The caramel flavour in this old-fashioned Caramel Chocolate Cake recipe comes from golden syrup. Although caramel with fleur de sel or dulce de leche are standard these days, it’s refreshing to come back to a more down-to-earth baking style. The1970s housewives who contributed this recipe to a now vintage cookbook have provided an unpretentious, uncomplicated glorious rich cake that tastes quite similar to a sticky date pudding. To finish the cake, I went with a simple chocolate glace icing, and a sprinkling of finely chopped walnuts for a little bit of crunch.

Recipe adapted from Misses Bernice & Trixie Shaddick, in the Nyamutin Farm Cookbook (1973).

You will need: a 20cm (8 in) round cake tin

Retro Caramel Chocolate Cake

Retro Caramel Chocolate Cake
Cake Mistress Print Recipe
Print Recipe
The1970s housewives who contributed this recipe to a now vintage cookbook have provided an unpretentious, uncomplicated glorious rich cake that tastes quite similar to a sticky date pudding. To finish the cake, I went with a simple chocolate glace icing and a sprinkling of finely chopped walnuts for a little bit of crunch. The caramel flavour in this old-fashioned Caramel Chocolate Cake recipe comes from the golden syrup.
Servings:
Units:

Ingredients

Caramel Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Icing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 340F). Line the bottom of a 20cm (8in) cake tin with baking paper. Grease the sides with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the softened butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat them together on medium speed until the mixture is pale thick and creamy. Beat in the egg.
  3. In a separate bowl stir the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt together until evenly combined. Turns the beaters to low-medium speed and slowly pour in the milk and dry ingredients at the same time. Beat in the golden syrup.
  4. Split the batter equally between two bowls. To one bowl stir in the cinnamon and cocoa powder until it’s well mixed. Pour this cocoa batter into the cake tin first. Smooth the surface with a spatula.
  5. Pour the other caramel-flavoured batter on top. Smooth with a spatula.
  6. Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the cake tin on the middle rack of the oven. Baked for 45-55 minutes. The cake is ready when the top springs back when pressed and a skewer in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the tin. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Prepare the chocolate icing. In a small bowl add the icing sugar, soft butter and cocoa powder. Dribble in a little water at a time and stir the mixture until you get an easily spreadable consistency. Spread the icing over the cake.

Baking Tips

  • Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

45 Comments

  1. Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday

    You said magic words….chocolate and caramel! I LOVE caramel and chocolate and your cake looks fabulous!

    I love that you are digging out retro recipes too. There are some great old recipes out there. My Nan’s old Catholic Womens league cookbook is one of my most used. If it was good enough for my Nan it’s most certainly good enough for me.

  2. Anonymous

    ooh i love an old skool recipe! golden syrup is so delish!

  3. GourmetGetaways

    Oh no!! I am old school! I always use golden syrup to get that illusive rich caramel flavour! This is a great recipe, I love cakes which are full of flavour and this one looks top of the list. The story about the ladies is just gorgeous, I am now going to have to start looking at my mum and nans cookbooks.

  4. Sarah

    This looks so good! Golden syrup always reminds me of this yummy golden syrup pudding my nan used to make… it was so comforting and homey! I may have to add this to my “to do” list :)

  5. tables

    Wow! This is adorable and looks so delicious! This is what I want for my birthday! Thanks a lot for sharing.

  6. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    Lovely! I love vintage recipes :) I need to get into Mad Men. Yes, the dresses! Gorgeous.
    Heidi xo

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I love vintage recipes too! And Mad Men while I’m at it. Although I do recall seeing an interview with the Mad Men cast and someone mentioned that Betty never eats, only drinks and smokes! :P

  8. Anonymous

    A bit of vintage cake… YUM! caramel, chocolate… heavenly.

  9. Hannah Terry-Whyte

    What I wouldn’t give for a half-hour free-for-all in the Mad Men wardrobe department… and I hefty slice of caramel-golden-syrup chocolate cak at the end. Oh, perfect imaginary afternoon! :D

  10. Scandifoodie

    Wow what a treat for special occasions! Looks so moist!

  11. Appleandspice

    Wow looks divine and very indulgant and moorish. Drooling just thinking about it. Lovely flavour combo

  12. Nakahna

    I recently found this same cookbook in a secondhand shop. My first attempt at this cake wasn’t memorable so thankyou for the extra details. I will have another go.

  13. The Recipe Binder

    I love unpretentious food and this cake looks gloriously moist and tasty. I’m definitely going to bake this one! Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Ashley - Im so Hungree

    Oooh, it just looks beautiful! Have a little Melbourne Cup day gathering so this just might be perfect to whip up! :) Thanks!

  15. Anita

    Yum! This is definitely a recipe to bookmark and bake soon. What a find!

  16. Anonymous

    Hi Nakahna, what a great find in the bookshop. My first attempt following the method exactly as written went terribly bad!!! The mixture split really grossly and the caramel layer sunk. But with some tweaking the magic of the recipe came through. Happy baking! Let us know how it goes.

  17. Anonymous

    Hi Nakahna, what a great find in the bookshop. My first attempt following the method exactly as written went terribly bad!!! The mixture split really grossly and the caramel layer sunk. But with some tweaking the magic of the recipe came through. Happy baking! Let us know how it goes.

  18. Anita

    What a lovely idea to revisit some of the older recipes – ones that are as gorgeous as this can’t be ignored!

