Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday afternoon treat

Sundays used to be all about the cake when I was a little girl.  I can picture my mum now, standing in the kitchen with her apron on and stirring in a bowl or another.  Every now and again little fingers would appear out of nowhere trying to steal a bit of the delicious mix she was creating.  And soon after the lovely smell of cake baking in the oven would fill the house.  She always made the time to bake for us - amazing really when I think that she brought the five of us up by herself after my father passed away.  But in doing so she lay the foundations for our appreciation of homemade food and shared meals.  Sitting around the table on a Sunday afternoon with her baked goodies, telling stories and laughing is one of my fondest memories.  And now, when she comes to visit us here, we still keep up our little tradition, only this time I return the favour and serve one of my cakes.

The following recipe is one of those baked treats she used to make for us and it is still a favourite now.  Easily put together, it can be baked in a loaf tin, square or rectangular tin as I have done here.  You can cover it in chocolate icing and decorate it or leave it plain - it is yummy and moist and quite different to chocolate brownies but definitely worth trying, I think.

Chocolate Cake
(made in a 22cm x 17cm x 4.5cm rectangular roasting/baking tin but you can use a loaf / square / round tin)


200g plain flour
200g sugar (either caster or granulated - both work equally well)

2 - 3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, medium size
250g margarine or butter, melted
200ml of strong coffee - use either freshly brewed coffee or make up out of instant coffee

  1. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients; then add the eggs.
  2. Pour in the hot coffee and then add the melted margarine/butter.
  3. Stir to combine and then pour the mix into a lined baking tin.
  4. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes* at a medium heat (appr0x. 160c in a fan oven).
  5. Leave to cool on a wire rack and once cool, decorate with chocolate icing (if using)
*when I bake this in a rectangular tin, it's usually done after 50 minutes.  Just check after 50mins by sticking a skewer into the middle of the cake - if it comes out clean, the cake is done.  Otherwise, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes.

For the chocolate icing (optional):
Mix 2 tbsp of icing sugar with 1 tbsp cocoa powder and add 1 tbsp of water.  Mix to a paste and add more water and/or icing sugar until you have the consistency of syrup or runny honey.  Spread on the cooled cake and leave to dry.


  1. Hello Kirsten, this was a lovely story to read an even more poignant that you now bake for your mother. I am so glad I have found your blog, this recipe sounds like a wonderful treat. Can I ask, should I use caster sugar? I might serve it with raspberries and custard! While I am using this amount of butter, I might as well forget about the calories :-)

    1. Hi Ann! Thank you so much - I am glad you liked the post and the recipe. My mum still does bake a lot but it's nice that I can now bake for her as well :-)
      You can use caster or granulated sugar - it doesn't really matter in this recipe. You can also chuck the ingredients in in any order - again, it makes no difference to the end result. Nice & easy! Raspberries & custard sound lovely with it :-)

    2. Oh, and I used your comment to update the recipe regarding the sugar, so it'll be clearer for anyone else wanting to try it. Kirsten x

  2. What a lovely memory. Sounds like you grew up in a beautiful family. I like the way you decorated your cake.

    1. I feel very lucky that I did! And thank you for liking the cake decorations - I used the chocolate icing as per the recipe and then some small sugar balls I found at the local supermarket.

  3. Sounds like our kitchen in the 50's and 60's when my sister and I must have been more of a hindrance than a help to our busy Mum. We thoroughly enjoyed taking it in turns to lick the bowl or the wooden spoon and we still reminisce about our childhood antics 50 years later.

    1. Nothing better than licking out the bowl but probably really not very helpful for our poor mums :-) It's lovely to have childhood memories like ours though, isn't it?

  4. Ooh, yummy! What a sweet memory you have, and a wonderful mom. Thanks for sharing your recipes! -Jaime

    1. Thank you Jaime - my mum is great :-) How lovely of you to come by - your blog & photos are so beautiful! Kirsten