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

Ultimate chocolate cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1015 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


    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.

    You may also like

    Ads by Google

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    6th Sep, 2017
    You can't taste the coffee at all. The coffee is there as it enhances the chocolate flavour. :)
    Myles's picture
    11th Jul, 2016
    Yes, it is delicious. I made the cake with half the sugar (100g muscavado, 100g caster sugar) and it was still quite sweet enough! I also followed others recommendations here and split the cake mixture and cooked it in two tins for 45 minutes (in a fan oven). I didn't use the ganache but instead used the "Chocolate fudge icing" recipe also available on this website. Yum!
    11th Jul, 2016
    I made this for my wifes birthday, everyone enjoyed it and I was complimented many times. Gave up on the curls was getting chocolate everywhere except on the cake. I used runny whipping cream (para montar here in Spain) for the ganache but felt it to be too runny so I added 200gms of buttercream mix without the butter , that thickened it up a treat and was able to spread all over the cake without it falling off. I used the same for the filling but also spread a few large spoons of homemade strawberry jam inside too.I used "Quark" in place of sour cream. Had no problem splitting it using one of those things with a wire stretched between the two legs, this was done the next day. Decorated with chocolate leaves and glace cherries and dusted with icing sugar. It was moist, gooey, chcolatey, not overly sweet nor bitter, they loved it. It took 1h10mins and the top was a bit too crisp for my liking, probably too high on the shelf, luckily I was keeping an eye on it as the 1h25m would have killed it. I flipped it over so the crispy bit was at the bottom. That worked ok. As I said the ganache was runny but may have been due to hot waether or wrong cream. I got around that as well. Probably only the 3rd Choc cake I have ever made and it was well worth the trouble. I will certainly be making this again. My wife was very happy !!!!
    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?


    11th Oct, 2015
    The centre top of my cake has risen a large amount, and has detached itself to the actual cake. Why has this happened? I followed the method correctly.
    12th Aug, 2015
    Hi! Want to make this cake for a friend but she doesn't really like coffee. Does it taste of coffee or only of chocolate?
    7th Jul, 2015
    Hi, I've just made this cake for my son's birthday, I'm waiting for it to cool but am worried about making the ganache correctly. Someone pointed out that he followed the recipe exactly and just poured the ganache over the cake after cooling it down....am I supposed to whip it or something first to make it very thick.... I don't want to ruin it as it's looking ok at the moment.
    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! 


    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.