I had an image of this awesome chocolate cake in my mind for two weeks before I finally caved and decided to make it. I chose a Mary Berry recipe because, well, I simply adore Mary. Not that many people know her in Canada but after watching all five seasons of The Great British bake off, I can say I am officially a fan.

If you appreciate desserts that aren’t too sweet, this cake is for you as the icing is made with dark chocolate. My special touch was adding powdered sugar stars, an idea I got from watching Josée Di Stasio, the Quebec version of Mary Berry you could say. For this, I used a stencil with star shapes purchased at craft supplies store Omer DeSerres (can’t seem to find the stencil online unfortunately). If you don’t want to bother buying a stencil, you can make one yourself by printing these star shapes and then cutting them out. You simply place the stencil as close to the cake as possible (icing must be completed dry!) and use a sieve to sprinkle the powdered sugar just above the star shape.


50g/2oz cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water

3 free-range eggs

4 tbsp milk

175g/6oz self-raising flour

1 rounded tsp baking powder

100g/4oz baking spread or soft butter

300g/10oz sugar


150g/5oz dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
150ml/5fl oz double cream (35%) 
3 tbsp apricot jam
icing sugar, to dust



1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking parchment.

2. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined. This can also be done in a food processor, but take care not to over whisk. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.

3. Meanwhile, for the icing and filling, measure the chocolate and cream together in a bowl and stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes, or until melted. Stir from time to time. Set aside and leave until cool and almost set.

4. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. Spread the tops of each cake with apricot jam. Fill the cakes with half of the icing and spread the remainder on top. Draw large “S” shapes over the cake with a palatte knife to give a swirl effect. Dust with icing sugar and serve in slices.

The result is an impressive looking cake that isn’t complicated to make. What are your tricks to make an original dessert? Share your tips in the comments below!

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