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

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(1014 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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    28th Sep, 2011
    I made this last night for my Mum's birthday thats this evening, very easy to make, smelt devine while cooking! I let it cool for an hour then cover it in white fondant and decorated it. We are yet to taste it, will have to wait until the celebrations tonight!
    23rd Sep, 2011
    Wicked cake!!! Just made an0ther 0ne f0r my s0n's birthday - try b0iling d0wn s0me fresh raspberries with a little sugar, balsamic vinegar and water t0 add a tarty 0ffset flav0ur t0 the rich ch0c0late, as a filling between the layers - yumshi0us!!!!!!!!
    19th Sep, 2011
    Made this cake for a birthday and it is excellent - best chocolate cake I have ever made!
    19th Sep, 2011
    I've made this cake 3 times now and am making it again this week. I love good quality dark chocolate but my other half thinks its too strong. So this week I'm going to use half milk and half plain only on the outside of the cake and dark inside. There are a few things I've discovered, firstly let the ganache cool down, even put it in the freezer for 30 mins so it's more solid and won't run off so easily. Also if you can't get buttermilk, heat some milk in a pan, not so it boils, just hot and add some lemon juice (about half a lemon or a few squeezes), this is exactly the same as buttermilk. I store my cake in the fridge if it doesn't all get eaten, when ready to eat again put a slice in the microwave and defrost (not heat) for 1 minute, it's just devine and slightly runny. I've also sliced this cake and stored in the freezer, it's still perfect when defrosted.
    18th Sep, 2011
    nice worked a treat ;)
    18th Sep, 2011
    This cake is not for the faint hearted - it is extremely rich but for special occasions an absolute treat! I have made it a couple of times now and each time it turns out well and tastes delicious. I have never cooked it for as long as it suggests - 1 hr - 1hr 10 mins seems enough to cook perfectly (fan oven at 140). Definitely gets the thumbs up in this house - with my husband scanning the calendar for upcoming special occasions that may warrant a cake!
    16th Sep, 2011
    I read the reviews and thought can it really be that good? but it is!
    15th Sep, 2011
    Absolutelyy divine, Panicked a bit on the granache as seemed very runny and overflowed off edge of plate when covering. Eventually it started to set and could ice perfectly. Will definitely be doing this one again. Even Hubby liked it (He hates coffee in cakes normally)
    15th Sep, 2011
    This is the best recipe ever and I have used it sooo many times. It makes a fantastic wedding cake and I would recomend it to anyone! It actually is really easy to make. It does come out like a brownie, is soft in the middle and gooey but holds its shape and easily holds fondant icing and a perfect 3 tier wedding cake. No crumb will be left.
    15th Sep, 2011
    Can anyone tell me if it will work without the coffee. Hate the stuff!


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