Monday, 1 October 2007

Rainbow Chocolate Cake

This is going to be the most colourful post I have ever posted!

Today is Children's Day. It's a school holiday for children who are in the primary and pre-schools here. I made this cheerful rainbow chocolate cake for the kids this morning.

I used a straight forward chocolate cake recipe, "Devilishly Moist Chocolate Cake" from The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle. Well, I believe, any chocolate lovers will surely be attacted to a cake with such a name. The cake is made with oil, as such, it's suppose to remain soft and moist even when refrigerated or frozen. I decided on this recipe as I have all the ingredients on hand, and it seems to be one of the simpler cake to make.

I didn't use an electric mixer as stated in the instructions. I used a manual whisk and spatula instead. The only problem I faced was when mixing the wet ingredients to the flour took me some arm power to get the mixture smooth. Fortunately, my little helper was around, waiting eagerly to take over while I rest my arm for a few seconds. The mixing became easier after my boy helped pour in the hot water gradually. The final batter was very thin and watery! I halved the recipe as a 9" cake is too big for us. Somehow, my mind was not working well, and I used a 8" instead of a 7" pan. As a result, the cake was rather flat and short in height.

To make up for the height, I sliced the cake into two thin layers and filled it with chocolate frosting (melt over low heat, half cup of cream with 150g dark chocolates) and banana slices. I covered the entire cake with a thin layer of the remaining chocolate frosting.

I decorated the top with colourful kids cereals...Trix and Frost Loops, and added a ring of marshmallows on the side. If not for my kids stronger preference for a chocolate frosting, these colourful bits will look better if I were to use whipping cream.

While I was busy with the cake, my elder boy spent the entire morning fixing the two toy robots (Keroro Gunso) I got for them. He managed to assemble all the various small parts without my help. I thought these two figurines really look cool!

Here's the inside of the cake...I still think the cake layer tasted much better when left in room temperature for about 5~10 mins after it has been taken out from the fridge. Other wise it tasted a little hard and dry. Other than the cereals which has lost their crispness, the cake was actually very tasty...extremely chocolaty...something which I didn't expect, as the cake didn't look anything close to it's name, without any frosting. I guess, you can never go wrong when you pair off chocolates with bananas and marshmallows :)

Here's the recipe for the Devilishly Moist Chocolate Cake.

(makes one 9" cake)

1 1/2 cup (161g) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (61g) natural cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups (332g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) safflower or other neutral vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk (I used low fat milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degF. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 3 inches round cake pan. Dust the pan with flour and set aside. (I lined the bottom with parchment paper.)
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in sugar and mix at low speed until blended. (I used a spatula to mix in the sugar). Add in the oil and mix a few seconds until the dry ingredients are crumbly. (I used a spatula to mix in the oil).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs until blended. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract until blended. With mixer at low speed, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl necessary. (I used a manual whisk to do the mixing. The batter will be very thick at this stage).
  4. Add in the boiling water gradually and mix just until blended and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (The mixture will become very thin and watery.)
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 mins until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 20mins before unmoulding. Let cool completely.
To assemble this 20cm rainbow chocolate cake:
- Place pouring cream (I used one tin of Nestle's pouring cream) and 150g dark chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside for 10mins before frosting the cake.
- Slice two large bananas, lengthwise into halves. Squeeze some lemon juice over.
- Slice chocolate cake into 2 layers. Spread one layer with the chocolate frosting, arrange the sliced bananas (cut side down) on the cake layer to form 2 concentric rings. Cut the bananas as necessary in order to form the two rings.
- Spread the other cake layer with chocolate frosting, flip over and layer it over the banana slices.
- Coat the top and sides of the cake surface with the remaining chocolate frosting. Decorate with colourful cereals and marshmallows as desired.

Recipe adapted from The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle


Anne said...

what a beautiful and colorful cake :)

JY said...

hee hee, I baked Choco cake too.. but not so creative as you to have it decorated so colourfully! ;)

puppy52doll said...

I must agree with anne! :D great idea on using the cereals! ^O^

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a beautiful and tasty looking cake! It looks so festive and colourful!! A great cake for a special occasion!

Small Small Baker said...

It's really colourful and so beautiful! There are really 7 colours, if I didn't count wrongly. :)

Manggy said...

I love the combination of bananas and chocolate!

Anonymous said...

So pretty! My 3 year old kept pointing to the colorful cereal balls and loops! And the Keroro gunso figurines!! He wants the yellow one and the red one is for his sister! :D

Do you have the recipe somewhere in your index? I feel like making this cake too, since I have some bananas lying around. Thanks!

Happy Homebaker said...

dear all, thanks for your lovely comments!

Kat, I have just posted up the recipe. Do note that I used only halve the recipe. You will need to increase the amount of chocolate frosting if you are making a 9in cake. My boys have told me that they want to collect the other characters from the Keroro gunso!!

