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

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(1003 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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    7th Sep, 2011
    OMG!!!!! Just heaven... Heaven in a cake - Helllloooo Ultimate Chocolate Cake! Rather sadly I was alone on my birthday this year and decided to cheer myself up with a cake... IT WORKED! Its so delicious - my only worry now is making to many more and gaining a few pounds so I will always be alone on my birthday! :-)
    7th Sep, 2011
    I have made this cake on loads of special occasions and we LOVE it!! I use stork margarine instead of butter and I use 'smart price' dark chocolate (Asda 30p 100g) for the cake and it keeps the cost down bait. I use a better quality chocolate for the ganache.
    5th Sep, 2011
    Followed the recipe exactly, used an oven thermometer to ensure oven temperature was correct - and the cake cooked perfectly but major cracks, and when I lifted it out of the cake tin that it had cooled in, it disintegrated. Absolute disaster. No idea what went wrong - exact quantities of ingredients, etc. First time ever a BBC GoodFood recipe has been a failure! Was a trial for my husband's 50th birthday cake (this weekend) but won't attempt it again after the disasterous result!
    4th Sep, 2011
    @mary: I find it strange that you say you were disappointed with the heaviness of the cake when this is surely the point? It is called the ultimate chocolate cake - kind of reminiscent of the renowned Matilda cake, therefore it is surely meant to be rich and heavy? I find your criticism pointless and think you simply did not find what you were looking for. I however was searching for a very rich chocolate cake for my father's birthday, and this was perfect =)
    3rd Sep, 2011
    Made this for my brother's birthday as he LOVES chocolate cake and he said it's the best he's ever had! Had trouble making the curls of choclate which turned into crumbs and decorated with white chocolate buttons instead.
    31st Aug, 2011
    made this as a baby-shower cake for a friend, it went down an absolute treat, my 2nd attempt was a lot better looking than my 1st but both tasted so good and also very good warmed up with some ice cream. mmm
    28th Aug, 2011
    This cake turned out extremely well for a friend's birthday. Extremely rich (used Tesco 74% dark chocolate for inside and Divine for the ganache) - it was a little more like a brownie, but mine may have been slightly more dense than intended as had to sub the 3 medium eggs for 2 large.
    28th Aug, 2011
    I left a comment yesterday and have had a thought about the way in which you have to scroll through lots of pages to see the latest additions. Wouldn't it be better to have the latest additions/comments on page 1 rather than page 48? Anyone else agree?
    27th Aug, 2011
    I used this recipe to make the top tier of my son and his fiances wedding cake together with 144 muffin sized cupcakes and a 10 fruit cake for the traditionalists! I made two bec cakes, cut each in half & sandwiched them together with dark choc ganache. Covered the top & sides with white choc ganache & put white choc cigarellos around and grated white choc and lustre dust on the top. I also added a circle of wired organza ribbon around the middle as the Reception was in a conservatory and I wasn't confident enough that it wouldn't melt in the heat. I am not a great cake baker/decorator but if I can do it anyone can. We saved well in excess of £250 by diy. I would have attached a photo but I am unable to on this blog....unless someone could tell me how?
    23rd Aug, 2011
    I used half of fat and sugar and it was AWESOME!


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