Old School Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Custard

If you’re from the UK you might remember this chocolate cake from school that used to be served with chocolate custard…..I do not.

I don’t remember this at all. But I’m always seeing videos of people making it, and then a lot of the comments will be talking about how nostalgic it is.

I didn’t get a nostalgic feeling from it but it is a nice little easy dessert so let’s make it!

A square slice of chocolate cake on a white plate with chocolate custard being poured on top

Video Tutorial

Making the chocolate cake

For the cake part of this recipe, I’m using my regular chocolate cake recipe.

I love my chocolate cake recipe. It always comes out so soft and moist. It did take me a while to get the recipe to a point were I like but I am now obsessed with it.

The ingredients in the recipe are pretty much your basic ingredients but there are a few I wanted to talk about:

  • The coffee: adding coffee to this cake doesn’t make it taste like coffee, it just enhances the chocolate flavour. However, if you wanted to leave it out, you could. Just make sure to still add in the hot water.
  • The oil: I like to use oil in this cake instead of butter. It gives this cake a better texture and makes it softer. I use vegetable oil, any flavourless oil works though.
  • The yoghurt: I LOVE adding yoghurt to chocolate cakes. It adds so much more moisture. I like to use full-fat plain yoghurt, sour cream also works well too. However, if you wanted to completely leave it out, you can use buttermilk or just regular milk instead. But the cake will be a little less moist!
2 square slices of the chocolate cake stacked on top of each other

Making the chocolate custard

Making the custard for this is pretty easy, we’re essentially just throwing the ingredients into a pot and then heating them.

However, there is a risk of the egg yolks in the recipe scrambling, we don’t want this. Pieces of egg in the custard is not the goal.

So to make sure this doesn’t happen, keep the heat on medium-low and also constantly stir during the cooking process. 

However, the last step in making the custard is to sieve it, to get out any lumps. So if your eggs do happen to scramble a little, don’t stress about, it’s not a huge issue we’re sieving it anyway. 

The full chocolate cake with a slice being taken out of it

Do I have to use dark chocolate for the custard?

For the custard, to make it chocolate flavoured, I decided to add actual chocolate instead of using cocoa powder.

The chocolate I used is dark chocolate. 

For this, yes you could use milk chocolate instead. However milk chocolate will add a lot more sweetness to the custard, which we don’t really need.

Dark chocolate works best because it adds a chocolate flavour without adding extra sweetness.

But if you only have milk chocolate, it will still be good, just a little sweeter. It might help to reduce the amount of granulated sugar in the recipe if you are going to use milk chocolate instead. 

Here are some more cake recipes, in case you’re in a cake making mood

Old School Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Custard

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  • For the cake:
  • 50g cocoa powder

  • 100ml hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee

  • 100ml any flavourless oil (I used vegetable)

  • 100g plain yoghurt

  • 3 eggs

  • 175g self-raising flour

  • 125g granulated sugar

  • 125g brown sugar

  • For the chocolate custard:
  • 6 egg yolks

  • 80g granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 20g corn flour

  • 480g whole milk

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped


  • Making the cake:
  • Pre-heat your oven to 170c/325f, and also grease and line an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • In a bowl or jug, mix together the cocoa powder, the hot water mixed with coffee and the oil. Then mix in the yoghurt and eggs.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour and both sugars.
  • Now add the wet mixture into this bowl and mix everything together just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Pour this into your tin and bake for around 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Making the custard:
  • In a pot, add in the egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt, corn flour and milk. Mix all this together and then place the pot over medium-low heat.
  • You want to keep heating this, whiles constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens. Try not to increase the heat or stop stirring during the process, if the egg yolks get too hot, they will scramble.
  • Once the mixture thickens, take it off the heat, then add in the butter and chocolate.
  • Stir until melted, then push this through a sieve to get any lumps out.
  • Cover with cling film until you're ready to use it. Make sure that the cling film is touching the top of the custard, so that a skin doesn't form.
  • Serving:
  • Once your cake is baked and your custard is made, you can eat it.
  • Unlike most cakes, you don't need to wait for this one to completely cool. Just take it out of the tin, cut into it, pour some of the warm custard on top and enjoy!