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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13th May, 2017
Honestly, if I were you I'd just invest in a set of kitchen scales for the purposes of making a wedding cake. These things can be tricky to convert because the value of e.g. a cup of flour can vary depending on how packed the flour is in the cup. As well as letting you make this recipe, it would also making your baking much more precise. In terms of ingredients, plain chocolate = dark chocolate, probably "bittersweet" in US terminology. Plain flour = all purpose flour. I think the rest are the same in both countries.
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?


13th Jul, 2018
Urgent question! Does anyone know what depth the naked cake should be please?? Thanks! AM
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. The cake will be should be in the region of 3 inches/ 7.5cm in depth.
nancy mcadam's picture
nancy mcadam
7th Mar, 2018
Hi, I would like to bake this cake but using 15cm and 23 cm baking tins, can you please tell me which size/ weight of ingredients to use. Thanks Nancy
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we can't give specific instructions for this without re-testing the recipe. Bear in mind you'll need to change the cooking times too. If you're looking for celebration cakes in different sizes, you may find one you like in our wedding cake recipe collection here:
Betty Boop
1st Nov, 2017
I have just made this cake . I propose filling it with berry jam and either a chocolate ganache or chocolate buttercream before icing. What are quantities of butter/icing sugar etc I will need to do two layers of ganache/buttercream please?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. For advice on quantities and assembling, this is a great place to start: Hope that helps!
mimmzie's picture
28th Oct, 2017
hello, I've just been commissioned to d a three tier chocolate cake for a birthday, and I'm just wondering if this recipe well be sturdy enough t be stacked onto of each other ? Kind regards mimmzie
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. Yes, this recipe is designed to be used as a tier. We would recommend using dowelling rods to support the layers. Find out how to use these here:
22nd Aug, 2017
Hello, can you please tell me if good quality cooking chocolate or eating chocolate is better to use? I used good quality Lindt 70% cooking chocolate for a test wedding cake: the consistency of cake was excellent but wasn't rich enough chocolate flavour. What could I do to improve please?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Aug, 2017
Thanks for your question, we used eating chocolate in this recipe. Either will work but an eating chocolate may well be sweeter. The coffee helps to bring out the flavour of the chocolate, make sure it's strong. You could also swap a small amount of the flour with good quality cocoa, around 50g to give a richer flavour.


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