Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Coco the burlesque wonder cake

It's been a year. 52 weeks, 52 recipes since I started a blog called Alice Bakes a Cake with a post on... apple pie. It seems appropriate then, for more than one reason, to mark the occasion with cake. And not just any cake but the most over the top in my repertoire, the fabulously-named Coco the burlesque wonder cake.

The name befits a more blousy floral adornment but I couldn't resist the bright yellow of the wattle that's all over Sydney at the moment and plucked a couple of branches from a neighbourhood tree to bring home, where it promptly shed little yellow polka dots all over my apartment. But I digress. This cake is, like all other recipes I've posted here over the last year, so easy to make - a pile-all-ingredients-in-the-food-processor kind of affair. It's basically a chocolate cake, with a rich, decadent chocolate frosting. But there's nothing basic about its taste. The magic ingredient is golden syrup, which gives Coco a lovely can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it point of difference from your standard chocolate cake. Along with the sour cream - also a feature of both frosting and cake - it gives a nice tangy intensity to the sweetness. A complexity of flavour in a cake that couldn't be more simple.

Huge thanks to everyone who's eaten things I've cooked for the blog over this last year (I couldn't get through all those cakes and pies single-handedly), as well as to those who've read it, commented on it, and most of all, made things from it. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. The biggest pieces of cake go to my good friends Elizabeth, who inspired and encouraged me to start a blog, and to Tammy, whose IT help and photography favours have been so appreciated. Like any good speech, I'll keep this short. It's time to tuck in.

Coco the burlesque wonder cake
Recipe adapted from

This cake is best at room temperature as the texture of the crumb changes signficantly when refrigerated. All the more reason to have a second slice the day it's made.

6 oz butter, softened
1/3 cup cocoa
2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup light sour cream
2 eggs

2 oz butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons golden syrup 
3 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar
4 oz dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Grease and flour a 9 inch cake tin.

In a food processor, blend all cake ingredients for 30 seconds. Stop to scrape the sides down, then blend another 30 seconds. Pour batter into greased cake tin.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 deg F, then reduce oven heat to 350 deg F and bake for a further 30 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.

Let cool in tin and then turn out onto a wire rack.

Pile all frosting ingredients in a food processor and blend til smooth. Frost as you see fit - I like to pour it all on top and let it ooze down the sides (somehow this seems appropriately "burlesque") but you could certainly do a more refined version with the aid of a spatula and some hot water (to dip the spatula in).


  1. Happy first birthday to "Alice bakes a cake".. I love the weekly instalements from your kitchen. May there be many more posts to come. Keep up the great work Alice!

  2. Happy Birthday to you (x 2)
    Happy Birthday dear blo-og,
    Happy Birthday to you.

    Make a wish.

  3. Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday dear blo-og
    Happy Birthday to you!

    Now make a wish.

  4. Congratulations Alice on your first blog birthday. This is a wonderful cake, rich, indulgent and beloved by small children in particular.

  5. A great yummy blog by an amazing multi talented person. Happy Blog Birthday Alice. Keep inspiring us. Judy Anderson

  6. Happy birthday to Alice's Blog - we love it!! I have baked many scrumptious recipes from it and they all have turned out perfectly (despite my lack of innate culinary talent). Sam has only made one recipe - the buckwheat pancakes - but he makes this one all the time and favours it over the recipe handed down to him from his Canadian pancake-making Dad!

    1. Thanks Sue! Looking forward to making you pancakes in Sydney soon!

  7. I made this fabulous cake in Feb 2016 and it was a big success served to friends as a dinner party dessert with fresh strawberries. Thank you again, Alice!