{on a clear night you can see the stars} Chocolate Cake

This was all set to be a chocolate blackout cake. I have been thinking about it for weeks. But I hadn’t actually looked at a recipe. All I knew was that every time I thought of chocolate cake I also kept thinking about blackout cake.

Chocolate Cake 1 | The Pink Rose Bakery

Then a quick google of blackout cake recipes revealed that it is a chocolate sponge (okay) sandwiched together and covered with . . . chocolate custard (er . . . um . . . not so okay).

I don’t normally shy away from such things as custard making. I usually approach them with a hefty pinch of gusto with a side helping of gun-ho attitude. So, it’s split on me for the second time, what’s the big deal? Meh!

But for some reason the thought of it not working out first time filled me a little with, not so much dread as, a lack-lustre feeling. And as just about everyone who blogged about making custard for a blackout cake was all “omg, it was sooooo difficult to get right” (I feel I should say that this custard needs to be firmer than the kind you would have with your crumble) I couldn’t help saying to myself “nah, am not bothering to go down that road, I thank you very much”.

Therefore I decided that the best way to go was to take my favourite chocolate sponge and my favourite (and easy peasy) chocolate fudge frosting and marry them together.

Chocolate Cake 4 | The Pink Rose Bakery

The result isΒ a rich chocolate sponge, sandwiched together and covered in dark chocolate fudge frosting and scattered with tiny gold stars.

Chocolate Cake 2 | The Pink Rose Bakery

Like a blackout. Only prettier. And tastier. In a “I want to face plant it and come up looking like a 2-year-old does when you give them chocolate cake, i.e. chocolate moustache and beard” way.

Do I even need to say anymore?

I didn’t think so.

Chocolate Cake 3 | The Pink Rose Bakery

And, believe it or not, there is a reason behind the making of this cake – and it is not an attempt to ruin any diet you may be on – it is because on 17th January this little blog was two years old (!) and so to celebrate all three recipes this week will have a – very vague – party theme.

A little extra note – it depends on how cold your house is / where you keep the cake as to just how firm the frosting sets. My cake was kept in the somewhat chilly dining room (we use the table in the kitchen more so the heating is never on in there, except on special occasions) so the frosting set quite firm. This lead me to discover that a quick 20 second blast in the microwave will soften the frosting to the point where you end up with something that resembles hot fudge cake. I can’t even begin to say how good it was . . . warm, oozy chocolate frosting. So, so, so good.

As if you needed an extra excuse to make chocolate cake.

Chocolate Fudge Cake


For the cake:

  • 85g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 31g cocoa powder
  • 163g hot coffee
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar
  • 84g vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 64g rice flour
  • 32g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 63ml water
  • 15g dark muscovado sugar
  • 87g butter
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • edible gold stars, to decorate (optional)


  1. Place the chocolate and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. Pour over the coffee and whisk until the chocolate has completely melted. Leave for 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit and line an 8 inch round non-stick cake pan with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled add the sugar, oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and baking soda and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it will almost fill it) and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. As soon as the cake is in the oven, start on the frosting. Place the water, sugar and butter in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Add the chopped chocolate and swirl for a second or two (to cover all the chocolate in the hot liquid) Β before leaving it alone for a further 30 seconds. Gently stir the mixture until it is smooth and glossy. This may take a couple of minutes and you will go through the “is it ever going to work, has it split?” phase, but it will come together, trust me. Set the frosting aside to firm up. It will take an hour or so. Keep an eye on it and stir it every once in a while to see how it is doing. You want it to be spreadable, but if it gets too cold it will become quite difficult to handle and spread. If this happens, don’t panic, just warm it up a little in the microwave (but be careful not to melt it again).
  7. Once the cake is cooked leave it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once the cake is cold, carefully slice in half. Use approximately one-third of the frosting to sandwich the two pieces together and spread the rest over the top and sides. Scatter with edible gold stars (if using).

Note : Because there isn’t a huge amount of batter I baked it on one pan and then sliced the cooled cake in half. I was worried that splitting it between two pans may have meant that there wasn’t enough batter for it to rise properly (I’ve had that happen to me before). I am not the worlds greatest at slicing cakes in half, but I took it slow and steady and apart from a little dip in the middle, all was okay. If you really don’t want to cut it into two, then use two separate cake pans, but I would take the size down an inch or two, to help with the rising.

Β© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015


26 thoughts on “{on a clear night you can see the stars} Chocolate Cake”

  1. This looks incredible! I’ve been searching for a good blackout cake recipe since it’s an NYC staple but haven’t found one yet that speaks to me – until now! Chocolate on chocolate you can never go wrong!


  2. This probably goes without saying, but I would also LOVE to face plant into this cake. It looks so moist and gooey, and I’m defiantly going to be using that scrummy looking frosting! Basically this is my idea of cake heaven! xx


    1. HA! Nope, no surprise at all! πŸ™‚
      That frosting is so delicious and easy to make. I usually find that I can’t resist licking the pan out . . . cook’s perks and all that! xx


  3. OK, well obviously I WILL be trying this one. And I just wanted to let you know that my Peanut Butter, Banana and Coffee smoothie lunch was very, very nice. And I had all of it by myself.


    1. Lovely, so glad you liked it πŸ™‚
      I was going to say that you really should have this warm so that the frosting is soft and oozy but then I remembered those temperatures you are having and it will probably get in that state all on it’s own . . . ! Not that that’s a problem. Bet you lick the frosting pan out just like I do. Cook’s perk . . .


      1. I’ll be lucky to get one fingerful; the Husband has unerring instincts where bowls for licking are concerned and I’ll always find him hovering hopefully when the time comes. I’m unable to refuse him and hog it to myself…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Just wanted to let you know that I made this yesterday, and took it round to the Dowager’s for dessert. It’s ALL GONE. Not a crumb left. Seconds all round, the very fussy feeder offspring all had some, and the Husband and I shared the last piece for breakfast today. I have passed the recipe on…. I had to harden the fudge frosting in the fridge as I simply couldn’t get it to set otherwise, so it went hard, but after about half an hour it had softened again enough to be spread lavishly all over the top of the cake. I didn’t bother about slicing in half (too cack-handed), so there was lots of it! And mine got sprinkled with little silver balls….


      3. Yay! So glad to hear it was a roaring success! I thought you might have had that problem with the frosting, given your current tropical climate, but easily rectified. πŸ™‚


      4. I had to do some pretty swift juggling too and fro between the bench and the fridge to stop it getting sweaty, but once it was spread I stuck it in the fridge till it was time to go and show it off. In addition to the link in the post, I’ve also given the recipe to two other people…


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