Delicious chocolate cake for our trip to the moon

Photo of chocolate Moon cake
MOON CAKE! Complete with gummy bear astronauts and gummy worms – now we know how the craters got there.

You can’t go wrong with chocolate cake, you just can’t. 

I decided to make a cake, to celebrate us getting to the moon in Apollo 11 all those years ago.

And surely worthy of a cake, all these years later.

A moon cake

Clearly, the cake would have to be round and made of chocolate. The problem of what to bake it in was solved when husband David pointed out the old stainless steel bowl from the Kenwood mixer – nice and round.

Perfect. This would make a hemispherical cake, which could then have chocolate icing slapped on.

The best choc cake recipe

The next part should have been easy – following the excellent recipe given to us by a friend years ago.  Truly, I use this recipe all the time and it reliably turns out a moist, delicious chocolatey cake every single time.

I popped down to the Gordonton Superette for milk – the recipe uses two cups – and cream to enjoy it with.

Generally when baking anything, I put on the table everything I’ll need so I don’t get caught out. Not this time.

Who runs out of baking soda? It’s always in the back of the larder. Nope. While David cut triangular pieces of baking paper to line the bowl, I dashed back to the dairy.

Making progress but…

Back home, things were looking good, Houston. The cake tin was lined and greased, the milk warming up and the oven near temperature.

Now. Where was that cocoa? Ah, it had been all used some months ago. Horrors above, how did they manage to get to the Moon? Back to the shop. By this time they were getting used to me rushing in for essential ingredients.

Back home, again, we made the cake and into the oven it went. One hour and 10 minutes later we had a magnificently round, some may say, planted-shaped cake.

Once cool it was iced and creative craters on the surface using marbles. Then, for the last time, I nipped back to the dairy for gummy bears to put on the surface of the Moon and some alien worm creatures.

It was cosmically good.


You can use this recipe in an ordinary cake tin, but bake for slightly less time.

100g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
sugar, 2 cups
flour, 2 cups
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1⁄2 cup cocoa
2 cups warm milk
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 180°C.  (Although on our oven I used 160°C on fanbake.  All ovens vary.)

Line cake tin with baking paper.

Melt together butter and golden syrup in a large sauce pan – this can be used for mixing the cake so use the biggest you have.  Stir often.

Add sugar and vanilla essence to this, with the eggs.  Mix well.

In a smaller pan, warm up the milk and once hot, dissolve the baking soda in it.

Then sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl.

Now all the cake ingredients can be put together.  Add a bit of the flour mix to the large pan which has the butter in it. Then stir in some of the milk and baking soda.  Keep going until all ingredients are together and mix jolly well.

Bake one hour and 10 minutes, keeping in mind that cooking times (and temperatures) vary from oven to oven.  Check it’s ready by sliding a knife through the middle – if any mixture sticks to the knife, it needs further cooking.  Allow to cool before turning out of the tin.  And do assemble all ingredients before you start – it really is a good idea!

Super duper chocolate icing

I make my icing from two ingredients – Whittaker’s dark chocolate and cream.  For this cake I used just under 3/4 of a block of chocolate, chopped small and put into a stainless steel bowl which fits into a large pan of boiling water.

Turn the heat down, and allow the chocolate to melt while stirring.  Then slowly add cream, stirring constantly.  Start with 1 tablespoon, then once mixed in, add another.  You want it able to be spread on the cake, so runny, but not too runny. Mix together thoroughly and remove from heat.

Take about a tablespoon of the icing, gently tip onto the top of the cake, and then smooth it out using a flat knife.  It helps to have two people doing this.  Move the icing where it is needed. It’s fairly forgiving.  Leave for about 10 to 15 minutes, then make craters.  We used old marbles – small ones and big, which we pushed into the icing and removed.  It was literally hit and miss but overall, it looked great.

Here are pics of our Moon cake being assembled – the old mixing bowl, now cake tin, is lined with baking paper.



Photo of lined cake tin

The mixture is put in, and all systems are go for placing in the oven

Photo of making cake


Fresh from the oven

Photo of cake making


Baked cake, awaiting chocolate icing

Photo of cake making



Photo of cake making

Happy landings!

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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