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Hot chocolate cake

04 September 2018

This warmly spiced chocolate cake is reminiscent of a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate cake
Hot chocolate cake. Photography by Susanna Blåvarg.

Cooking time

25-30 minutes




For the cake

  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 375ml boiling water
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 335g plain flour
  • 11/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (optional)

For the filling

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 450g icing sugar, sifted
  • 75g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4–5 tbsp whole milk

For the decoration

  • 300ml double cream
  • Handful of vegetarian mini marshmallows
  • 10g 70% dark chocolate, grated
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting

You will need

  • 20cm round cake tins x 3, greased, then base-lined with baking paper; large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle


Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/ Gas 4. Put the cocoa powder, 150g of the caster sugar and the boiling water in a jug and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream the butter and remaining caster sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne, if using, together in another bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat well to combine. Repeat twice more, using 1/3 of the flour mixture each time and beating well between each addition.

Fold in the cocoa and sugar mixture until fully combined. Divide the cake batter equally between the 3 lined tins and bake for 25–30 minutes, until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven, leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks. Peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.

To make the filling, whisk all the ingredients together, until light and aerated (it should look like bubbles in hot chocolate). Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions, using 2 portions to sandwich the cakes together and the third to cover the top and sides.

To decorate the cake, whip the cream to firm peaks, then spoon it into a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe swirls of cream over the top of the cake, then sprinkle with mini marshmallows and the grated chocolate, and dust with cinnamon.

The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family is out now, published by Sphere price £20.00

Great British Bake Off: Baking for Friends and Family 

Visit our baking recipe section for more cakes, pastries, tarts and biscuits.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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