The best chocolate cakes boast light, moist layers of chocolate sponge, generously filled and topped with either a rich chocolate ganache or a chocolate buttercream.
Ideal for birthdays and other celebrations or simply to serve with an afternoon cup of tea, our delicious chocolate cake recipe will quickly become a firm favourite.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C /160°C fan/ gas mark 4. Grease and line the bases of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment.
2. In a bowl or food mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating well until fully combined.
3. Sift the cocoa, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together and stir half into the eggs and butter mixture along with the melted chocolate. When thoroughly combined, fold in the rest of the flour mix, followed by the milk.
4. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for about 40 minutes until firm in the centre.
5. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until it’s melted. Let the ganache cool before using – the longer you leave it to cool the thicker and stiffer it will be.
7. Place one of the cake on a serving plate and spread a third of the ganache on top. Pop the second cake on top, then spread the rest of the ganache over the whole cake, using a warm palette knife to give a smooth finish if you prefer.
Alternative buttercream filling
If you prefer a sweeter, softer filling, try a chocolate buttercream rather than the ganache. You can also use this to cover the cake too.
To make a chocolate buttercream to fill and cover this cake: whip 150g of soft butter until light and fluffy, then add 50g of cocoa powder, 200g of icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Add a little milk to slacken the mixture – around 3 tablespoons should be enough.
Love chocolate? Take a look through our collection of chocolate recipes including recipes for chocolate cakes, desserts truffles, biscuits and more.