Our everyday chocolate cake

When you just need a chocolate cake to keep the family happy, this is it. There are no special ingredients: everything this cake needs is almost always in the cupboard. And best of all, everyone likes it.

I’ve taken this to parties, church fetes, work morning teas, playgroups, you name it. It’s always a hit.

This contains egg: it’s been only in the past couple of years we’ve started leaving eggs out of cakes. If there’s sufficient demand, I might try to work out an egg-free version that keeps the rich, moist, crumbly texture that marks this cake out as something special.

Our everyday chocolate cake: rich, moist and delightfully crumbly

Our everyday chocolate cake: rich, moist and delightfully crumbly

Our everyday chocolate cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa (that’s plain, 100% cocoa)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup of caster sugar
  • ½ cup of oil (use something mild-flavoured, not your best olive oil)
  • ½ up of soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • icing: 1 tablespoon of cocoa mixed with 4 tablespoons of icing sugar and water, dried coconut (shredded or the finer desiccated is fine)


  1. To make the cake: Mix everything together (NOT including the icing!).
  2. The cake mix is quite runny, but that’s okay. Pour the mix into a greased and lined 20 cm round cake tin.
  3. Bake in a 180 degree C (350F) oven for about 45-50 minutes. Check it at 40 minutes if your oven runs a bit hot.
  4. Wait for the cake to cool, then put it on a plate to get ready for the icing.
  5. To make the icing: Mix the cocoa and sugar together with enough water to make a smooth, runny paste. Spread this on the cake. Sprinkle as much coconut as you can on the cake.


We don’t bother sifting anything, but if the weather is really, really humid, you might have to sift the cocoa. usually any lumps disappear in the mixing.

The original recipe with notes - Chocolate cake with oil

The original recipe with notes – Chocolate cake with oil

If you’re not a fan of oil, you can just use the same amount of melted butter. It’s no big deal.

Source: Heavily modified from the recipe for ‘Chocolate cake with oil’ in the Australian Family Circle’s Favourite Cake Recipes, Murdoch Books: Sydney, 1991.

How much has it changed? Well, have a look (you can click on it if you really want to read my wonderful writing). I’m sure the original is great, but I’ve never tried it.

Our everyday chocolate cake

Our everyday chocolate cake

6 thoughts on “Our everyday chocolate cake

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