Golden Syrup and Chocolate Snow Dragon Cake

I'm squeezing in a blog post this evening - possibly at the expense of writing Christmas cards - but I'm sure the world won't end if some people end up getting Hogmanay cards instead, right?

A few weeks back I posted a fairy birthday cake, and this one was for the little fairy's big sister who requested a chocolate cake with a snow dragon in it.

Confession: I had (still have) no idea what a snow dragon is. The little girl in question's Mum wasn't sure either, so in the end I just went for a dragon who was having a snowball fight - since that covered both the snow and dragon bases!

The cake itself is my favourite chocolate cake recipe - it's made using golden syrup, and it has a great flavour, a nice solid crumb, it keeps well, freezes perfectly and is fairly easy to shape and carve if you need to do any cake shaping.

It's based on a recipe from 'Fun Cakes for Special Occasions by Ann Nicol' - a now-slightly-retro-looking celebration cake book from 1997, which now seems to be out of print. I've adapted the recipe to be dairy free, and here's my version:

Golden Syrup Chocolate Cake (Makes an 8" round cake)
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 generous tbsp cocoa powder
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g dairy free margarine (I used Pure sunflower)
  • 200ml chocolate flavour Oatly oat milk
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 medium eggs lightly beaten
Grease and base line your tin and preheat the oven to 160C.
Sieve flour, cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combined.
Put the margarine and chocolate oat milk in a small pan on a low heat and stir until dissolved.
Spoon the syrup into the warm milk and margarine and stir until combined.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the eggs.
Beat until the batter is smooth - it will be fairly runny.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for approximately 50-60mins. When a skewer comes out clean it's done.

If you don't need to make it dairy free, then feel free to use regular marge, or butter. If you're going with  regular butter or marge, then increase the quantity to 115g and miss out one of the tsp of golden syrup to keep things in proportion.

If you can't find chocolate oat milk, then any other non-dairy milk will do, it just won't be quite as chocolate-y! (And again, real milk will also work if you're not trying to be DF).

To make the dragon, I used this tutorial at Bake Happy. To help it dry and keep it's shape a little better, I used 60% fondant and 40% mexican modelling paste which I kneaded together before colouring.

I iced it with chocolate butter cream for which I used 250g unsalted butter, 500g icing sugar, 3 tbsp milk and 50g melted dark chocolate. That made plenty for the cake, plus enough for 6-12 cupcakes (depending on your icing philosophy... 6 if you think icing and cake should be in a 50:50 ration and piled in a towering swirl on top, 12 if you're more of a quick swipe across the top with a palette knife person).

I'm submitting this to the December edition of Tea Time Treats - the theme for the Christmas edition is chocolate, so I think this definitely fits the bill! It's hosted alternately by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked, and this month it's What Kate Baked's turn. I'm looking forward to the roundup and seeing what everyone else has made.