• Easy chocolate cakes (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
Meet our everyday baker Anneka Manning. Each month, she'll be sharing her baking rituals, modern and ancient, and baking techniques from around the world. This month, she shares her easy chocolate cakes.
Anneka Manning

12 Mar 2015 - 5:08 PM  UPDATED 31 Mar 2015 - 11:16 AM

OK, so I think I need to disclose this before we begin – I am somewhat of a chocolate cake devotee. There might be times when I prefer a luscious lemon syrup cake, a classic sponge filled with jam and cream or even a dainty little peach cupcake but, usually, it’s chocolate cake all the way for me.

The 1970s-style chocolate cake I grew up with was sponge-like and simple, certainly not rich. It was an easy-to-devour type of cake, often spread with a no-fuss chocolate buttercream. It was good.

Well, that’s what I thought until my horizons widened and I was introduced to a whole world of alternative and quite wonderful chocolate cakes. From the richer-than-rich Mississippi mud cake and refined Sachertorte of the '80s, to the classic devil’s food cake and surprisingly good chocolate beetroot cake of the '90s, and beyond to heavenly chocolate roll, old-fashioned chocolate cake, over-the-top black forest gateau, fudgy and decadent brownies, chocolate meringue torte, red velvet cupcakes, flourless and nutty chocolate cake, and mousse-centred  cake. Yes, every one of those and many more have crossed my path and my taste buds.

So, you see, chocolate cakes are one of my food obsessions. And, as such, I would like to share six of my favourites here. They are all surprisingly easy to make and there really is something here for everyone.

For those who love the simple things in life with the occasional surprise, my cinnamon chocolate marble cake is for you. If you are feeling grown-up and in need of something slightly exotic, the choc-orange loaf with chocolate glaze will be your thing. Wanting to be part of the trend? Mix up my chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting. And my melt-and-mix chocolate cake is perfect for a reliable, crowd-pleasing cake to add to your repertoire. The rich, fudgy and good-looking black and white brownies are for indulging one small piece at a time. And for those who are after low commitment but high returns, I would highly recommend my rich flourless hazelnut chocolate cake.

Come to think of it, every one of these recipes will fit the bill if you’re looking for a chocolate cake that is dead-easy, completely addictive and a guaranteed winner. Have fun baking them all and proving me right!



Easy chocolate cake recipes

1. Choc-orange loaf with chocolate glaze


2. Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

3. Cinnamon chocolate marble cake

4. Black and white brownies

5. Melt and mix chocolate coconut cake

6. Rich flourless hazelnut chocolate cake


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Lou Fay.


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