Chocolate box cakes

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A fun baking project for Valentine's Day. Bite sized cakes which are personalised with your favourite chocolates.

First published in 2015
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It’s a happy coincidence that Valentine’s Day arrives in the middle of one the coldest and dreariest months. I’ve tried to embrace February, but the days are often bitterly cold, dark and grey, so a little frivolity and festivity is something to look forward to, as winter hopefully begins to release its vice-like grip.

I always think that girls get the best of Valentine’s Day……with bunches of roses, boxes of chocolates and lace-edged cards and maybe a “jewel” if they’re lucky. So, I thought, why not devise a recipe for the boys this year? These Little “Chocolate Box” Chocolate Cakes are suitable for both sexes, of course, but I do think that it would be a nice baking project for someone to make these for their male “other half”.

They are small, there’s no denying it, but they are also big enough to satisfy any “rufty-tufty” chocoholic’s fantasy, aka the man in your life. They are sinfully rich and more than a couple of bites, and therefore perfect, in my humble opinion, for most “blokes” on the appointed romantic day. Plus, they’d make a lovely romantic addition to the office lunch box too.

You can make the cakes ahead of time, and even freeze them if you like, and then just spread them with acres of indulgent chocolate buttercream and decorate them on the day. If, like me, you were careful with your Christmas chocolates, you may still have a few choccies left to decorate the top, if not, then just buy a small box for the final flourish, which is where the cakes get their name from.

I made a dozen of these a week ago, and within two hours my husband and two of his “mates” had polished off six or seven of them……it was then that I realised that these were indeed the perfect Valentine’s Day treat for most chaps with a penchant for chocolate! The recipe is an adapted Be-Ro recipe from my blog, and is fail-safe for larger cakes too.




For the cakes

  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 40g of cocoa powder
  • 115g of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml of whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 75g of butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp of milk, mixed with 1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate


Heat oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Grease 12 x muffin or individual Victoria sandwich tins
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and cocoa together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture. Beat the eggs with the milk
Stir in the egg and milk mixture with the vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and beat well
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes until well risen. Allow them to cool before cutting the cakes in half
To make the buttercream, add the softened butter to the cocoa and then stir in the icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and thick
Sandwich the cakes with buttercream in the middle and spread some buttercream on top. Decorate each cake with a chocolate from a box of chocolates
First published in 2015

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a passion for local, seasonal ingredients.

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