Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(97 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins Plus cooling


Serves 50
This recipe makes the bottom layer of our three tier wedding cake or a simple delicious chocolate cake, perfect with a touch of cream

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal274
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.23g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 650g unsalted butter
  • 650g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 100ml very strong coffee- espresso is ideal
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence



    The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…

  • 650g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 2 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-…

  • 950g light soft brown sugar
  • 10 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 2 x 284ml/9½ fl oz soured cream


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter, double-line and wrap the sides of the 30cm deep-round cake tin as before. Put the butter and chocolate into a medium saucepan, then stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in the coffee and vanilla.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the biggest bowl you have. Add the sugar, breaking down any lumps with your fingertips if necessary. Beat the eggs and soured cream together in a jug or bowl and pour into the flour mix. Pour in the melted chocolate mix as well, then stir with a wooden spoon until you have a thick, even chocolaty batter.

  3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 2½ hrs – don’t open the oven door before 2 hrs is up, as this will cause the cake to sink. Once cooked, leave in the tin to cool completely. The unfilled cake will keep for up to four days, wrapped as before, or frozen for a month.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (347)

Sophiacl83's picture

Hello - the recipe says this serves 50. Is that one layer or does it mean all three layers if you were to make the three-tier wedding cake? Also, I've bought double quantities of the ingredients to make two layers, but now I am wondering if the idea is you cut this cake into three layers like in the picture? If so this means there is no need to make double quantities?

Stlucia's picture

This was the first 12inch chocolate cake I've ever made as I'm not a big fan of chocolate cake. Oh my what a lovely cake, very moist and yummy. It was a massive success in work as I made it for Macmillan coffe morning. Just make sure you have large enough bowls to mix the ingredient as I had to chance my bowls. Best chocolate cake ever

Emzie_essex's picture

Made this as part of a two tiered cake, (my first attempt). It is lovely moist and delicious. It is also not too complicated. My young daughter loved it.

maryharri's picture

Summary of tips

I've posted in the past but there's always a new size/shape of cake to try and so we keep on learning! Here are a few things I've had to work out by trial and error as, everyone agrees, it's worth persisting as it's a great cake when it all goes well.
- Buy a washing up bowl from a cheap shop to keep as a large mixing bowl.
- After trying a 10 egg mix in a 30 cm round tin (as in recipe) and a 12 egg mix in a 30 cm square tin, which both sank in the middle even after a long time in the oven, I have decided, for me, that the volume of mix is just too great for a reasonable bake and now always do half the mix at a time and find that the cakes have fairly flat tops. Both cakes can be split in half for a rather tall 4 layer cake or, better still, use three of the layers for the 'main' cake and use the 4th layer as a taster. 

- The cake cuts and handles well if chilled overnight in its tin and freezes very well with the butter icing. Mark a line with icing at one point on the side of the cake before cutting so that if your cutting is uneven you know where to fit the two pieces back together after filling.

- Weigh the eggs, in their shells, and use the same weight in flour, butter and chocolate. A bit of egg juggling should allow you to get fairly close to the weight required in the recipe. A 5 egg mix is good in the 30cm round tin and a 6 egg mix good in the 30cm square tin. Check after 1.5 hours but they probably need a bit longer in the oven.

- For cooking time, a few people have posted examples of the baking times need for different sizes. Err on the side of too long rather than too short a time. The cake can look crisp and done on top but still be liquid in the middle. Remove the cake and listen to it. If you can hear it 'singing' (quiet sizzling sound) bake for another 10 minutes and try again until your cake goes quiet :)

- Calculate other amounts of mixture, using the egg number, by keying in the whole amount as given in the recipe for 10 eggs, divide by 10 then multiply by the egg number required eg. for a 6 egg mix, flour 650g ÷ 10 = 65, then 65 x 6 = 390g. The chocolate and butter will also be 390g, coffee 60ml, baking powder and bicarb 1.2 tsp, sugar 570g and soured cream 340ml.

- Butter cream, calculated from the unhelpful instructions in the 'Creating your wedding cake' section, butter 300g, sugar 600g, cream 142 ml, chocolate 200g. Double up or halve tbe amount depending on cake size and keep notes of quantities used for future reference.

CakesandpudsbyLucy's picture

Can you give advise best way to cut wedding cake chocolate cake should cut into 50,and lemon 30 , have used good food recipe and doing 2 tiers plus another for pre cutting

Olyaoo3's picture

Is it possible that you can convert this recipe for me in pounds & ounces?

Mandyjane100's picture

I have just made this cake and it smells delicious! I made in a 9inch tin and used and used 0.6 of the original recipe. Baked on 150 in fan over for exactly 2 hours and it looks perfect - a good 3inches high. I plan to make another one exactly the same, cut both layers in half and use three layers. This is for the middle tier of my daughter's wedding cake next weekend. Can anyone tell me please, if they found the outside of the cake firm to touch (I may just be panicking!)?