Ning's Mummy said...

So Pretty...

I must do this for my daugther soon. :)

Thanks for sharing your creative ideas!


serena said...

Hi happy homebaker! I made this cake today. I used 110g of brown sugar instead. It taste quite nice and not too sweet. I think this recipe is more healthy version compared to the torte? But taste wise, I think torte is better. I always try out your recipe. Never disappoint. Thanks! Looked forward to more healthy cake recipe!

Graeme said...

It has Froot Loops! I want it!

Bananas too, very much an under-used fruit.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Serena, I used about 120g of white sugar, and it is not very sweet. Yes this is much healthier than the chocolate torte, I think, but taste wise, the chocolate torte is better as you can eat it on it's on...I guess this cake is good as a cake base for filling and frosting. Glad to hear that you have tried and like some of the recipes I have posted here :)

Anonymous said...

hi! Another wonderfully yummy cake! Your sons are so lucky! Wished I had such energy to bake! Tks for the camera tip! Did u use special lighting? Your pix are always sooo perfect!! :)

Anonymous said...

How fun and colorful! Your kids must be so proud to have the best mom around!

Whisk 'n' Bake said...

Hi HappyHomeBaker,

May i ask whether you had any career experience or did any studies in baking? I'm a youngster who's interest is in baking, however i fail in 90% of the things i try to bake. Any advice? Thanks. =)

Happy Homebaker said...

Cataleya, since I've stopped working, I do have the advantage of having some free time in the day to bake...I don't even cook when I doing full time work 2 years ago! I don't use any special lighting, as I don't know how!! I try to bring my food very close to the windows there's plenty of sunlight. I use Picassa2(free software) to brighten up the photos and do some croping. All my photos are point & shoot, just set to macro mode and off the flash light. With practice I am sure you can take great photos too :)

dear Lynn, nah, you have not seen me in "action" when the kids drive me up the walls, you know what I mean ;)

Hi Neglick, I have no career experience or formal training in baking...have not attended any baking workshop or classes. Believe it or not, I was an Engineer by training!!
I borrow many baking books from our libraries here. I read them to get an idea, and I started off with very simple bakes such as cookies, muffins and quickbreads, before slowly moving on to more challenging ones. It helps that I managed to borrow several books (mainly Japanese to Chinese translated ones) which provide many step-by-step photos. It certainly helps for beginners. To get it right, always make sure you have the ingredients measured correctly, make sure your follow the recipe closely especially the steps, in sequence, use the right equipments, correct pan size and make sure the oven is preheated at the right temperature. Hope this helps, and happy baking!!

Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

Hi Good Day !!
you are sooOOo good in Baking!!
I m refering to your " Peach Layered Sponge Cake" , Can u pls tell me what is the oven temperature when u're baking the cake?

Anonymous said...

Hi Happy Home Baker,
Would like to know how many gm is one tin of Nestle pouring cream that you are using. I wonder if I can find it over here. Can I just use Nestle cream or Nestle all purpose cream? Was thinking of making this. Thanks!

sherlyn said...

Hi there ..

I am another one (besides serena) who has been trying out yr recipes and has always been successful. It give me great encouragement to carry on my baking hobby :-)

I am gog to try this recipe soon since i hv the nestle cream and olive oil too. 9inch, really hard to finish, so i guess i will also half the recipe on a 8 inch pan (cos i dun hv a 7 inch one :-( )

Anyway i really envy that you are so creative, be it in cake deco or photography. Any copyrights for using the same design ? :-)

serena said...

Hi happy homebaker. One more question. Why the top of my cake always crack? I tried shifting it one rack lower from the middle shelf. Problem still persists. And sometimes one side of the cake top is raised higher than the other side. Don't know what's my problem.

Happy Homebaker said...

hi Denise, I am not as good as you think...there are many many good bakers out there...I am just starting =) I baked the sponge cake at 180 degC.

dear Delia, you can always use dairy whipping cream for the chocolate frosting. I used the Nestle cream as I have it in my cupboard for a looong time. It's 170g in wt (as stated on the tin.) Do note that the portion I used is meant for a 20cm cake...if you are making the 9 inch cake, you will have to use extra frosting.

Hi Sherlyn, thanks for your kind words! I'll like to suggest that u use a 7 inch pan, unless u don't mind having a "short" cake. You can use those disposable aluminin ones, if u get from SKP (the shop that sells plastic bags and disposable plates/cups), one piece is around 60cts. Just be gentle, as the disposable pan is not so firm and the cake may not be very round if u pull at the sides...hoep u know what I mean. I am not a creative sort of person, just using whatever "leftovers" I have on hand ;)

Hi Serena, if you are following the recipe closely, especially in terms of measuring the correct amoung of ingredients, I guess it's the oven temperature that is causing the problem. The oven temp is too high, so the cake tend to crack, and the other reason is that the cake pan is too small...there's no room for the cake to expand, so it cracked. One side higher than the other could be due to the uneven temp in your oven, or uneven batter. You may try to smoothen out the batter by giving the pan a few gentle bangs/shake before putting in the oven. I read all these from cookbooks...hope it helps :)

Unknown said...

