Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(89 ratings)


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Cooking time

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

Skill level



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 info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 650g unsalted butter
  • 650g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 100ml very strong coffee- espresso is ideal
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence
  • 650g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 950g light soft brown sugar
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 x 284ml/9½ fl oz soured cream

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  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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2006

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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.

bbucks's picture

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

mailynmarilyn's picture

Please could you let me know the quantities and timing for a 10 inch round cake please.thank-you

Sonniyaya's picture

I made this cake last week as a trial run for a wedding cake due next week , I followed it all the way through and sliced it into 2 layers before freezing , it had baked beautifully even, however , when I cut it up to serve today it looked more moist than I expected . Is this normal ? Is it just a very moist cake or could it have been undercooked , I've just baked another one and I've allowed it to bake for 3 hours at 150. I hope someone tells me it's how it should be

louise_garrod's picture

Does anyone know whether to use large eggs or medium ones for this recipe?

Thank you!

jenniferv's picture

Fantastic! Used the wedding chocolate, the vanilla sponge and the wedding cake assembly guide to make a 3 tier wedding cake for my niece (used delia 12 in square fruit for the base), 9 inch vanilla & 6 inch chocolate. All brillaint recipes, advice would be to make trial cakes to get the quantities correct. Thank you bbc good food!

stuartarnold's picture

it looks like a nice recipe to me but not sure why you would; on a wedding day; bake you re own when its actually the one feature of the wedding that is getting cheaper and cheaper. When I got married it cost £200 for the cake, these days its frequently something that gets thrown in with a cheap package commonly referred to as the “daytime catering package” check these venues out ( they all do deals where they throw in a good quality daytime catering arrangement with the venue, this is, btw the trend in events. Finally someone cottoned on to the fact that weddings are getting stupid expensive and now packages are all the rage. Having said that this cake looks pretty damn good to me so it might be a good way to knock off a few quid and have very good (and more personal) . but from my memory you won’t want additional pressure on the day.

nat171297's picture

Hi my daughter is getting married but hates coffee what can I use instead ?'s picture

You won't taste the coffee, it merely enhances the chocolate flavour.

mair harris's picture

I've made this cake (ingredients halved for 2 x 8 inch tins) and I've added 8 tsp coffee mixed with 24 mls water instead of the very strong coffee. I guarantee that you will not taste even a tiny bit of coffee in the cake. I've made Paul Bradfords Chocolate cake and this is what he uses in his recipe. I hate coffee and was very nervous about trying it because of it in the ingredients. You honestly can't taste it but it does enhance the chocolate flavour.

makcheryl1401's picture

May I have the recipe for round shape 11", 8" and 6" diameter. All with 3" deep pan.


Fiona cheng's picture

Hi, can I use milk instead of coffee? Tks

Comfydemo's picture

I have made this cake on several occasions, first time I used half the recipe and split between 2 8" tins and cooked at 140 fan with foils around tin for 1 hour 30 mins, Worked out perfectly. Too much for a 3 inch cake. I made again tonight and reduced ingredients to 0.4 of the original recipe and cooked it all in one 8" pan at 140 fan for 2 hours with the cake tin wrapped in paper. It rose perfectly just above the top of cake tin and no dome. I did not open the oven. Love this cake sooo much. Ive tried a few other rich chocolate fudge cakes but this is the best.

debbieransley's picture

I've now made this cake quite a few times, I made it for my 50th Birthday and the bottom layer on my wedding cake and it's always turned out perfectly. I have also adapted it to make a chocolate orange cake and tested it with my work colleagues who loved it, that was a trial for my son in laws 40th birthday in August so fingers crossed it will be just as good for the real thing. :)

thomas12's picture

Hi can you tell me how you adapted it to a chocolate orange cake? Many Thanks

gingerboris's picture

I've made this for my twin daughters' 40th birthday and only have had the trimmings so far but I can safely say it's delicious. I didn't keep a good enough eye on the chocolate and it caught a bit on the bottom of the pan but there was no way I could afford to start again so it went in as it was. I also had too much mixture for my tin size. If you are wondering can you leave the mixture over night, the answer is yes. I baked the left over batch the following day and it was perfect. This will become a family birthday cake favourite.

a_blurvert's picture
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I've been making (chocolate) cakes for 14 years and this hits all the marks - it's dark, richly chocolate flavour but not too dense, has a moist sponge with spring, (I added a tsp of glycerine to the mix as I was baking this and another cake in stages for a wedding on the weekend), not too crumbly so you can ice it easily, and freezes/defrosts well - I baked it in two layers, let cool, then wrapped in clingfilm to freeze. Left it on the counter overnight to defrost.

Pity the accompanying buttercream recipe is a mess to work out as the instructions are part of the three-tier cake recipe, I had to do a lot of calculations to work out 600g of buttercream for this cake alone (I also scaled down this recipe to 75% to fit a 10 inch pan). I had just about enough buttercream, so do your maths if you want to only make one layer, or change it up from the original 3-tier recipe!

drck16's picture

Great cake recipe!!! very dense and VERY moist, perfect for wedding cakes. 1x of this recipe makes a 14 inch x 2.5-3 inches tall cake. I would definitely make this cake again!!

ayesha89's picture

Hi, what oven temp and how long did you bake it for the 14inch? Did you require 2x this amount to make it high enough? Thanks in advance!!