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Wishing Well Cake

Wishes do come true with this chocolate cake, complete with golden Oreo coins.


  • Chocolate Cake
  • 350 g (121/2 oz/21/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 450 g (1 lb) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g (31/2 oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 350 g (121/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) full-cream (whole) milk
  • Frosting
  • 2 batches Swiss meringue buttercream frosting (thescranline.com)
  • 1 tsp banana flavouring
  • 6 drops yellow food gel
  • Decorations
  • 400g mini oreos
  • 2 tbsp gold lustre dust


  1. Frosting
  2. To prepare the frosting add yellow food gel and banana flavouring to the frosting and mix until well combined.
  3. Chocolate Cake
  4. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160°C (320°F) or a conventional oven to 180°C (350°F). Spray two 18cm (7 in) cake tins with oil spray and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside.
  5. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
  6. Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the batter reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
  7. Add the eggs and milk and mix again on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any additional flavourings or food-gel colourings to the batter.
  8. Divide the cake mixture between the two tins. I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly, ensuring that all three cakes will bake at the same rate.
  9. Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle a cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking, for 10 minutes at a time, until fully baked.
  10. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
  11. To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake before you trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers of cake.
  12. To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of the banana frosting onto an 8” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
  13. Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  14. Add more frosting around and top and sides of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
  15. Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  16. Add a final layer of frosting on the cake using a piping bag. Start from the bottom and work your way around the cake until you reach the top. Add some frosting on top. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting on top of the cake. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, we’re coming back to neaten it up. Use a bench scraper to smoothen out the frosting, same as you did in the crumb coat layer. Once the sides are smooth, smoothen out the top of the cake using the bench scraper.
  17. To prepare the mini Oreo gold coins simply use a food safe brush dipped in a little bit of gold lustre dust and brush one side of the Oreo cookie with the lustre dust. Repeat that until you’ve made all your cookies gold!
  18. Stick the oreos all around your cake and on the top to finish!