Stlucia's picture

I've been asked to make a cake this size and I'm very new to baking. Can you break down your ingredient for me please

wendersjbenders's picture

I've just made a 4 tier one of these for my daughter's 21st birthday and it's the best chocolate cake recipe I've ever used. I'm not as confident as some of you so I stuck to the recipe and followed all the timings and tips to the letter and it didn't catch at all. I can confirm what other people have said in that it isn't like a sponge cake, and it doesn't shrink back so the cake you see coming out of the oven is the size it will be when cooled. I froze it until I needed it and it was even better when I defrosted it - moist, chocolatey nomnomnom

The ingredients for the larger diameter cakes add up cost wise so I didn't want to risk a burnt cake so I took a belt and braces approach to the tins. I double lined them on the inside and made a double cuff of brown paper on the outside which was 2 inches higher than the tin

Some of you are asking about chocolate buttercreams. This cake is so rich, you wouldn't want to use an insipid buttercream recipe. My go-to chocolate buttercream comes from the Primrose Hill Bakery and goes like this:-

175 g dark chocolate (I use Asda (Walmart for our American friends) Smart Price but you can use posh chocolate if you want)
225g unsalted butter
Half a tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract
250 icing sugar - sifted thoroughly

Melt the chocolate however you like to do it and leave to cool

Beat butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth then add melted, cooled chocolate and beat again until smooth

Then beat for several minutes (much easier with an electric whisk) until very light and fluffy

This gives you a chocolate buttercream which is delicious on its own or adaptable for other recipes by adding orange, coffee, mint or whatever you like (it's delicious eaten by the spoonful straight out of the fridge too) but I never said that

I'm going to make this for my son's forthcoming birthday soon, taking out the coffee and grating in some orange zest. I'll let you know how it goes

vintagemunchkin's picture

Made this for my wedding and found the cake to have a great flavour but very dense. I accidentally used a 30cm tin and it climbed out! Had to trim the edges and it sunk a little in the middle. Can confirm the coffee doesn't register as a coffee taste but does give it a rich depth. See details here on my blog:

katrinaismyname's picture

I am using this recipe to make a 11 inch square topsy turvy cake but I was just wondering if using half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate will be okay?

Alison-90's picture

This is a brilliant cake. I have made the 12 inch cake twice for events to practice for Daughters wedding cake, Decided at last minute we would need more cake so made 1 1/2 x mixture cooked 3.5 hours.Made on Wed eve cut and iced on Thurs, decorated on Fri.Eaten on SAT EVE. Perfect, moist, enormous scrummy cake. Most went at wedding rest finished with in a few days!

caznmark's picture

The first time I made this was a disaster but after reading all the comments and tips, I have successfully made 2 x6" cakes. I divided the quantities by 3, half filled my 4"deep pans after lining with paper inside then wrapped the outside in a wet band I made from an old towel which is supposed to stop it from doming. Cooked for exactly 2 hours on 140, I bought an oven thermometer this time, and now I have 2 delicious chocolate cakes filled with mary berrys chocolate buttercream. This recipe is now going to be used for my daughters wedding cake.

lebrant's picture

Ok folks, I've just made a 9" round cake and it's turned out perfect! 3" tall, cooked at 140 fan for two hours. I wish I could post a picture for you. I used an app called "cake o meter" it's brilliant. Simply put in the ingredients for the original recipe and then you put the size cake/shape cake tin you want to use and it converts it for you, simple. I used just over half the recipe of the 12" for my 9" round. Another tip, I filled a roasting tray of water and placed in the bottom of the oven, this kept the cake so level and from drying out! Perfect! My email if you would like any guidance , Happy Baking!

Ghd22's picture

Hi I wonder if you can help I made this cake for my sisters wedding I now need to make another but it only needs to bee 23cm but a deep cake how will I do this? Hope you can help thankyou

greenie193's picture

I'm making my sisters wedding cake and I was looking for a perfect chocolate cake. I used the recipe above for a 12" round tin and then just filled my 10" tin to two thirds full. It has risen up really well (about 2" higher than the tin - thank goodness for the high greaseproof paper) with only a slight dip but that won't matter once its been cut down to size and split in to three. I baked it for 2 and a half hours and it seems ok so far. I had enough batter left over to make a trial 7" cake which I baked for one and a half hours. It smell delicious.

chiffon56's picture

How much does this cake rise as im using a different shaped tim so need to know how much batter to use. Thanking you

bbucks's picture

Hi, could I please have the quantities and oven timing for a 6inch round cake please.

