How to Make a Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

As a Filipino expat, one of the things I miss the most is the chocolate cake from Goldilocks and Red Ribbon. I find UK bakery cakes loaded with too much sugar so I thought I need to learn how to bake to create the Filipino taste. I started by getting all the necessary baking equipment from mixing bowl to electric hand mixer. Next thing I did was to research and see what UK brands I could use for that moist chocolate cake. I started baking chocolate cakes in August of this year and in just one month; I was able to bake 3 chocolate cakes and 48 cupcakes! After all the research, trials and experiments I’ve done, I think I found the recipe for that ultimate chocolate cake that would taste like my favourite cakes back home. Let me share with you how to bake using UK ingredients and measurements.

For a three-layered chocolate cake, you would need the following:


3  9-inch circular baking tray

Measuring cups

Weighing scale

Large Mixing bowl

Electric mixer/manual whisk

Flexible plastic spatula

Angled Spatula (For frosting)

Drying Rack

Sieve (I use stainless steel strainer)

Greaseproof paper (optional)


For the cake mix:

450 grams all-purpose flour

500 grams castor sugar

155 grams cocoa powder*

4 large eggs

1 tbsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp salt

350ml milk

1 tsp white vinegar

350ml warm water

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:

250 grams unsalted butter

200 grams cream cheese, softened

280 grams powdered sugar

155 grams cocoa powder*

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 176°C
  2. Prepare the buttermilk – In 350ml milk, add 1tsp white vinegar. Stir well and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Butter coat the sides of the cake trays and put greaseproof paper on the base. If you do not have greaseproof paper, you can butter coat the base too and dust it with flour then tap the excess out.
  4. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixer using low speed until combined. I sieve the flour and cocoa powder to make sure there will be no lumps in the cake.
  5. Add the eggs, buttermilk, warm water, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Mix them all together using medium speed for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the three pans. This mixture will fill 3 x 9-inch cake trays. Each pan can contained 3 cups of batter but I use the weighing scale to make sure all three has the same amount.
  7. Bake for 30-33 minutes. While it’s being baked, you can enjoy watching but NEVER open the oven door. Once out of the oven, you can check if the cakes are cooked by sticking a toothpick in and it should come out clean.
  8. Place the pans onto the racks and let cool for about 15 minutes and turn out the cakes to the racks to allow them to cool completely.
  9. As you wait for the cakes to cool down, you can prepare the frosting – In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until it gets fluffy. Use a hand mixer for best result.
  10. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  11. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add milk for consistency. The frosting should be thick and if you wish to make it even more thick, you can refrigerate it.
  12. Once the cakes have cooled down completely, apply the cake frosting in between the layers, the top and the sides. Decorate it as you like.

* Choose a high quality cocoa powder brand because the taste of the cake would depend on it. For this cake, I used Bournville cocoa powder. I used the Asda brand cocoa powder before and that is surprisingly good too.

8 thoughts on “How to Make a Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

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