The ultimate chocolate cake for any occasion. Easy to make, creates few dishes and tastes delicious. Perfect for birthdays or any excuse you can think of!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Makes: 15 - 20 (depending on how big the slices are)
Melted butter to grease
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup plain flour
2 cups caster sugar
300g butter, cubed, room temperature
1 3/4 cups milk
6 eggs at room temperature
Dark Chocolate Butter Icing:
125g butter, cubed, room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar
125g dark chocolate
M&Ms or whatever you would like to decorate
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius
Brush 25cm round cake tin with butter and line base and sides with baking paper.
Place all ingredients for the cake (as above) in a large mixing bowl.
Use a hand beater on low for 30 seconds or until ingredients are just combined (use a spoon and stir some of the liquid through the dry ingredients before this if you're concerned about the cocoa making a mess).
Increase the speed to high and beat until mixture is thick and all the butter is mixed in well (around 2 - 4 minutes).
Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth with the back of a spoon.
Bake in oven for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Turn onto wire rack and leave to cool.
To make the icing and decorate:
Place chocolate in a microwave safe glass or ceramic container and heat in microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes or until it is pale and creamy.
Gradually add the icing sugar, beating between additions.
Gradually add the melted chocolate, again, beating mixture after each addition.
Beat until combined.
TIP: If the mixture isn't thick enough, add extra icing sugar and beat again until the consistency is as you require. This is a very forgiving part of the recipe, so the more icing sugar you add the thicker the mixture gets - keep in mind if you use too much icing sugar the icing won't be as chocolatey.
Allow icing to cool then use a spatula and knife to spread icing mixture over the cake.
Decorate the cake with M&Ms in whatever pattern you like, or just add them on at random for a fun, colourful look.
Refrigerate if you're not serving straight away to ensure the icing doesn't melt and the M&Ms don't slide off the sides.