chocolate cake with chocolate frosting: this may be the ultimate

this could be the ultimate chocolate cake

It’s decadent, dark and delicious and may well be the ultimate chocolate cake.  It’s baked slowly on a lower temp to deliver a gooey, dense texture that teeters on the edge of ‘brownies-ness’ sending you straight into chocolate heaven. Dont expect airy, fairy, light and fluffy, this is a solid cake that will easily bowl anyone over.

Its one the best chocolate cake recipes I have come across, and it sits firmly in my top three of all time.  It was voted as a BBC website winner, and is one of GoodFoods top 80 best ever recipes. I can see why.

I have made it twice using less chocolate than the recipe calls for (i.e. 180gms), and used an everyday, less extravagant dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and its still exceptional. I also added vanilla extract (not in the original recipe) which I find very necessary to enhance the chocolate flavour.

The next time I make it I will use the full 200gms of my standard Belgium couverture and Dutch processed cocoa powder.  I shudder with excitement thinking how good that will be.

Adapted from BBC Good Food magazine

chocolate cake with chocolate frosting: this may be the ultimate

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Serving Size: 1 large cake


  • 180gm dark chocolate
  • 200gms butter
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 85gms self raising flour
  • 85gms plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200gms dark brown treacle sugar
  • 200gms white sugar
  • 25gms cocoa powder (about 4 ½ slightly heaped tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs (room temp)
  • 75ml buttermilk (5Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • frosting
  • 175gms chocolate
  • 75gms butter
  • 1 Tbs corns syrup or golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup / 125ml sour cream (or cream)
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar (300gms)
  • I added 1 tsp of instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 - 2 tbsp of rum (I love rum with chocolate and think coffee makes chocolate frosting more chocolatey)


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c / fan 140 c and grease a 20cm round cake pan or spray with a cooking spray and line with baking paper
  2. Break the chocolate into pieces into a small pan and add the butter
  3. Dissolve the coffee with 125ml of cold water and then add to the butter and chocolate mixture and melt altogether over a gentle heat – do not boil
  4. When its all melted together set aside to cool
  5. In a bowl sift the 2 flours and bicarb
  6. Add the sugar and cocoa until it’s all combined
  7. In a separate bowl beat the eggs until light and fluffy
  8. Add the buttermilk and briefly beat together
  9. Add the cooled chocolate and egg / buttermilk mix to the dry mix and fold it all together by hand
  10. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour 25 minutes – 1 ½ hours. Check by piercing the cake with a small sharp knife or skewer – it should come out clean. The top of the cake will be firm and may have a few cracks
  11. Allow the cake to cool in the tin, and when its completely cool, remove from the tin and peel off the paper.
  12. Cut into 2 or 3 horizontally (I think 2 layers are perfect), and ice the cake with the chocolate frosting
  13. frosting
  14. Break the chocolate up into pieces and melt in a double boiler with the butter
  15. When it’s all melted together add the syrup and the cream and stir through to combine
  16. Put the icing sugar into the food processor and whiz or alternatively if you are using a beater, sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  17. Mix or process the chocolate mixture with the icing sugar until it all combined
  18. I added the coffee and rum at the final stage and found that it totally enhances the chocolate flavours.

Or you could make the Ganache as per the original GoodFood recipe:

  •  200gms chocolate
  • 284ml double cream (pouring)
  • 2 tbs caster sugar

Heat the cream and sugar n a pan until its about to boil and then pour over the chopped up chocolate pieces in a separate boil and mix until its melted and combined and smooth.

, , , , ,

34 Responses to chocolate cake with chocolate frosting: this may be the ultimate

  1. fattydumpling April 11, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    That is a seriously impressive looking cake. I agree, sometimes, you have trade in your fluffy cake for a dense, rich one. Less air, more chocolate ;]

  2. drizzle & dip April 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Agree – it really is very delicious and lasts for days

  3. whippingitup April 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing this divine looking cake with us! I will definately try it sometime. Love the way you’ve decorated it! I’m amazed at how often you post, how do you do it???? Keep well, Lana

  4. Marisa April 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I wish my cake decoration skills could come even close to yours, but it is sadly lacking. The cake sounds absolutely divine (brownie-ish texture? Yes please!) and the truffle and candied citrus slice topping is just the proverbial cherry on top. This one is definitely going on my to-make list!

  5. drizzle & dip April 12, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Thanks for that – this really is a solid winner of a cake. let me know what you think when you have baked it

  6. Laurence April 13, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    I got to eat this – be very jealous. And I’m a choc cake master taster…

  7. Jenny September 9, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    YUM! Have to try this – I’ve never managed to find a recipe for the elusive dense dark (not so fluffy) choc cake. Thanks!!

  8. drizzleanddip September 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Thanks Jenny, this cake is exactly that, but oh so very delicous and choclatey. Enjoy!

  9. Maureen Schlenkm March 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Can you tell me where I can buy Belgium couverture and Dutch processed cocoa powder please?

