Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(96 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
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  • 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.

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Comments (346)

angela_lpe's picture

Try to fill only HALF the cake pan if you do not want to scrap your oven after the two hours . It's a rather heavy cake and it will rise almost double from the initial batter because of the 1-1 baking powder, baking soda ratio. The extra air helps with the dense batter. I usually line parchment paper about two inches above the sides of the pan and the cake rises nicely without spilling out.

dorotastock's picture

followed the recipe and ended with a cake spilage in the oven, recovered it.. just.. dissapointing outcome. tasted better..

angela_lpe's picture

Made half the recipe with an 11-inch/28cm round cake pan (filled half full) a few times. Family and friends crave after this cake especially when I baked this with some really dark roasted French espresso I always buy back from France. The fullness of the coffee flavor really goes well with the chocolate. Italian espresso tend to make this cake too bitter and acidic for the kids and younger teenagers tastes.
Covered the cake with homemade milk chocolate ganache and everything gets wiped clean every time.
The cake needs to usually sit and rest for two days for the flavors to blend before serving. I usually reduce the temperature by 5 degrees Celcius because my first cake got a little burnt by the sides and top and I had to trim quite a bit away.

elizabeth2001's picture

Made as an engagement cake - will use again for the wedding- but probably a different size.

Because it's a wedding cake it would be useful to have the scaling sizes to adapt the recipe.
I've done this on a spread sheet - but can't get it to paste nicely onto this site.
2 eggs ( divide ingredients by 5) makes a 5 inch round.
3 egss (divide ingredients by 10, multiply by 3 - or divide by 3.33) makes 6 inch square, and is just a little too much for 6 inch round.
4 eggs does 7 inch round and 6 eggs a 9 inch round
I am more concerned about how long to cook the smaller sizes - 2 hrs seems a long time for the 2 and 3 egg versions?

ab_elastigirl's picture

I am doing a two tier wedding cake using this recipe because it sounds so good and such great comments, but I would like to know if anyone has tried the cake without the filling. I'll be covering the cake with chocolate fondant and wondering if this will be alright or whether it really needs the filling.

elainapang's picture

Amazing! It is a supermoist cake. Very chocolatey. It stayed moist for a week (I was testing it's shelf life in preparation for a wedding).
I halved the recipe and baked for 2hrs at the recommended temp.
I made a mousse buttercream (chocolate of course) and it worked
absolutely perfect together. Does anyone know how long it should be baked for for a 4", 5", 6" cake as these are the top layers of a 7 layer wedding cake? Thanks for your feedback!

stoker02's picture

when you say 10 eggs, is that medium or large?

spidersmum's picture

I made this cake as a trial run for my Daughter's wedding in September. It was moist and delicious, probably the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted and very easy, just three stages. However, I am unsure about the top tier. Has anyone got the exact quantities for the top tier and also the exact cooking time. I plan to follow the advice of halving the quantity for the second tier and baking it for two hours.

pab4778's picture

you could try orange juice/cointraeux (sp) or some other orange flavoured liqoure?

I am planning on making a version of this for a competition in Oct, I will prob add alcohol in place of coffee as i hate coffee!

Has anybody tried it without filling it? would that work if i do a smaller version?


vetbev's picture

has anyone cooked this recipe without the coffee - I hate coffee and don't want my wedding cake tasting of it! any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

nattidbury's picture

Following on from my previous comment - I have now made this cake in a 23cm tin for my niece's birthday party tomorrow, at her request i might add. I used half the quantities and it has come out perfectly after being baked for exactly two hours at 160 degrees or 140 fan.

nattidbury's picture

I made this cake for my sister's wedding on July 26th 2008. I did it as an additional cake (I also made a three tier fruit cake) - my sister is a chocoholic so to get her seal of approval is tremendous. The cake was fantastic - very moist. I filled and covered it with a chocolate butter icing and decorated it with Thornton's chocolates - chocolate heaven! Well recommended to anyone.

milkmade's picture

love this recipe. I will use this again and again as my prefered chocolate cake for celebrations. It did need a little more oven time than stated. Great results.

leniloo's picture

does anyone actually know if this cake keeps longer than 4 days? I've just put a 9" round in the oven for a wedding this saturday! If I fill and ice it tomorrow, will it last until saturdays wedding?

trap-doortraveller's picture

In here checking recipe as making the real cakes ( chocolate and lemon) this weekend. Yes have frozen a practice chocolate cake for four weeks and it was fine afterwards filled and iced. There is a filling recipe on the 'make your cake' section for those confused.

Made the lemon section yesterday and it's now in fthe reezer for wedding in three weeks.

I would say don't worry about the complicated maths those making other sizes, I have been practising just with a halved mixture or a third of the mix, all have been fine.

Will definitely try the dental floss Nikkinoo what a great idea !!

I have to transport this cake to my daughter's reception location and will definitely not assemble before travelling. Get some cake boxes and put in bigger cardboard boxes I think is the minimum protection if not armed guards too the mood I'll be in on the day lol !!!!

Off to get the huge chocolate one made and frozen, haven't tried the whole recipe before.

maisydaisy's picture

Hi there,
I am planning on making the whole 3 layers as per recipe, but my oven has packed up!!!!! Will be able to use my son Andrew s, oven while he away on honeymoon. Has any one actually frozen, then iced and eaten? This is for a surprise for Andrew and Suzy when they back from hol. Have never frozen cakes before and do not want special ones not to taste perfect!!!! Also, does a frozen cake taste "different"?

pollygranit's picture

I have got the cake layers the wrong way round I have fruit for the bottom lemon for the middle and chocolate for the top. don't know how to adjust the recipe for a nine inch tin so I am going to make the full amount fill the nine inch tin and cook the rest so I can have a spare one ready for christmas. win win situation really

lieselotte7b's picture

I halved the quantities for an 8" tin and stupidly also the cooking time and mine has sunk!! Should have read the above comments and left it alone for 2 hours but it looked done after 1 1/4 so I opened the oven. Hope I can rescue by cutting the top off!

purrons's picture

I made this cake for my wedding back in March. Absolutely everyone (even those who claimed not to like chocolate cake) loved it - so much so that I had to hide a chunk to eat myself after the event!!
Because I was making it for my wedding I did a test run first - but when cutting it it was so perfect that the test cake became the real thing.
One tip for cutting it - I didn't have a knife long enough as the cake is pretty big! Instead I pulled dental floss through it, resulting in a perfectly clean, straight cut for each layer.
I filled and covered it in chocolate ganache and melted chocolate hearts (milk, white and plain) as I'm a bit of a chocoholic at heart. For the ganache I heated 600g double cream then melted 600g plain chocolate in it. Easy peasy!
I'll definitely be making this again - thanks everyone who's commented previously on your hints for reducing the recipe for a smaller cake, they're a great help!

leniloo's picture

I would try these....

6" square = 1/4 recipe - round 6" = 1/5 recipe
8" square = 1/2 recipe - round 8" = 2//5 recipe
10" square = 3/4 recipe - round 10" = 3/5 recipe


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