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Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake

Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake, Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake
Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake, Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake
Chocolate cake Nellie

This month, we celebrate the birthday (or anniversary, perhaps) of Relish Mama. Let’s celebrate with cake…..specifically this one. Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake which I was delighted to share in my new book ‘Family’.

With a grateful heart – I would like to thank you for the incredible support over these years. I remember feeling so thrilled many years ago when it was our 3rd birthday. A gorgeous girlfriend of mine turned up at our house unexpectedly with a bottle of bubbles to share. ‘3’ was the number to get beyond back then for small businesses. It was always said that most businesses failed in their first 3 years. Whhhaaaattt! We did it. We got to 3.

Many years have passed since then. So very much has happened. We have grown, but we are still very much the small business we started as and with the same values, hopes and dreams.

Sometimes, if you don’t stop, it can be all too easy not to acknowledge what you have achieved and accomplished.

For me, writing allows reflection. Writing my second book ‘Family’ was so special, and appreciating the beautiful people who have entered our doors and what ‘Family’ really means moves me greatly.

Connection and gathering are what Relish Mama represent. Thank you for opening yourselves up, for saying ‘yes’ and for arriving here to us. Thank you for rolling up your sleeves and for sharing our table.

Thanks for the love, the support, and the cheers when we have needed it most as a small business and thanks for being a very special part of my Family. To Michael, Grace, Ava & Ettie – heavens to Betsy, I love you, and I am so aware that none of this could have ever happened without your support. To my team and to our community….. there would not really be this cake today without you. Thank you with all of my heart.

To everyone – please go forth and eat cake.

My love & gratitude to you all.



Nellie’s best ever chocolate cake

300 g plain flour
2 cups caster sugar
100 g unsweetened Dutch cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coffee
250 ml buttermilk
½ cup olive oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250 ml boiling water


340 g butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
4 cups icing sugar
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare two 22cm cake pans with baking paper on the bottom and sides.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and coffee. Stir to combine or use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to combine. Add buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix together until combined. Do not over-mix.

Carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until the mixture is well combined. The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is perfectly fine. Adding boiling water results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake. Distribute the cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.

Bake for 35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.

For the icing, add the cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps. Add the butter and mix together with the cocoa powder until well combined. Add sugar and milk to the cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar and about 1 tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn the mixer on high speed for about 1 minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk has been added. Add vanilla extract and combine well.

If the icing appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency. Spread half of the icing thickly on top of one of the cakes. Gently place the other cake on top and top it with the remaining icing.



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