Valentine’s dark chocolate cake

Valentine’s Day is all about baking and chocolate. This heart-shaped cake fits the bill for a love-day treat if you like your cakes dense, intensely chocolatey and not too sweet.

I adapted this recipe from one in the February issue of Food & Home, which was for an immense cake. Their recipe was for a huge double-tiered cake, which would have meant the two of us scoffing cake non-stop all weekend. This is a far less indulgent cake if there’s only two (or one) of you.

valentines cake

  • 70 g cake flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 50 g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 65 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 30 g butter
  • 25 g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 C. I made my cake in a silicone heart-shaped cakeform (dimensions 20 x 18.5 x 4 cm). If you’re doubling the recipe, make the cake in a 20 cm spring-form cake tin lined with greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder three times in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Beat the sugar and eggs with a fork or in a mixer until pale and thick.

Fold in the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar, alternating with buttermilk. When mixed, add in the melted butter and vanilla.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake until the cake comes away from the sides

To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water. Sift in the icing sugar and mix to combine.

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