Recipe: This devilish chocolate cake is an absolute showstopper

If you’re looking for an absolutely scrumptious celebration cake, then here it is! This devilish chocolate cake, smothered in Italian buttercream is an absolute showstopper and is sure to impress any dinner guest.

There might not be a lot to celebrate these days, so we’re taking any excuse to whip out our stand-mixer, don an apron and get baking. Now that the Covid restrictions have eased slightly, we can’t help but feel hopeful for the days ahead, filled with laughter, hugs, parties and reunions.

And let’s face it, nothing screams ‘celebration’ more than a three-layered cake. Don’t let them intimidate you, they’re really not as difficult as they look, as long as you follow the recipe and prep your ingredients in advance.

Here’s our fool-proof recipe to help you along.

Serves: 12

Cooking time: 20 mins


5g cocoa powder + extra to dust

175g baking margarine

850g caster sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

250g plain flour

4 tsp Baking Powder

4 tsp Liquid Glucose (we use Dr. Oetker)

3 medium egg whites

1tsp Cream of Tartar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

465ml water


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4 and grease three 8 inch tins. Sift 75g cocoa into a bowl and whisk in 350ml of the water.

Beat the margarine with 400g sugar until well blended. Whisk in the eggs and the liquid cocoa mixture. Sift the flour and Baking Powder on top, and carefully blend the ingredients together to form a thick batter.

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, put the remaining sugar, Liquid Glucose and 115ml of water into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil until the temperature reaches 115°C (240°F) on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg whites with the Cream of Tartar until very stiff – as if making meringue. Still whisking, carefully pour the sugar syrup on to the egg whites. Add the Natural Vanilla Extract and continue whisking for 4-5 minutes until glossy and stiff.

Use some of the frosting to sandwich the cakes together and put on a serving plate. Generously spread the remaining frosting all over the cake to cover. Dust with a little extra cocoa powder before serving.