Every household needs a blooming good chocolate cake in their repertoire, whether it’s just for the hell of maintaining your chocolate quota, or of course for those special occasions where you need a freshly baked cake, or need to arrive somewhere with a showstopper in hand. Regardless, this chocolate celebration cake will reset everyone’s expectations of what a chocolate cake should be – it’s delicious, it has incredible texture, it looks absolutely amazing, and it’s a pleasure to make and watch people enjoying.


  • Sponge

  • 250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

  • 150g quality dark chocolate (70%)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 300g caster sugar

  • 6 large free-range eggs

  • 150g self-raising flour

  • 4 tablespoons quality cocoa

  • powder

  • Chocolate Rice Layer Cake

  • 300g quality dark chocolate (70%), or quality milk chocolate, plus extra to serve

  • 75g unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon runny honey

  • 100ml double cream

  • 100g puffed rice cereal

  • Nougat Frosting

  • 2 large free-range egg whites

  • 3 tablespoons runny honey

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 1 level teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • optional: ½ teaspoon orange

  • blossom or rose water


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease and line a deep 23cm loose-

  • 2.

    Bottomed cake tin, lining the base and sides with a double layer of greaseproof paper. For the sponge, smash up the chocolate and melt in a large heatproof bowl with the butter, oil and sugar over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth and glossy. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then, using an electric hand whisk at high speed, one-by-one beat in the eggs until combined. Sift in the flour and cocoa with a good pinch of sea salt and beat for a short while until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out ever so slightly gooey (the top of the cake will rise up and crack slightly, but don’t worry, it’ll end up covered by all your lovely toppings). Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on a cake stand, use a long knife to carefully slice the sponge into 3 equal rounds and remove the top two sponges to separate plates (go to to see how to do this).

  • 3.

    For your chocolate rice layer, smash up the chocolate and melt with the butter, honey, cream and a pinch of salt in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool for 5 minutes (to avoid soggy cereal!), then stir in the puffed rice until evenly coated. Divide the mixture onto the 3 cooled sponge layers and spread out evenly across the tops, going right to the edges.

  • 4.

    To make the nougat frosting, place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl with the honey, sugar, cream of tartar, a good pinch of salt and a splash of water. Place over a pan of gently simmering water, turn up the heat, and with an electric hand whisk beat for 6 to 7 minutes, or until it starts to form peaks. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla extract and orange blossom or rose water (if using), then carry on beating the mixture until thick. Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then evenly top each sponge and stack them up neatly. To finish the cake off nicely, use a large knife to shave some extra chocolate, then sprinkle it over the top (there’s a video on to show you how to do this). Add your candles or sparklers, get them lit and indulge in chocolate celebration cake heaven. Enjoy!



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