The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake

What You Need For The cake

  • 300g/10½oz plain flour

  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter

  • 4 medium free-range eggs

  • 250g/9oz caster or brown sugar

  • 50ml/2fl oz sunflower oil

  • 25g/1oz cocoa power 

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 80ml/2½fl oz milk

  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream

  • 3 tsp baking power

What You Need For Cocoa Frosting

  • 50g/1¾oz butter

  • 25g/1oz cocoa powder

  • 300g/10½oz icing sugar

  • 50ml/2fl oz double cream

What You Need For the filling

  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream, whipped until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed

  • 150g/5½oz jam

a. For the cake, line the base of a deep 20cm/9in cake tin with non-stick paper and preheat the oven to180C/350F/Gas 4.

b. Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan, pour it into a bowl with the oil, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla. Beat well until smooth, then whisk in the eggs followed by the milk and cream.

c.Sift the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture and beat until smooth, then spoon into the prepared tin and cover the top of the tin with aluminum foil.

d. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or the top is springy and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

e. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

f. Meanwhile make the cocoa frosting, mix the cocoa powder and icing sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter for a few seconds in the microwave, or in a small pan over a low heat. Mix the melted butter and the cream into the sugar and cocoa, and stir until smooth.

g. To assemble the cake, remove the cake from the tin, trim the top of the cake to make it flat, then cut the cake in half horizontally. Put the bottom half of the cake onto a serving plate and spread with the whipped cream. Top with the jam.

h. Spread the cocoa frosting onto the top of the cake and swirl it with a spoon, then carefully place it onto the bottom half of the cake.

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