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. Rating: 5

    Okay. So. Chaos. I wanted to make a lovely chocolate cake for my sister’s birthday, and I LOVE Ann.
    It’s 12am on a work day. We’re getting spicy.
    Only 1.5 cups of sugar? Dump it in. Eight eggs in this economy? Ouch. I put in 4.
    Recipe calls for margarine. Uff. Only have butter. Let’s do 1 cup butter and 1/3+2tbs of coconut oil cause that might make sense. Margarine is a mixture of animal and non-animal fats, and olive oil isn’t the vibe. I only have coconut oil and vegetable oil. The delirium demands coconut oil cause vegetable oil feels too liquid (in hindsight, should have done vegetable).
    Let’s mash up a banana in there to make up for the sugar and egg shortage. Add some sugars from the banana and can act as a binder in some vegan recipes. It’s also what my grandma always adds to box chocolate cake mix. This should work. Right?
    Dry ingredients as instructed.
    Mixture is too thick. My hubris is catching up to me. 1 cup of liquid coconut milk + 1/2 cup of water. Seems like a more cake-like batter. Still pretty thick. Batter tastes really coconut and not very chocolate. Put some chocolate chips in there. Maybe it’ll make up for it.
    Oven at 315°F. Two lined and greased round 9 inch cake tins.
    I’m writing this all down before I forget what I’ve done to arrive at where I’m at, and who knows maybe inspire a baker or two to wing it and make educated chaos. I will update with the results for posterity.

    • Rating: 5

      UPDATE: Alright folks. The cakes didn’t grow much in size, but from what I shaved off the top, I have high hopes. She’s giving close, fudge-like crumb, but still light with bursts of chocolate. No dome so it’ll be perfect for stacking. I’m improvising a whipped Greek yogurt cream cheese chocolate ganache situation, but that’s an adventure for tomorrow. Til then, don’t let your dreams be dreams. Be chaotic with your baking.

  2. Rating: 5

    The best chocolate cake I ever tried.
    I used to dislike cakes because of how dry or fat or disgustingly sugary they were. This recipe though? Perfect !
    It’s quick, easy, soft as a pillow and tastes great.

    Even my mom, known for her distaste for sweets and chocolate, had to restrain herself from eating a third part.
    Thank you, Ann <3

  3. Rating: 5

    Have been using this recipe for nearly 13 years and always return when I need a big delicious chocolate cake. Perfect for my GF husband as lends so well to the alternative flours. Also fab for carving a sculpted cake and perfect for layers. Name says it all!!

  4. Rating: 5

    Just made the cupcake version for my surf lifesaving patrol, was amazing. Definitely will make again!

  5. 2commonly

  6. Rating: 5

    This cake was wonderful! I only had seven eggs but it still turned out wonderfully. Once again, Ann has produced a flawless recipe.

  7. Rating: 5

    I’m a total novice baker but I wanted to give this recipe a try when I was visiting a friend this weekend. It was really really easy and came out great! 20 minutes baking was all it needed. The cake pans I used were quite small, so the quantities gave enough mix for a whole tray of cupcakes and then some! I made a simple chocolate buttercream for decoration and added some Malteasers. Really delicious. I’ll be making it again for sure!

  8. Rating: 5

    Does anyone know how well this cake freezes? I have made it before and loved it and now want to use as a base for a birthday cake but then would need to bake and freeze in advance to leave enough time for decorating in party week.

  9. Rating: 5

    Hello, just wondering how you would suggest baking this in an 8 inch hemisphere pan? Would I cook it lower and longer?
    Thanks so much in advance

  10. Rating: 5

    hello Ann, I was wondering how to cut the recipe in half… I want to make it for my mother but there won’t be many people there. If you can tell me that, it’ll be relly great.

    • its ok just to divide by 2 any recipe, so
      100g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
      157g margarine
      4 eggs
      243g caster sugar
      100g plain flour (use GF flour if coeliac, this recipe has been tested with gluten free flour and works well)
      15g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
      3/4 tsp baking powder
      Just bake for less time

  11. Rating: 5

    Can the margerine be subsituted for butter? So, can I use butter instead of margerine?

    • Yes definitely ?

      • Hello, did the cake texture change when you replaced the margarine with butter? Was it the exact same quantity? Are sunflower oil or corn oil possible alternatives too?

  12. Rating: 5

    Dear Ann,

    Want to thank you for this great invention!
    I keep following you for ages, but only today i tried you recipe. And this is the most airy, most, spongy and delicious chocolate cake I’ve ever had! I decided to start with muffins of this butter and i am in love 🙂 They taste like kisses of the angel 🙂

    Please keep creating and sharing with the world.

    • * moist 🙂

  13. Rating: 4.5

    Hi. Can you put white chocolate instead of black and no cocoa powder? I am making your recepie for chocolate cake for years and I need a white chocolate cake. I am afraid to try other recipe because I know this works every time. Thank you.

  14. Rating: 5

    when it said 315g and 2 tbsp of margarine is the 315g butter?

    • It’s just 315g margarine.

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