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Best “Chocolatiest” Chocolate Birthday Cake

This is a chocolate cake recipe I adapted from several different ones. My family tells me this version is the best one yet. The secret? Add a tiny bit of espresso powder to enhance the taste of the chocolate! Espresso powder is made of finely ground espresso coffee beans. You’ll find it on any supermarket shelf next to the normal ground coffee. I like the Saula Premium espresso powder in a yellow tin from Carrefour – see it pictured at the bottom of the page.

Tip: This is a BIG cake and you’ll need two cake tins. If you don’t want that, just halve the recipe to make a smaller one-layer chocolate torte.

Ingredients for cake:
5 dl flour
5 dl sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 dl raw cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 dl cream, or cream and milk mixture
1 1/4 dl melted butter (olive oil also works well)
2 1/2 dl hot water

Ingredients for frosting & decoration:
1 3/4 dl soft butter
1 dl cream, or milk and cream mixture
1/2 kg frosting sugar
1 1/4 dl raw cocoa powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
Half a glass of milk
6 x Kit Kat bars
Bag of Smarties



1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Have 2 non-stick cake tins ready.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Add the milk, melted butter or olive oil and eggs. Stir until smooth, then add the hot water and mix vigorously.
4. Pour the mixture into the two cake tins, half each.
5. Bake the two cakes at the same time for 30 minutes. Before removing from oven, insert a clean toothpick in the centre of each cake – if they come out totally clean the cakes are ready. If not, give them a few more minutes and repeat the toothpick test until done.
6. Remove from oven. Let the cakes cool in their tins for a while, then remove from tins and put them on a cake rack until they are completely cool.


1. Mix the butter and cocoa until smooth.
2. Add frosting sugar and cream in small amounts.
3. Add espresso powder and mix until smooth.


1. Pour milk into a glass, about half a glass will do. Place one cake on a platter. Take a clean cooking brush, or a wad of folded kitchen roll, dip it in a glass of milk and dab it onto the cake to moisten it. Cover the top generously with frosting like you were buttering a sandwich. Clean the frosting spatula, as it will have moist cake crumbs stuck to it.

2. Take the other cake. Put it upside down on a clean, dry plate and dab the underside with some milk, careful not to let too much moisture run down the sides and wet the top of the cake. Now flip the cake carefully and place it, moistened bottom side down, on top of the other cake. Now frost the dry top of the cake with a clean spatula, and then the sides.

3. Break the Kat Kat bars into 2-finger segments and glue to the cake’s sides. Tie with a bit of ribbon to hold them place. Be creative and decorate with smarties!
Put in fridge until serving. This cakes improves over night as the flavours soak in, so it’s a good one to make the day before.


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Johanna is an award-winning blogger and copywriter. She lives in Southern Spain with her family and writes about online retail, language education and personal finance.

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