The cook disappeared. Almost at once, she was back again staggering under the weight of an enormous round chocolate cake on a china platter. The cake was fully eighteen inches in diameter and it was covered with dark-brown chocolate icing.

“Come on then,” the Trunchbull said. “Why don’t you cut yourself a nice thick slice and try it?”


recipe (makes one medium-sized cake or two mini cakes):

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (alternative: add 1 tsp of white vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 mins or until curdled)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (note: if you want to add some extra oomf to bring out the chocolate flavour, dissolve 1 tsp of instant coffee in here)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celcius and line cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, add egg, buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla essence and whisk to combine. It may look unappealing initially, but don’t worry! It’s supposed to look like that.
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients and whisk until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
  5. Fill cake tins 3/4 full and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.
  6. To make chocolate ganache, melt dark chocolate and cream together, stirring until smooth. Let cool until it is ready to spread.
  7. Assemble your cake in two or three layers depending on your preference. The beauty of this is that it doesn’t need to look perfect, the messiness adds personality to the cake.
  8. You’re done!

5 thoughts on “bruce bogtrotter’s chocolate cake from matilda

  1. Hi! So excited to try this recipe. Just a quick question, when you said one medium cake or two mini, is it enough for two layers of a medium cake or will I have to double to recipe for that? Hopefully my question isn’t too confusing lol. Thank you!


    1. hello! the mini cake pans I use are 10cm in diameter and the cake batter fills both easily, so it should be plenty to make a two-layered medium cake 🙂


    1. yes, you can double the recipe! the baking time will depend on the cake tin you’re using. I suggest baking in additional 10-minute increments until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean


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