What’s the easiest way to make a chocolate cake?

There are a multitude of chocolate cake ideas that can turn even the simplest of cakes into magnificent birthday centrepieces, but the real key to a successful chocolate cake starts with a good chocolate sponge. In this first step, we’ll give you an easy chocolate cake recipe to master which will become the base of all of our chocolate cake decorating ideas.

Ingredients:

200g golden caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened (plus a little extra for greasing)
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk

Method:

• Preheat your oven to 190C/Gas 5/170C fan.

•  You’ll need two 20cm (8in) round baking tins for the cake. Butter the base and sides of each tin and line the bases with baking paper.

• Beat together the golden caster sugar, softened butter, eggs, self-raising flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla extract and milk with a pinch of salt until the mixture goes pale and smooth.

• Share the mixture between the two greased cake tins.

• Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through (use a skewer to check this).

• Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool through.

• Once your cakes are thoroughly cooled, you’re now ready to decorate! For a larger cake or more tiers, simply double the recipe!