The girls love to help me in the kitchen; weighing things on the scale, measuring using the teaspoons, tasting as we go along. I enjoy their company and enthusiasm and we share the joy of a perfect bake. This cake is special as we baked for a very dear friend; my girls suggested we should bake a cake for her birthday but the suggestion came very last minute 🙂 Nevertheless we were all very pleased with the results and all our friends loved the cake – more so, as it was mostly done and led by my 7 year old.

Prep Time: 15 Mins

Cooking Time: 45-60 mins
Recipe Level: Easy
Spice Level: None

Serves: 8 People
Shelf Life: Refrigerate for unto a week
Serving Suggestion: With a generous helping of strawberries


Two bowl and electric mixer/ stand mixer, two 9 inch cake pans, cake plate, an offset spatula, measuring cups/ scale.



  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder/ fine ground coffee powder
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
  • 1 large pack of finger chocolates like Kitkat
  • 500 gms Strawberry pack


  • 1.25 cups (2.5 sticks or 290g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-5 Tablespoons (45-75ml) heavy cream (or half-and-half)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 salt(to taste)


Cake: Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.

  • Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. 
  • Add the expresso powder to boiling water. Stir and mix well. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  • Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees, until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

Frosting: Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 2 full minutes. This creates a creamy base for the frosting. Turn speed to LOW and slowly add 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar and the cocoa powder. Beat until sugar/cocoa are absorbed into the butter, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla and cream. Once added, turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add up to 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar if you’d like to increase the frosting’s thickness. Add 1/2tsp of salt.

  • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.  A quick job will do as we use the frosting to stick the chocolate fingers
  • Stick the chocolate fingers all around and top it with fresh strawberries in the centre


  • Unlike most cake batters, this is thin and runnier which is fine as it yields a moist and divine chocolate cake.
  • Buttermilk enhances the chocolate flavour. Buttermilk (laban) is readily available in the market, use the no salt and sugar – plain version. 
  • To save time, a simple whipped cream will do to stick on the chocolate fingers and to layer over the cake before adding strawberries.

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