Ann Reardon

Chocolate Cake Recipe

chocolate cake recipe ann reardon howtocookthat


This is a beautiful moist and delicious chocolate cake with the crunch of toasted pistachios and almonds on the side topped off with rich ganache and chocolate flowers. Perfect for Christmas or any other special gathering.

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

Makes two 8inch (20.32 centimetres) round cakes or 24 cupcakes

200g (7.05 ounces) of 70% cocoa dark chocolate
315g (11.11 ounces) or 1 1/3 cups margarine or butter
8 large eggs
2 1/4 cups or 485g (17.11 ounces) caster sugar (super fine 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
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Chocolate Cake Recipe Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
Place chocolate and margarine into a bowl.
Melt in the microwave (30seconds, stir, 30sec, stir…).
Whisk in the sugar and then the eggs.
Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together and mix into cake mixture until just combined.
Pour into two lined 20cm (7.87 inches) round cake tins.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  Test if its done by inserting a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean it is ready. 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.

For the decoration

600 mL (20.29 fluid ounces) or 2 1/3 cup cream
2 tablesppons icing sugar
dash of vanilla essence
Whip the cream, vanilla and icing sugar until just thickened. Divide your bowl into half and then one half into thirds. Use one of these smaller portions between the layers. Add a generous spoon of ganache to the larger portion and mix in, use this to cover the sides of the cake.

100g (3.53 ounces) or 1 cup flaked almonds
100g (3.53 ounces) or 3/4 cup pistachios, chopped
Roast the almonds and pistachios on a tray in the oven at 180ºC or approx 5 minutes. Leave to cool
Press the nuts onto the side of the cake as shown in the video.

Ganache Recipe
300g (10.58 ounces) milk chocolate
100 mL (3.38 fluid ounces) or 1/3 cup cream

Break the chocolate and put into a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and then pour over the chocolate. Leave to sit for a couple of minutes and then stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the bench overnight to firm up.

Use the ganache to decorate the top of the cake.

chocolate cake recipe ann reardon
Chocolate Flower Tutorial
How to temper chocolate and what chocolate to use for chocolate decorations

by Ann Reardon How To Cook That


I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can purchase your very own copy:

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

487 Comments View Comments

  1. Dear Ann, I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful recipe! I live in Austria and I made this as a little “side cake” for my sons 1st Birthday Party. Never have I EVER gotten so many compliments on a cake, even my aunt, who is not a fan of sweets loved it because she said, and I quote: “Its not one of those boring, yet overpowering supersweet chocolate cakes, with no flavor but tons of sugar! Its brilliant!” – and I have to agree 100%! Its hard for me to find a recipe, that satisfies my sweet tooth, yet doesn’t taste so extremely “cheap” chocolately like most store bought cakes. This cake really tastes rich and moist und DELICIOUS! Thank you once again! 🙂

    • Hi Lucy, That’s great, sounds like everyone enjoyed it.

  2. Hello Ann

    Salutations from the UK

    What would you say the shelf life is for this cake and is it possible to substitute some of the butter for oil? Will it carve for novelty cakes and is it dense enough for stacking and rolled out fondant icing? Too many questions! Thank you for all your fabulous tutorials, just love,love, love them.

    • Hi Rhona, Yes the cake is dense enough to carve and stack and hold fondant. As far as shelf life goes this is a fabulous moist cake that still tastes great a wekk later, but when making for my kids birthdays I always bake it the day before the party. IF you need to make it further ahead you can freeze it stored in an airtight container. When putting together add some simple syrup (the princess cake recipe shows how to use it) to make it even more moist.

  3. Hi Ann,
    I just wanted to know if the cake taste like dark chocolate? Or does it just have a chocolaty flavor? If so, can ireplace the dark chocolate bar with semi-sweet chocolate and pure cocoa powder or will come out different? Please I need to know! 🙁

    • Hi Yvonne, No it tastes like chocolate, the intense flavour of the dark chocolate is dispersed by all the other ingredients. Semi-sweet cooking chocolate has less sugar then normal chocolate so you may need to up the sugar int he recipe a little. If adding cocoa powder decrease the flour in equal quantities.

