How to make a rich and dark old speckled hen chocolate cake

By Ellyn Peratikou

With the cold weather well on its way and the season of the ‘big night in’ fast approaching, what better way to beat the chill than with a selection of indulgent recipes from the great British ale brand, Old Speckled Hen.

We’re kicking off this delectable series with the Old Speckled Hen Rich & Dark Chocolate Cake, perfect for celebrating National Chocolate Week. A real treat, this grown up chocolate cake features scrumptious layers of light and soft sponge sandwiched with decadent, glossy and smooth chocolate icing. The perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea, we’ll be serving ours with a generous dollop of whipped double cream.

And make sure you don’t miss out on what’s coming next from Old Speckled Hen. Ideal for those who wish to seek out something different – from mouth-watering baked gammon to sweet and creamy fudge, Old Speckled Hen have got just what you need to get you through the winter months.

Adults only chocolate cake! Delicious served as part of afternoon tea or with a large dollop of freshly whipped double cream….

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes Total Time: 40-45 minutes Ingredients:

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ¼ level tsp baking powder
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 275g dark brown soft sugar
  • 110g spreadable butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 50g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 200ml Old Speckled Hen
  • For the Icing:
  • 200g butter, soften
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Old Speckled Hen
  • 50g dark chocolate, melted
  •  Cocoa powder or grated chocolate to dust


  1. Preheat the oven 180°C, fan oven 160°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of 2 x 22cm round cake-tins, with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a freestanding mixer.
  3. Add all the other ingredients, except the Old Speckled Hen. Either using an electric hand whisk or the freestanding mixer combine all the ingredients for about one minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Add the Old Speckled Hen a little at a time until thoroughly combined.
  4. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for about 30–35 minutes. The cakes are cooked when pressed lightly with your little finger and the center springs back.
  5. Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling further on a cooling rack.
  6. To make the icing: melt the chocolate in the microwave – 2-3 minutes on medium should do it – or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
  7. Beat the softened butter, gradually adding the icing sugar a spoonful at a time. Once all the icing sugar has been added, whisk the icing for about 5 minutes on a high speed with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the Old Speckled Hen and mix thoroughly. Add the melted chocolate and beat until everything is glossy and smooth.
  8. Spread or pipe half the icing onto the bottom layer, top with the other cake, spreading the remaining icing on top.

About the author

Old Speckled Hen was first brewed in 1979 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Now crafted in Greene King’s Bury St Edmunds brewery, this icon of British brewing has a distinctively refined and fruity aroma which has attracted many fans – including the much-loved Henry the Fox who is always on the hunt for a bottle of this award-winning tipple. The full range includes Old Speckled Hen, Old Golden Hen, Old Hoppy Hen and Old Crafty Hen. For more information visit:



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