Ultimate chocolate cake topped with chocolate curls served on a white plate

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(1024 ratings)

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


14 slices

Indulge yourself with this heavenly chocolate cake recipe that is beautifully moist, rich and fudgy. Perfect for a celebration or an afternoon tea

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without icing

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal541
  • fat35g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.51g
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    For the chocolate cake

    • 200g dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa solids), chopped
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-lit

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 200g butter, cubed



      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
    • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate



      Chocolate as we know it in pressed

    For the ganache

    • 200g dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa solids), chopped
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-lit

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 300ml double cream
    • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


    1. Heat the oven to 160C/fan140C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep).

    2. Put the dark chocolate in a medium pan with the butter. 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 for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.

    3. Mix the self-raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, light muscovado sugar and golden caster sugar with the cocoa powder and squash out any lumps. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk.

    4. Pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir everything to a smooth, quite runny consistency.

    5. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1hr 25 – 1hr 30 mins. If you push a skewer into 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. Cut the cold cake horizontally into three.

    6. To make the ganache, put the dark chocolate in a bowl.  Pour the cream into a pan, add the 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. Cool until it is a little thicker but still pourable.

    7. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smooth over any gaps 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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    arualcook's picture
    19th Feb, 2017
    Just made this cake, and wow, its amazing. I bake for a living, and I have struggled with chocolate cakes, trying to find one that's moist, chocolatey and decadent, but this is it. Followed the recipe to the letter, it rose to the perfect height to cut into three layers, I made my own chocolate ganache filling but this is going to be my chocolate cake recipe from now on, and its so easy!!!
    4th Dec, 2017
    Hi please can you give me your own chocolate ganache recipe? grahamoffroad2@yahoo.co.uk
    14th Feb, 2017
    I've made this cake a few times, and it stays moist for days and tastes great. However, I do 50/50 milk and dark chocolate, and I really struggle to even cut the cake in HALF let alone 3 times horizontally. I will try it again today in 2 tins.
    9th Mar, 2017
    how did you get on baking in 2 tins? I had the same problem cutting it - was too moist - time in oven? temp? Thanks! ;-)
    GeorgieRose104's picture
    29th Jan, 2017
    Its chewy from all of the sugar and 2 of 3 ive made collapsed after i took them out of the oven and left to cool. They all stuck to the tins despite me greasing and lining. I followed this recipe to a T, and as a chef i understand what im doing. I would suggest reducing the amounts of sugar and using 2 smaller tins... possibly even add in an extra egg! The structure is fudgy inside... but theres no solid structure unless overbaked.
    6th Dec, 2016
    Amazing recipe, will make again! Family loved it.
    26th Nov, 2016
    Don't understand the high ratings. Had to cook it for about 50'mins longer than recipe states as it was still raw. Once cooled cake tastes really claggy and surprisingly not very chocolatey.
    25th Nov, 2016
    It is the best cake recipe! Made it twice now; second time I added a little bit of orange extract into the ganache and it lifted it even more. Easy and simply devine.
    20th Nov, 2016
    This recipe is perfect. I cook mine in a tray bake tin at 140C for 40/45 minutes and it comes out perfectly moist. Do leave it to cool completely. I also add grated orange Zest to the Ganache for a delicious chocolate orange twist.
    12th Nov, 2016
    Left out the butter and buttermilk and replaced with rapeseed oil and soya milk to make it dairy-free. Turned out fine without the ganache but cake did require extra 15 mins in the oven. Also used half the amount of sugar to get the balance between bitterness and sweetness - perfect for an adults only cake, would have been way to sweet otherwise.


    17th Sep, 2016
    I have made this cake a few times and its always turned out really well. Im just wondering if anybody as made this recipe into cupcakes, as I've been searching for awhile for a good moist cupcake recipe. Would be great for any help.
    Nena Davila
    11th Sep, 2016
    How can I make self rising flour for this cake, where I leave a small town in México, I can't find it.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    13th Sep, 2016
    Hi Nena,Thanks for your question. To make self-raising flour add one teaspoon baking powder to 110g of plain flour. Happy baking!
    27th Mar, 2016
    Hello, I made this cake two times and both times the cake came out fudgy- brownie texture. My sister uses the same recipe and hers come out light and spongy and it bakes in only 40 mins whereas mine takes 1hr30 mins..i would like to know what kind of cake this is suppose to be a fudgy type or light spongy,?,please help! thanks ..
    Nena Davila
    11th Sep, 2016
    do they leave in the same city? altitude can change the cake
    goodfoodteam's picture
    20th May, 2016
    We would describe this cake as moist dense and chocolaty. It is one of our most popular cake recipes, especially good for birthdays.
    19th Feb, 2016
    I made this recipe last night and everything looked promising as Ifollowed the recipes to the tee. I opened the oven, checked the cake, it was tall and perfect and then let the cake cool in the oven with the door open. When checking thia morning the cake is as tall as a brownie, very dense and there is no way I can cut it into 2 let alone 3 slices. Where did I go wrong?? I didnt have buttermilk so i substituted with a milk and natural yog mixture that i checked online. Its for a birthday so was looking forward to a nice big celebration cake...this is a brownie!!! Help!
    20th Dec, 2015
    Hi can you tell me if salted or unsalted butter was used for this cake please?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Dec, 2015
    We used salted butter for this recipe. 
    2nd Nov, 2015
    I am going to make this cake on Friday for a friend's birthday the following day and have a couple of questions - 1) I'll be using a 23cm spring form tin (8cm deep) - will I need to adjust the recipe or is it OK to use the same measurements? 2) I'm planning to refrigerate the cake Fri night and add the ganache Saturday morning - when I do this, should I allow the ganache to cool slightly before adding between the layers and on top?


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