Chocolate Easter Cake

Ina Garten's Beattie's Chocolate Cake recipe

For many people Easter isn’t Easter without chocolate.  So I give you two chocolate treats for Easter.  Firstly, the Strawberry Chocolate Pot de Crème I shared the other day, and now, a chocolate Easter themed cake.  Or more correctly, a Chocolate Orange Easter themed cake.

For the cake, I went with a recipe from the ever trustworthy Ina Garten – her Beattys Chocolate Cake recipe.  Honestly, this cake could not be easier to make.  It’s an absolute breeze and involves no more effort than combining the wet and dry ingredients together and pouring the resulting batter into a cake tin.  What could be easier than that?  This makes it a perfect cake to make with children.

To decorate the cake I decided to make a little fondant chick (isn’t he cute?) and a chocolate coconut nest.  And finally, I decided to decorate the top of the cake with some green tinted coconut for grass.  Ignoring the fact that the nest is bigger than the chick (ooops) I’m quite happy with the end result, especially considering I hadn’t really planned out how I wanted to the cake to look when I started making it.

I hope you my Easter themed cake.  Happy Easter everyone!!


How to make fondant chick



Chocolate Easter Cake
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake


  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice*

Note:  The original recipe called for coffee, but as I am not a fan of coffee I substituted this for orange juice.  In the final cake there is only a faint hint of orange, so if you may want to amp this up with fresh orange zest.



  1. Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and butter 1 8-inch/20cm round cake tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the sugar and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  4. With mixer still on low, add the orange juice and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack and cool completely.


Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from Chocolate Glaze by Martha Stewart


  • 3 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of thickened cream



1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl.

2. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling and then pour over the chocolate pieces.  Let it stand for 5 minutes before stirring until smooth.  Let it stand for 10 minutes before decorating the cake.
Chocolate Nest


  • 30g of chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut



  1. Melt the chocolate using whatever method you prefer.  I find it easiest to do this in the microwave for such a small amount of chocolate.  Do this in 20 second bursts until almost melted and then stir to melt the rest of the chocolate.
  2. Add the shredded coconut to the melted chocolate and mix well.
  3. Line a small bowl with baking paper or cling film and spoon in the coconut chocolate mixture.  Press the mixture into the shape of the bowl to form a nest.
  4. Chill in the fridge until set.


Coconut Grass


  • 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
  • green food colouring
  • 2 teaspoons of water


  1. Add a couple of drops of food colouring to the water and then add to the coconut and mix well until all the coconut is tinted.
  2. Spread out on some baking paper to dry.
  3. Top the cake with the “grass” while the glaze is still wet as this will help the “grass” stick.


Fondant Chick


  • White fondant
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Red food colouring
  • Black food safe marker
  • Gum paste/ fondant glue



  1. Add yellow food colouring to the fondant and knead until the colour is evenly distributed through the fondant.
  2. Reserve a small amount (approximately the size of a walnut).
  3. With the remaining fondant, shape into an egg shape and then press the base onto baking paper and use your fingers to pull the a section out into a small point to form the back of the chick.  Use the side of your index finger to push the top section forward to form the neck and head.  Tweak the shape using your fingers until you are happy with the overall shape.
  4. Add a drop of the red food colouring to the reserved yellow fondant and knead until the colour is evenly distributed.  The end result should be orange fondant.
  5. To form the feet, pinch a pea sized amount of the fondant and form into a sausage shape.  Press down one side of the sausage with your fingertip to form the foot.  Using a knife, cut two small triangle sections out of the foot to form the toes.  Repeat for the second foot.  Attach to the chick with gum paste/fondant glue.
  6. For the beak, take a slightly large amount of the orange fondant and again roll into a sausage shape. Using your finger tip, press down one end of the sausage to flatter and do the same for the other side.  Carefully fold in half and tweak the shape with your finger to form the beak. Attach to the chick with gum paste/fondant glue.
  7. Use a black food safe marker to draw in the eyes.

I’ve been asked to submit this post to Ina’s Garden Blog Hop group.  Members of Ina’s Garden will post twice a month on every first and third Thursday starting in May. The first Thursday will be a recipe we all bake together with the recipe posted on that host’s site. The third Thursday will be a themed post, where we give you the theme and you choose (and make!) an Ina recipe that you decide best fits that week’s theme. This allows room for more creativity, expression, and accessibility to seasonal foods, since we hope our members will be worldwide! How easy is that?  If you would like to join click here for more details

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