Ann Reardon

Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever


Have you ever been disappointed by a dry and tasteless chocolate cake? Well then this is the recipe for you. This is my all time favourite chocolate cake recipe. It makes a rich moist cake that tastes like chocolate. The photos below are from making four times the quantities listed in this recipe – to make a cake big enough for 100 people. The picture above is from one quantity of this cake, layered with chocolate mousse, centered with orange creme brulee, coated in chocolate glacage and decorated with tempered milk chocolate.


Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Total time:1 hour 45 min
Yield: 15 servings
Serving size: 1 medium slice
Calories per serving:460 (1350 kj (322.66 calories))
Fat per serving: 26g (0.92 ounces)

200g (7.05 ounces) 70% cocoa dark chocolate
315g (11.11 ounces) or 1 1/3 cups plus 2 tbl spoons margarine
8 eggs
2 1/4 cups or 486g (17.14 ounces) caster sugar
1 1/4 cups or 200g (7.05 ounces) plain flour (use GF flour if coeliac, this recipe has been tested with gluten free flour and works well)
1/4 cup or 30g (1.06 ounces) cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder


1. Place chocolate and margarine into a bowl.
chocolate in bowl with margarine
melt chocolate in the microwave
2. Melt in the microwave (30seconds, stir, 30sec, stir…).
best chocolate cake step by step
whisk eggs and sugar together
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together
chocolate cake mixing
combine egg and chocolate
4. Combine egg and chocolate mixtures
sift flour cocoa powder and baking powder together
5. Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together and mix into cake mixture until well blended.
chocolate chocolate cake
chocolate cake making recipe
6. Pour into cake tin or cup cake cases. (tip: if you don’t have a cake tin the right size or shape you can use a plain card board box lined with glad bakewell, make sure the box does not have shiny print or photos on it as then it will have a thin coat of plastic which will melt).
large cake pan lined with baking paper

7. Bake in slow oven 150C (302 degrees Fahrenheit) in 2 x 20cm (7.87 inches) round cake tins.  If you are making a large cake this can take well over an hour.  If the cake is looking done on top but is not yet cooked through put an empty baking tray on the shelf above it in the oven.  Insert a knife into the centre to check if it is done. Moderate oven 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit) is fine, for cupcakes allow approx 20 mins.

by Ann Reardon How To Cook That

March 6, 2011


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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

295 Comments View Comments

  1. Hello Ann, I am new in baking and now I’ve got a little bit confuse about the differences between sponge cake, chocolate cake and sacher torte. I knew that sacher torte is made from sponge cake, then I want to make a light, fluffy and moist sacher torte based on your perfect sponge cake recipe, but I found many differences in ingredients, for example you don’t use butter in perfect sponge cake recipe while sacher torte always using butter. But i found almost the same ingredient in your chocolate cake recipe, so could we assume that sacher torte is same with chocolate cake? Oh I’m totally confused. Would you please give me the answer? Thank you, Ann.

    • Hi Anti, Ann always prefers to use margarine instead of butter or vegetable oil, simply because it is a healthier option. She uses butter when the recipe definitely requires it. Sacher Torte is usually made in the form of a chocolate cake with particular fillings between the layers. Ann’s chocolate cake recipe will work well for this.

      • Oh I’m so happy to get your answer. I am your fan from Indonesia 😀 . Thanks a lot. I made it yesterday, combining the sacher torter recipe and yours, and it works. Thank you…!

  2. In your recipes do you use the standard fluid ounce because I did the cup to ounce conversion and it didn’t quite add up.

    • Hi Hayley, cup measures vary from country to country. Fluid ounces should be used for liquids and then for dry ingredients you use weight.

  3. Does the 70% dark chocolate need to specifically be ‘cooking chocolate’ or can it be normal?!

    • Hi N, Ann recommends real chocolate. Cooking chocolate is usually a form of compound or fake chocolate.

  4. Hi – I love the taste of this cake but it turned out quite spongey and bouncy, and the crumb was not very fine, is there anything I can do to fix the sponginess? Thanks!

  5. can you make a chocolate mud cake please?

  6. so with inches and Fahrenheit, we would bake it on 300 degrees if a roughly 8 inch pan, right?

    • Hi Amy, Yes use roughly an inch pan and cook in a moderate oven which is about 180c or 350F

  7. hi, can i use veg oil instead of margarine ? thanks

    • Hi Tika, You could try a replacement but it is not something Ann has trialled so you will need to experiment first.

  8. If using butter instead of margerine-do we use the same amount?
    Would this recipe produce a cake that would be sturdy enough to use if planning to make a checkerboard cake? (Which would require handling it/cutting it before assembling it and the other cakes)

    • Hi Amy, use the same cup measure, just be aware the weight may be a little different as butter is heavier than margarine.

  9. hi do we have to use caster sugar

    • Hi Khaniyay, Caster sugar will give the best result.

  10. Dear admin,

    Do the degrees one should set the oven to refer to ovens that use top and bottom heat or convection ovens?

    • Hi Rupanzel, Ann provides temperatures for a standard convection or fan forced oven. This a normal oven with a fan at the back to circulate the warm air.

  11. Hello Ann or Admin! If I want to put chocolate whit milk is the same grammage? And white chocolate? Thank you!,

    • Hi Andra, the quantity of chocolate would be the same though Ann finds the dark chocolate yields the best flavour.

      • Thank you!!

