Blog Recipes

Fairtrade Chocolate Cake

Try this really easy, really chocolatey, fair trade chocolate cake with yummy fair trade chocolate icing.

It’s taken me a long time to find a really good Fairtrade chocolate cake recipe. This one is perfect as it’s light and moist at the same time as well as being really chocolatey! I also like it because both the cake and the icing only use cocoa powder. Making it more cost effective than recipes which use chocolate, but I don’t think you lose anything on taste. I have to of course credit the great Mary Berry for providing the inspiration for the cake recipe – I like to think that she would approve of my fair trade version! I hope you enjoy making and eating this as much as I do!


  • 175g Self Raising Flour
  • 300g Traidcraft Caster Sugar
  • 50g Equal Exchange Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 tbsp Whole Milk
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 100g Baking Margarine (eg. Stork)
  • 6tbsp boiling water

For the icing

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 90g (3/4 cup) Equal Exchange Cocoa Powder
  • 320g (2 1/3 cup) Tate and Lyle fair trade Icing Sugar
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) Whole Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Where possible use organic ingredients for an even more ethical cake.

You will also need a two large mixing bowls, scales, Victoria sandwich tin and a jar of Traidcraft organic Strawberry Jam.

The method for this is all in one method which I would never usually do – I tend to be more of a cream butter and sugar sort of baker! However, I have been pleased with how this cake has turned out and it is nice and quick, but I do think you need an electric mixer (hand held is fine) and you need to give it a good mix for a couple of minutes or so to ensure it is all fully combined.

Draw round the tins on some baking parchment so that you have two circles, cut out and stick to the inside bottom of your greased tins – this will make it much easier to get the cakes out!

Chocolate fairtrade Cake mix

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (I would do a few degrees less as my oven is a hot fan oven)

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine cocoa powder and boiling water to make a smooth paste.
  2. Put all other ingredients for cake into the bowl, whisk on a low speed for a couple of minutes until fully combined.
  3. Put the mixture in the tins and then into the oven as quickly as possible for a light, well risen cake.
  4. Set the timer for 25 minutes (don’t open the oven door until timer has gone off!!) Then poke a thin skewer (cocktail stick is fine) into the middle of the cake to check that it is fully cooked in the middle – if so the cocktail stick will come out clean. If its not quite done, pop it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate fairtrade cake mix

I like to eat this chocolate cake with just some jam in the middle and icing sugar dusted on top, however if you have a very sweet tooth and like icing with your cake keep reading on….

To make the icing:

  1. Using an electric whisk if possible, beat the butter until soft
  2. Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until combined
  3. Whilst still mixing slowly add the milk and vanilla and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Youll probably need to whisk the icing for two minutes or so.
  4. Use the icing as you wish – in the middle of the sponge (with or without Jam), on top, on the sides – it’s really up to you. This recipe probably makes double the amount you need for a cake this size. So I tend to use half and then freeze the rest to defrost and use at a later date.

Chocolate fairtrade cake cooling

I hope you enjoy this chocolate cake – the cake quantities are easy to double. Also you can use a tray bake tin if you are baking for a lot of people or need a rectangle shaped cake for an occasion – such as the rugby pitch cake requested for my son’s seventh birthday….

That’s it! Perfect, Easy and Fair trade! Not only will it taste super yummy you’ll know that the farmers who produced the sugar and cocoa you used were paid a good wage for their hard work.

Finished fairtrade Chocolate Cake

Fairtrade: Everyday