Hi SH, you make a great mum! =)

I've tried making this cake before, but it turned out dense and heavy. I think it's due to the cocoa powder i used. Where did you get the natural cocoa powder ah?

You know if PH cocoa powder is natural or alkalized?

Angel of mercy said...

hello !
i like your post about chocolate cake and wanna share with you one of my blogs if you wanna visit it :
see ya there

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jace, Yes, this recipe specifically say to use Natural cocoa, not Dutched process. I am not sure about those at PH, as I never take notice...I've been using Hershey's Natural Cocoa Powder :)

Hi Angel of Mercey, oh wow, your blog is awesome...with all your beautiful chocolate cakes! I have already bookmarked it :)

Unknown said...

OKie...thxs! i will try this recipe again with the Hershey's cocoa powder. =)

sherlyn said...

Hi... Using whatever leftover to create something so nice is what i call creative. I will follow recipe closely and even if i hv anythg left over, i just keep it till another recipe calls for it haha.

Wow, now then i know the cocoa powder has differences. I only have the one bought in PH .. now i must go get the hersley one. I did't think so much abt the word "natural". I did't even think there are different cream (oni prepare the nestle one from NTUC)

will c what is the outcome, thinking of doing it tmr, else dh overseas till sat, also no one at home to eat .. hehe excited.

tell u how is it later :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sherlyn, me too, when I first started off, I didn't know there are such differences...and I was really confused with the different types of creams (single cream, heavy cream, dairy, non-dairy)!!

serena said...

Hi Happy homebaker! one last question. Which of brand of electric mixer do you recommend? My present one took 45 mins to beat the batter till ribbon like for sponge cake. Is there one that super duper powered that can whip up the batter in 7 to 8mins?

Happy Homebaker said...

Wow, 45mins is super long! Is yours a handheld or standing one? Did you leave the eggs at room temperature before starting (take out from fridge at least 30mins or longer before u start). I use a handheld mixer (no brand!)'s at least 20yrs old, but still working fine. can beat the eggs within less than 10mins. I can't give any recommendation, as I'm as clueless as you! so sorry, not much help right?!

serena said...

Sigh! yes the eggs are left at room temperature. I use a brandless standing mixer. It took 45mins because after every 8mins must rest the motor for 5 mins. It kind of drag on from there to 45mins. Will this also cause the batter to be unstable? Wished you could come to my house and tell me where I went wrong? :~

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Serena, I think this will certainly affect the should go get a new mixer. Happy shopping :)

Anonymous said...

happy homebaker,
I made this cake last nite. It turns out very dense but moist. I'm not sure where it goes wrong? How's your cake texture like?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Delia, the texture of this cake is supposed to be dense and moist...almost like a brownie.

Anonymous said...

Hi happy homebaker, then the cake texture that I made last nite is correct cos it's dense and moist. I tot I got it wrong. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...


I wanna check. Wat's granulated sugar? I dun seem to be able to find it.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Chocolatebasket, it's actually table sugar. You may visit this site for further details: (
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

its perfect!

Unknown said...

Wow...i love this cake so much, thanks for your guide to help me how to make one. Hope you will have more beautiful cakes like this.

Unknown said...

You are quite creative. I appreciate the recipe. I have a great recipe for Coca Cola Cake at if anyone would like it. It’s really great. I had the Sheriff and the President of one of our local banks fighting over the crumbs. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

hi, for the whole milk.. can i use pure milk instead?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, yes you can use pure milk, I don't think there is any problem with it, happy baking!

Anonymous said...

hi hhb.. recently the cake i try to bake always crack on the top. why is it so? ):

Anonymous said...

oh no, i use excatly about 300 plus grams of sugar.. i just read above.. did u only use 120g of sugar?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, I am not sure which cake you are referring that always crack? That are many reasons when a cake did not turn up as expected. Let me know the details so that I can try to help you pin-pont where it went wrong. Otherwise you can also refer to this site for more info on cake problems:
(, cracked tops). Hope this helps

Hi, I use half the recipe as I do not have a 9" pan and further reduced the sugar to 120g. The original recipe calls for over 300g of sugar.

plumbing said...

Chocolate likes acidic flavors. It marries well with sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk.

sour sweets said...

Great stuff,Baking cakes is one of my specialty.Thanks for this new idea I'm sure my kids will enjoy eating the cake if it is colorful and attractive.

traditional sweets said...

Wow. This surely looks delicious and very colorful too i think kids will love this. Thanks for sharing your ingredients to us.

Sweet Hampers said...

I love chocolates. Eating it can make me feel better and happy. Now I can say that I'm totally hooked up with chocolates.