.
2. Do not try and make up for it by slathering one of your sponges in so much buttercream that it oozes
uncontrollably out the sides and then put all of the excess in your mouth. Warning - this will cause
extreme sugar rush and instant nausea!
3. Do not take the now 'not as moist as they should be' sponges to your Mum's house, forgetting the
recipe for how to finish the cake topping.
4. Do not then proceed to throw away the only instructions you DO have on the wrapper of the Silver
Spoon chocolate covering, slam the chocolate (minus the butter and milk) into the microwave and
'hope for the best'.
5. Certainly do not then pour the melted 'yummy' incredibly sickly milk chocolate onto your
cake minus the butter and milk so that it instantly and 'surprisingly' sets rock hard like 'Ice Magic' on
6. Finally, do not get offended when your parents critique your cake as 'delicious' but perhaps a bit 'dry'
and 'sickly' and hard to cut 'even with an electric carving knife'.
On the up side, the kids LOVED it! :)