Artisan's Secret Favourite Cake Recipes

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You’ve found the secret cake page! These are Artisan’s tried and tested favourite cakes. The secret is out, but now it’s time to get creative. You have to try one or try them all.

1. The Best Chocolate Cake {EVER}

2. Ginger Fluff Sponge Cake 


3. Very Best Vanilla Cake - stays moist 4 days!






1. The Best Chocolate Cake {EVER}

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe – A one bowl chocolate cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Updated with gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options!

The best chocolate cake recipe. Ever? There are plenty of claims for the best chocolate cake recipe. But with one bite of this decadent, moist chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, every single person around the table commented that this was the best chocolate cake they’d ever tasted.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe (Below)



  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

For the chocolate cake:


Step 1 - Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.


Step 2 - Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.


Step 3 - Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.


Step 4 - Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.


Step 5 -  Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. (Recipe for frosting below)



The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted! xo


Freezer Friendly

Let the baked cake layers cool completely. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put each layer into a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight with wrapping intact. The next day, the layers are ready to fill and frost.




For the frosting:



  • 1½ cups butter 3 sticks, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder




Step 1 - Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.


Step 2 - Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.


Step 3 - Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.


Step 4 -  Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well


Step 5 -  If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.


Source: Add a pinch:









2. Ginger Fluff Sponge Cake




  • 5 eggs (use duck eggs for a super high one like this or chicken eggs for a more regular sized one), separated
  • 1 cup caster or superfine sugar, divided in two
  • 3/4 cup cornflour or fine cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons plain all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup, warmed slightly
  • 300ml/10.6flozs. cream
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • Chocolate shavings to decorate




Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line 2x 20cm/8inch round tins on the base and sides. Whip the egg whites until foamy and soft peaks form. Then add half of the sugar and whip until glossy and firm. Then add the yolks and the rest of the sugar and whip until triple the size and very light and airy.


Step 2 - Sift in the cornflour, flour, baking powder and spices in three lots. Fold this into the egg mixture making sure that it is well incorporated - I often find little streaks of flour hiding at the bottom and folding the flour in takes time. Add the tablespoon of golden syrup. Divide evenly among the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the centre springs back when touched. Cool and remove from tin. You can make these the day before and wrap them or you can freeze the cooled cakes too.


Step 3 - Whip the cream with the golden syrup until you get a thick, spreadable, billowy whipped cream filling. Sandwich the two cakes together with the cream and pipe some on top. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.


Source: Not Quite Nigella:






3. Very Best Vanilla Cake - stays moist 4 days!



  • 2 cups plain / all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs (50 - 55g / 2 oz each), at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups caster / superfine sugar
  • 115g / 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup milk , full fat 
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract , the best you can afford
  • 3 tsp vegetable or canola oil


Ingredients for Vanilla Buttercream

  • 225g / 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 500g / 1 lb soft icing sugar / powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 - 4 tbsp milk




Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) for 20 minutes before starting the batter (Note 8). Place shelf in the middle of the oven.

Step 2 - Grease 2 x 20cm / 8” cake pans with butter, then line with parchment / baking paper. (Note 9 more pan sizes) Best to use cake pan without loose base, if you can.



Step 3 - Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.


Step 4 - Beat eggs for 30 seconds on speed 6 of a Stand Mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or hand beater.

Step 5 - With the beater still going, pour the sugar in over 45 seconds.

Step 6 - Then beat for 7 minutes on speed 8, or until tripled in volume and white.


Step 7 - Heat Milk-Butter: While egg is beating, place butter and milk in a heatproof jug and microwave 2 minutes on high to melt butter (or use stove). Do not let milk bubble and boil (foam ok). Don’t do this ahead and let the milk cool (this affects rise).

Step 8 - Gently add flour: When the egg is whipped, scatter 1/3 flour across surface, then beat on Speed 1 for 5 seconds. Add half remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 sec. Add remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 - 10 sec until the flour is just mixed in. Once you can’t see flour, stop straight away.

Step 9 - Lighten hot milk with some Egg Batter: Pour hot milk, vanilla and oil into the now empty flour bowl. Add about 1 1/2 cups (2 ladles or so) of the Egg Batter into the Milk-Butter (don't need to be 100% accurate with amount). Use a whisk to mix until smooth - you can be vigorous here. Will look foamy.

Step 10 - Slowly add milk: Turn beater back on Speed 1 then pour the Milk mixture into the Egg Batter over 15 seconds, then turn beater off.

Step 11 - Scrape and final mix: Scrape down sides and base of bowl. Beat on Speed 1 for 10 seconds - batter should now be smooth and pourable.


Step 12 - Pour batter into pans.

Step 13 - Knock out bubbles: Bang each cake pan on the counter 3 times to knock out big bubbles (Note 10 for why)

Step 14 - Bake 30 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.


Step 15 - Remove from oven. Cool in cake pans for 15 minutes, then gently turn out onto cooling racks. If using as layer cakes, cool upside down - slight dome will flatten perfectly. Level cake = neat layers.

Step 16 - Frost with frosting of choice, or cream and fresh berries or jam. See list of ideas in post!


Step 17 - Beat butter with whisk attachment in stand mixer for 1 minute until creamy. Add icing sugar / powdered sugar in 3 lots, beating slowly (to avoid a powder storm) then once mostly incorporated, beat on high for a full 3 minutes until fluffy.

Step 18 - Add vanilla and milk, then beat for a further 30 seconds. Use milk to make it lovely and soft but still holds it's form (eg for piping). Use immediately. (If you make ahead, refrigerate then beat to re-fluff).


Source: Recipe Tin Eats: