Chocolate and flake birthday cake

I made this cake to celebrate my grown up kids’ (they’re twins) birthday. They’re 24 on Monday (yes, where has the time gone?) but they’ll both be doing their own thing then so we got together this weekend to celebrate. I usually buy a birthday cake but as the Great British Bake Off is on at the moment I felt inspired to bake myself and, because I had most of the ingredients already, it really was no effort.

This is a very easy Mary Berry recipe. If you have never made a cake before and want to try then this is the recipe for you. It really is, er, a piece of cake. I went a bit OTT on the decoration, chopping up some Cadbury’s flakes and then sprinkling over some chocolate flake crumbs (waste not, want not) so it’s really not the most slick, sophisticated or photogenic cake you’ve ever seen. But it tasted delicious (and I’m not the world’s number one chocolate cake or chocolate dessert fan).

In addition to decorating with chunks of chocolate flakes my other change to Mary Berry’s recipe was to use good quality 90% cocoa chocolate, instead of the 70% suggested in her recipe. I’m really not sure how much of a difference that makes but I wanted the cake to taste as special as possible.

All you need when the cake is ready is some candles, or in this case some ’24’ sparklers.

Happy 24th birthday Ben and Hannah!


  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g soft butter
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp boiling water
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa, I used Lindt 90% cocoa), broken into pieces
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 3 Cadbury’s flakes, each cut into 3 equal lengths, to decorate.
  • 2 x 17cm (7 in) deep sandwich tins, greased with sunflower oil and lined with grease proof baking paper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the cocoa in separate mixing bowl, and add the water a little at a time to make a stiff paste. Add to the cake mixture and mix well.
  4. Turn into the prepared tins, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins, or until shrinking away from the sides of the tin and springy to the touch. Check the cakes are cooked properly by inserting a skewer – if it comes out clean, they are ready.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.
  6. To make the icing: measure the cream and chocolate into a bowl and carefully melt over a pan of hot water over a low heat, or gently in the microwave for 1 min (600w microwave). Stir until melted, then set aside to cool a little and to thicken up.
  7. To ice the cake: spread the apricot jam on the top of each cake. Spread half of the ganache icing on the top of the jam on one of the cakes, then lay the other cake on top, sandwiching them together.
  8. Use the remaining ganache icing to ice the top of the cake in a swirl pattern.


Do you have a cheap, fresh and easy recipe I can try? Let me know and I’ll feature it on the site and link back to you.

You can also follow on Twitter @CheapFreshandEasy and Instagram  (cheapfreshandeasy) and you can use the hashtag #cheapfreshandeasy in your own posts and I will leave a comment for you.

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