Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake.

This is Nigella Lawson’s recipe for old-fashioned chocolate cake – I haven’t changed a thing! Except to cut the recipe in half, since hers makes a nice big double-layer cake. My sister and I decided to exercise some self-control and make just a small one for our little dinner party. We used a pretty big pan and then cut the unfrosted cake in half and stacked it, so that we had a two layer half-cake, but you can of course play around with shape and stacking if you like. And feel free to double my amounts for a full-sized, two layer cake. Either way, you’ll get a light and fluffy cake with a sweet, chocolatey frosting – an old-fashioned dessert that would make our chocolate cake-inventing foremothers good and proud!



for cake:
3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/6 cup cocoa powder
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature

for frosting:
3 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature

Just the Recipe link: Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine all cake ingredients in a food processor and blitz.¬†Pour into a greased springform cake pan (or two pans, if you’re doubling the recipe).


Bake for about 15 minutes for a small cake, and up to 30 minutes for a larger cake. The baking time will change depending on the size pan you use, so use a toothpick to check the middle for doneness every once in a while.


Let the cake cool completely. Then, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler. When smooth and cool, stir in the vanilla, corn syrup, sour cream, and powdered sugar.

At this point, we cut our cake in half, right down the center, so that we had a half moon-shaped cake with 2 layers. However you’re doing it, frost the cake to your liking.


Nigella topped this cake with cute little sugar flowers. I didn’t have any (though it would have been pretty adorable), so I used pomegranate seeds. You really don’t need to garnish with anything – either way, it tastes awesome and is maybe the easiest from-scratch cake I’ve ever made!
*Serving tip: I think cold chocolate cake is pretty unbeatable. We put our cake in the fridge for 2 hours before serving it, and it makes a huge difference. The frosting becomes thick and almost ice cream-like, and the cake itself also takes on a creamier quality. Give it a try!