Nana’s best recipes- Traditional Chocolate Cake!

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Our grannies can cook! And bake! And made the most delicious dishes that became the very taste of childhood. These gastronomical memories are so precious that they deserve to be passed onto the next generation.

To help you continue to Eat Right, Sleep Tight we provide you with some classic recipes in this series, Grannies’ Tried & Tested. If you have a wonderful family recipe that you would like to share please do so on our Sealy Facebook page.


old fashioned cakePicture via

I was recently at a 3 year old's birthday party and as the moms gathered in the kitchen to devour the last few slices of the birthday cake there was all-round agreement that somewhere, somehow we had all  forgotten how to bake a cake from scratch. Baking from a box is fabulous (super quick and fuss-free), but wait until you bake alongside an inquisitive daughter who wants to know where each ingredient comes for and why we put it in.

Determined to recapture the art of making a birthday cake from good old eggs and flour, I have rummaged through my grannies recipes and retrieved this legendary chocolate cake recipe. In case you have misplaced yours, here's one to print out and stash.


For the cake-

  • 125g butter cubed
  • 275g Castor Snow
  • 2,5ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 175ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 260g self-raising flour
  • 50g cocoa

For the icing-

  • 240g Icing Snow
  • 125g butter cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon rum (optional)

**My granny always seemed to throw some optional hard tack into all her recipes!


For the cake-

  1. Mix all ingredients until combined.
  2. Beat until smooth and light in colour
  3. Divide the mixture between 2 greased, round cake tins (20cm in diameter).
  4. Bake at 180 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Test with a skewer or sharp knife before turning out onto rack to cool completely.

For the icing-

  1. Sift icing snow and cocoa together.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Use the icing to sandwich the cakes together and ice the top of the cake.

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