Thursday, December 12, 2013

Simple Moist Chocolate Cake (and decoration tips!)

As promised, this is the recipe I used for baking the birthday cake for my little bunny who turned 2 recently. I know this is 2 weeks late, but it is better late than never, right? *wink*  

Decorated with the rainbow, clouds and figurines depicting my duo, this cake was a hit for all the kids and parents too.

You may read on more about the birthday and the Rainbow theme deco I prepared for the special day here - Little Bunny Turned 2!

Anyway, let's focus on the cake. The recipe was adopted from Joy of Baking using their Simple Chocolate Cake recipe, I made some modifications so it is less sweet to compensate for the sweetness of the fondant icing. 

Preparation time: 15 min

Baking time: 30 min
Serving for: 2 x 9" round cake 


Dry Ingredients
300g granulated white sugar  (reduced from original 400g)
245g all-purpose flour, sifted.
75g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Van Houtton cocoa powder)  
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients 

2 large eggs (size A)
240 ml warm water 
240 ml fresh milk (full cream or low fat milk alright)
120 ml vegetable / sunflowers oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 2 table spoons of strawberry chocolate chips for mixed flavor

The Making:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F  and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Brush the bottom and side of the pans with the butter or cooking oil. You may add a layer of baking sheet at the bottom of the pans to ensure easier removal later.  

2. In a large bowl (make sure it's dry), mix all dry ingredient using a spatula .

3. In another large bowl, beat the eggs till fluffy then whisk together with all the remaining wet ingredients. Gradually add the dry mixture into the wet mixture until it's well combined (should be smooth and not lumpy).

4. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 27 - 32 minutes until fully risen. Insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cake, it should come out clean. Otherwise just continue to bake for another 3 - 5 minutes.

5. Remove the pan and let the cake cool completely on the rack before start decorating.

You may noticed both my cakes are of different sizes. Well, I intend to make a 2 layer cake at first but eventually changed my mind and created 2 separate cakes instead. So 1 layer or 2 layers? Depends on number of guests really. The 9" cake was just nice to serve my 20+ guests where 1/3 of them are kids under 5yo.

This cake can be pre-baked and keep in fridge up to 3 days (could be more but may not taste fresh anymore)

Beginner's Tips for Fondant Decoration..

I am not expert in cake decoration with fondant, this is my 3rd attempts in fact. However some tips for beginner like me:
  • Keep the cake  in the fridge for at least 1 hour before starting the decoration.
  • While you may make your own fondant with icing sugar, using ready to roll fondant allows better chance of success. Just buy white fondant and mix the color yourself. 
  • You would need a cake turner and bread knife to cut off the top layer to achieve an even surface. The remaining crumbs can be eaten as-is (yummy!) or used for making cake pops.
  • The decorated cake should be kept in a dry and cool place (air-conditioned room is ideal) to avoid the fondant from melting. 
  • Ideally the fondant decoration shall be done same day or 1 day before serving.
  • If the fondant get too sticky when rolling, just sprinkle some corn starch over it and it shall be fine.
Overall I spent about 4 hours on the cake decoration (span across 2 days) and a main bulk of it was due to the details involved in making the figurines. No wonder a professionally made fondant cakes don't come cheap, a lot of effort & time required!

That's all folks, feel free to share the picture of the cake you make too for exchange of ideas ;) 


  1. The 2 little fellas on the car are really cute! Thanks for sharing, perhaps I can make something for my boy's coming birthday.