Whether you’re looking for a showstopper cake for the Easter holidays or simply a way to use up leftover Easter eggs and chocolates, this Easter Chocolate Traybake Cake with super simple vanilla sponge and whipped chocolate ganache is a sure-fire winner!
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Why make a cake with just one type of chocolate when you can make a cake and throw the entire seasonal aisle of the supermarket at it?
Lets face it, despite the nation’s best efforts, come the Tuesday after Easter, most of us are absolutely awash with Easter chocolates. Even if you’ve used chocolate eggs to top Cornflake Cakes and Lindt truffles on an Alternative Simnel Cake, you’ll likely have some more left.
This super simple but incredibly impressive traybake is a great way to make the most of them. A great cake is a great cake and great chocolate is great chocolate no matter what the date on the calendar.
I’ve kept the base of the cake a simple vanilla sponge. I decided that this was the best way to ensure that the cake doesn’t become overwhelmingly sweet or sickly. And as its a traybake style cake, there is no layering, no trying to defy gravity and overall; less frosting.
Talking of the frosting, I’ve chosen a whipped chocolate ganache over a fudge frosting or buttercream. This is another ploy to stop of the cake becoming too much.
The whipped ganache is actually quite light but adds the right amount of glue to keep all the chocolate toppings in place. And it tastes really good!
As for the chocolate toppings…..go nuts! You can use big eggs, little eggs, chicks, bunnies or anything else that takes your fancy.
How to Serve Easter Cake
This isn’t a cake that likes to be warmed through. So room temperature is the best option for serving. If you keep it in the fridge, the sponge will dry out and the chocolate will become so hard it will be difficult to eat.
In theory a rectangle cake is super easy to cut into 12 square pieces and serve. A whole array of random toppings in random places can make this is a little trickier.
I recommend a big sharp knife, brute force and an unwavering sense of determination. Or you can just knock any chocolates on the cut line out of the way a little. Whatever way suits your personality is just fine.
If you’re going to be serving the kind of people who are going to argue over who gets the slice with what toppings, it may be worth being a little less random with them and considering what goes where. Just to make things “fair”.
Make Easter Chocolate Traybake Cake into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Many of us in the UK will have a nice big meal over the the Easter weekend. Most often this is a roast and very commonly lamb will be involved. But if you want to try something a little different than lamb, why not go for a Sirloin of Beef or even a Glazed Ham. Both make excellent centerpieces.
Easter is also a perfect time to cook the Turkey Crown that you stashed in the freezer when you picked up a reduced one after Christmas.
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Leftover Chocolate Traybake
I have used a light margarine in the recipe as this makes a very light cake. You can use butter or another margarine if you prefer although do note that the cake might not be as light.
If you do not have self raising/self rising flour, you can make your own using this guide from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.
Please do try to find vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence. The flavour is far superior.
I’ve used half dark and half milk chocolate to make the ganache. This gives a good balance of not too sweet but also not too bitter. You could use broken up large easter eggs for this part of the recipe if you wish.
The cream really wants to be double or heavy cream to achieve the right texture and whip.
I’ve used a mixture of Cadbury Creme Eggs – full size and mini, Cadbury Mini Eggs, Galaxy Enchanted Eggs, Smarties Mini Eggs, Milkybar Eggs and Galaxy Caramel Eggs on this cake. As well as a broken up milk chocolate easter egg. You really can use whatever you like.
The trick to the really random look is to keep some whole as well as and let innards fall where they may. I start by placing the biggest eggs and shards first then fill in the gaps with the smaller eggs.
In theory you can top any sheet cake or traybake cake with a ganache and/or Easter eggs. The base of my Black Forest Poke Cake would be amazing. Don’t skip the cherries and poking but replace the whipped cream topping with whipped ganache.
For a cupcake version, use the recipe from my Vanilla Butterfly Cakes but top them with whipped ganache instead of the buttercream. Seeing how many different eggs you can pile on top would be a fun (if not sugar laden) game with kids (or let’s face it – adults).
And for a loaf cake version, you could start with my Pound Loaf Cake recipe as the base and go from there.
You can also add more chocolate into the base cake with either chopped up eggs or chocolate chips or chunks.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
This Easter Chocolate Traybake Cake recipe is in theory suitable for vegetarians but you will need to make sure that all of your chocolate egg toppings are veggie suitable. Some eggs, especially the ones with hard shells use shellac which is an animal derived product.
To make a vegan Easter Egg Traybake Cake is a little harder. It would be simplest to start with a vegan sponge cake base. This vegan vanilla cake from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen would be a great start.
To make the whipped chocolate ganache vegan, you can substitute the double/heavy cream for coconut cream. And you will need to use a vegan friendly chocolate. And then it’s simply a case of making sure that all the egg toppings are vegan friendly.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This Easter Chocolate Traybake Cake recipe is free from nuts but with all allergens, you must check the labels of the various items you’re planning on using on the cake.
Gluten Free: To make a gluten free version, you can sub the wheat flour for a good gluten free flour blend.
Dairy Free: There are various substitutions you will need to make here. Starting with the margarine – you can use dairy free variety. The milk can be replaced with a plant based milk or water.
The cream in the ganache can be replaced with coconut cream or a dairy free cream replacer. And then of course all the chocolate and eggs will need to be dairy free/vegan. This is much easier to find than it once was so shouldn’t be a big issue.
