Celebration Chocolate Cake

Recipe: Cow House Celebration Chocolate Cake

Every year during our summer art program there are always a few birthdays and this chocolate cake never disappoints. Our students will even go as far as pretending it’s their birthday to get Caitriona baking. Sweet treats have always been a particularly special part of mealtime at Cow House and while we keep things healthy, occasionally, you need a bit of something indulgent for the soul. The expectation for incredible deserts started with Rosie’s mother Mary who in the early years, would spoil us with her Pavlovas, Banoffi Pies and Black Forest Gateaus then, Rosie’s Sister Edel kept up the tradition with equally tempting additions. Caitriona now expertly crafts a variety of cookies, pies and cakes that are not only delicious but beautifully adorned with decorative touches.

Nearly everyone loves a chocolate cake and this particular recipe could nearly define the archetype. The yoghurt in the cake batter makes for a perfectly moist chocolate cake with just the right density. The buttercream is a simple and delicious compliment. There’s no need to get fancy here. How can you beat rich creamy butter and sugar? To top it off, the chocolate ganache provides just the right amount of refinement. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can add a bit of mint or orange for an additional dimension but it’s certainly not necessary.

Dairy is among the most delicious produce that can be found in Ireland. The cows graze in the fields most of the year eating grass, clover and other wildflowers. The result is incredibly rich milk, butter more golden than white and whipping cream so sweet it doesn’t need an ounce of sugar. If you’re making this dish outside of Ireland we would recommend finding a grocer that supplies Kerrygold butter. It really can’t be surpassed for flavour and the higher fat content is essential for the correct consistency in this buttercream icing. Enjoy, and make sure you leave enough room for an extra slice!

(Will make 3 x 6”, or 2 x 8” cakes)

Cow House Celebration Chocolate Cake: Assembly

To assemble the cake, take your layers and trim the top of each cake so they all lay flat. Adhere the bottom layer of your cake to a board using a small amount of butter cream. With a spatula, cover your first layer in buttercream and level it smooth. Add the next layer of cake on top of the buttercream, and repeat the previous step. When all of your cake layers are on, cover the whole cake In a thin layer of buttercream (this is called crumb-coating). Place your cake in a fridge for 15 minutes to set. Remove the cake and add another layer of buttercream, using your spatula to smooth it out. When your ganache has cooled to a dripping consistenty, hold the ganach above the edge of the cake and let it drip down the sides then cover the top of the cake in ganache. Your cake can be finished with some fresh raspberries, mint or another complimentary flavour.

Chocolate Cake: Ingredients

  • 65g cocoa powder

  • 250g plain flour (all purpose)

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp table salt

  • 340g soft butter

  • 285g caster sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 300g natural whole milk yoghurt

  • 3tbsp dark choc chips (melted)

  • 3tbsp milk


Pre-heat oven to 180C and line your baking tins with butter and flour. At the bottom place a round of greaseproof paper. In a bowl combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy. When butter is creamed, add the eggs in one at a time until the mixture is fully combined then add in the vanilla. Add in the yoghurt to the mixture followed by the melted chocolate.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the dry ingredients from step 2. Mix until all the dry ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth and finally, add the milk to the batter.

Divide the cake batter into the cake tins, and bake on the middle shelf in the oven for approximately 30-35 mins. You’ll know its done when you can insert a wooden skewer into the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

Buttercream: Ingredients

  • 300g soft butter

  • 600g icing sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2-3 tbsp milk


Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. This will take about 5-10 minutes. If the icing is too thick, you can add in the remainder of the milk.

Chocolate Ganache: Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

  • ⅔ of a cup of heavy cream


Place the chocolate chips and cream into a plastic container and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir then return to the microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat this process until all the chocolate is mealted. Careful not to over head the ganach as it will spilt. Leave to cool for 20mins then pour the ganache into either a plastic squirt bottle or hand made piping bag.

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