Chocolate cake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

A Simple Table

A Simple Table

By Michele Cranston

Published 2016

  • About

I call this cake the Goldilocks chocolate cake because it’s not too heavy and not too light and so sits somewhere in the middle, at just about right!

As such, it’s more of an afternoon tea cake than a dessert cake, though feel free to decorate it with chocolate shards or nutty praline if you’d like a more showy affair. You can make a traditional chocolate ganache to use as an icing or combine some of the leftovers from the tub of sour cream with melted chocolate, but I like the texture of this coconut milk version.


  • 100 g ( oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 110 g ( oz/½ cup, firmly packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) maple syrup
  • 100 g ( oz) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 75 g ( oz/½ cup)self-raising flour, sifted
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 150 g ( oz/ cups) almond meal

Chocolate Icing (Frosting)

  • 100 g ( oz) dark chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 80 ml ( fl oz/ cup) coconut milk


Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Put the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted, then remove the bowl from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the maple syrup, sour cream and melted chocolate and beat until just combined. Fold in the sifted cocoa, flour and sea salt, then the almond meal.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before icing.

To make the chocolate icing, combine the melted chocolate in a bowl with the coconut milk. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool and thicken a little, then spread the icing over the cooled cake.