Nancy Birtwhistle’s Ultimate Three Layer Chocolate Cake

SERVES 10-15



From our recent myLakeland Live event – At home with Nancy Birtwhistle, you can now recreate the decadent chocolate cake Nancy demonstrated! Three layers of moist chocolate cake and silky smooth buttercream will make this an irresistible addition to your baking repertoire.

Made using the Lakeland Blue 18cm Loose Based Round Sandwich Tin, Reusable Non-Stick Liner Circles and our Professional Piping Set.


To make the cakes

  • 270g Butter, spreadable butter or margarine
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 225ml of Whole Milk
  • 2tbsp Black treacle
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 270g Self raising flour
  • 2tsp Vanilla extract
  • 65g Cocoa powder
  • 110g Dark plain chocolate

To make the buttercream

  • 130g Dark plain chocolate
  • 250g Salted butter at room temperature
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 20g Cocoa powder
  • 397g Tin of condensed milk


Three Layer Chocolate Cake

Oven baking temperature – 170 degrees Celsius (fan assisted)

To make the cakes:

  1. To begin – break the chocolate into a small bowl set over a pan of recently boiled water off the heat and leave to melt gently. Once melted take off the heat and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract then add the measured milk stirring in little by little until you have a smooth thin chocolate paste – set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl – cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then add the black treacle and whisk well to combine.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time whisking well between each addition to avoid a curdle.
  5. Sift the flour and add to the batter then fold in slowly and thoroughly by hand with a metal spoon, not the whisk.
  6. Once you have a smooth yet thick batter add the cocoa/milk paste and stir well to make sure there are no flecks of light coloured batter remaining then finally add the melted and cooled chocolate.
  7. Divide between the three tins using weighing scales to ensure even sized finished sponge layers.
  8. Transfer to the oven preheated to 170 degrees Celsius (fan assisted) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cakes are evenly risen and firm to the touch.
  9. When cool enough to handle take out of the tins, remove the base paper and leave to cool completely.

To make the buttercream:

  1. Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and stand over a pan of recently boiled water and leave to melt gently or use the microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring well in between. Once melted then set aside off the heat.
  2. In a roomy mixing bowl place the soft butter, cocoa powder and vanilla extract and with the whisk on its lowest speed blend them together so that you have a very thick dark coloured creamed mix. Once the cocoa powder has blended in then increase the whisk speed and whisk until fluffy.
  3. Have the can of condensed milk to hand and add 2 tbsp. at a time and whisk well between each addition until the full can has been added. Whisk until the cream is looking light, smooth and silky.
  4. Whisk in then the cool melted chocolate and the buttercream is ready to use.
  5. When ready to assemble the cakes – if the sponges have domed slightly then slice off the tops with a serrated knife before stacking and filling each layer with buttercream.
  6. Add then a crumb coat of cream, smooth off and chill in the fridge for at least an hour so that the cake and filling can firm up.
  7. Take from the fridge and use the rest of the cream to top coat, smooth and decorate.

Cook’s Tips: Allow the cake to fully cool prior to icing