To celebrate the return of The Great British Bake Off last night, we thought we would share with you our very own showstopping birthday cake, a family favourite here at Chococo! 

The cake is an updated version of the birthday cake that co-founder Claire's mum used to make when Claire and her sister were teenagers, however this gorgeous chocolate cake has a bit of a fruity twist on the original.

Finished off with a pile of fresh cherries, raspberries & blueberries in the middle & dusted it all with icing sugar... it's not quite the explosion of colouful icing as seen on last night's programme, but it still looks like a real showstopper!


225ml milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
200g plain flour
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
75g cocoa powder
100g soft unsalted butter
3 large beaten eggs (at room temperature)
100g light muscovado sugar
125g golden caster sugar


125g marscapone
125g passionfruit or lemon curd


200g 67% dark chocolate (buy here)
250ml double cream (have some extra to hand in case it splits - see below)
30g unsalted butter

x2 20 cm cake tins, greased & dusted with cocoa powder

Pre heat the oven to 180 C, 350 F, Gas mark 4


  • Pour the milk into a jug, add the lemon juice and leave to sour whilst you prepare the rest of the cake
  •  Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder together into a bowl
  •  Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy & light in colour
  •  Gradually add the beaten eggs to the sugar & butter mixture
  •  Alternately fold in the soured milk and flour to the egg mixture until all mixed together.
  •  Divide the cake mix between the two tins and tap them to ensure they are level
  •  Check the cakes after 25 minutes. They are ready when a skewer comes out clean and the sponge bounces back when you touch it.
  •  Leave in the tins for approx 10 minutes before turning out to cool
  • While the cakes are cooling, make the filling

The filling:

  • Mix the marscapone & curd together until you have a smooth mixture
  • When the cakes are cold, sandwich together with this mixture
  • If necessary, put the cake in the fridge until you are ready to decorate it with the ganache to stop this filling getting too soft

The ganache:

  • Melt the chocolate, cream & butter very slowly together in a large heavy based pan, stirring gently until the chocolate melts into the cream & you have a smooth emulsion. 
  • Take off the heat & leave to cool - it will thicken up as it cools
  • If it splits on you (the emulsion starts to separate), add more warmed cream until it recombines into a glossy emulsion
  • Once it has started to thicken, pour over the top of the cake & use a large metal spatula to spread it around the sides of the cake too. 

To serve, it’s up to you - fresh fruit, icing sugar, chocolate malt balls, chocolate curls, coloured chocolate beans, silver balls, traditional sweeties, sparklers…be creative according to the age of your audience!