Ultimate chocolate cake topped with chocolate curls

Ultimate chocolate cake

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(1203 ratings)

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


14 slices

Indulge yourself with this ultimate chocolate cake recipe that is beautifully moist, rich and fudgy. Perfect for a celebration or an afternoon tea

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced and undecorated

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-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 200g butter, cubed



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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
      Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



      There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

    • 50g grated chocolate or 100g curls, to decorate

      Chocolate ganache


      Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

    For the ganache

    • 200g dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa solids), chopped
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      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 200g chopped dark chocolate in a medium pan with 200g butter.

    3. Mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan.

    4. 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.

    5. Mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder, and squash out any lumps.

    6. Beat 3 medium eggs with 75ml buttermilk.

    7. Pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir everything to a smooth, quite runny consistency.

    8. 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).

    9. 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.

    10. To make the ganache, put 200g chopped dark chocolate in a bowl.  Pour 300ml double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar and heat until it is about to boil.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. Decorate with 50g grated chocolate or 100g chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    1st Sep, 2019
    Made this cake for my son's birthday. It turned out perfectly, so moist and fudgy. I used the exact ingredients (dark cooking chocolate from Morrisons with 56% cocoa solids worked well) and will definitely make again without changes to those. From reading the reviews was a bit nervous about cutting, but made sure the cake was completely cool before doing. Although I cut in half rather than into three as didn't think that was a risk worth taking! There was enough ganache for filling and icing and again if you follow the ingredients and recipe for this you won't go wrong.
    Neil Andrews's picture
    Neil Andrews
    18th Aug, 2019
    Made this today , but wish I'd viewed comments first. I found the cake near impossible to cut in half without it crumbling so should definitely of used sandwich tins instead. Also it tasted more like a chocolate brownie rather than a cake. It did taste nice though with the ganache used as a dipping sauce (I used an extra 50ml of cream to stop it setting firm)
    5th Jan, 2020
    Freezing the cake so it is firmer, but not solid, makes it tonnes easier to cut as it doesn't crumble
    23rd Jul, 2019
    Great recipe. Creates a really intense, rich, moist chocolate cake. The recipe is very easy to follow. It went down very well with all my work colleagues.
    23rd Jun, 2019
    Note I'm giving this 5 stars if you dramatically cut the sugar down! I used 140 of each and it was so sugary I had to throw it out. Next time I'll use 80 of each and see how that works out. Amazing recipe though like a giant brownie but deffo make in two tins if you're going to sandwich
    11th Jun, 2019
    I made this cake for the first time for a birthday party and it turned out perfectly. I froze it immediately after baking (once it was completely cool), and the night before the party, I defrosted it, and then iced it with the ganache in the morning. Very easy recipe, which I followed to the letter. The hardest part was cutting the cake in half, as it is quite delicate. Next time, I think I'll make it in two sandwich tins and reduce the baking time.
    This is pro Vlogs's picture
    This is pro Vlogs
    31st May, 2019
    Brilliant! Just brilliant! Try this recipe out sometime! :-)
    6th May, 2019
    I've made this twice now and it's incredible. Both times I've used the same oven temperature but used sandwich tins and cooked it for 45 minutes, it was perfectly cooked. The first time, I used the exact ingredients as listed. The second time I needed to make it dairy and soya free, you wouldn't have been able to tell! For your interest, I used stork baking spread and dairy and soya free dark chocolate. To replace the sour cream, I used 75ml Oatly barista milk mixed with 1tsp lemon juice and left it to sit for half an hour. For the ganache, I melted 80g of Trex vegetable fat with 250ml Oatly single cream and used the same chocolate as above along with the sugar in the recipe. It was delicious!
    29th Apr, 2019
    Amazing chocolate cake......
    Rupert Chandler's picture
    Rupert Chandler
    17th Apr, 2019
    Exceptionally chocolatey cake, fantastic. Tried one as soon as came out of oven, we made as cup cakes.. SO intense and rich!! If you want a MONSTER chocolate cake this is the boy for you, if making as a big cake I think I'd just have whipped cream and maybe cherry preserve and go a Sacher Torte vibe.. It would be stunning! Used normal semi skimmed milk, golden caster sugar and self raising flour no plain.. 10/10