Egg Free: To replace the egg in the cake, you can use 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil in place of each egg. Or you can use a vegan liquid egg replacer. Luckily chocolate eggs tend to be egg free!
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Easter Chocolate Sheet Cake
I make almost all my cakes using either my stand mixer or hand hand whisk. If you can’t afford the former then the latter is a really inexpensive option. Getting the sponge and ganache properly aerated by hand is nearly impossible.
You can however make the sponge with just elbow grease and then use the ganache unwhipped if you need to.
The recipe as written uses a 11″x8″ or 28cm x 20cm rectangle cake pan. You can use one a little larger or a little smaller although you will get a slightly thinner or thicker cake respectively. Much more than a little change and you will need to adjust the quantities of the ingredients.
I find having an offset spatula makes covering the cake a doddle. And as always using silicone spatulas will make sure that no food is wasted in mixing bowls. They allow food to be scraped out much more efficiently than wooden spoons or nylon spatulas. They’re all I use.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The sponge cake base can be made months in advance, well wrapped in cling film and frozen. Once defrosted, the cake can be frosted and decorated as normal. Because this is a soft sponge cake, I wouldn’t otherwise be inclined to make it any more than a day in advance to ensure maximum softness when serving.
The chocolate ganache can be made anything up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge. I would whip it just before decorating. It will store whipped but as you will need to give it a re-whip before using, it makes more sense to me not to bother creating two lots of washing up!
I would not recommend decorating the cake any more in advance than the day on which it is being served. This is especially true if you are planning on splitting open creme or caramel eggs like I have.
Leftover Easter Chocolate Egg Cake
I don’t think I would recommend freezing the cake in its entirety. So just keep eating away! I’m sure a friendly neighbour or family member would be willing to help out!
If the cake itself starts feeling stale and you don’t want to continue eating it as a whole, you can consider removing the toppings and frosting to eat separately. The stale sponge base would be ideal to make Russian Slices.
Easter Chocolate Traybake Cake Tips
I’ve made this recipe as simple as possible by making the cake as an all-in-one sponge cake. If you would refer an even lighter sponge, you can use the creaming method as described in my Victoria Sandwich recipe. The ingredients are nearly identical.
The number of servings of the recipe can be increased or decreased. But you will need to be mindful of the size tin that you use and the cooking times.
If you are looking to serve a significant number of people, you should consider making multiple cakes rather than a massive one. You could put the together on a serving tray and frost over the whole thing to hide the edges if you wanted the illusion of a much larger cake.
Please don’t try to frost the cake before it is properly cooled or the ganache will melt.
Please also don’t try to whip the ganache before it is fully cool or it will not whip up properly.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
More Fun Recipes Perfect for Easter
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Easter Chocolate Traybake Cake
- 225 g Margarine
- 225 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 4 Eggs
- 4 tbsp Milk
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 225 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- 150 g Milk Chocolate
- 150 g Dark Chocolate (Bittersweet)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 200 ml Double Cream (Heavy Cream)
Chocolate Egg Toppings
- 1 Small Milk Chocolate Easter Egg
- 2 Cadbury Crème Eggs
- 4 Mini Cadbury Crème Eggs
- 2 Galaxy Caramel Eggs
- 60 g Galaxy Enchanted Eggs
- 60 g Cadbury Mini Eggs
- 30 g Milkybar Mini Eggs
- 60 g Smarties Mini Eggs
Make the Sponge Cake
- Preheat the oven to 160c fan | 170c | 340f. Line a 11″x8″ or 28cm x 20cm rectangle cake pan with baking parchment.
- Add 225g Margarine, 225g Caster Sugar, 4 Eggs, 4 tbsp Milk, 1 tbsp Baking Powder, 225g Self Raising Flour and 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl.
- Use the stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to beat all the ingredients together. Don’t beat any more than it takes to combine everything, or the sponge may go tough. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once to make sure nothing gets missed.
- Pour the cake batter into the lined tin.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until light golden brown and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the sponge comes out dry.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. After a little while you can remove it from the tin and peel off the lining paper.
Prepare the Chocolate Ganache
- While the cake bakes, break up 150g Milk Chocolate and 150g Dark Chocolate into a mixing bowl along with 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes.
- Measure out 200ml Double Cream and warm it in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the hob. Keep a close eye on it. You need to heat it until it just starts bubbling a little around the edges. Pour the cream on top of the chocolate.
- Stir the cream into the chocolate. It might feel like the chocolate won’t melt but just keep stirring.
- Once the ganache is smooth and the chocolate is fully melted, cover it in cling film and allow to fully chill.
Whip the Chocolate Ganache
- Once the ganache is cold, it should be thick and hold its shape.
- Whip the ganache for around 5 minutes with the balloon whisk in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk. Whip until it is lighter in colour and fluffy. Keep scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure none of it is left behind.
Decorate the Cake
- Pile the whipped ganache into the centre of the sponge.
- Use an offset spatula to carefully spread the ganache to the edges of the cake.
- Try to end up with a flat top and add a squiggle for interest.
- Start decorating with the largest of the eggs you have. I used shards of a Small Milk Chocolate Easter Egg and halved Cadbury Crème Eggs and Galaxy Caramel Eggs.
- Continue decorating with a mixture of smaller eggs. I used Galaxy Enchanted Eggs, Cadbury Mini Eggs, Milkybar Mini Eggs, Smarties Mini Eggs and halved Mini Cadbury Crème Eggs.
- Carefully slice and serve!