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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Show comments
goldilocks1's picture

Hi everyone
I'm new to this site and wonder if anyone can help with this:
I'm making a three tier wedding cake - one 12" chocolate, one 10" lemon and an 8" carrot. I'm going to fill and ice and decorate all with cigarillos and maltesers - stacked.
How deep is the chocolate cake in this recipe?
Has anyone had experience with cigarillos and maltesers as decoration? Can I stick the cigarillos directly onto the ganache or do I have to fondant ice it after the buttercream and then stick the cigarillos on? I've got a long way to transport them, and need the decorations to stay in place!
Also, how long will the cakes keep once iced and decorated - planning to make cakes on Monday, ice and decorate on Tuesday, transport on Thursday for wedding on Saturday. Thanks.

amysconnell's picture

I made the chocolate and lemon cakes for an anniversary cake - covered with the butter cream and with chocolate cigarellos round the sides, as I'm not good with icing and it was gorgeous. We had only praise - the best cake ever was heard several times.

The only problem was the chocolate cake was huge - when I opened the oven after 2 hours there was loads on the oven floor. I had bought the correct size tin, as deep as I could find - it would help others if there was some info on how deep the finished cake actually is?

madeitwithlove's picture

could some kind person please calculate the amounts for 10" and an 8". I have to make this cake for a july wedding and really begining to panic as I simply cannot do the maths for the adjustment. Many many thanks, please rescue me!

tomoki's picture

Does anyone know how much I would need to reduce the quantities by to make the middle tier: 23 cm round tin?


tomoki's picture

Does anyone know how much I would need to reduce the quantities by to make the middle tier: 23 cm round tin?


damesgirl's picture
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Amazing! made this a week ahead and froze it, you would never have known. moist and delicious and brilliant to cut.
I made all three different flavours for our vow renewal all came out perfectly.

lou746's picture
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I'm making my niece's wedding cake for her and did a trial run of this. Halved the ingredients for a smaller cake and reduced the sugar by 100gms too and it came out perfect. I did a butter cream filling with good quality cocoa powder and added some orange oil. I covered the cake in a white chocolate ganache and it was stunning. Still tastes good a fter a week - without refrigeration. It is beautifully moist and super chocolately. Really important to use the BEST quality chocolate and other ingrdients to get the best results. Yum!

xcaret's picture

Tried this recipe yesterday as a trial for my son's wedding cake in June. It was so easy to make and tastes delicious, although very rich! Had some mixture left over from the size cake tin I was using so made another smaller one with it. A thin slice with strawberries and creme fraiche makes a lovely pudding so will be using all the spare slices in the freezer that way!

figgyrolls's picture

Does this freeze well? I am going to make a practice one and if it works would like to freeze it rather than make it all again!

rosebrown's picture
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THE BEST chocolate cake ever,and I have made and tried quite a few:) I adapted this recipe for a 14in round, for the bottom tier of a friends wedding cake, and wow! People were raving about it! I have since made it about 10 times (in 6months) for birthdays, christenings etc. Fantastic!

elrenia's picture

Has anyone used this recipe for a carved cake? It went down a storm when I made it for my brother's wedding a couple of years ago. I'd like to use it again for a birthday cake next weekend but it would be an expensive disaster if I can't sculpt it. Thank you.

johnsoden's picture

Can you use Stork instead of butter for this recipe John

sarahhart's picture

I've just made the chocolate cake and its a disaster! I've never had a cake turn out so badly! I used all good quality ingredients, followed the recipe exactly and it still sank. It more closely resembles chocolate brownies, crusty on its sunken top and still soft in the middle. What did I do wrong? I didn't open the oven door at all and don't think I overbeat it. This was a practise for my wedding cake and was meant to be given to charity tomorrow! Does anyone have any ideas?

livvyloo0208's picture
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Just awesome! Made this cake for a friends wedding cake today and it is incredible... gone are the days of dry cardboard wedding cakes. Easy to cut, rises like a dream and easy to ice, will continue to use! FAB !!!

bakealot141's picture

Hi, I'm going to make this cake for a wedding but can you tell me where to find the chocolate filling recipe?

karenp123's picture

Hey, just another question; what is 2x284ml / 9.5fl oz sour cream? isn't 2 x 284 ml = 568ml

someone please clarify

karenp123's picture


I want to try this cake! I just love all the comments and I will bake it for my daughters communion.I want to bake a 10" bottom tier and 8" on top. I dont want to mess up. I have baked smaller cakes before, but none with such big quantities. I've looked up all the comments but none answer all my queries.
Is there someone who can help?
Well I would like to test try a small cake so it will a 10". SOmeone who has already tried this cake, please let me know how deep the baking cans (8" or 10" dia) should be!
what should the recipe measures be?
Does the baking time differ according to the size of the baking can? do I need to use coffee? is there no replacement? Can I use a liquer like brandy or something??!


blossom28's picture

Hi, I'd really like to know the depth of the cake too. I'm making a 4 tier wedding cake soon and want a good depth on all the tiers. The picture looks good, split into 3 layers, but I'd hate to make the big one and it come out only a couple of inches deep! Can anyone who's made it offer any advice please? Thanks.

shirefarm's picture
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After reading all of the good comments as a family we were very disappointed with this recipe. I was trialing it for a cake I have to make next month but we all agreed I should stick to my usual recipe.
THe bottom of the cake was very greasy, and the tase was slightly watery not a rich chocolate that we were expecting, chocolate used was a mix (same brand) of 70 and 80%.
It has now gone in the freezer in portions to use as puddings so it won't go to waste.

kellyozzyosment's picture
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I made this cake for my aunty's birthday earlier this week, I followed all the tips about mixing and cooking times and it turned out perfectly, I can't believe how easy it was to make and how brilliant it tasted! I am now going to make it for my wedding next year.