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400 g plain (all purpose) flour
400 g caster (superfine) sugar
90 g Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
105 g coconut oil
2 eggs
230 ml buttermilk
1½ tsp vanilla paste
230 ml hot water
cooking spray, for greasing


400 g good-quality milk chocolate
400 g fresh cream (A)
1 tsp vanilla paste
400 g fresh cream (B), cold


200 g good-quality white chocolate
200 g good-quality dark chocolate



  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla for 1 minute.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and stir until combined. Pour in the hot water and mix together.
  4. Spray two 20-22 cm cake tins with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly pour the batter into each tin and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes. Place a toothpick or skewer into the centre of each cake to check if it comes out clean. If it does, the cakes are ready.



  1. Break the milk chocolate into pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Bring the cream (A) and vanilla in a to boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the boiling mixture over the milk chocolate and mix well with a whisk until it melts completely.
  2. Add the cold cream (B) and mix well. Strain the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface. Allow to rest overnight. Before using, whip it in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until it reaches a piping consistency.



  1. Print the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY in your favourite font on A4 sheets of paper and cover it with a sheet of baking paper.
  2. Place the white chocolate in a plastic bowl, and temper it if it contains cocoa butter. To temper the chocolate, place it in a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until you have 50% liquid and 50% pieces of chocolate. Stir it vigorously without additional heat until all the chocolate has melted. If you have some resistant buttons, you can gently heat the chocolate with a hair dryer while stirring.
  3. Place the chocolate in a ziplock bag. Place a dot of chocolate on the left-hand base of the first letter and place a toothpick on top of the chocolate dot and then using the template as a guide, pipe the first letter.
  4. Continue this process by placing a toothpick on the left side on the base of each letter for the word HAPPY. For the word Birthday, trace the letters in chocolate without a toothpick. Leave them to set.
  5. Melt the dark chocolate in a plastic bowl, or temper it if it contains cocoa butter, using the same method as with the white chocolate.
  6. Place the chocolate in a ziplock bag. Pipe striped lines over the piped letters and pick them up from the paper and transfer them to a tray before the chocolate sets. Leave at room temperature to set.
  7. With the remaining dark chocolate, pipe criss-cross lines on a small sheet of acetate. As soon as it is just set, roll it into a tube diagonally. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  8. To assemble, trim a small amount off the top of both cakes until they are flat.
  9. Place one of the baked cakes on your serving plate and top it with some of the milk chocolate Chantilly cream. Place the second cake on top with the base of the cake facing up. Spread the remaining cream around the sides and top with a palette knife until the cake is completely covered.
  10. Unwrap the criss crossed white chocolate garnish and break into different size pieces and place the decoration on the top of the cake so it faces the front. Place the toothpicks of the word Happy into the top of the cake. Place the Birthday letters on the front of the cake.

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