Ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(983 ratings)

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


Cuts into 14 slices

Indulge yourself with Angela Nilsen's heavenly moist and fudgy chocolate cake - perfect for celebrations - birthdays, weddings, christenings - any excuse!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without icing


  • kcal541
  • fat35g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.51g
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  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter



    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 egg
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

For the ganache

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, as above
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


  1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then 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 on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

  2. While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

  3. Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in 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.

  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp 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.

  5. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover 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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21st Jul, 2011
Superb cake!! Not sickly at all. Easy to make and prep time not too long. Went down very well, have 2 requests already to make it again... Not possible to cut into 3, and i found the ganache didn't go far enough, maybe i'm just greedy! Will separate into 2 tins next time as suggested above.
20th Jul, 2011
Well what a FANTASTIC cake!! Such a lovely texture and the taste was incredible. I made it for my sisters 39th birthday and normally my cakes are a disaster but not this time!! I spent a considerable amount of time choosing this recipe and read a lot of the reviews. I used two sandwich tins, used creme fraiche instead of buttermilk, used half milk and half plain choc for the topping and used 100g less sugar in the cake recipe. Unlike some comments I couldn't even taste the coffee. I have always wanted a trusted chocolate cake and this certainly is it!!! It lasted a few days after the event and was still lovely and moist. It looked incredible when it was finished, my young neice decorated it with smarties and it looked fab!! Give it a try you wont be disappointed! I cant wait for another occasion so I have an excuse to make it again!!!
17th Jul, 2011
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16th Jul, 2011
From the first moment I saw this cake (on the website) I fell in love with it! It looked stunning topped with delicate chocolate curls and the sponge looked gorgeous, moist yet delious! I thought it would definatly be worth a shot. The recipe was clear and presise and the finished product was a success! I presented it for my mother's birthday. She loved it and begged me for the recipe - saying how talented I was for making it. All my credit goes to this amazing website! Thank you!
14th Jul, 2011
I must have done something wrong as mine came out more like a sunken cracked chocolate brownie instead of a cake? I will stick with my usual simple and fail safe chocolate cake in future. Shame really as it looked like it should have been nice!
14th Jul, 2011
Delicious & very, very rich. Will do it again but only with one layer of ganache instead of 2 suggested in the recipe.
13th Jul, 2011
This was such a huge success and really easy to make. I made it for my 18 year olds son birthday
12th Jul, 2011
So yummy!
11th Jul, 2011
The best chocolate cake ever!
11th Jul, 2011
I love the recipe, I made it for people at work and it went down really well. I used normal semi-skimmed milk as I couldn't get any butter milk, made it in 2 tins and also used butter icing rather than ganache, but it worked perfectly.


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