Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(994 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 30 mins Plus baking and cooling time


Cuts into 14 slices

Indulge yourself with Angela Nilsen's heavenly moist and fudgy chocolate cake - perfect for celebrations - birthdays, weddings, christenings - any excuse!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without icing


  • kcal541
  • fat35g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.51g
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  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ 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-…

  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate



    Chocolate as we know it in pressed

For the ganache

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, as above
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


  1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

  2. While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

  3. Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

  5. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Jul, 2016
Heavenly!!! The best chocolate cake I have had ever! I have made it several times and made a 3 layer party cake last week!
SamP mum of 3
5th Jul, 2016
Beautiful cake, gooey, chewy almost brownie like but still holds like a layer cake. I made it exactly to the recipe and none of the family said they found it too bitter (some people here suggest to make it 50% milk 50% dark chocolate which I'm sure would be lovely too) the ganache was slightly runny when first made, so I popped it into the fridge for it to stiffen slightly before adding it to the cake. Didn't bother with the curls etc but might add them next time I make it.
25th Jun, 2016
Not really that amazed with this recipe. Don't get me wrong, it tastes nice, but the amount of sugar makes the outside very chewy. This recipe resembles more of a brownie than a cake in my opinion, way too fudgy and gooey to use as a layer cake.
25th Jun, 2016
BEST chocolate cake ever made or tasted. So good I made another one same day! At the top of my cake recipes.
23rd Jun, 2016
Wow, now I know why this has so many fab reviews (and obviously the reason I chose it!), it was stunning. So moist and delicious. We had one very happy chocoholic birthday boy and will certainly have this as my go to birthday cake recipe again. I did half and half, dark and milk choc as suggested in the comments for both the sponge and ganache and I'm glad I did otherwise, I think it would have been too bitter.
22nd Jun, 2016
This cake/pudding is delicious - eaten cold but equally delicious warmed in the microwave and serve with vanilla ice-cream. I divided the mixture into 2 cake tins to cook and just kept an eye - turning temp down towards the end to ensure cooked but not too crispy on top. Think it took about 45mins.
15th Aug, 2016
Interested to hear that you heated it up. Did the chocolate covering not just melt and run all over the place?
14th Jun, 2016
Please help!! Just made this cake and although the flavour is delicious, the cake is very crumbly, especially when cutting. I baked in two tins and wondered if I overlooked them??
1st Jun, 2016
This is THE best chocolate cake ever - and believe me, I have tried a lot! I make this often and get so many compliments and requests for the recipe.
25th May, 2016
I read a lot of reviews before making this cake, and I really wanted it to work. Sad to say, it didn't. I'm assuming it is 'baker error' rather than the recipe, given the number of good reviews, but the cake came out flat as a pancake with a chewy, almost burnt-tasting ring around the outer top, and the top in the middle was hard as a rock. God knows what I did!!!


16th Jun, 2015
I love this cake but it always cracks and sinks in the middle. I'm. It opening the door, knocking it ect but it keeps happening. Is there any way I can stop this from happening? Many thanks
18th Feb, 2015
Hi! My friend loves this cake and I'm planning on doing it for her wedding with alternating vanilla sponge but it is a very light cake so I am worried it won't be able to hold up the layers (I'm hoping for 5 tiers). Just wondering whether it's possible to try and stop it rising and bubbling so much - should I try without the bicarb? Or more plain flour than self-raising? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Feb, 2015
Hi rfree90, thanks for getting in touch. If you leave out the raising agents the cake could be very heavy indeed, however if you put cake rods or drinking straws into the cake once baked and iced, cut them so they are just about 1/2cm taller than the cakes they might help to support the layers above. Hope all goes well. 
4th Feb, 2015
Please can anyone help. I have made this cake several times and everyone loves it. ineed to make some cupcakes tomorrow does anyone think that e would be ok for thisand if not can anyone recommend a really moist chocolate cupcake recipeany thoughts of the easy chocolate cake recipefor the cupcakeswould appreciate anyone getting back to me as it's quite urgent many thanks for your time
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Feb, 2015
Hi lucybella, thanks for your question. We haven't tested the timings and temperatures for this recipe as cupcakes, so cannot guarantee it will work perfectly. However, this is one of our favourite cupcake recipes http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1805640/devils-food-cupcakes hope this helps. 
Adnan khan
2nd Feb, 2015
Hello Sir/Mam, It was really to aswm cake and even yummy to.But sir/mam i have one question can i use any other chocolate and ice-cream?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Feb, 2015
Hi Adnan khan, thanks for getting in touch. You could use milk chocolate for this recipe if you wanted to but it won't have the same rich chocolatey flavour. Also, absolutely fine to serve with ice cream, why not! 
26th Nov, 2014
If I don't want to use the coffee, do I still need to include the water?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Feb, 2015
Hi surreal6, thanks for getting in touch. Yes, please do include the water if you don't want to use the coffee. If you do decide to use the coffee though, the flavour doesn't stand out like in a coffee cake, it's just there to enhance the flavour of the chocolate. Hope this helps. 
29th Sep, 2014
I have made this cake 3 times and it always overflows even when the tin is bigger? What do i do?


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