Spiced Chocolate Cake Recipe

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Preparation Time1 hours 15 mins plus cooling
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time1 hours 40 mins

Our spiced chocolate cake is made using stout to add extra moisture and give a lovely malty flavour. This rich and decadent spiced chocolate cake is filled with an indulgent salted caramel buttercream, then topped with homemade honeycomb and a spiced chocolate ganache. This spiced chocolate cake is a showstopping birthday cake that is sure to be a hit with friends and family.


For the cake

  • zest of 2 large oranges
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 350ml suflower oil
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 280g plain flour
  • 180g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200ml stout

For the honeycomb

  • butter, for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5tbsp golden syrup
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the ganache

  • 250ml cream
  • 3tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 40g butter

For the salted caramel buttercream

  • 200g butter, softened slightly
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp dulce de lecheor salted caramel
  • 2 large pinches sea salt
  • 1tsp vanilla

You will need

  • 3 x 22cm springformcake tins, oiled and lined with baking parchment
  • 20cm square tin, for the honeycomb
  • 2 disposable piping bags


  1. Heat the oven to 180C. Beat together the orange zest, eggs, oil and sugars. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Fold through the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Add the stout, mix gently and pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 18-20 mins, or until the cakes are cooked through when tested with a skewer. Remove from the cake tins and allow to cool completely before icing.
  2. To make the honeycomb, butter the tin. Melt the sugar and syrup on a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Once smooth, turn up the heat and simmer until it turns golden. Turn off the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda and beat. Scrape the mixture into the tin and leave to cool. Once it’s hard, break the honeycomb into large shards, reserving 1tbsp – and blitz this in a food processor to make a dust.
  3. To make the ganache, heat the cream in a pan with the spices, orange zest and vanilla extract. Just before boiling, remove and allow to stand for 15 mins for the flavours to infuse. Put the cream back on the heat and, once hot (but not boiling), remove and stir in the chocolate and butter. Mix until completely melted. Pour the mix into a piping bag and leave to cool slightly.
  4. To make the salted caramel buttercream, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Fill another piping bag with your buttercream, and cut the end.
  5. To decorate, pipe dots of buttercream round the edge of one of your sponges and fifll the centre with a swirl. Smooth the middle with a palette knife. Cut the end o your ganache piping bag, and pipe the mixture in between the buttercream to get a drizzle effect. Top with another sponge and repeat. Finally, top with the third sponge. Pipe on a layer of buttercream and smooth with a palette knife. Pipe on a layer of ganache, leaving a 3cm gap around the edge. Cover this in your honeycomb dust and arrange the rest of the shards upwards, around the edge. Add a final drizzle of ganache over the edge to match the bottom 2 layers.
Jules Mercer

Jules Mercer is a food writer, stylist and editor.