  4. Hi,
    I’ve tried making this cake,every thing is fine,but coming to the whipping cream though I whip it more it’s not getting hardened.Could u tell me an alternative?????Is it the problem of the beater????Coz I’m using a hand beater

    • Hi Alekhya, When you say hand beater do you mean electric hand beaters or a human powered hand beater? If the latter it will take ages to whip the cream. An electric hand beater should work fine. So if that is the case there is a problem with the cream. Check the nutrition information it should be 30% fat ie 30g of fat per 100g of cream or more, light cream does not whip well. An alternative would be to make a buttercream and add ganache to it. butter cream recipes are here:

    • I find that if I try to whip cream in a plastic bowl it takes AGES… but if I do it in a glass bowl it goes much quicker. Don’t know why, though 🙂

      • Hi Lucy, the cream will whip faster if the bowl and beaters are cool.

  5. Hi Ann, so I was wondering, with the butter you add, is it unsalted butter or regular salted butter? Also, would it cause a problem to the batter if you over mix it?

    • I use unsalted butter, no problem with over-mixing on this recipe.

  6. Hi, Ann I will be attempting to make this cake for a weekend family gathering. When you say a low temp for the oven Temp I’m not really sure what that should be. So, can you tell me around about what temp, because my oven seems to cook a bit fast. Thanks. Also, what kind of chocolate should I use for the flower on top?

  7. With the 2 1/4 cups of sugar, was the cake really sweet?? If yes, how much sugar should I put instead to make it less sweet but still tasty?

    • Hi Tina, the cocoa powder and dark chocolate are not very sweet at all so you need the sugar to make it sweet. I have never tried decreasing the sugar in this recipe, give it a go and see how it turns out. I wouldn’t decrease it to less than 1 1/2 though.

  8. I made this cake for Christmas it was a hit thank you very much

    • Wow! looks amazing kanittha, great job. Have an awesome new year.

  9. I just watched your video on how to make Chocolate Cake? Can i use your recipe for a 13*9 sheet pan? Please let me know , i have to make a Chocolate Cake for my friends Son’s Birthday…Thankyou

    • This cake mixture once cooked fills two 20cm round cake tins that are 5 cm tall so that is a volume of 3142 cubic centimeters. Your 13*9 sheet cake pan has a volume of 1887 cm cubed assuming the sides are 1″ high. So if you use all the mixture it will be way too much. You need to use just over half, so if you don’t mind it being a little thin just go with half the recipe.

  10. Hi aan.

    I must tell you that I never baking before, and this is my very first time chocolate cake I have ever make, and my husband said AMAZING 🙂
    And he said (I thought you never make cake before? You lie! Lol)

    Thank you aan, I will bring for Christmas lunch with my family in law tomorrow 🙂

    I love you, marry x-mas stay sexy xx

  11. Hi Ann,

    Greetings from Bosnia!
    Will make this today for Christmas eve. :)Hope its gonna be awesome like yours. Love your videos by the way, you are wonderful!


    • Hi Marlette, I hope that you had a great Christmas, did you take a photo of your cake if so you can upload it here?

  12. You are the best! I am adore u so much, you talk very relax, and more focus on the recipe, very easy to follow, not talk to much and make me frustrated.
    I finally got the answer as I live in Australia we call them thick cream instead of heavy cream. 🙂

    • Thanks for the lovely comment Riana. It is called heavy cream in the US, thickened cream or plain cream in Australia.

  13. Could u tell me the detail for making the chocolate ganache? >.< thanksss

    • Hi Julie, thanks for asking this was typed in but not showing up on the page, coding is all fixed so it should be visible now.

  14. hi… im jasmine from indonesia, i love your recipe, thanks sooo much

  15. i love U

  16. completed one 🙂

    • Wow, looks fantastic, great job Kelly : )

  17. Hi Ann

    I made this cake last night for my friend bd and they didn’t believe. They kept asking where I bought the cake from lol. thank you so much for you VDO . you are my favorite on Youtube. love the way you explain. it is very easy to understand. I hope you will post a lot more for us.


    • So good

  18. hello, Can you tell me the chocolate bar you used in this video?

    • cadburies dark chocolate

  19. Ypur recipes are awesome. I´m from Spain and I can´t converse the measures of the recipe. Could you please tell me the recipe in Kilograms. Thank you so much!! Best wishes!!

  20. Hi. May I know what is the ingredient for the cream that use for chocolate cake layers? Thanks.

    • Hi Sin Yee, For between the layers, 600ml cream 2 tablespoons icing sugar and a dash of vanilla essence. Whip with electric mixers until firm. Use half of this between the layers and the other half on the sides. The cream can be called whipping cream, thickened cream or heavy cream depending on where you live.

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