  12. Hi, how long does this cake last? Can I freeze it or fridge it to make in advance? Thanks. I made this for easter and it was such a hit that it’s now my go to cake recipe 🙂

    • Hi Kerry, Ann likes to make her cakes fresh, but yes you can freeze the undecorated layers as long as they are completely cooled and then wrapped in plastic wrap before freezing. Totally defrost before decorating especially if using fondant or as it defrosts the condensation will make the fondant soggy.

  13. Hi Ann i have a fan assisted oven what temp should i set it for this cake thanks

    • Hi Jill, The recipe suggests 180C which should be fine as Ann uses a fan forced oven too. Some people will suggest dropping the temperature by 20degrees. It will really depend on your individual oven. I find my oven which is also fan-forced gets too hot at the top, so using the middle shelf and placing a tray on the top shelf to protect cakes from burning on top is the best way to go.

  14. Hi ann
    i was wondering what company/type of cocoa powder do u use. i always seem to buy the tasteless ones. lovee ur youtube channel btw

    • Hello Hiii, Thanks for the feedback. Ann uses cocoa that she can commonly buy at the local supermarket. Brands differ around the world so just chose a well respected brand in your area. Its the dark chocolate in this recipe that adds the extra chocolatey richness to this cake!

      • Hi just asking if you have to use margarine???? Thanks

        • Hi jimjam04, Ann prefers to use margarine unless the recipe really requires the taste of butter. You can usually swap butter for margarine if you prefer it. Butter can definitely be used for this recipe.

  15. My daughter has asked me to make the my little pony cake for 8th birthday, but she wants me to change into Pinkie Pie.
    she also wants me to make the cake rainbow colours, so my question is what should I use to replace the cocoa in the recipe and do I need to add anything other than the gel colour to make an amazing cake.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind Regards

    • Hi Kilee, Ann suggests using the sponge cake recipe instead of the Chocolate cake. You will need to be careful adding the gel colours as they can make the cake go a bit flat. Add the gel colour BEFORE you fold in the egg white. So if you want to use a few colours you may need to make smaller quantities of the cake mixture. Here is the link to the Sponge recipe: If you are using the My little pony- rainbow dash template, then you will need 1 and a half quantities of the sponge recipe.

      • Thanks for that, sponge sounds like a great way to go. Any chance that you could suggest where you got your m&m’s from. I have 2kg of m&m’s and still don’t have enough of the right colour. Did you buy individual colours or just heaps of packets like I have done so far. Is making for a very expensive cake.

        • Hi Kilee, Ann just bought packets of the m&m’s from the supermarket. You can buy specific colours and bulk packs from candy suppliers and ebay.

  16. Hi Ann,
    My kids & I are have decided to join there school Open Night cake competition which is tomorrow night & the themes are Maths or Science. We have decided to go with Maths & to make a calculator with this chocolate cake recipe using the chocolate ganache inside layers & the French Butter Cream all over & using fondant for buttons.
    My question is, will I need to make 2 reseanable size cakes & spread ganache in between or will it be ok to make 1 big thick cake, cut in half then cream? Which would be easier & better do you think? Also, if I add food colouring to the butter cream or ganache will it make any difference to the flavour? OR, if you had to choose a buttercream which one would it be or ganache for this cake for what Im doing it for?

    HELP PLEASE! (First attempt :s)

    • Hi Setaita, you wrote your comment yesterday so I assume you’ve already made your cake. But for future reference I like to use buttercream whipped with ganache. As for the colours effecting the flavour it depends on the brand, most now days do not but some have a metallic flavour this is particularly the case if you use neon colouring. Baking thinner layers and stacking them makes it bake faster in the oven and so it doesn’t dry out on the edges. A large deep cake will take a long time to cook in the middle.

  17. How do you layer the cake with the chocolate mousse centered with orange creme brulee? It sounded delicious, but I can’t imagine how I’d do it.

    • Hi Ana, The process to assemble it is more complex. You make the brulee and freeze it as a disk. You need to then assemble the cake in a container as used in this recipe: , .The cake should then be frozen. Once frozen, the cake can be decorated with glacage. On the day of serving, let the cake defrost in the fridge and then serve.

  18. i try this receipt so delicious taste so chocolate , the texture very good for shape , the consistency so stable …thank you Anne for sharing your secret . I bake chocolate cake with your receipt 3th time already !!! Excellent shape consistent cake and so great taste .
    Loving it loving it …. Every ones …. You should try this receipt .

    • Thanks for the great feedabck Liang.

  19. Hello, I’ve been looking for a great chocolate cake recipe so this is one recipe that looks good and I want to try. But I do have some questions. For the cocoa did you use natural or Dutch processed? I know it can make a big difference. Dutch processed will give it a much darker flavor but since I don’t know how chocolaty ;p it will be i don’t know if I should use it. I also wondered if there is any particular reason why you used margarine. I always use butter in baking because of the creamy flavor it gives. But is there a reason for it? Margerine is cheaper where I live so it would be great if there isnt a difference in this recipe. Perhaps I sound like a bit of a know it all but I’ve treid so many recipes that didn’t work out that I don’t want to spend money on ingredients and doing it wrong. Geez that is a whole story but I hope you can clearify some of the things I mentioned. I love your videos and the recipes I’ve tried so far.

    • Hi Inge, Ann prefers to use Margarine in most of her recipes due to the health benefits of using polyunsaturated fats. The flavour will be great regardless of whether you use magarine or butter, especially as this recipe relies on the cocoa for flavour not the fat. Ann used standard natural cocoa powder. It was not dutch processed.

  20. hi I was just wondering if you are able to share a white mud cake recipe. thx

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