How to make a black metal cake

For the recent Trade Secrets anthology, I wrote a story entitled Kitchen Witch about a witch who can do magical things with baked goods. Sadly I’ve never been much of a baker. My scones come out flat and dry and my cookies lack crunch.

Mr Bailey, my fictional kitchen witch, believes there is magic in all baked things. It’s in the kneading, and the measuring, and most importantly, in the delight of those who eat what you make.

For a special someone’s birthday, I wanted a cake as brutal as his black metal heart. Naturally, I had to at least try and make it myself.

It nearly flopped. My first chocolate sponge cake was a little too dark around the edges. (Note. Burnt). But that’s what icing is for, right? The second one came out better.

I stuck the two sponge halves together with tinned caramel, and wrapped them in ready-made black fondant icing from Woolworths, which I had rolled out with a rolling pin.


I kept some of the black fondant aside to make the little black goat. Because how metal is a black goat? It’s essential. That’s what it is.


I bought a packet of Ina Paarman chocolate icing mix for decorating, which comes with a nozzle in the bag to make the twirly bits.

The overall result was a teeny bit lopsided, but it was delicious. I’m sure Black Phillip would be proud.

Here’s what you’ll need:

200g soft butter

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

200g caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

200g self-raising flour (I used cake flour which made the sponge a lot denser. Don’t do this.)

1 teaspoon baking powder

Heat your witch’s oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Beat the butter and sugar together, add the flour and cocoa powder and finally the eggs and baking powder. I made two batches which I used to fill a cake tin each.

Bake for 20 minutes. I’d suggest watching it and using a wooden skewer to test it towards the end. If the skewer comes out clean, it’s done. (Like I said, my first attempt was a little torched.)


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