Tim and Tracy's Chocolate Cake (Boiled)

"Easy moist chocolate cake that never fails, scales easily and comes with a story! Tim and Tracy met at work, fell in love, and decided to get married. One day Tracy was talking about the cost of getting married and mentioned that she had difficulty finding the right cake so I offered to make their wedding cake as my present to them. Tim said it had to be chocolate cake and it had to be this recipe, which came with the cake tin he had bought. I trialled it, we ate a lot of chocolate cake at work and eventually I made 4 cakes, 2 large and 2 medium (all made the night before so that it was fresh for the wedding!) The cake has a nice moist texture without being too heavy but was still solid enough to cover with rolling fondant icing to make it look like a real wedding cake. (sorry, the photo has long gone!) We had a ladies night where Tracy, her mum, granny, me, my daughters and another friend all made moulded icing roses in a lovely shade of burgundy. The cakes were stacked, icing rolled over the large cake and smaller cake and then the smaller cake placed directly on top of the larger cake. The edges were covered with a narrow ribbon. That's how I transported the cake to the wedding reception. Then in situ, I added the icing roses, some sprigs of baby's breath and a cascade of a wider burgundy ribbon. When it came to speech time, Tim's father revealed that Tim's love of chocolate cake almost prevented him from considering marriage. Apparently, when he was little, he had attended a wedding and was very disappointed with the wedding cake. He only liked chocolate cake. He was told that traditionally a wedding cake is fruit cake. His response to this news was that was it, he was never going to get married! So, Tim father continued, it was just as well that I made this chocolate cake for their wedding otherwise it may never have happened. I was so embarrassed. I thought I was helping out my friends and getting away with a no-brainer wedding present. All of a sudden, I was in the limelight. Everyone was coming up to me afterwards and congratulating the "chocolate cake lady"! I had no idea that my cake was going to be such a big feature at this wedding. It certainly wasn't what I intended but I'll never forget this recipe. It has become our family favourite too. Prep time includes time for the chocolate mixture to cool."
photo by CoffeeB photo by CoffeeB
photo by CoffeeB
photo by Jubes photo by Jubes
photo by Jubes photo by Jubes
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • If you don't have self raising flour, use plain flour with 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder added to it.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C/340°F.
  • Butter a 20cm/8" cake tin. Line the base with baking paper.
  • Put the butter, sugar, water, cocoa and bicarb in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  • It goes a bit volcanic so once the mixture rises, be prepared to take it off the stove immediately. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  • Sift in a bit of the flour and then mix in some of the chocolate. Continue until all the flour and chocolate are incorporated. If you do this a bit at a time, the flour will mix in easily without overmixing and making the cake tough.
  • Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Ice with your favourite icing or leave un-iced.
  • To make a larger cake, use 3 eggs and scale everything else up by 50%. (BTW, this is a maths problem that I give to my kids!).
  • Edited to include icing: Kookaburra referred to the icing in my original recipe I posted on the Australia/New Zealand forum. Here it is. 375g icing sugar, 1.5 tablespoons cocoa, 185g butter, 1.5 tablespoons water (hot works best), 5 drops vanilla. Cream butter and half the icing sugar. Add hot water, the rest of the icing and cocoa sifted together and the vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I think that this a wonderful cake that is lgiht in texture and fluffy. It also refrigerates well overnight, and tastes even better the next day. I really think this is a 4 1/2 stars, because I didn't use frosting, and I think I would have liked frosting on this cake.
  2. Really really nice chocolate cake! This came together so easily and was a snap to put in the oven. I agree with other reviewers that it didn't taste as chocolatey as you'd expect, but that didn't seem to be an issue at all because the cake had a nice texture, was moist, and perfect. I used the normal kind of cocoa because I like that sharpness to cut the sweetness in cakes and it was perfect. For the 125 g of butter I used a stick plus two tablespoons. We didn't have parchment paper, so I greased and floured the pan and it worked well. Thank you RonaNZ for this great recipe!
  3. Thanks Rona for a great little snack cake. I didn't bother w/the frosting as I wanted to keep it as lowcal/lowfat as I could. Just a little sprinkling of the powdered sugar. Looks adorable and taste heavenly. Followed your recipe exactly as printed. Even added the 1 t. of baking powder into my all-purpose flour and went w/2 heaping T. of cocoa powder. PERFECT!! So glad I had you for one of partners in AU recipe swap February 08~
  4. The DH just rang me to say he enjoyed the cake and yes it was moist but he would have liked a more chocolaty taste. The next test will be when he defrosts and takes to work but at this stage definately a keeper. Thank you Rona NZ. Made for Edition 2 - Make My Recipe - A Game of Tag. UPDATE - froze and defrosted well the DH has enjoyed.
  5. This is a fabulous chocolate cake. It was so easy to make and turned out moist and delicious. I DO agree it is not quite as chocolatey as you might wish but it does improve considerably in taste and texture for keeping. At the end of a week we were groaning in ecstacy as this cake just got better and better. I'm making it again today but, in honour of this great recipe, I made a trip to the Dutch specialty grocery and bought some Dutch cocoa. I think that will make a difference to the intensity of the chocolate flavour. I'll post a PS to this review when we've taste tested. By the way, the quantities given make HEAPS of icing - but, hey, that's a *good* thing! ;-)


  1. My Grandmaw had a boiled cake recipe that she made for me some 45 yrs ago. Similar but use buttermilk instead of water. She used swan cake flour also. I will hunt down the recipe and post it. The chocolate topping was boiled as well with pecans.


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