The childhood chocolate cake is a classic, easy to make chocolate cake recipe for kids. It can be made with no equipment and also makes good cupcakes.
Chocolate cake recipe for kids
I’m very big on Birthdays.
For me (only me) it’s more like a Birthday week than a Birth-DAY.
It means that I can have Birthday cake for multiple days.
One cake we’ve been having for as long as I can remember is the childhood chocolate cake.
If a rich cake is more your thing then you might want to have a look at my best ever chocolate mud cake recipe.
I think my sister named this cake a few years back.
It’s the first chocolate cake we ever made (a great recipe for kids to make) and was a regular feature in our childhood hence ‘the childhood chocolate cake.’
The best thing was the week after a Birthday when we’d sometimes get a slice for morning tea in our school lunch boxes.
Why make this kid-friendly chocolate cake
- It’s really simple – so simple kids can make it themselves (with a bit of help for the oven part).
- Delicious – I wouldn’t share a recipe that wasn’t!
- Freezable – this kids chocolate cake recipe freezes well for lunchboxes. It’s best to wrap slices in plastic wrap and freeze individually.
- Regular ingredients – you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already.
- No special equipment – a mixer does make it easier but this can be a one bowl chocolate cake.
Ingredients to make Easy chocolate cake for kids
Butter – We use pure butter- the type you get in a block wrapped in foil. It can be stored on the kitchen bench unless it’s really hot.
Sugar – Caster sugar is best but you can use any sugar you have on hand.
Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract is the preference over vanilla essence (which is thinned out with sugar syrup usually).
Egg – Free-range egg at room temperature.
Self-raising flour – Or use regular plain (all-purpose) flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder added for every 1/2 cup of flour.
Cocoa – For the chocolate flavour. You can use cacao also but the flavour is a little different.
Milk – Full-fat is best.
Ingredients to make simple chocolate icing
Icing sugar – also known as confectioner’s or powdered sugar. You can buy it or make your own icing sugar.
Cocoa – Same as above you can use cacao if that’s all you have.
Butter – The good stuff – pure butter, definitely not margarine.
Boiling water – Freshly boiled, filtered water.
Sprinkles – We like to use naturally-coloured sprinkles. This is just for decoration so feel free to decorate however you like.
Tips for perfecting this simple chocolate cake recipe
Make sure you to grease and line the cake tin so it doesn’t stick.
It’s best eaten on the day of baking and makes lovely little cupcakes too – a classic, easy chocolate cake to please all ages.
Chocolate cake recipe variations
- Cupcakes – this recipe will make 12 cupcakes. They take about 15 minutes to cook or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Fancy icing – if you want to make the basic chocolate cake a little fancier, ice it with chocolate fudge icing made with real chocolate.
- Chocolate swirl cake – for a little surprise when you cut into this cake, make it a marble cake! Leave the cocoa out and complete all the steps. Divide the batter in half and mix the cocoa into one half. Alternate blobs of white and chocolate batter into the tin then use a skewer to gently mix it up.
Looking for a simple gluten-free (& nut-free) chocolate cake recipe? Check out our kidney bean chocolate cake.
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
- 3 tbsp cocoa, sifted
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup icing (confectioner's sugar)
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp butter
- Boiling water
- Pre-heat the oven to 175C (380F) fan-forced and grease and line a 20cm (9") cake tin.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy then add the vanilla.
- Scrape down the sides and mix in the egg.
- Add half the flour and cocoa and mix it through then add half the milk. Repeat with the rest.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, combine all the ingredients and add a little extra water at a time until it is spreadable.
- Ice the cake then decorate with sprinkles.