• 80ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 125g cocoa powder, mixed with 300ml boiling water
  • 6 medium eggs, beaten with 120ml water
  • 350g unsalted butter, melted

To decorate

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 600g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80 chocolate-covered finger biscuits
  • 190g sugar-coated chocolate buttons


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and a 450g loaf tin and line both with baking parchment. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and caster sugar.

  2. 2

    Stir in the cocoa and egg mixtures. Add the sunflower oil and melted butter, then stir well until combined. Half fill the loaf tin with the mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes. Pour the rest into the square tin and bake for 60-65 minutes. The cakes will be ready when a skewer inserted into them comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

  3. 3

    Use an electric hand mixer to cream the butter in a bowl. Add the icing sugar, spoon by spoon. Mix the cocoa, vanilla extract and 2-3 tbsp boiling water to make a thick paste, then beat into the buttercream.

  4. 4

    Trim the cakes to create an even surface. Trim the edges of the loaf to make a brick shape, then cut in half vertically. Use some of the buttercream to sandwich the halves together vertically to make a tower.

  5. 5

    Halve the square cake horizontally and sandwich with more buttercream. Using a palette knife, coat the large cake in buttercream. Place the smaller cake in the centre on top and coat smoothly in buttercream.

  6. 6

    Stick the chocolate biscuits side by side all around the top tower. Place biscuits at each corner of the base to create turrets, then cut the remaining biscuits to the height of the cake and place around the base. Tip the sugar-coated chocolate buttons on to the tower and around its base, then add candles to serve.

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 3048kj 728kcal 36%
  • Fat 38.3g 55%
  • Saturates 22.2g 111%
  • Sugars 70.9g 79%
  • Salt 0.5g 8%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 1792kj/428kcal

Each serving provides

86.3g carbohydrate 3.5g fibre 7.8g protein

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