Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(124 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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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
9th Apr, 2016
Made this for my wedding and found the cake to have a great flavour but very dense. I accidentally used a 30cm tin and it climbed out! Had to trim the edges and it sunk a little in the middle. Can confirm the coffee doesn't register as a coffee taste but does give it a rich depth. See details here on my blog:
30th Mar, 2016
Hi I am using this recipe to make a 11 inch square topsy turvy cake but I was just wondering if using half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate will be okay?
2nd Mar, 2016
This is a brilliant cake. I have made the 12 inch cake twice for events to practice for Daughters wedding cake, Decided at last minute we would need more cake so made 1 1/2 x mixture cooked 3.5 hours.Made on Wed eve cut and iced on Thurs, decorated on Fri.Eaten on SAT EVE. Perfect, moist, enormous scrummy cake. Most went at wedding rest finished with in a few days!
27th Feb, 2016
The first time I made this was a disaster but after reading all the comments and tips, I have successfully made 2 x6" cakes. I divided the quantities by 3, half filled my 4"deep pans after lining with paper inside then wrapped the outside in a wet band I made from an old towel which is supposed to stop it from doming. Cooked for exactly 2 hours on 140, I bought an oven thermometer this time, and now I have 2 delicious chocolate cakes filled with mary berrys chocolate buttercream. This recipe is now going to be used for my daughters wedding cake.
12th Feb, 2016
Ok folks, I've just made a 9" round cake and it's turned out perfect! 3" tall, cooked at 140 fan for two hours. I wish I could post a picture for you. I used an app called "cake o meter" it's brilliant. Simply put in the ingredients for the original recipe and then you put the size cake/shape cake tin you want to use and it converts it for you, simple. I used just over half the recipe of the 12" for my 9" round. Another tip, I filled a roasting tray of water and placed in the bottom of the oven, this kept the cake so level and from drying out! Perfect! My email if you would like any guidance , Happy Baking!
6th Dec, 2018
Thank you so much for the app recommendation! I wish I'd seen this review back in 2016...would've saved me so many failures!! xx


goodfoodteam's picture
11th Jul, 2017
We're sorry to hear your cake didn't hold its shape. Cakes can also collapse if they are not cooked for long enough. Ensure the oven is fully up to temperature and the cake is cooked throughout before removing it. Also it's important to make sure you use the right amount of raising agent so make sure you use a measuring spoon rather than cutlery, and level off the teaspoons (rather than heaping them). We hope that helps.
6th Jun, 2017
Can you use sandwich tins and split the batter for this recipe?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jun, 2017
Thanks for your question. We would suggest using the tin as suggested as using different ones will affect the cooking time, and as we are unable to give a specific recommendation in this instance we can't guarantee the results will be successful.
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.


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