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Kids’ Kitchen: Baking up a chocolate delight with a surprise ingredient

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This delicious cake is easy to make and fun to decorate – see if anyone can guess the unusual ingredient in it!

If you want to impress your family and friends the next time you see them, then this yummy chocolate cake fits the bill, as it’s easy to make and large enough to serve 10 people.

Once you have weighed everything out, it only takes about 10 minutes to get the cake ready for popping in the oven.

You’ll notice too it has a rather unusual ingredient for a sweet cake – mayonnaise.

That will be a good talking point when the family ask their new “star baker” what the secret ingredient is!

Lily Vanilli’s seriously good chocolate cake

(Serves 10) 


For the cake:

  • 170g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp espresso coffee grounds
  • 200g Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml water
  • 100g dark chocolate chips

For the buttercream:

  • 150g egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g unsalted butter that’s soft but not melted
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease two six inch cake pans with butter, olive oil or cake spray. To make the cake, put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and coffee in a bowl.
  3. Then, in another bowl put in the mayonnaise, water and eggs, and mix until all evenly mixed. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing them together until you have a smooth, evenly-mixed batter but no more.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips then divide the mix evenly between the greased baking tins. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Get an adult to help you pop a toothpick or skewer into the centre of the cake – it should come out clean.
  6. Now comes the fun part… You can either make the buttercream (recipe below) and use it to sandwich the two cake layers together and spread roughly all over for a delicious double chocolate cake. Or you can get creative and decorate the cake any way you like.
  7. For the buttercream: Whisk together your caster sugar and egg whites evenly in a bowl (best to use a stand mixer for this). Then get an adult to help you place this over a pan of simmering water to dissolve the sugar.
  8. You don’t need to mix this constantly but keep an eye on it – it will take around five minutes and you want to give it a mix from time to time.
  9. It’s ready when the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (rub some of the mix between two fingers – if you can’t feel any crystals – it’s done!)
  10. Now transfer the bowl directly to your mixer, and with the whisk attachment whip it up on highest speed, until you have stiff peaks.
  11. Now add all of your softened butter (you can add this at once), and beat again on medium high speed until it all comes together evenly, and the butter is all mixed in.
  12. Add the cocoa, beat again until evenly mixed in, then turn the mixer down to low, and let it whisk slowly until you have a smooth buttercream.

More in this series…

Kids’ Kitchen: Give your children the power of Scotland with these recipes

Kids’ Kitchen: Boys bake a whole book and try out recipes for your young chefs

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