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Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(89 ratings)

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

Easy

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

  • kcalories274
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.23g
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Ingredients

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

    Vanilla

    van-ill-ah

    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

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

  • 950g light soft brown sugar
  • 10 egg

    Egg

    egg

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

  • 2 x 284ml/9½ fl oz soured cream

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Method

  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (332)

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 :)

mailynmarilyn's picture

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

Kiraniya's picture

I have used around 2/3 the amounts above to make a 10" round cake :)

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!

Kiraniya's picture

I always use large eggs and have always had a great rise and taste, if that helps :)

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 (www.rls-dining-events.co.uk) 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 ?

elizabethaedwards@btinternet.com'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.

Thanks

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. :)

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Questions (46)

robertaann1's picture

Please can i have ingredients quantities for 8 inch cake in 3 inch deep tin and temperature and time of cooking . I have make the 12 inch one several times but need an 8 inch and want to get it right i have a circotherm fan oven

joaniev53's picture

Is it a typing error. 950g of soft brown sugar to 650g of flour and butter seems a bit over the top. I am going to use 650g of sugar and will let you know the outcome

goodfoodteam's picture

Hello, just to let you know that we checked back to the June 2006 issue of Good Food and the quantity of sugar is correct.

zoe1223's picture

Hi just made the cake 6"×4" followed recipe, just taken cake out of tin and it looks very moist is this ok. In the oven 2hrs smells lovely.

mailynmarilyn's picture

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

arnoldjj's picture

I would like to make this cake with the addition of malted milk powder. Any suggestions as to how to add it in and adjust the ingredients? I was thinking about swapping out the espresso with milk to bring out the malt flavor.

sugarapple's picture

I have baked this chocolate cake.12 in x 3 in pan for 2.5 hours. Now I want to make 10 in x 3 in and an 8 in x 3 in versions. How do I work out cooking times for these smaller pans.

Buster03's picture

Please can you give the quantities for 10" 8" and 6" for the chocolate and lemon cake , the lemon cake is delicious and have been asked to make it as a wedding cake, but need different quantities as soon as possible for the chocolate sponge. Many thanks

cazhgs's picture

H,i I have made this cake numerous times in a 12inch tin and it is lovely. Can anyone tell me the approximate timing to cook in an 8inch tin? I have worked out the volume of tins and scaled down the recipe. Thank you you so much

nat171297's picture

What can I use instead of coffee ?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi nat171297 thanks for your question. The coffee in this recipe is just used to enhance the chocolatey flavours in the cake so you really don't taste it in the finished sponge. However, if you would prefer to leave it out you should be ok to just use the same amount of hot water instead. Let us know how you get on.

paddick50's picture

Hi there!
I'm baking this cake in two halves, in a 12inch tin, how long will 1 half take to bake please?
Thanks!

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi paddick50 thanks for your question, a 12inch tin is the same as the one used in the recipe above so you would be better to bake the whole thing in one tin using the quantities and timings listed then cutting the cake in half through the middle after baking. Let us know how you get on. 

Brammar's picture

Hi, I have baked this twice as a 12"" cake and both times the knife test has come out clean so I have taken it out but it has then sunk in the middle, it also has a crispy crust and is more like a brownie. It tastes great but I assume this is not how it is supposed to be, any ideas why it is doing this?

goodfoodteam's picture
Hi there, when your cake sinks in the middle there are three main reasons, a/ the oven door has been opened before the cake has set, b/ the cake didn't go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready or c/ there's too much raising agent. Hope this helps. You may also find this guide useful: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-cake-top-10-problems-fixed
ADM's picture

Hi, please could you give me the quantities and cooking time for a 10" cake. Thanks

Lee Weston's picture

Hi please could you give me the quantities for a 26cm tin - I have made the cake calculating the ingredients by dividing by 30 and then multiplying by 26. The cake took 3.5 hours to cook and still was soggy in the middle!!! Then sunk when it came out! Sadly a disaster but tastes great! Please can you help as I really want to make this as my bottom tier for my wedding cake in a couple of weeks. Also can I use 50% of the chocolate being milk as I fine plain too bitter? Thank you

Danip87's picture
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Hi I made this recipe exactly as says, same size tins, double lined if side and out etc. it was in on the right temp for 2 and half exactly but I was really disappointed with recipe. Came out very dry. Any recommendations of what I could do to stop this? When I test it with a skewer should it come out clean or sticky as its a brownie like cake? Thanks

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Tips (4)

Fiona cheng's picture

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

supercakes's picture
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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.

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