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

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(1000 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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    10th Aug, 2011
    Made it exactly as recipe says, except for baking in a slightly wider tin and just cutting into 2 layers. It was gorgeous, the best cake I've ever made, as I'm no experienced cook, but this was so easy. I tried making my own chocolate curls to put on top.. that was far harder than making the cake itself :P
    9th Aug, 2011
    I just wondered whether this recipe was suitable to use as the base layer of a three tier cake??? Anyone tried it...sorry if this has been asked b4!
    9th Aug, 2011
    This cake went down very well at my husbands birthday party. It was very moist and heavy. Very nice but a bit too rich for my taste. I did not sandwich the cake with the ganache, rather I put it on the top and sides instead. Easy to make, but I probably won't make it again because it's too intensely chocolaty for me.
    8th Aug, 2011
    I am living in a small town in Indonesia, difficult to find buttermilk, can it be replaced with sour cream? thank you.
    7th Aug, 2011
    AMAZING cake! So easy to make. Used all the tips supplied in reviews: reduced sugar to 300, mixed dark + milk chocolate,divided mixture into two cake tins so didn't have to cut it and left ganache in the fridge for 20 minutes. Turned out fantastic and got great compliments. My husband said it was the best chocolate cake he'd ever had - with his mother being a phenomenal cook, it was a serious compliment. Give it a go!!
    6th Aug, 2011
    this looks so yummy and professional! defo trying this next
    27th Jul, 2011
    I made this cake for my daughter to take into school as an end of term present for the teachers. They all said it was fantastic. Really easy to make too. I split the mixture into two tins and it worked just as well with a little less cooking time. Will definitely be doing it again.
    25th Jul, 2011
    Gorgeous cake, everyone loved it. Used No-Fat Yoghurt instead of buttermilk and only cut in half rather than three. Only used 250g of sugar too as 400 is far too much...... tasted fab :D
    24th Jul, 2011
    This recipe was fantastic! I decided to make it without the coffee for my boyfriend's birthday (He's not keen on coffee) and it was brilliant. Very rich but extremely tasty and delicious with some double cream :)
    21st Jul, 2011
    I hate coffee so I was really scared about trying this recipe, but I gave it a go and I was impressed. You can't taste the coffee, and you would never know it was in there! I split the mixture into 3 7inch tins and they cooked in 45 minutes on fan oven. The cake is amazing!


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