Chocolate Treacle Cake

How to Make Treacle Cake

Cake isn’t something I often bake. Usually, my preferred treat is a gooey flapjack or batch of crunchy biscuits. But sometimes an idea comes along that is so devastatingly tempting that it’s impossible to resist. Chocolate Treacle Cake is just such an idea. The thought of viscous black treacle in league with bitter chocolate, sweetened using an unrefined brown sugar proving too much to contain. If you’ve never baked with treacle, this autumn is the time to start.

An all-in-one cake, this is a very simple bake and shouldn’t take long at all to throw together. Even the icing, which perhaps sounds complicated, requires mere minutes. Just be sure to whip the topping enough, as it won’t be firm enough to begin with. A few minutes should suffice and will mean the difference between a sloppy mess and a perfectly formed masterpiece.

Recipe for Chocolate Treacle Cake

The mixture for this cake is quite wet, so don’t use sandwich tins that have removable bases. Or if you do, make sure they are water-tight. This didn’t occur to me when baking my cake and I ended up with one or two holes in the sponge as a result. But don’t worry, despite being wet the treacle and chocolate sponge will turn out beautifully. It isn’t over-egged, I promise!

Of course, if such a sweet cake isn’t exactly what you enjoy, there are other autumnal options that you may prefer. Check out my recipes for Spiced Apple and Walnut Tray Bake and Apricot Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Chocolate Treacle Cake

Makes 1 Sandwich Cake


for the cake:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 125 ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 3 eggs

for the treacle icing:

  • 200g full-fat soft/cream cheese
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp black treacle


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan) and line two sandwich tins (25cm in diameter).
  2. In a large saucepan gently melt the butter, together with the sugar, milk, black treacle and cocoa powder. Whisk to ensure a smooth texture.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Tip in the melted butter/treacle mixture and whisk once again to create a smooth cake batter.
  4. Incorporate the eggs into the batter one-by-one until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the mixture equally between the two cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.
  5. Once cooked set the tins to one side for 5 minutes to cool. Turn the sponges out and place on a rack to cool fully.
  6. Meanwhile, using a hand whisk blend together the ingredients for the icing until creamy and thick. Cover and pop in the fridge until the cake is ready to be iced.
  7. Liberally ice each half of the cake before assembling and consume as soon as possible, though it should last covered in the fridge for roughly 3 days.

Cake Recipes for Black Treacle Chocolate Treacle Cake Recipe

Cost: Though decadent, this chocolate treacle cake is actually rather a frugal bake. Using an inexpensive soft cheese (49p from Aldi), you should be able to bake your own for as little as £3.50.

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27 comments on “Chocolate Treacle Cake

  1. Sue Robinson
    October 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I always look forward to your posts and the photos are exceptional. Just one suggestion, could you give a weight of treacle or syrup in your recipes because it can vary enormously and affects the final result quite significantly. Thank you. Keep up your labour of love.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Thank you – I really wouldn’t worry about slight weight changes in the syrup. 1 tbsp – as it is defined – should be within accepted limits.

  2. Maya Oryan
    October 30, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Wow! I love black treacle. Thank you for sharing.

  3. francesca
    October 31, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Cream cheese icing on anything is amazeballs. Looks delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Thank you – I’m a sucker for cream cheese.

  4. Corina
    November 3, 2014 at 5:59 am

    It sounds so good. I don’t think I’ve eaten treacle since I was little girl though – maybe it’s time to get some and experiment.

  5. edshigginsblog
    November 6, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    mmmm that looks awesome!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 17, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Thank you – it’s seriously delicious .

  6. Jean |
    November 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Nick, that looks wonderful! I love treacle, use it in ginger cake and cookies. Oh and sticky toffee pudding. But I’ve not used it in anything chocolate; must try this!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Thank you – so do I. It’s a beautiful ingredient.

  7. Odelle Smith
    November 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Hi, found your site via ‘Baker Bettie’ whist searching for the ‘perfect choc chip cookies’, delighted that I have.
    Great posts, love the family Scripture Cake, will be making this soon-along with cookies, slow-cooked brisket (use this cut of beef a lot) due to it’s great flavor & price, makes gorgeous gravy served with mash, Yorkshire puddings & fresh veg.
    Slices well if there’s any left! Makes great sandwiches…
    Shall now search your blog for other recipes to try….
    Offal, is great, oxtail, liver & onions, stewed steak & dumplings…Apologies, I digress from your original post of ‘Chocolate Treacle Cake’, I too am a lover of cream-cheese icing, think I’ll have to add some pecans to the mix as I love those too…
    Many thanks,
    Odelle Smith U.K.

  8. handmadestitchbystitch
    November 27, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    This sounds so gooood!! 🙂

  9. julialikes
    December 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Great idea. Since seeing this recipe I have nearly finished a second tin of treacle, adding it to all sorts of things, including a Beetroot and Chocolate Cake just posted where I have given you due credit thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 16, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Yes I saw the link, thank you very much! Your cake looks lovely.

  10. Laura
    October 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    This did not work well for me at all! And I’m a professional baker!! I used slightly smaller pans than the ones specified but it came out totally flat like pancakes! The recipe says plain flour but I’m wondering if I should have used self raising? X

    • frugalfeeding
      November 1, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Very strange – the recipe does mention baking powder; did you include it? You could also use self-raising.

  11. Laura
    November 1, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Yes definitely put baking powder in, was tempted to use self raising but worried it would ruin it?

    • frugalfeeding
      November 7, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Strange! Never be scared of replacing plain and baking powder with self-raising. Sorry you had issues with the cake, I honestly can’t imagine why!

  12. Jan
    January 5, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Have been searching for a recipe my mum used to make…….Imthink this is it! Thank you! Will try it at the weekend!

  13. Susan
    May 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Looks gorgeous, I would love to make this. Do you have quantities and cooking time for 20 cm sponge tins? Thank you

  14. Audrey Paterson
    April 28, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Lovely cake..I made it with GF plain flour and baking powder. Also used mascarpone in the icing and added toasted pecans. Thank you so much for this recipe. Long time since I’ve used treacle.

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