Moon Bakes: One-hour chocolate cake recipe

This deceptively simple one-hour chocolate cake can easily be rustled up to cope with any sudden hosting emergencies, and can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion!


Chocolate cakes come in many guises, from children’s party birthday traybakes to rich tortes with mirror-glaze icing. Some are more complicated than others but a centerpiece cake takes time to prepare.

This all-in-one recipe could scarcely be more simple, is moist, delicious and takes just an hour to make. We’ve given a version with an easy frosting to make sure it stays within the time frame, but really the cake is a blank canvas on which to ring the changes. Children might like added chocolate chips or a chocolate peanut-butter frosting, while adults might enjoy grated orange zest in the mix, with the juice helping to make an orange curd filling. The choices are almost endless but this is the one-hour special!


Makes 12-16 servings


For the cake

– 75g cocoa powder
– 125ml hot water
– 4 eggs
– 250g caster sugar
– 250g butter, softened and cut in pieces
– 275g self-rising flour
– 1¼ tsp baking powder
– 1tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting

– 200g unsalted butter, softened
– 200g icing/confectioner’s sugar
– 5tbsp cocoa powder
– 3 tbsp plain yogurt
– 90g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled



Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (160C/320F fan). Lightly grease and line two 20cm (8 in) cake tins. 

For the cake 

1. In a large bowl, mix the cocoa powder into a paste with the hot water. Add all the remaining cake ingredients. Beat until smooth and fully combined – an electric hand mixer is best for this step.
2. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and give the bases a little tap on the work surface to help knock out any air pockets. Bake for 30 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
3. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their tins for about 10 mins, then loosen and tip them onto a wire rack to cool.

For the frosting

1. Put the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and yogurt into a food processor and blitz until blended. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth.
2. Spread into and onto the cake and decorate. There should be enough frosting to pipe swirls on the cake if required, but if it’s for children, let them loose with colored candies and sprinkles.



American-style chocolate chip cookies
Zingy carrot-cake traybake
Quick and easy banana muffin recipe
– Almond & chickpea energy balls
– Date, almond & fig energy balls
– Carrot, ginger & turmeric smoothie


Tell us what you think…

Did you enjoy this recipe, or have a recipe of your own to share with us? We’d love to hear. Send us a message in the comments below and we’ll be in touch.


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