Spiced chocolate cake
Serves 12 | prep 25 minutes | total time
For the cake
- 100g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 275g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 100g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
For the buttercream
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas 3. Grease a 20cm round deep cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
- Pour the milk into a jug and add the lemon juice. Set aside for 15 minutes – the milk will start to curdle slightly. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and mixed spice into a bowl.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour and milk mixtures until thoroughly combined. Fold in the melted chocolate.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes until the cake is risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, place the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric hand-held whisk until very soft and creamy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
- Use a serrated knife to slice the cake in half horizontally. Sandwich the cake back together with two-thirds of the buttercream and spread the rest over the top and sides of the cake in a thin layer. Place the cake on a sheet of baking paper on a board and decorate.