Chocolate Tray Bake Birthday Cake

Here’s a very moreish chocolate tray bake to make and share with friends in the office or for a party

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  • Serves 16

  • Prep time 30 mins

  • Cooking time 25 mins

  • Total time 55 mins

  • Skill level Easy

  • Freeze yes
  • Prepare ahead yes


For the cake:
  • 75 g  (3oz) cocoa powder
  • 200 ml (7floz) boiling water
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 375 g  (13oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 175 ml  (6floz) sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 275 g (10oz) self-raising flour
For the decoration:
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 300g (10oz) unrefined golden icing sugar
  • Chocolate stars (we used Dr Oetker)  
  • Edible gold star glitter (Sainsbury’s)
you will need
  • 23cm x 30cmx 5cm deep 9" x 12"x 2 in deep baking tin or roasting tin greased and lined


If you’re entertaining a large crowd for a birthday party, a chocolate tray bake is the perfect chocolate cake recipe to choose as it stretches so far.

This easy to make recipe is so moist and moreish all your guests will be asking for seconds.


For the cake

  1. Heat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas 4.
  2. Mix the cocoa with the boiling water. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a mixing bowl until blended. Stir in the flour and the cocoa mixture until smooth.
  4. Pour into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the icing

  1. Melt the butter and golden syrup together with 1 tbsp water,. Beat in the icing sugar, to make a smooth icing. Add a little extra boiling water if needed.  Spread over the cool cake.
  2. Scatter with the  white chocolate chips, sprinkles and silver balls  and leave to set.