Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(101 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 (352)

supercakes's picture

I made this cake for a wedding after a disaster with Mich Turner recipes and it was my life saver! I used an 8" square cake tin and I used a website called which has a 'cakeometer' which calculates the differences when using different sizes of cake tins. It does not however provide cooking times, so just be sensible and keep an eye on things! Will def use this recipe again, amazing taste and texture.

Afrodite_tb's picture

If you download the cakeometer ap it adjusts ake time as well :)

lisab7183's picture

Do I need to use coffee granules or is it actual liquid coffee? When i made it I just used granules but because it's measured in mls I wasn't sure if this was right. It turned out really nice still but want to make sure I do it properly cuz I might be doing this for my sisters wedding!

maryharri's picture

Like others who have left comments I have made many cakes over the years, but never a wedding cake, and not many rich chocolate cakes. I have been encouraged to try this one due to the huge number of positive comments. My first attempt at a reduced size chocolate cake was pretty much a disaster as some others have found. The second attempt was much more successful, just a little sinking in the middle, but really easy to slice through. If I had to attempt an explanation I would say that the depth of the mixture in the pan might be a factor. My first attempt was too deep for the size of the pan. It rose hugely but ended up crisp on the outside but uncooked in the middle. This is possibly why people who have made the cake to the actual recipe size have been more successful, by not having to do any scaling down.

angel26's picture

To solve the problem of the cake not cooking in the middle as it is so deep I baked it in 2 x 12" tins 3" deep for an hour and half it came out perfect.! I then baked a 9"x2 for one hour and a 6"x2 for 45mins . 9" half recipe 6" quarter recipe. all at 140 fan oven

jamblur's picture

Just made this recipe in a 12 inch square tin as I needed a chocolate cake for a birthday and the reviews were very positive. Kept all quantities the same and assumed it would be a little shallower as the round tin suggested in the recipe has a smaller volume than a 12 inch square, but that was fine for what I needed. Be warned: you need a huge mixing bowl for this - I used a large steel bowl and had only a couple of cms capacity left! To bake, I put a rose nail upside down in the centre of the tin to act as a heating core as I was nervous about it sinking as it had for others. I baked for 1hr 40mins (without opening the door!) and the result was a gorgeous cake that sank just slightly when it cooled, but as it formed a crust on top it needed leveling anyway, so that was fine. Ended up with about a 2 inch deep sponge after leveling. Only issue was that the cake's quite crumbly - I used medium eggs and I think large eggs would have avoided this.

foggyamh's picture

Gorgeous cake. This is my "go to" chocolate cake recipe. Everybody loves it

helford's picture

The first time I made this cake I made it for my daughters wedding and it was fine but I've made it twice recently and it's been a disaster! After 2 hours in the oven the cake has risen and then sunk in the oven, the top is also very hard, although it still tastes delicious.The result is I only get 2 layers out, does anyone have any ideas why this might have happened?

harribo's picture

I am using the chocolate recipe for a wedding cake. I had it in ther oven for 3 hours as when I put a skewer in it kept coming out uncooked. When it was cooked at 3 hours I removed it from the oven it within half an hour it sunk in the centre, any ideas why organs anyone else had this issue?
Also I want to slice this cAke in 3 to buttercream it, any tips on slicing neatly? Thanks

annamarkall's picture

Hi has anyone tried this recipe , omitting the coffee?

hilaryandjason's picture

Waiting to taste test but I made this for a 12 x 12 x 1.5" square using proportions for 6 eggs 2 hours @ 315F with baking bands looks perfect and is completely level! This is a trial cake for the bottom tier of a Bat Mitzvah cake I am making in a month or so ;)

jojobinx72's picture

I baked half the amount in an 8" square tin at around 135-140 in a fan oven. I took it out at 2 hours. The top is definitely crusty but the cake inside is divine. I was doing a trial as have to make my friends wedding cake in 2 weeks and wanted something moist yet firm as am stacking an 8" Directly on top of a 10". Unfortunately this cake seems a bit crumbly despite being so, so moist; I followed the recipe / instructions to the letter; any idea why it is crumbly? Is it over baked / under baked? I am at a loss. I wrapped outside of the tin in 5 sheets of newspaper and double layer of lining inside. Can anybody please offer any advice? Much appreciated :-) thanks I. Advance!

aggie86's picture

How tall should be the tin. I bought one but it doesnt look tall enough...

HGosal's picture

Tasted amazing and even better after leaving for a few days. I made a third of the recipe which filled a 24cm round tin. I split it, filled with chocolate fudge buttercream, iced it, decorated it and we had it for dessert for christmas, It went down really well. I reckon this will be my basic chocolate cake from now on.

50midge's picture

Have made this cake twice now, both times despite following the recipe to the letter, the cake sank in the middle. It was crusty on top and soggy in the middle. tastes nice but I was not able to use as a birthday cake as planed. Has cost me a fortune and I still dont have a cake for my grandson!

plumdove's picture

Made this as bottom layer of daughter's wedding cake with the lemon drizzle and light fruit cake as per the other recipes - all superb!

bettybakes56's picture

I am making this for my friends wedding cake, I have scaled down the chocolate cake to a 10" tin wondered how long to cook it for? I'm an experienced baker but having read all the comments it seems the recipe is fairly runny....

sitawpataw's picture

I made this cake for a Golden Wedding Anniversary and I became a Star as everyone loved it. I myself know the cake I made is not perfect because it dipped a bit in the middle. I did not open the oven door until the 2 1/2 hours are up. Would it be the size of the eggs I used? I used the large size egg which is around 50g each. Should I use the extra large ones? I live in Australia and I am not sure whether there is a difference in the grading of eggs between our countries.
Thank you for your help.

myinte27's picture

I made this cake for my husband's grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. I made it a two tier - 6 inch top tier and 10 inch bottom tier. I also swapped the coffee for 100g milk chocolate to give it a creamier taste and used one tub of creme fraiche and one of soured cream (as there was only one of each left in the store!) It worked perfectly and everyone commented on how delicious it was!

debbie1127's picture

please help. i am making this cake for my sons 18th and need to no the amount s for using 9" round 2" deep cake tin and how long do i cook it for


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