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. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann! I was just wondering if I had to do chocolate this dark. Does it really matter how dark the chocolate is? Also, I haven’t made this but it looks amazing.

  2. Rating: 3.5

    Made the recipe exactly as written. The flavor was pretty good, but like others I found it needed a much longer cooking time. It also turned out more reminiscent of a cakey brownie than a proper cake. I think this might have to do with the quantity of eggs and melted chocolate, which prevented it from developing a proper crumb. Decent overall, but it wouldn’t be my go to for a chocolate cake recipe.

  3. Rating: 0.5

    This isn’t a win for me. 8 eggs is unnecessary and it takes about 50mins to cook. I also think microwaving chocolate is a sure fire way to make it split. The order of operations here is not traditional for cake making and there is actually a reason to do it in a certain order. If adding melted chocolate to cakes you should split the eggs and whip the yolks and sugar until they ‘form the ribbon’. Even as a scientist I’m not sure why this makes it so good but it does. Anyway tried this method and was a massive fail. Edible but not my usual standard.

    • small bursts in the microwave. 10 seconds recommended. sorry, this is late!

  4. Rating: 5

    Any substitute for eggs ?

  5. Rating: 5

    Recipe works great, but there is a spelling mistake near “for the decorations” it says 2 tablesppons XD

  6. Rating: 5

    It’s real amazing and I thought for the first time it’s hard but you directly nicely and cool big up🤜👍

  7. Rating: 5

    Does anyone know how well this cake freezes? I want to use it for a birthday cake but because of time constraints I usually bake and freeze in advance so it’s one less thing in party week.

    • It freezes beautifully! Just wrap it carefully once it has cooled, a couple of layers of cling film around each cake and allow plenty of time to defrost. I will never use another chocolate cake recipe!!

  8. Rating: 4

    Yours is amazing. Mine not so much

  9. Rating: 5

    Dear Ann, please check the baking time in this recipe – you say the two cakes should be done in 20-25 mins, whereas my cakes were only cooked at around 40mins. Now I know that all ovens vary, but not by that much! My oven has never been that far off for any other recipe (and I do a lot of baking), so I suspect the 20-25mins is not right 🙁

  10. Rating: 5

    Hey can u make a cake which is smaller than this and a little less ingredients cause I want to make this but there is too much?

    • Rating: 5

      Yes! Just halve the recipe and bake all the batter in one cake tin. Then you will only have half the amount of cake =)

  11. Rating: 5

    Thank you so much for giving measurements in cups! I know I need to learn to measure by ounces and grams but this makes it so easy! Thank you!

  12. Rating: 5

    can i do normal dark chocolate i cant seem to find 70 percent cocoa solids?

    • Yes it still works and is delicious!

  13. Rating: 5

    hi Ann,
    wondering what leave on the bench means for the ganache
    i would love advice?

    • What Ann means by “leave on the bench overnight” is just that you cover ur ganache and leave out on your bench (counter) overnight. Hope it helps : )

    • “Bench” is just what Australians say rather than countertop.

  14. Rating: 5

    Made this cake with this recipe and ganache as a filling. It was my sisters 10th birthday and she always love chocolate cake but it can get dry. This cake was so moist and delicious. At first I was confused because I didn’t know a cake could have 8 eggs but the eggs make it super moist and crackly on top like a brownie. The entire family loved it! Thanks Ann!

    • Looks amazing! Awesome job

    • thats an amaing cake im ten and if my big sister made that for me my mind would be blown

  15. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    We absolutely love making your amazing cakes.
    I’ve made your chocolate cake a few times now but am not 100% sure on the baking temperature as you mention 160degrees in your video but the written instructions say 180degrees
    Can you confirm which is the best Oven temperature & time to use please?
    Best wishes
    Friedel (from West Sussex, UK)

    • Hi Friedel, I’m pretty sure Ann uses a fan forced oven which you tend to have 20 degrees or so lower than a conventional oven, which is why she says 160 in the video but 180 on the website.
      If you don’t know whether or not you have a fan oven there will usually be a small circle symbol somewhere on your oven, or you can check the make of your oven online for specifications.
      I hope that helps and clears up some of the confusion. 🙂

  16. Rating: 4

    I’d like to make this beautiful cake less sweet, it’s too sweet for our taste. By how much can you reduce sugar in it, please (the baker’s percentage of sugar seems very high)? Could I ask you to do a post on this topic (how to reduce sugar in baking), please? I love your scientific approach!

    • Did you maybe use icing sugar instead of crystal?

  17. Rating: 5

    I only have regular granulated sugar and all-purpose flour. Will those work just as good?

  18. Rating: 5

    can you replace margarine with butter? and if not where can you buy margarine?

    • Yes you can use either margarine or butter. Both can be found at supermarkets.

  19. Rating: 4.5

    I would like to print out the recipe. Do I need to load the “GET RECIPES”?. I keep noticing this on the sides of the video? I have printed the Macaroon recipe in the past without loading GET RECIPES. I notice the word “Advertisement” which makes me question the request. Thank You Cheryl

  20. Rating: 5

    The bowl cake won’t cook. It’s still raw in the middle. I’m on round 2 and it’s been in the oven for 45 minutes. Any advice please?x

    • maybe it’s your oven?

      • Rating: 4

        Hi, I’ve tried to make this cake today, but it turned out kind of weird. I checked the cake with a toothpick, and it should be cooked, but when I flip it over the bottom has a gummy like texture. Can someone please tell me if it’s supposed to be like this, or am I doing something wrong? Thank you!

    • Hi Felicity – I find the cakes take 40-45mins to bake. I think it is an error in her recipe that it says only 20-25mins. I know all ovens vary, but not by that much! I do a lot of baking and my oven is never that far off any other recipe.

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