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Chocolate cake recipe by Helen Rebanks

As the weather gets frosty in the run up to Christmas, it’s the perfect time of year for some warming, cosy recipes. Try Helen Rebanks' easy chocolate cake from her new book, The Farmer's Wife.

Prep 25 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Serves 8



For the cake:

175g/6oz softened butter

175g/6oz soft brown sugar

3 eggs

150g/5oz self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

30g/1oz cocoa powder

50g/2oz dark chocolate

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

For the icing:

225g/8oz softened butter

225g/8oz icing sugar

225g/8oz dark chocolate, melted


  1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C/gas 5. Grease and line 2 x 20cm

sandwich tins.

2. Whisk the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or by hand until

light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved into the butter.

3. Add in the eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and whisk

again until combined.

4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering


5. Stir the vanilla, milk and melted chocolate through the cake mixture

until fully combined. Split the cake mixture between the tins and

smooth down gently with a spatula.

6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20–30 minutes until risen and a

skewer comes out clean.

7. Make the icing. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and

whizz until blended and smooth. A hand whisk or stand mixer works

well too.

8. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing, then use half the icing

to fill the cake and half to top it.

The Farmer's Wife

A poetic memoir about motherhood, food and love with over fifty recipes. Set over one day in Helen Rebank's life on her farm in the Lake District.

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