Women’s Weekly Family Chocolate Cake




Years ago, my friend Amy made this cake for one of her children’s birthdays while I was at her house for a cuppa. She baked and I watched from the breakfast bar while sipping tea – one of my favourite things to do with friends, whether I’m the one cooking or watching! I took the recipe home that day and have been making it ever since. This moist and chocolatey cake is so fudgey and the cake itself is absolutely as good as the frosting! It makes a whopping great big slab, baked in a roasting dish. Terrific for large crowds or dividing up for a multitude of school lunches, this one freezes fabulously.

  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 3 cups (660g) caster sugar
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 3 cups (450g) self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 90g butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1½ cups (240g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
  1.  Preheat oven to moderate. Grease deep 26.5cm x 33cm (14 cup/3.5 litres) baking dish: line base with baking paper.
  2. Combine the water, sugar, butter and combined sifted cocoa powder and soda in medium saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl; cool to room temperature.
  3. Add flour and egg to bowl; beat with electric mixer until mixture is smooth and changed to a paler colour. Pour mixture into prepared dish.
  4. Bake cake in moderate oven about 50 minutes. Stand cake in baking dish 10 minutes, before turning onto wire rack; turn cake top-side up to cool. Spread cold cake with fudge frosting.

Fudge frosting:

  1. Combine butter, water and caster sugar in small saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Sift icing sugar and cocoa powder into small bowl then gradually stir in hot butter mixture. Cover; refrigerate about 20 minutes or until frosting thickens. Beat with wooden spoon until spreadable.

TIP: Choose a perfectly level-bottomed baking dish; one made from cast aluminium is the best choice, but almost any type will work. If the cake appears to be cooking too quickly in the corners of the pan, reduce oven temperature to moderately slow; this will increase cooking time by up to 15 minutes.


About foodthatserves

Welcome! My name is Jane and I'm a wife, mother and daughter of God. I love using my time to tell people about Jesus and cook food that gathers people together to glorify him. Here you'll find the recipes and resources I find most helpful: easy to make, modify and budget friendly. If you'd like to contribute a recipe that you've tested and fits these criteria please feel free to send your contribution to foodthatserves@gmail.com.

8 responses »

  1. I still make this when I need a very big cake! The other baking dish sized cake I make is Nigella’s coconut cake. It is also easy and good 🙂

  2. Hi, I tried making this cake once, and it tasted really good, but I had trouble trying to turn the cake out because of the size of the pan and it broke up a bit. Any ideas for what I might be doing wrong?

    • My initial thoughts are:
      1. Make sure you line the whole tray with baking paper (not just grease and or flour)
      2. Let it completely cool in the tray before turning out
      3. Turn it out onto a large chopping board so that the paper side is in the air. Peel paper off slowly
      4. Invert onto serving plate or wire rack for icing, or simply ice with the bottom side up.

      This is how I do it and haven’t had any problems when done this way.
      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi there,

    I just found your blog and tried this recipe today. I made it gluten and dairy free by substituting the butter for nuttelex and flour for gluten free self raising and gluten free icing sugar.

    It was lovely and enjoyed by everyone.


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