Kiraniya's picture

Hello, I used the following quantities to make 2x 6inch cakes which were at least 2.5 inches tall, plus I had enough batter for 1x extra 8inch cake around 2 inches tall:

217g unsalted butter, 217g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), 35ml very strong coffee (I use instant coffee), 1tsp vanilla essence, 217g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 317g light soft brown sugar, 4 large eggs, 190ml sour cream. Bake for around 2 hours at 160C/fan 140C (my oven runs hot so I baked them at 140C).

bbucks's picture

Could I please have the quantities and timing for a 6inch round cake please. Thank you so much :)


Questions (65)

Chorus's picture

Can you tell me how high this cake is when baked thank you

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your question. It's hard to give an exact height as this may vary slightly. You need to use a deep cake tin and once iced the cake is usually roughly that depth. You can always trim the cake once baked if necessary.

last edited: 14:57, 17th Nov, 2016
Katietaylor89's picture

Did anyone else find the mixture had quite a few lumps in it?!

zoe1223's picture

Made this chocolate cake came out of oven perfect, tested cake before removing from the oven skewer came out clean. But the day after when i sliced the cake it didn't looked cooked very dense is this what it should look like

cakescoffer's picture

Hi, I've baked this cake many times, in quite a few different tin sizes and more often than not gluten free. I switch out the plain flour for Doves Free From Plain White Flour and make sure my baking powder is GF. I also tend to be a little more generous with the coffee and soured cream just ensure moisture - GF cakes can often be dry and crumbly. Connoisseurs can sometimes pick out the semolina texture from the flour but most just eat it happy and oblivious that it is GF.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Zoe, thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear the cake appeared uncooked even after testing. It should be cooked and spongy throughout when sliced. When doing the skewer test make sure you test the cake in the centre. You can also press the top of the cake lightly and if it springs back it's done. Mary Berry suggests combining these tests to ensure your cake is ready. Check out her top 10 baking tips. Hope that helps.

bev52's picture

Hi, this recipe sounds lovely but I wondered if anyone had made swaps to make it gluten free and vegan, hints and tips would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks you!

cakescoffer's picture

Hi, I've baked this cake many times, in quite a few different tin sizes and more often than not gluten free. I switch out the plain flour for Doves Free From Plain White Flour and make sure my baking powder is GF. I also tend to be a little more generous with the coffee and soured cream just ensure moisture - GF cakes can often be dry and crumbly. Connoisseurs can sometimes pick out the semolina texture from the flour but most just eat it happy and oblivious that it is GF.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Bev, we have not tested gluten-free or vegan versions of this cake and would not like to suggest straight swaps without thorough testing. You can however find a selection of gluten-free cakes here, some of which are vegan too. Hope this helps:

Tomandhen123's picture

I am making the Jane Hornby chocolate cake in two 8 inch tins. Do I still have to wait 2 hours before checking if its done?

Frankie R's picture


I made this a few years back as the exact recipe and size above; it was incredible and it got such great reviews from the guests. Proper chocolate truffle cake :) I am now making a friends wedding cake and it all needs to be gluten free.... has anyone made the above GF and if so, how?! Was it a straight flour swap plus some xanthym gum?
Thank you in advance!

bev52's picture

Hi, I have made gluten free sponge cake but not chocolate...I usually just swap the flour when I'm doing a vanilla sponge, I've never added xanthym gum and it comes out fine but I'm also wondering about this recipe, need to make it gluten free and vegan.

katrinaismyname's picture

I am using this recipe to make a 11 inch square topsy turvy cake but I was just wondering if using half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate will be okay?

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes it is fine to use different chocolate, but you won’t get the same depth of colour and flavour as they have less cocoa solids. It will still be delicious though.

abalina13's picture

Do you have to use 70% chocolate? Has anyone tried it wth lower content and still come out with a good cake?

goodfoodteam's picture

The cake will still work, but the taste will be sweeter and a little less “grown up”. However 70% chocolate does taste bitter which isn’t to everyones taste. If you are unsure, why not use half normal chocolate and half 70%?

KerryLouise_24's picture

Is the coffee necessary to the recipe? Wanted to use this recipe to make a birthday cake for my mum but my partner is allergic to caffeine. Also can I use regular fondant icing instead of marzipan? Again due to allergies..

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes you can leave out the coffee, but you will need to replace the liquid with milk or water. It is also absolutely fine to use fondant icing if you don’t like marzipan. 


Tips (4)

Fiona cheng's picture

Hi, may I know if you use buttercream in between layers?

supercakes's picture

This recipe also works brilliantly using buttermilk instead of sour cream. I've just made it today using left over buttermilk, much cheaper, less fat, and tastes the same! This is my ultimate choc cake for any requests I have, it's easy, foolproof and always gets great reviews!

jessie32's picture

I made this first as a layer on my sisters wedding cake. now I make it quite often for friends who seem to enjoy it even more when i add the juice and zest of 2 limes to butter cream icing to fill and top it with. The strong, rich dark chocolate and the taste of the zesty lime seem to really compliment each other.