Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

Wedding cake - rich dark chocolate cake

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(128 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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3rd Jun, 2020
I have probably made this a hundred times and it always turns out great. Rich, moist and sturdy enough to stack and ice. Freezes brilliantly. My go-to chocolate celebration cake.
Maureen Roberts's picture
Maureen Roberts
21st Mar, 2020
Made for the 1st time last night! Amazing. I baked this recipe for 2hrs in a 12in (9cm deep) round tin. I was really worried that the cake would overflow out of the tin, as there is a lot of cake mixture..but it didn't (yay!). I used 2.5 blocks of Whittakers dark choc..and it smells amazing. It is now going in the freezer.. I can't wait to try it at my sister in laws wedding next weekend!
Debora Amoah's picture
Debora Amoah
16th Sep, 2019
please if you dont have sour creame,what can you use. is milk ok?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. We would not recommend substituting the soured cream for milk. The recipe is carefully balanced to produce a reliable cake - highly recommend if you are cooking it for a wedding or celebration!
19th Aug, 2019
All - I've just made this as a wedding cake in three layers - 6" 8" and 10" in 4" deep tins, all lined with a tall baking parchment collar and using bake even bands. I know there were lots of questions on this about the quantities and baking times for these sizes so I thought I would share! For the 10 inch - 519g butter, 519g choc, 80ml coffee, 2.5tsp vanilla, 519g flour, 1.6tsp baking powder, 1.6 tsp bicarb, 758g sugar, 8 large eggs, 453ml soured cream. Baked for 2 hours on 140c fan For 8 inch - 346g butter, 346g choc, 53ml coffee, 1.6 tsp vanilla, 346g flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1tsp bicarb, 506g sugar, 5.3 large eggs, 302ml soured cream. Baked for 1hr 45 mins on 140c fan. For 6 inch - 173g butter, 173g choc, 27ml coffee, 0.8tsp vanilla, 173g flour, 0.5tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp bicarb, 253g sugar, 2.6 large eggs, 15ml soured cream. Baked for 1hr 25 mins on 140c fan. All turned out really well, hardly any sinkage. Also, leaving them to cool completely in the tins and then refrigerating still in the tins overnight really helped cut it into layers. Got three nice even layers from each cake. Happy baking!
28th Jul, 2019
Was a bit nervous of having a dry cake when making 12inch one but this was perfect. It’s not dry at all. Slightly fudgy and dense in a good way. Definitely worth wrapping the sides of the tin for an even bake. Will make this again for sure!
28th Jun, 2019
Urgent question— about to make this but do you just measure the coffee on its own or add some water to get the required amount
24th Jun, 2019
Hi, does this cake freeze well? thanks
Sara Patel's picture
Sara Patel
10th Jan, 2019
Just made this and baked half in a 9” pan! Bit anxious with the bake time as it’s risen and cracked a little at the edges after only 15minutes. I also have to bake it one after the other as I only have one 9” so I’m praying that leaving the remainder batter on the counter for so long will be ok
30th Sep, 2018
Made this today in 2 x 6 inch sandwich tins. Divided recipe by 5 - used Bournville choc and missed out vanilla. Baked for 50 mins @ 140 fan. When baked mixture filled tins to the brim. Sandwiched together with choc buttercream. Really moist and fudgy. Will definitely make again.


Sarah Marshall
2nd Mar, 2020
I’m planning on making this as true to the recipe in a 12 inch tin, how many layers does it make? One tin and then trim into three layers from example or divide into three tins? Also when it says wrap the tin what does this mean? Thanks!
5th Jan, 2020
would this work if I used white chocolate instead of the dark?
lulu_grimes's picture
6th Jan, 2020
Hello, I'm afraid it wouldn't be the same with white chocolate. White chocolate isn't the same as dark or milk chocolate as it doesn't contain cocoa solids, only cocoa butter, and this means it doesn't behave in the same way. White chocolate cakes tend to be a little denser. You could use a vanilla cake recipe and add white chocolate chips, I've posted one below. I hope this helps.
8th Jan, 2020
thank you, could I ask what weight of chips would you use in the basic recipe
18th Sep, 2019
Does this cake go well with vanilla buttercream? Has anyone tried it before?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. Chocolate buttercream works well, both in flavour and if it picks up any cake crumbs it still looks appealing. However, you could definitely use vanilla as an alternative. Be careful when applying so it doesn't get smeared with chocolate, detracting from the appearance.
Debora Amoah's picture
Debora Amoah
16th Sep, 2019
please i dont have soured cream what can i use to replace? can i use milk.
29th Jul, 2019
Hi, I was wondering if I could adjust this recipe slightly to make it more fluffy rather than dense, is that possible and if so what would I need to do? Thanks so much.
goodfoodteam's picture
30th Jul, 2019
Thanks for your question. This style of cake is ideal for a celebration cake as it maintains freshness for up to four days, and is easier to decorate. If these factors aren't needed, then take a look at our chocolate cake recipe collection for a wide selection of alternatives:
2nd Jul, 2019
Hi, I am making this cake for a 4 year olds birthday party so I would like to replace the coffee for tea so it's not such a strong flavour but keeps the moisture. Just wondering if anyone has tried this before or if anyone knows of a reason this would not work?


12th Feb, 2019
This cake is fab. I’ve made it twice now. If it helps anyone else, I made half, used a square 9in tin and baked for 1.5h. It was perfect and I will be making two more for a birthday party.
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?'s picture
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.
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