  10. Sam March 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Maureen, I buy from Koko trading in the Northern suburbs (Cape Town)

  11. Sonja September 18, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    I made this cake last week and it came out perfectly. Dense, moist and not too rich.
    This is definitely the best chocolate cake I have come across!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  12. Sam September 18, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Thank you Sonja for dropping in to comment and so glad you loved this cake.

  13. Ela March 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    The cake looks delicious! May I know which of the two chocolate icings you used with the above photo. Thanks.

  14. Sam March 31, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Hi Ela, I used Nigella’s frosting, the one in the post on the cake in the picture.

  15. Kate March 19, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    Hi Sam – thanks for this recipe – this cake definitely is the ultimate chocolate cake – its delicious!!
    I made it as a last minute birthday cake, so didn’t bother with the couveture chocolate or dutch cocoa, and I used brown sugar instead of muscovado. Turned out really well, although I had to keep a close eye on it towards the end to make sure it didn’t over cook.
    I also just made the icing using dark choc & cream to make a ganache which worked really well.
    I’m not a huge cake fan, but I will most definitely be making this one again!!!

  16. Sam March 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Hi Kate, glad you enjoyed. I actually made it again 2 weeks ago and was once again astounded my its flavour and texture. I am actually going to be posting a how-to on this recipe later this week as I did it for Elle magazine for their April issue.

  17. Jo April 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    This cake looks delicious *___* I would like to do it, but since here in Italy it not so easy to find self raising flour, how much flour and how much bicarbonate or yeast would you recommend?

  18. Sam April 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    HI Jon, its easy to convert normal cake flour to self raising. Simply add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of flour. This recipe does not contain yeast – so try and follow it as close as possible and just make your own self raising. Sam

  19. lulu May 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    hi, a few problems- in the cake recipe;

    white sugar- granulated sugar? or caster sugar?
    can you leave out the coffee in both cake and frosting?
    and what is dark brown treacle syrup???? did you mean golden syrup? or something else?

    and how deep are tins?

  20. Sam May 27, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Hi Lulu. The white sugar is granulated (I would say if it was any other kind of sugar). You can leave out the coffee for sure. The recipe says dark brown treacle sugar, not syrup. The sugar is the very dark kind that sort of sticks together. In South Africa a 23 – 26cm spring form are all a standard height (more or less) around 8 – 10 cm. I used a darker chocolate for the Elle pic, vs the recipe on my site and added a little more golden syryp to achieve a gloss. It also shot under totally different lighting conditions, so does look shinier.

  21. lulu May 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    hi sam, sorry did you mean black treacle? im in uk so names of stuff are different…. heres a link:

    is that the right stuff? for the dark brown treacle sugar you mentioned?

  22. lulu May 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    sorry just clicked on link and its not taking you straight to product, try this one instead:

    if it doesnt take you straight to item page, its the lyles black treacle 454g, in a red tin with pic of lion on.

    is that the right stuff?

  23. Sam May 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Hi Lulu, no that is treacle syrup, the recipe is treacle SUGAR. it really doesn’t matter, just use a dark brown sugar. you could even use a light brown sugar or white sugar, I don’t think it will have a big effect on the outcome.

  24. Ivona September 27, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Hi Sam
    I made the cake, it but came out flat and ended up not being a very ‘high’ cake, did I do something wrong, or is this right?

  25. Sam September 28, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    HI Ivona, with such little information, I really cannot say what went wrong. I used a 22cm cake dish. maybe you used bigger? It is a very dense cakes, as I did explain in the post. The picture is how it came out. I have made it several times and it always comes out just like that.

  26. Tasneem November 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I tried this cake and it’s way too sweet. It was not even edible.

  27. Sam November 27, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Hi Tasneem, oh dear, sorry it was a bit much for you. I find it very rich but quite delectable.

  28. Erika November 24, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Hello! I just want to ask if I can also use unsweetened cocoa powder for the frosting instead of melting chocolates? Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

  29. Sam November 24, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Hi Erika, this particular recipe uses proper chocolate.

  30. Anukriti March 26, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Hi Sam, what is self raising flour? Can I just use regular flour?

  31. Sam March 27, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Hi Anukriti

    No self raising flour has the raising agents in it you cannot substitite with regular flour. if you google how to convert flour to self raising you will find an answer 🙂


  1. cranberry, walnut banana bread – its the best | Drizzle and Dip - July 18, 2011

    […] ultimate chocolate cake […]

  2. how to make the ultimate chocolate cake | Drizzle and Dip - March 25, 2013

    […] April edition of Elle Magazine. As its Easter they wanted a chocolate cake, so I had to  do the ultimate chocolate cake that I had written about in […]

  3. how to make the ultimate chocolate cake | - March 25, 2013

    […] April edition of Elle Magazine. As its Easter they wanted a chocolate cake, so I had to  do the ultimate chocolate cake that I had written about in […]

Leave a Reply

© 2015 Drizzle and Dip. All Rights Reserved.