Chocolate muscavado cake

This is such an easy cake to make: no creaming, no sifting. Be sure to use a tight-fitting cake tin as the batter is quite wet and will run out if there are any gaps.

For the cake
225g plain or light spelt flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 good pinch salt
75g cocoa
250g dark muscovado sugar
75g coconut oil
1½ tsp vinegar (I use cider)

For the icing
75g coconut oil
50g dark muscovado sugar
1½ tbsp cocoa
150g dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Grease an 18cm round springform cake tin with oil and line the base with baking parchment.

Put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan with 60ml cold water. Heat until the coconut oil is melted, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil, then turn off the heat, add the chocolate and leave it to sit. After about a minute, whisk until you have a dark glossy icing and set aside. It should be cool and thick by the time the cake has baked and cooled.

For the cake, whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa together in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps of bicarbonate of soda.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, 375ml of just-boiled water, the coconut oil and vinegar. When the coconut oil has melted, stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. When it is ready, the cake should come away from the edges of the tin and a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pour over the icing and decorate as you wish – I have used a few flowers here, but chopped nuts and grated chocolate are also favourites.

IMAGE: Matt Russell for The Guardian

Posted: 31.03.23 6 Comments


Posted by Rosie Jukes at 2:06 on the 07.04.23

Have you ever had any success making A GF version of this?!

Posted by Nicole at 2:59 on the 07.04.23

Delicious! My sister avoids coconut products – do you think it would work with sunflower oil?

Thank you thank you.

Posted by Naomi Sachs at 5:37 on the 07.04.23

Looks amazing! Wondering if I could use date sugar instead?

Posted by Anya at 10:41 on the 13.04.23

Nicole. Anna’s recipe was published on a different website and it had the option of olive, coconut or veg oil for the cake (and icing!) so you should be fine.

We went with the coconut. Amazing cake and worth making! Next time I’ll try the other way/recipe as the icing looked fudgier/less drippy in the picture (the quantities were slightly different)

Posted by Anon at 10:56 on the 15.05.23

Thanks for the recipe! Are there any gluten free and corn free flours, flour mixes or things like ground almonds you’d recommend trying this recipe with please?

Posted by Poppy at 9:37 on the 16.07.23

Can confirm works excellently with Doves gluten free plain flour

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