A Chocolate Lover’s Birthday Cake

Original cake recipe from donna hay.


If there’s two things I love, it’s celebrating birthdays and baking cakes. Combine the two and it’s no wonder I’m the self-appointed office birthday cake-maker. Even back in high school I was known to make the half an hour walk to school with a Tuppaware container of cupcakes in hand to celebrate friends’ special days.




So, it goes without saying I was beyond excited when the opportunity presented itself to bake cakes for my colleagues’ birthdays. Particularly exciting when one of said colleagues is a chocolate lover and all-round sweet tooth.


I knew this cake had to be two things: overwhelmingly chocolatey and over-the-top indulgent. The result is a salted dark chocolate layer cake with caramel and Mars Bar filling, milk chocolate ganache, KitKat fence and topped with Maltesers. Decadent, right?




Using donna hay’s salted dark chocolate cake, I amped the sweetness up by raiding the supermarket’s confectionary aisle. With its ooey gooey centre and crunchy toppings, this may just be the ultimate chocolate lover’s cake but be warned, this cake is not for the faint-hearted.


Decorating this cake on a balmy December day, I ran into some difficulty adhering the KitKats to the cake before the ganache melted. For easier assembly, you could use a stiff buttercream frosting instead. Despite its structural integrity, buttercream’s comparatively one-dimensional sweetness doesn’t hold a flame to a rich sour cream ganache.




Salted Dark Chocolate Cake


– 375 g self-raising flour, sifted

– 50 g cocoa powder, sifted

– 330 g caster sugar

– 4 eggs

– 375 ml milk

– 250 g unsalted butter, melted

– 200 g dark chocolate, melted

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 tsp sea salt flakes


Quick Milk Chocolate Ganache


– 240 g sour cream

– 400 g milk chocolate, melted


Fillings and toppings


– 190 g Bonne Maman caramel

– 180 g Mars Bar, chopped

– 250 g Maltesers

– 9 x 45 g KitKat




1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line two 20cm round cake tins with non-stick baking paper.

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, chocolate and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.

3. Pour the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

5. Once the cakes have completely cooled, level and wrap each layer in cling film. Refrigerate overnight.

6. To make the ganache, whisk together sour cream and milk chocolate in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until firm.

7. To assemble, dollop a spoonful of ganache onto a cake board and set one of the cake layers on top. Spread with caramel and top with Mars Bar.

8. Top with the remaining cake. Spread ganache over the top and sides of the cake.

9. Working quickly, press the individual sticks of KitKat into the side of the cake to create a fence-like effect. Tie a ribbon around the circumference of the cake to secure and top with Maltesers.


Photography by Ben Neale.






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