Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(967 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 30 mins Plus baking and cooling time


Cuts into 14 slices

Indulge yourself with Angela Nilsen's heavenly moist and fudgy chocolate cake - perfect for celebrations - birthdays, weddings, christenings - any excuse!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without icing


  • kcal541
  • fat35g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.51g
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  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium egg
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

For the ganache

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, as above
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


  1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

  2. While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

  3. Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

  5. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

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Comments (1449)

kittieskitchen's picture

This was the first chocolate cake I ever made - and I loved it!

Going to try it again tonight... this time as a cupcake :)

thorpe7878's picture

this sounds great! my friends got an ultimate brownie cake recipe. i hope this is just as good!!!!

sallyscothern's picture

Made this for a friend's birthday. Didn't end up looking like the photo, it kept falling apart but everyone loved the taste and couldn't get enough of it. I think next time I make it I will use 2 sandwich tins. Easy enough to make and very chocolatey.

lm4999's picture


Does anyone know how to make this cake using regular cup measurements, etc?

sapastanaga's picture

Too much sweet with 400 g of sugar, next time I´ll use only 200 g.

sheikha's picture

Deelicious!!! My friends thought this cake was out of this world :)

sgibson's picture

Made this cake at sea level in South Africa exactly according to recipe but reduced cream in ganache to 250ml. Think it was overbaked at 1 hr 20 min at 160 and so will consider checking it at 1 hr. Used organic dark chocolate from Woolworths (not UK Woolworths) throughout and it went down really well.

debbyzimmermann's picture


imabadpixie's picture

Cake is the BEST chocolate cake i have ever made. So rich and moist, and no fail. Rose better than any other cake ive made as well.... I also did one in an 18cm tin and added 10 mins to the cooking time which was fine.

I have only rated 4 stars thoug because of the icing. it was far tooooo runny and spoilt the whole effort.

I have since made the cake again and topped with white chocolate butter icing which LOOKS brilliant and tastes great too.

I will defo do this over and over again and plan to use the cake as part of a wedding cake for a friend.

berryt's picture

I have made this cake so many times, and everyone always loves it

carol123's picture

I made this to bring to work, went down a treat everyone loved this. This is an extremely rich cake couldn't eat a huge slice of this.

angelic1974's picture

I think it works well Riverluck, i guess if you wanted the cake not so rich you could use half dark and half milk chocolate? or maybe even a flavoured dark choc?

angelic1974's picture

ooops forgot to rate :o)

angelic1974's picture

This cake was lovely and sooo easy to make, i too only put 300g sugar but as a variation i put lindt dark chilli chocolate in the cake instead of the plain, it turned out lovely with only a slight hint of heat, and my partner and kids loved it...

veronikak's picture

One of the best chocolate cakes ever!

babswhelan's picture

Heaven on a plate!!!!!!

riverluck's picture

I was surprised at the amount of chocolate used in this recipe is that much really needed?

riverluck's picture

I was surprised at the amount of chocolate used in this recipe

freakinpixie's picture

Divine! Chocolate cake as it should be (Nigella take note!)... I used Creme Fraiche instead of Buttermilk as I couldn't be bothered shopping specially for buttermilk and the result was excellent. I must try it with buttermilk to compare the results. It's very rich and one cake goes a long way if it is just being served at home with coffee. I will make one again the next time I have the ante natal mothers over for coffee or for church or school fairs. Highly recommended for chocoholics!!! Oh, and I didn't have any problems cutting it into 3 layers - so it is achievable.

emzy_wemzy's picture

Lovely recipe and very easy to make. I only used 300g sugar as suggested by others and this doesn't compromise the taste. I don't know if it is the ultimate chocolate cake, but its certainly pretty damn good and I will be making again.


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