Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(86 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



  • 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

Comments, questions and tips

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jokpal's picture

Can this be made into cupcakes instead of a big cake?

therobynem's picture
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I made this cake for my grand daughter's christening and it was amazing. it'll definitely be a favourite special occasion cake in our house!

anniettg1972's picture

Golden Spatula. You baked this chocolate cake in a 11"/28cm round tin. Can you please tell me how long you cooked it for and at what tempreature
Thank you

alreidzzz's picture


good food mag, with so many comments can't you please give the quantities for different sized tins, plus cooking times??

Please.. :-)

eblaidler's picture

After a few trial runs with a 6"size chocolate cake the real thing is in the oven to be frozen for my daughter's wedding in 3 weeks. The trial run cakes froze very well. Rather than chocolate butter icing which I find a bit sickly, I have tried blackcherry jam which is delicious. You need to put a decent layer in as it sinks into the cake a bit. I processed it first to to get rid of lumps.

lobon4's picture

How long do I bake this for a 8" cake?

rarelife's picture

I have done it x the Choc cake is cooling, bit worried, hope when i cut it, ihope it will be good,

rarelife's picture

Will be making this cake tommorow, have my green and blacks choc at the ready, just one thing with the 100ml coffee how much spoons are we using and i take it we are adding water to this, not too clear on instructions x im scared, collecting my tins tommorow and all my ingredients are layed out ready

eleanormayo's picture
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I made this as the middle tier of my brothers wedding cake and divided the recipe by two thirds. Was a HUGE success, it really is rich & dark!

ravenlmb's picture

I've made this cake for both a wedding and a 21st birthday this year. Both times it's had a great reception! lovey and moist and when cut into individual portions it's a lovely chocolatey treat! would highly recommend! just make sure you have one heck of a large mixing bowl!

arcanedust's picture
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I made this as the base for my Dad and Step-mum's three tier wedding cake - it is of course a massive base and the biggest cake I've ever made!

I was used to a different all-in-one chocolate batter in the past but this is a brilliant recipe, and I will use it as my standard chocolate cake recipe in future.

To answer some of the more recent questions - Janet I used Espresso powder in a cafetiere, and used medium eggs for the chocolate and lemon cakes.

My cake rose perfectly although I recommend if making the large cake size to ensure it is fully mixed, even perhaps giving a quick swirl once in the tin. I had it in the fridge for just over an hour before cutting and used a bread knife; it cuts like a dream.

It is beautifully moist and chocolatey with no taste of the coffee. The kids all went for the chocolate layer at the wedding!
I'll be using this recipe for my 23rd birthday soon, freezing my cake in advance.

mayfieldpark's picture

I only want to have half this size cake. Do I also need to half the baking time?

mazdalittle's picture
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Can anyway say if this cake is suppose to have the texture of a chocolate brownie. It tasted lovely and was moist but I cant help thinking that it shouldn't have been so 'brownie' like.

missbake's picture
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I made this cake for the last day of my college party, I used a 10 inch tin and followed one of the comments on how much ingredients to use, I found in my fan oven it took 2 hours completely at 140c. The cake was loved by everyone, I made pink buttercream vanilla icing and put flowers on top. The cake is very expensive to make but I found good quality chocolate 70% cocoa at lidl or aldi is much cheaper then the other known supermarkets and plan natural yogurt was a cheaper then sour cream and just as nice.

carolneen's picture

Wish me luck I've read everyones notes and am now about to start on the chocolate cake !!!

wiltshiregirl's picture

Hi gills gems would you be so kind as to share your conversion table for cake sizes? I cant find anything that helps with the scaling up and down of the recipe. many thanks,

emmalm's picture

Hi the recipe says use 10 eggs in the chocolate cake, 6 eggs in the lemon cake but not what size, in the lights fruit cake its says to use large, can anyone please help me?

Many thanks

gillygill's picture

After a lot of research I managed to find a conversion table for the cake sizes. The recipe was delicious and moist. I made a 3 tiered wedding cake 12"-choc, 10"vanilla madera, 8"choc that was very successful. I would definately make this again. I put a thin layer of marzipan over the cakes before the layer of sugarpaste and decorations. It looked gorgeous.

wiltshiregirl's picture

Hi I made this chocolate cake for the first time last night, a 6" with a quarter of the recipe as advised from others here, it worked like a dream it is the most lovely cake firm, yet sooo moist I wish I had had this recipe last year when I made my nieces wedding cake, its very chocolatey, no you can't taste the coffee at all, this is my favourite now and I will stick with it, thankyou so much, and to the above question yes I made 100mls of strong coffee with water then measured out the amount I needed. Also as mentioned by others line your tin a good 2" above the tin as it rises quite a lot but on cooling once cooked it goes back down my tins are 3" in depth and I just needed to shave off a little as it was a tad too high Perfect!! also I would add here mine took a little longer to cook than stated and NO DONT OPEN THE OVEN until the cook time is up I did and mine did sink a bit but only trial run so didn't matter but next time I wont. Happy Baking.

emmalm's picture

Can anyone confirm that the 100ml of coffee you put in the cake is a cup of black coffee diluted with water??? I want to make these cakes for my sons wedding next September.