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Cooper's First Day of School Chocolate Cake

First day of school chocolate cake 

First Day of School

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 and grease two cake tins
2. Measure the plain flour into a bowl and sieve.
3. Add the caster sugar and  bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and a pinch of salt.

4. Sieve in the cocoa powder, then stir gently with a metal spoon to combine.
5. Melt the butter in a pan.

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


7. Whisk the eggs.
8. In a jug measure out the coffee granules then top up with 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 the 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 the 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!

print recipe

First Day of School Chocolate Cake
A moist chocolate cake that's just perfect for a special occasion like first day of school
  • 225g plain flour
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 250ml buttermilk (1 tbsp lemon juice of vinegar, topped up with milk to 250ml and left for at least 5 minutes)
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml strong coffee, still hot
1. Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan/350/gas mark 4. Grease two 18 cm cake tins and line the bottom of each with baking paper.2. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, cocoa, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Give it is good stir with a metal spoon until it is well combined.3. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla and pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk until velvety smooth with either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. Next pour in the hot coffee and mix in with a spatula, until you have a runny mixture. (don’t panic, it will work)4. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes. A skewer should come out clean.5. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for a while, before tipping carefully onto a wire rack to continue cooling. 6. Fill and top the cake with homemade or shop-bought chocolate frosting and chocolate buttons.
Total time:
Yield: 1 chocolate cake

Three more chocolatey treats for you to try:

Malteser Fudge Brownies                Oreo Chocolate Tiffin                   Mars Bar Slice


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

  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!

  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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