Chocolate Tray Bake


This recipe makes a fantastic dairy-free chocolate cake, perfectly suited for birthday parties. It keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator and freezes brilliantly (always freeze without the icing).

Preparation 25 minutes (actual work time is about 10 minutes). Baking time 35 minutes. Serves 20

You will need- a roasting tin or a large tray bake tin approx. 23cm X 30cm X 4cm. A measuring jug. Measuring spoons (useful if you have them). A large mixing bowl. A small mixing bowl. Hand held electric mixer. Balloon whisk. Large metal spoon. Greaseproof paper or baking parchment.


 75g Cocoa powder (check it is good quality and there is no dairy)

¾ tsp (7.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

4 medium eggs

370g dark muscavado sugar

180ml vegetable oil (rapeseed for preference)

200g self raising flour

The icing- 150g dark chocolate (check dairy-free), 3 tablespoons (45ml) almond or oat milk.


 1) Pour 200ml of boiling water into a medium mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder. Whisk frantically with the balloon whisk until all the lumps are removed.

2) Add the bicarbonate of soda to the cocoa mixture and whisk again to incorporate. Leave on one side to cool for 20 minutes.

3) Preheat the oven to 160oC fan (gas mark 4). Pour a tablespoon of oil into the tin and coat the tin in oil using a piece of kitchen roll. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment.

4) In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the sugar together until the mixture is smooth and all sugary lumps are removed. Add the oil and whisk again. Add the cooled cocoa and whisk again.

5) Sift the flour into the mixture and gently fold the flour into the mixture until you have a runny chocolatey mix. Be warned- it is very runny!

6) Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tray and bake in the preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes until it has risen and is firm.

7) Take the cake out of the oven and test that it is done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake- if it comes out clean the cake is done. If there is a bit of sticky cocoa mixture on the skewer it needs to go back in the oven, probably for another 5 minutes and then test again.

8) When the cake is done, Run a knife around the edge of the cake and the tin. Allow the cake to cool in the tin and then transfer to a cutting board. If you are freezing the cake (make sure it is completely cool first) you can wrap it in foil now and freeze without the icing.

9) To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a small simmering saucepan of water. Add the almond milk and stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. Pour the chocolate icing over the cooled cake and decorate any way you like.


Have a great time at the party X

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