  19. Brownievillegirl

    Firstly, I LOVE your “about me”!!!!

    This cake sounds fantastic – love old school baking.

    Also love Mad Men!! – doing alot of lovin today!!!!!

  20. Fiona

    Emma, what a wonderful idea to delve into the archives. I am in the process of copying my Nanna’s cookbook and reading the old recipes is such a treat. Thanks for sharing this one, I will definitely be trying it!

  21. Gastronomy Gal

    Agree- golden syrup is just SO great. Really. Seriously great.

  22. betty

    oh yummy this looks great!

  23. Katerina

    I love those vintage recipes. They bring to memory happy childhood moments.

  24. Katherine

    The cake looks absolutely divine. OMG caramel. Once of my many weaknesses. Old fashion recipes are always good to go back to. It seems to work every time.

  25. Iron Chef Shellie

    sign me up for a big slice of that!!

  26. Sanjeeta kk

    Love the caramel part in this chocolaty cake.

  27. Conor @ Hold the Beef

    Goopy goopiness all up in your face. Nice one :)

    Golden syrup really is hard to beat.

  28. Cherrie

    Great looking cake. I love golden syrup in cakes too

  29. Geire Kami

    This is INDEED a scrumptious recipe! So glad to have found your precious website! Also try the carrot cake from the Nyamutin (Nigh-ah-mutt-an) Farm Cookbook.

    I am rather blessed to live at Nyamutin Farm in the south west of the Wheatbelt of Western Australia, and you will be glad to know that the darling Miss Bernice Shaddick is still alive! The rose garden where they took their tea is still in bloom. I will print off your page and take it to Bernice the next time I see her. She will say, “Well fancy that!” :)

  30. Mary

    How awesome reading this blog. I was just telling Emma that Bernice made my wedding cake 28 years ago. It was a 4 tiered fruit cake and the art work on the cake was magnificent.

  31. Fairy_garden

    I made this cake today for my brothers birthday! It was magic! Thankyou for sharing the recipe! I put broken up bits of ‘crunchie’ on top instead of the walnuts, was a big hit with my six year old. Pure decadence!!!

  32. Anonymous

    Hi Geire,

    Thanks for your kind words. I must indeed try the carrot cake. That’s so amazing that you’re at Nyamutin and Miss Shaddick is still around. Please say hello, and thank you for me.
    I was talking to my Mum about the book and she said Bernice made her beautiful 4 tier wedding cake. Mum’s side of the family are from Pingelly, not too far away. The surname was Narducci back then :)

  33. Chef_Matthew

    Looks awesome.

    The moisture is oozing out :)

    Matthew

  34. Bel Stafford

    At what point do you actually add the golden syrup and to which bowl? The bowl without the Cocoa and cinnamon?

  35. Anonymous

    Hi Bel,
    After you’ve beaten in the milk and flour you split the batter evenly into two bowls. In one bowl you stir in the chocolate and cinnamon and in the other you stir in the golden syrup.
    Happy Baking,
    The Cake Mistress

  36. Merytrinn

    Yummo! I just tried making this cause I was craving sweet but I got a bit confused at the different mixture parts. What’s the caramel layer? /o After adding the chocolatey golden syrup to the batter I had it kinda marbley and then I stuck that into the tray. Shouldn’t it just be batter? What layer am I missing? It’s still baking so hope it turns out alright >_>”

  37. Joe Damrongphiwat

    This looks very tempting even though I still have a chocolate cake in the freezer!

  38. Katherine S

    I have made this twice now… both times delicious. You are correct, you need to watch it during the cooking. The first time I covered the top with foil for the last 20mins as it began to burn. The caramel is very moist, the choc was noticeably less moist. Definitely a winner! Thanks for sharing :-)

  39. Ashleigh

    My mum’s side of the family are from the Pingelly/Brookton area – the Cliffs. Mum has the Nyamutin cookbook and I’m always asking her to send more recipes from it to me!

  40. Elle

    Can you use maple syrup instead of golden syrup?

  41. Anonymous

    Hi Elle,
    At a guess, I’d say sure. Might just change the flavour. The golden syrup is really just there for the ‘caramel’ flavour, so hopefully it will still turn out the same.

    Happy baking!

  42. Mich

    HI there – I’m just wondering if you could bake this in a bundt tin? If so, how long should I bake for?

  43. Emma

    Hi Mich,

    I’d only be guessing at how well it might turn out in a bundt tin. My first worry is the volume and shape difference: this one was baked in a 20cm round cake tin whereas bundt tins tend to be larger? So you might need to double the ingredients and use enough batter to fill the bundt 3/4 full. The size of the tin is going to impact the baking time unfortunately, so I can only suggest keeping a close eye on it after to 45 minute mark. It’s typically done with the top springs back when lightly pressed, there’s no obvious wobble to the batter and the sides start to shrink away slightly from the pan.

    Kind Regards,
    Emma
    The Cake Mistress

  44. Mike Tanner

    I made this cake for my boss’s birthday and I received a ton of compliments on it. My favorite was “This was the way cakes used to taste before oil was in everything.” I didn’t have any golden syrup so I used a mix of maple syrup and molasses (the internet told me that was a fine substitution). I made two cakes and layered them. My first cake used more molasses than maple so that part came out more golden. The second cake I used more maple so that part looked more off-white– the cake ended up three toned which added to the “wow” factor. I used a chocolate buttercream frosting and topped it with crushed walnuts.