Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(977 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 (1460)

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.

judyew's picture

In answer to wag-one I recently used this recipe to make a 3 tier wedding cake for my daughter. For a 12 cake I used 625g Chocolate, 625 g butter, 250g Self-raising flour, 250g plain flour, 625g muscovado sugar, 625g caster sugar, 75g cocoa powder, 10 eggs 15 tbsp buttermilk, 3tbsp coffee in 12oz water and 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda. For the ganache 625g chocolate, 750 ml cream and 6tbs caster sugar. It took 3 hours to cook so I rested a sheet of baking parchment over to top to stop it burning.
The icing doesn't need almond paste, but you can use a second coat of chocolate to get the perfect finish. I made some up in advance and left it in the fridge overnight so that it was firm and used this to cover the sides, otherwise the ganache just runs off. Later I put on a second coat which you can just pour on and leave. One word of warning. Make sure the cream isn't too thick. It makes very thick ganache which doesn't flow.

dibenn's picture

Opps I forgot to rate too.

dibenn's picture

I made this cake and the whole family loved it - it was so moist but very rich. I used half 60% choc and half galaxy for the ganache. Also couldnt get buttermilk so used creme fraiche. It was so easy to make and was like one you would get in a top restaurant. Daren't think about the calories!! but would definitely make again for a special occasion.

phaines's picture

sorry, forgot to rate it!

phaines's picture

I made this for my husband's birthday, and it went down a treat. If I can make it then anyone can, it was really straight forward. I used a mixture of milk and plain chocolate, and also only used 300g of sugar, and it was still gorgeous. Will definately be making it again.

clairecv's picture

OMG! This cake was amazing and I have a history of making 'exceedingly bad cakes'! It was so moist and rich, and rose to perfection. I also could only find a 20cm x 9.5 cm deep tin, but it came out perfectly, without having to alter the ingredients. I only cut it in two after reading the other members saying it feel apart if cut into three. I also replaced 50g of the 200g of dark choc with good quality milk choc to make it less rich. Will definately make again, and will do as our Christmas cake as we are not fruit cake eaters. will use icing sugar to create a snow effect and put some Christmas characters on the top.

deekay78's picture

Made this massive cake at the weekend and its lovely. I added 100g of choc chips to the mix and omitted the coffee granules but added the water required for this. The cake came out moist and it gives you that chocolate hit thats needed when you want to over indulge! It was very easy to make and I will always bring this along to a party/event now if I need to.

louise999's picture

I made this cake twice, needing it for a birthday party and twice it turned out hard and unrisen. After following the recipe exactly and spending £20 on ingredients I wasnt happy!

knaaman's picture

When i first read the recipe,i knew ihad to try it.It was perfect.The flavour to die for.I did have some problems with the texture and look,so i started baking it in a rectangular pan so i cut it into 3 parts.After baking i'd cool it for 24 hrs in the fridge ffor moving the pieces without them falling apart.the result the perfect chocolate cake.


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