04 September 2014

Cooper's First Day of School Chocolate Cake


As you probably know my wee Cooper has just started school.

I don't know were the time has gone. It just whizzed by.

So first day of school. An excited little boy had breakfast, a shower and dressed in his smart new school clothes before setting off. Graham and I both took time off to take him along. We got there early, so he had time to play before being taken in to his class. It was a quick goodbye to us and we were headed home a little shell shocked, although there were no tears. At lunchtime we both went along to pick him up and waited excitedly with the other parents. He came out of the door and ran to us like a bullet. Big hugs all round.

Graham headed back to work and Cooper changed out of his school uniform so we could have some fun together. I thought it might be nice to start our own tradition. First day of school chocolate cake.

Cooper made our favourite chocolate cake and we filled it and topped it with chocolate buttercream, chocolare buttons and white chocolate nibs. I always have a tub of chocolate buttercream,, just in case of last minute cakes or buttercream disasters, so I decided we would use that.

First Day of School Chocolate Cake

1. Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan/350/gas mark 4. Grease two 18cm cake tins (try for a little deeper than ours, we used the wrong set and had too much batter) and line the bottom of each with greaseproof paper.
2. Measure 225g plain flour into a bowl and sieve.
3. Add 400g caster sugar and 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and a pinch of salt.

4. Sieve in 70g of cocoa powder, then stir gently with a metal spoon to combine.
5. Cut 115g butter and melt gently in a pan.


6.  Crack 2 large eggs into another bowl, as demonstrated by Cooper.


7. Whisk the eggs.
8. In a jug measure out 2 tsp coffee granules then top up with 200ml of boiling water (Mummy will help with this) and set aside.
9. Carefully pour the melted butter into the egg mixture. It should have cooled a bit by now.

10. In a fresh jug measure 250ml of milk and top with a good squeeze of lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes. This is in place of buttermilk, which I never have in the fridge.
11. Pour the milk into the egg mixture and whisk.
12. Add 1 tbsp vanilla extract and whisk again.

13. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk in a stand mixer (or with an electric whisk) until smooth and thick.
14, Pour in the coffee and fold in carefully with a spatula or metal spoon.
15 Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake in middle of the oven for about 35 minutes. Do the skewer test. If it comes out clean the cake is ready, although chocolate cake can benefit from coming out a little early for an extra moist cake.
16. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before decorating.
17. Decorate then slice a piece and enjoy!

Here are some more chocolate treats for you to enjoy:

Raw Chocolate Fudge Brownies - Hungry Healthy Happy
Chocolate Cupcakes - Fab Food 4 All 
Chocolate Orange Truffles - Tinned Tomatoes
Dark Chocolate and Rhubarb Brownies - Utterly Scrummy Food for Families
Pear and Chocolate Brownies - Ren Behan
Cola Bottle Brownies - Cakeyboi
Courgette and Chocolate Brownies - Botanical Baker
Chocolate Pistachio Brownies - Greedy Gourmet 
Chocolate Hazelnut and Cardamon Brownies -  Feeding Boys and a Firefighter
Dulce de Leche Filled Muffins - A Glug of Oil
Chocolate and Porter Cake - Kavey Eats
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes - Blue Kitchen Bakes
Gluten Free Hazelnut Brownies - Fishfingers for Tea
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fudge - Tinned Tomatoes

I am submitting Cooper's Chocolate Cake to the Family Foodies Challenge.


  1. He really is a whizz in the kitchen! I think Cakeyboi has competition on his hands :)

    1. Oh you do Stuart, just give him a few years.

  2. That chocolate cake really does look epic. Thanks for linking to my brownies!

  3. I remember photos of Cooper when he was a baby! Love the photos of him in his uniform :)

    Lovely, lovely choccie cake Jacqueline!

    1. I just don't know where the time has gone Emma.

  4. wow that cake would create some lovely memories of the first day of school - so beautiful with the buttons on top - hope cooper is settling into school nicely

    1. He is getting there, some good days and some hiccups too.

  5. I'm glad you have such a lovely tradition to fall back on -- I was a bit heartsick at how his second day went -- :( -- but I'm sure by now he's well over that little bump, and enjoying himself.

    If not, there's always baking when he goes home. That always made ME feel better...

    1. Thursday wasn't such a good day, but he is enjoying it generally. Baking makes me feel better too, so I am sure the same applies to Cooper.

  6. That is such an adorable idea and a fab looking cake. I think Cooper might be the one educating in the future.

    1. That may well be the case Dom. Whoops nearly typed cake there :)

  7. Cooper is such a wee star! Lovely cake.

  8. Love how Cooper is such a keen little helper in the kitchen. The cake looks lush and he deserves it!

    1. Thanks Michelle, he is a good help, well when he wants to be.

  9. I'd be willing to go back to school if I got a cake like that!

  10. He's just gorgeous. My son starts reception tomorrow - so I may just do my own cake tradition as well - great idea. We're planning a special breaky if I can get organised enough. Cooper is so good in the kitchen!

    1. Thanks Kate and good luck for tomorrow. Hope it goes well!

  11. Cooper is so cute! He made one delicious cake! :)

  12. well done Cooper and I love the look of that cake

  13. That cake is majestic Jac, and it's so adorable seeing Cooper getting stuck in. Starting Reception is such a big step for the little ones... and for us!!!!

  14. Wow, Cooper is a little budding chef there. I know how tough it is when they start school, the house seems so empty. I love this cake and my son who loves chocolate anything would snap this up, such a great looking cake!

  15. What an amazing chocolate cake and such a lovely tradition to have started! A brilliant entry for the #FamilyFoodies challenge - thanks so much for linking up Jac :)


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