Famous Cooper Chocolate Cake

Our favourite chocolate cake with an airy, light sponge and rich buttercream filling. It’s simple enough for an afternoon tea but special enough for a party too.




35 mins

Cooking time

20 mins


523 per slice

Good for:

All occasions


About this Recipe

By: Simon Cooper

My favourite scalable cake recipe with my favourite buttercream icing. Make as much or as little icing as required.

Garnish with strawberries and a dollop of cream for a summer light bite or eat it warm with a scoop of ice cream for something a bit more wintery.


For the cake

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for the tins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream

  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

I always follow the sponge recipe to the letter. It fits our tins and, once layered, our cake display case.

The icing ingredients listed will smother the cake from head to toe as per images. This makes the cake exceedingly rich. For a lighter option, use a third of the icing ingredients and just fill the middle.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Paper the base and grease the sides of two 20cm round sandwich tins.

Step 2

Add all the cake mixture into a mixing bowl and beat or whisk away until the mixture is smooth and consistent.

Step 3

Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Step 4

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5

For the buttercream, put 100g chopped milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 secs. Leave the melted chocolate to cool for 5 mins.

Step 6

Mash 200g softened butter and 400g icing sugar together with a fork, then switch to a wooden spoon or electric beaters, if you have them.

Step 7

Sift in 5 tbsp cocoa powder with a pinch of salt and pour in the melted chocolate and 2 tbsp milk. Mix again until smooth.

Step 8

On a cake stand or large plate, sandwich the cakes together with half of the buttercream, then spread the rest on top. Decorate with chocolate shards, if you like.