    goodfoodteam's picture
    11th Jul, 2019
    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we can't give exact measurements or timings without retesting.
    7th Feb, 2019
    Do you gave a version with US measurements/ingredients/oven temperature?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    7th Feb, 2019
    Thanks for your question. We don't have a US version on this site but if you use an online conversion guide, it is possible to make the switch. Good luck!
    3rd Dec, 2018
    I love this cake but I'm wanting to make more of it for my daughter's first birthday party. If I follow the standard recipe and then tweak it to bake another smaller one to put on top, can the cake hold it up if I use dowling/straws? Not built a tiered cake before...
    goodfoodteam's picture
    3rd Dec, 2018
    Thanks for your question. The cake should be strong enough to hold one more small tier, especially with cake dowels. We'd recommend layering the cake and then putting ganache on the whole thing in one go for the best finish.
    13th Dec, 2018
    Fantastic thank you!
    20th Nov, 2018
    Hi. I'm going to try this this weekend to see if it will work for Christmas. I only have 23cm or 17cm springform tins though. Will it still work /rise properly? Thanks for any help.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Nov, 2018
    Thanks for your question. We would recommend using a 20cm cake tin as this will ensure that the cake comes out as in the recipe, and that you won't need to make adjustments. A 20cm round cake tin is one of the most commonly used, especially in our recipes, so it may be worth either getting one, or should be easy to borrow.
    24th Nov, 2018
    Thanks for coming back to me.
    21st Oct, 2018
    How the best to store this cake? I am planning to make it on Thursday and have it on Saturday for my daughter birthday. Should I keep it in he fridge? Some people say it then gets hard but if it’s not in the fridge will the Grenache be ok in the tin? Please recommend the best options.


    2nd Oct, 2014
    be patient with this if your in a hurry and need it in hour or so then dont bother try to do it the night before or as i did in the morning as didnt need till evening but it is worth the wait
    27th Jun, 2014
    The result was very light and fragile. If you're going to use a filling, I'd suggest the sandwich method rather than cutting it horizontally. I replaced part of the chocolate with After Eights to give a mint flavour. Worked well. Gave a big chocolaty hit and nice moistness.
    11th May, 2014
    For an extra special & fun topping try covering the top with the contents of your favourite box of chocolates or chocolate treats. Use a little ganache to help them stay in place :)
    17th Apr, 2014
    This cake works just as well using cadbury's chocolate. I've also used this recipe and made it into muffins. Don't fill the cases more than 3/4 full as they will overflow. I baked them at 140c for 50 mins. Don't check before 40 mins otherwise they will sink. These turned out delicious! The texture is like a really soft brownie (not gooey, just right!) and the top is lovely and chewy. No need for a ganache topping as it's perfect as it is! I think this is the best chocolate cake I've ever come across. If you want a more spongey texture then put 200g of self-raising flour and 200g of plain flour in instead of 85g of each. Only tried this in a cake tin but it turned out to be a real winner.
    19th May, 2016
    Hi @missburns, Hope you see this post soon. Do I have to adjust the other ingredients when I change the flour quantity? I was thinking of trying with 125g each as I want a more spongey but still very rich texture, would that work? I'm still an amateur at baking. Thanks in advance! :)
    27th Jun, 2013
    This cake is great but make sure you use nice chocolate. Some quality, high-cocoa chocolate has a very strong, distinctive flavour (especially single origin chocolate), and this gives all the flavour to the cake so may not be to everyone's taste. Lidl do 66% dark chocolate that is perfect for this recipe.


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