Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(104 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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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
25th Sep, 2016
Made this as part of a two tiered cake, (my first attempt). It is lovely moist and delicious. It is also not too complicated. My young daughter loved it.
22nd Sep, 2016
Summary of tips I've posted in the past but there's always a new size/shape of cake to try and so we keep on learning! Here are a few things I've had to work out by trial and error as, everyone agrees, it's worth persisting as it's a great cake when it all goes well. - Buy a washing up bowl from a cheap shop to keep as a large mixing bowl. - After trying a 10 egg mix in a 30 cm round tin (as in recipe) and a 12 egg mix in a 30 cm square tin, which both sank in the middle even after a long time in the oven, I have decided, for me, that the volume of mix is just too great for a reasonable bake and now always do half the mix at a time and find that the cakes have fairly flat tops. Both cakes can be split in half for a rather tall 4 layer cake or, better still, use three of the layers for the 'main' cake and use the 4th layer as a taster.  - The cake cuts and handles well if chilled overnight in its tin and freezes very well with the butter icing. Mark a line with icing at one point on the side of the cake before cutting so that if your cutting is uneven you know where to fit the two pieces back together after filling. - Weigh the eggs, in their shells, and use the same weight in flour, butter and chocolate. A bit of egg juggling should allow you to get fairly close to the weight required in the recipe. A 5 egg mix is good in the 30cm round tin and a 6 egg mix good in the 30cm square tin. Check after 1.5 hours but they probably need a bit longer in the oven. - For cooking time, a few people have posted examples of the baking times need for different sizes. Err on the side of too long rather than too short a time. The cake can look crisp and done on top but still be liquid in the middle. Remove the cake and listen to it. If you can hear it 'singing' (quiet sizzling sound) bake for another 10 minutes and try again until your cake goes quiet :) - Calculate other amounts of mixture, using the egg number, by keying in the whole amount as given in the recipe for 10 eggs, divide by 10 then multiply by the egg number required eg. for a 6 egg mix, flour 650g ÷ 10 = 65, then 65 x 6 = 390g. The chocolate and butter will also be 390g, coffee 60ml, baking powder and bicarb 1.2 tsp, sugar 570g and soured cream 340ml. - Butter cream, calculated from the unhelpful instructions in the 'Creating your wedding cake' section, butter 300g, sugar 600g, cream 142 ml, chocolate 200g. Double up or halve tbe amount depending on cake size and keep notes of quantities used for future reference.
CakesandpudsbyLucy's picture
17th Sep, 2016
Can you give advise best way to cut wedding cake chocolate cake should cut into 50,and lemon 30 , have used good food recipe and doing 2 tiers plus another for pre cutting
31st Aug, 2016
Is it possible that you can convert this recipe for me in pounds & ounces?
23rd Jun, 2016
I have just made this cake and it smells delicious! I made in a 9inch tin and used and used 0.6 of the original recipe. Baked on 150 in fan over for exactly 2 hours and it looks perfect - a good 3inches high. I plan to make another one exactly the same, cut both layers in half and use three layers. This is for the middle tier of my daughter's wedding cake next weekend. Can anyone tell me please, if they found the outside of the cake firm to touch (I may just be panicking!)?
7th Oct, 2016
I've been asked to make a cake this size and I'm very new to baking. Can you break down your ingredient for me please
13th Jun, 2016
I've just made a 4 tier one of these for my daughter's 21st birthday and it's the best chocolate cake recipe I've ever used. I'm not as confident as some of you so I stuck to the recipe and followed all the timings and tips to the letter and it didn't catch at all. I can confirm what other people have said in that it isn't like a sponge cake, and it doesn't shrink back so the cake you see coming out of the oven is the size it will be when cooled. I froze it until I needed it and it was even better when I defrosted it - moist, chocolatey nomnomnom The ingredients for the larger diameter cakes add up cost wise so I didn't want to risk a burnt cake so I took a belt and braces approach to the tins. I double lined them on the inside and made a double cuff of brown paper on the outside which was 2 inches higher than the tin Some of you are asking about chocolate buttercreams. This cake is so rich, you wouldn't want to use an insipid buttercream recipe. My go-to chocolate buttercream comes from the Primrose Hill Bakery and goes like this:- 175 g dark chocolate (I use Asda (Walmart for our American friends) Smart Price but you can use posh chocolate if you want) 225g unsalted butter Half a tablespoon of milk 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract 250 icing sugar - sifted thoroughly Melt the chocolate however you like to do it and leave to cool Beat butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth then add melted, cooled chocolate and beat again until smooth Then beat for several minutes (much easier with an electric whisk) until very light and fluffy This gives you a chocolate buttercream which is delicious on its own or adaptable for other recipes by adding orange, coffee, mint or whatever you like (it's delicious eaten by the spoonful straight out of the fridge too) but I never said that I'm going to make this for my son's forthcoming birthday soon, taking out the coffee and grating in some orange zest. I'll let you know how it goes


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.
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Aug, 2016
Hi Zoe, thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear the cake appeared uncooked even after testing. It should be cooked and spongy throughout when sliced. When doing the skewer test make sure you test the cake in the centre. You can also press the top of the cake lightly and if it springs back it's done. Mary Berry suggests combining these tests to ensure your cake is ready. Check out her top 10 baking tips. Hope that helps.
3rd Aug, 2016
Hi, this recipe sounds lovely but I wondered if anyone had made swaps to make it gluten free and vegan, hints and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks you!
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.
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Aug, 2016
Hi Bev, we have not tested gluten-free or vegan versions of this cake and would not like to suggest straight swaps without thorough testing. You can however find a selection of gluten-free cakes here, some of which are vegan too. Hope this helps:
21st Jun, 2016
I am making the Jane Hornby chocolate cake in two 8 inch tins. Do I still have to wait 2 hours before checking if its done?
Frankie R
2nd Apr, 2016
Hello! I made this a few years back as the exact recipe and size above; it was incredible and it got such great reviews from the guests. Proper chocolate truffle cake :) I am now making a friends wedding cake and it all needs to be gluten free.... has anyone made the above GF and if so, how?! Was it a straight flour swap plus some xanthym gum? Thank you in advance! Frankie.
3rd Aug, 2016
Hi, I have made gluten free sponge cake but not chocolate...I usually just swap the flour when I'm doing a vanilla sponge, I've never added xanthym gum and it comes out fine but I'm also wondering about this recipe, need to make it gluten free and vegan.


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