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When hubby and I first started dating, Valentine’s Day was all about romance – picnics, candlelit dinners, roses, gifts, you name it!

Over twenty years later, blessed with 4 kids, although we don’t get caught up in the whole Valentine’s Day madness anymore we still celebrate the day. We have, however, brought the concept back to basics and celebrate love and all the joy it can bring…plain and simply.

In recent years we started a new little tradition where we enjoy a three course meal with the cherubs. They’re our biggest achievement and to have a Valentine’s Day dinner on our own just wouldn’t seem right!  

Part of the menu is of course a special dessert. The chosen dessert this year is stunning individual brownie layer cakes sandwiched with strawberry frosting made with the all natural Buttercream Icing Mix from CSR Sugar.

Having developed a number of recipes over the past few months, I really love the fact that this product is completely free of artificial colours and preservatives, tastes amazing,  and, I tell you what, it pipes absolutely beautifully.

I really hope you try this recipe for any special occasion and remember if you do, don’t forget to tag me or #mckrecipes so I can see what you’re baking!

Much love to everyone this Valentine’s Day!

H xx

Serves: 4 or 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus cooling time
Cooking Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • ¾ cup quality Dutch cocoa, sifted
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g quality dark eating chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 packet CSR Buttercream Icing Mix


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C, grease and line a 32x25cm oven tray.  
  2. Place the flour, cocoa, brown sugar and caster sugar in a medium size bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps in the sugars. Add the butter, vanilla bean paste and eggs and stir until combined.
  3. Add the dark chocolate and stir again until mixed in. Spread to the edges of the tin, smooth the top and pop in the oven. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the top has dried out. Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.  
  4. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the Buttercream Icing Mix in accordance with the instructions on the packet and place in a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I used size 9).  
  5. To assemble the cakes, cut out 12 rounds using a 7cm round cookie cutter. Pipe star dots on all the layers.
  6. To serve, place a round on the serving plate and carefully stack a second layer (to make 6 cakes) OR a second and third layer (to make 4 cakes). Serve with plenty of love, laughter and good cheer!