Chocolate cake

Adam Liaw’s Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe

A good chocolate cake will never let you down. The little black dress for desserts doesn’t need to be faked at all, but I like to accessorize it with just a few sprinkles on top.


75 g butter, plus extra for greasing the molds

475 g (2 cups) caster sugar

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

250ml milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

300 g (2 cups) plain flour

1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

For the chocolate icing

250g softened butter

400g icing sugar

½ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

50ml heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of flaked salt


1. Heat your oven to 160°C convection (180°C conventional). Butter and line the bottom of two 24 cm round moulds. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add vegetable oil, eggs, milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda into a separate bowl, then add the salt and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Add 200ml boiling water and stir for 30 seconds to combine. Divide the batter between the two cake pans and place it on the same rack of your oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then unmold onto a wire rack and cool completely.

3. For the glaze, combine the ingredients in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then beat on high speed for an additional minute.

4. To assemble the cake, spread one layer of frosting on one cake and invert the other on top. Spread the top of the other cake generously and also cover the sides of the cakes. Sprinkle with sprinkles to serve.

Adam’s advice Hollandaise cocoa powder is much darker in color than other types of cocoa powder and will give your cake and frosting a rich, luxurious color. Look for it on the labels of major brands.

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