Chocolate Mocha Jo Cake

Last weekend was my next door neighbour’s birthday. Until receiving the invite to her party, I’d thought she was in her late 20’s, so when I found out she was actually going to be 40, after the initial surprise I knew I had to make an AMAZING cake to celebrate.

She’s alergic to a few random things like oranges, so I decided to play it safe with a mocha cake, as I already knew she likes chocolate and coffee.

I dug out a recipe that my mum made for my birthday when I was about 12, and although I couldn’t really remember what it was like, I knew I’d liked it so i was sure it would work.

Unfortunately, when I took the cake out of the oven, it was literally as flat as a pancake (see measuring photo below!)

A celebration cake can’t be flat, so I made another, and made 1 & 3/4 times the original amount of icing.

The finished cake turned out huge – in fact it was still being eaten 4 days after the party – and Jo was super happy with it.

I made a white chocolate ganache with creme fraiche to decorate the cake, and originally tried piping the lettters and stars onto greaseproof paper and freezing it, but they just didn’t set hard enough, so I had to pipe free-hand.

Cake decorating isn’t my greatest skill, so I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

I finished the cake by adding white chocolate stars all around the edge – a proper celebration cake!



Chocolate Mocha Jo Cake

Cake Ingredients (I doubled this to make 2 layers):

  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 75ml condensed milk
  • 30ml Camp coffee essence
Beat together the butter and sugar then gradually add in the eggs. Sift in the flour and cocoa and gently mis in with the condensed milk and coffee essence. Bake in a 9″ greased and lined tin at 180 degrees for about half an hour, until a skewer comes out clean.
Icing Ingredients:
  • 175g plain chocolate
  • 90g butter
  • 2tbsp Camp coffee essence
  • 170g tin condensed milk
Melt all the ingredients together and stir until smooth. Leave to cool until thick enough to spread, then sandwich the two cakes together and spread the rest all over the top and sides.
Decorate with white chocolate ganache and white chocolate stars!


A very pink raspberry birthday cake

I can’t quite remember what put the idea into my head, but a while ago I became a bit obsessed with making a bright pink icing for something. I put it on hold until I had a special occasion, as bright pink cakes aren’t just for a normal day hinnying around in a field, as I’m sure you can appreciate.

Then came around my lovely friend Charlotte’s birthday – I’m not allowed to disclose the age, and my horse years to human years conversions aren’t great anyway, but it was a special birthday, for which a special cake was most definitely required.

I’d already decided that the pinkness in the icing would come from raspberries, so I thought a plain victoria sponge would be best to complement it, sandwiched with raspberry jam.

I toyed with the idea of using jam to make the icing, but sweet jam + sweet sugar = super sickly, so decided to make a sort of thick raspberry syrup from frozen berries instead, so it would have a really concentrated flavour.

It was a little time consuming (especially compared to just throwing a dollop of jam in), but well worth it as the icing looked amazing.

Happy birthday Charlotte!

A very pink raspberry birthday cake


  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
For the filling and icing:
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 150g frozen raspberries (plus a few to decorate)
  • 125g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • splash of milk
  • few squares dark chocolate, melted
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, gradually beat in the eggs then fold in the flour and baking powder. Divide between 2 7″ sandwich tins and bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
To make the icing, heat the raspberries in a saucepan with a little water until they have broken down and become saucy. pass through a sieve, then return the liquid to the saucepan and boil down to a thick syrupy paste. Beat the butter until soft, then add in the raspberry syrup. Gradually sift in the icing sugar, adding in a splash of milk if it gets too thick.
To assemble, spread a generous layer of jam on top of one sponge then sandwich with the other. Spread a thin layer of the icing all over the outside of the cake then chill for half an hour, before covering with the remaining icing.
Melt the chocolate and pipe on to write the message, then place the raspberries around the edge of the cake (i used a little blob of extra icing to make sure they stuck).