When it comes to DIY wedding ideas, the one that often seems the most challenging is the wedding cake. Well, I’ve living proof that you don’t have to be a professional baker to pull it off!

For my own wedding, I knew I wanted something a little rustic, a little country – and definitely chocolatey. The first step is finding the perfect recipe, and I’ve been baking this particular chocolate mud cake for years! Today, I’m willing to share it with you and I know you’ll love it too.

Mel’s Chocolate Mud Cake (adapted from Family Circle’s Cooking: A Commonsense Guide)
Note: I made a triple batch and layered the three cakes into one awesome tower. This recipe is for one cake.

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
250g (9 oz) butter, chopped
1 tablespoon oil (not olive oil)
200g (7 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
90g (3 oz) butter
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups icing sugar mix
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 160 Celsius (315 Fahrenheit). Grease a 20 cm (8″) round springform cake tin and line with baking paper.
2. Sift flours and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl.
3. In a saucepan, combine butter, chocolate, oil, sugar and coffee powder with 1 cup of water. Stir over low heat until the chocolate has melted and become smooth. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the chocolate mixture to the flours and whisk until just combined.
5. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
6. Pour into the prepared cake tin (one with straight sides like a springform tin) and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the skewer comes out just clean. Let cool completely in the tin.
7. Once cool, cut the top so that it’s flat then turn onto a plate (the bottom is now the top!)

To make the frosting:
1. Combine butter, water and caster sugar in a small pan, stir over heat without boiling until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl. Stir in the hot butter mixture in batches.
3. Cover, refrigerate for one hour or until thickened then beat until spreadable.

To assemble, make sure you use only a small amount of frosting in between layers and coat your cake only when cooled. Use a hot knife to smooth the surface if that is what you want to achieve. I decorated my cake with native wattle and gum flowers made from icing, which I bought from a local cake supply store, and a cute bird’s nest that I made as well.

PhotosDarin Collison