Jo Seagar's 'Happy Birthday' Large Deep Celebration Chocolate Cake.


This is a cake worthy of celebrating in its own right. It is fudgey while maintaining a consistent crumb, it is not overly sweet: perfect for an afternoon tea treat, but as equally well matched with a soft Pinot for a winter dessert.

It is also sinfully simple. Delight in telling your guests, “oh, just something I whipped up.”


Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until it resembles chocolate soup. Ideal for pouring into the large (double-lined) baking tin. Or your mouth.

My family has been making this cake for as long as I can remember, a tried and true favourite. Yet, sometimes, I can’t help but feel like I’ve cheated. Where is the creaming and one-by-one addition of ingredients? The delicate folding? The multiple bowls and pots?

Whenever I’m in the mood for baking I find myself flicking to recipes oft-lusted after, pages which I have occasionally tenderly stroked. They are complicated recipes. Recipes to not only test my amateur baking skills but, which require I dig deep into my shallow student pockets. These may not be the best recipes by which to introduce myself.

But, can you ever go wrong with a Celebration cake? Eat a piece because it is Tuesday, because it is sunny today, because it might rain tomorrow, because yesterday I started university (for the second time). Eat a piece for this new blog.

Jo Seagar’s ‘Happy Birthday’ Large Deep Celebration Cake
From Jo Seagar‘s book You shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble, darling

1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup milk
1/2 cup soya or canola oil

Preheat oven to 180ยฐC. Mix everything in a food processor until smooth and well combined. Pour into a greased and baking paper lined 23-25cm cake tin. Bake for approximately 90 minutes. Cool on rack, then ice.

As for icing, I use a chocolate buttercream icing or a chocolate ganache of good quality chocolate melted with cream.