The best lockdown birthday cake

For more than 6 years I have been searching for the best chocolate cake and I can finally say that I have found it! So delicious and so easy, moist and not too rich. All I had to do was to google chocolate cake by Donal Skehan. Click HERE to see the original recipe or see below our smaller variation (as we are still in the lockdown and it was only four of us, I made a smaller version).

Here is what I used:

100g self-raising flour

2 spoons cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

75g brown sugar

2 medium eggs

75ml sunflower oil

75ml milk

1 spoon honey

For the chocolate filling:

50g unsalted butter

200g cream cheese

2 big spoons icing sugar

1 spoon cacao powder


Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, soda, cacao powder and sugar). 

Whisk shortly the rest of the ingredients (oil, milk, honey and eggs). 

Add to the dry mixture and whisk shortly or until all incorporated and nicely smooth (I used a hand whisk).

Poor the mixture to the cake tin. Don’t forget to grease it (I always put a baking paper/parchment at the bottom of the tin. I used a round cake tin – 18cm.)

Baking time

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, check with a skewer or tap at the top so it is not too soft. Also do not over bake it – I think this has been my problem for years 🙂 then the sponge is just too dry. The cake might rise a bit but I would not worry too much about it, you can simply cover it with the icing.

The icing:

It could be a bit tricky with the butter, I almost always get the little butter lumps in the icing instead of nice smooth mixture. I have read somewhere that the key is to have the butter at room temperature and the other cream cheese not too cold too. 

Beat both the butter and the cream cheese until nicely soft, sift the 2 spoons of icing sugar and the cacao powder into the mixture and beat well until smooth. Spread the icing on the top of the cake (optional you can top it with some sprinkles or whatever your children like – it is a birthday cake after all). Ideally chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving and then enjoy 🙂



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