Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(102 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins Plus cooling


Serves 50
This recipe makes the bottom layer of our three tier wedding cake or a simple delicious chocolate cake, perfect with a touch of cream

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal274
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.23g
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  • 650g unsalted butter
  • 650g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 100ml very strong coffee- espresso is ideal
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence



    The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…

  • 650g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 2 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-…

  • 950g light soft brown sugar
  • 10 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 2 x 284ml/9½ fl oz soured cream


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter, double-line and wrap the sides of the 30cm deep-round cake tin as before. Put the butter and chocolate into a medium saucepan, then stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in the coffee and vanilla.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the biggest bowl you have. Add the sugar, breaking down any lumps with your fingertips if necessary. Beat the eggs and soured cream together in a jug or bowl and pour into the flour mix. Pour in the melted chocolate mix as well, then stir with a wooden spoon until you have a thick, even chocolaty batter.

  3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 2½ hrs – don’t open the oven door before 2 hrs is up, as this will cause the cake to sink. Once cooked, leave in the tin to cool completely. The unfilled cake will keep for up to four days, wrapped as before, or frozen for a month.

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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Feb, 2017
I have previously made this cake twice as as 10" square (with enough left over for a bonus 6 x 2 loaf tin). Halved the recipe to bake a 7" round and a loaf tin, but both cakes have cracked. Not a huge problem this time, there is plenty of rise so I will trim off a layer at the top and turn it over to ice. But.. as I didn't have this problem previously - any ideas what has caused this? I'd like to bake smaller versions in future, it's such a delicious cake.
26th Jan, 2017
Hi, I made this chocolate cake twice and it's so nice, but could anyone help with me with weights for a 9 ins chocolate cake Thanks in advance
10th Feb, 2017
Using my schoolgirl trigonometry, I reckon that half the recipe would just about do it. (12" round is 113 sq inches, 9" round is 63 sq inches). It'd just be not quite as deep?
12th Jan, 2017
I made this for a family celebration recently. It's quite simply the best chocolate cake I've ever made. I need to find an excuse to bake it again!
8th Jan, 2017
This is a lovely recipe - I used it for my daughters birthday cake but substituted 2/3 of the dark chocolate for milk chocolate and left the coffee out, went down really well. Will be using this again.
7th Jan, 2017
I made this today as a birthday cake, but made 3 8" cakes from it as my experience with extra large cakes is somewhat iffy. Made collars for pans with parchment and sprayed bottom parchment, collar and sides well. it only rose a half inch above, which was contained by the collar and was easily cut off after cooling. It was perfect, as the top browns pretty darkly before cake was done. I put them in for exactly 2 hrs @ 325...listening after 1 hr and 45 min. the listening trick works really well, wonder why I've never known about it before. cakes are a beautiful 2 inches tall and ready to be frozen and torted for a birthday party next week. I don't think I can stack 9 layers without it looking odd, so I'll probably only tort 2 of them and have a spare in the freezer for us. the recipe was perfect for 3 8" cakes, no adjusting except for MAKING SURE THERE IS A GREASED COLLAR...I can't tell you enough how important that is! And you want it to go a little above the rim, that way you can set it back in the pan and slice the over cooked top off...perfect layers. Thank you!
4th Jan, 2017
This went down really well at a leaving do.
26th Dec, 2016
Love this cake so much, it's my fail safe cake for any special occasion, enough to serve a big crowd, and the icing is equally decadent as it's made with ganache. Best chocolate cake ever :)
9th Nov, 2016
Hello - the recipe says this serves 50. Is that one layer or does it mean all three layers if you were to make the three-tier wedding cake? Also, I've bought double quantities of the ingredients to make two layers, but now I am wondering if the idea is you cut this cake into three layers like in the picture? If so this means there is no need to make double quantities?
7th Oct, 2016
This was the first 12inch chocolate cake I've ever made as I'm not a big fan of chocolate cake. Oh my what a lovely cake, very moist and yummy. It was a massive success in work as I made it for Macmillan coffe morning. Just make sure you have large enough bowls to mix the ingredient as I had to chance my bowls. Best chocolate cake ever


22nd Feb, 2017
I have made this cake a number of times and it is AWESOME! I was wondering though how you think it would go as cupcakes?
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Mar, 2017
We're glad you've enjoyed it so much. You could make this into cupcakes. Obviously this amount of mixture is going to make a lot so you might want to reduce the quantities depending on how many you're planning to make. You'll also need to reduce the cooking time to around 20 mins. We can't give exact instructions as we haven't tested this recipe in cupcake form. Let us know how you get on!
22nd Jan, 2017
Is soured cream the same thing as American sour cream?
17th Jan, 2017
What does 2 x 284ml soured cream mean (568 ml)? Can I use anything else instead of sour cream?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jan, 2017
Thanks for your question. 284ml is the most common size of carton available in British supermarkets and we suggest using two of these but yes, it does just mean 568ml. We'd suggest using soured cream - this produces a cake that's both light and moist due its combination of acidity and fat.
17th Nov, 2016
Can you tell me how high this cake is when baked thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Nov, 2016
Thanks for your question. It's hard to give an exact height as this may vary slightly. You need to use a deep cake tin and once iced the cake is usually roughly that depth. You can always trim the cake once baked if necessary.
29th Aug, 2016
Did anyone else find the mixture had quite a few lumps in it?!
17th Aug, 2016
Made this chocolate cake came out of oven perfect, tested cake before removing from the oven skewer came out clean. But the day after when i sliced the cake it didn't looked cooked very dense is this what it should look like
5th Sep, 2016
Hi, I've baked this cake many times, in quite a few different tin sizes and more often than not gluten free. I switch out the plain flour for Doves Free From Plain White Flour and make sure my baking powder is GF. I also tend to be a little more generous with the coffee and soured cream just ensure moisture - GF cakes can often be dry and crumbly. Connoisseurs can sometimes pick out the semolina texture from the flour but most just eat it happy and oblivious that it is GF.


9th Dec, 2014 This is a link to a brilliant website which helps with converting the ingredients for different sized tins. Just put in all the quantities, original tin size, the size of tin you want to use, and the ingredients automatically come up at the bottom of the page.
Fiona cheng
19th Oct, 2014
Hi, may I know if you use buttercream in between layers?
17th Dec, 2013
This recipe also works brilliantly using buttermilk instead of sour cream. I've just made it today using left over buttermilk, much cheaper, less fat, and tastes the same! This is my ultimate choc cake for any requests I have, it's easy, foolproof and always gets great reviews!
14th Oct, 2013
I made this first as a layer on my sisters wedding cake. now I make it quite often for friends who seem to enjoy it even more when i add the juice and zest of 2 limes to butter cream icing to fill and top it with. The strong, rich dark chocolate and the taste of the zesty lime seem to really compliment each other.