Mary Berry’s chocolate cake recipe

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Make a perfectly rich chocolate cake with luxurious chocolate icing using Mary Berry's chocolate cake recipe...

Mary Berry's chocolate cake recipe
  • Nut-free
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time20 mins (may need an extra 5 mins)
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories751 Kcal38%
Sugar46 g51%
Fat48 g69%
Protein9 g18%
Carbohydrates68 g26%

An easy-to-make and deliciously moist chocolate cake by Mary Berry - our go-to recipe for any special occasion. 

This soft chocolate sponge is topped and sandwiched together with a rich chocolate ganache icing, made with fresh double cream and melted chocolate. This recipe will serve six people, making it perfect for sharing. Mary Berry's chocolate cake takes 50 minutes to prepare and bake. Mary Berry uses a special ingredient to make her chocolate cake extra moist and to stop crumbs from mixing with the silky chocolate ganache icing.

"When icing a cake, seal the top with apricot jam first to prevent crumb contamination," says Mary. The fruity spread is used to form a barrier between the cake and the icing, ensuring a smooth finish.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 175g (6 oz) softened butter
  • 1½ level tsp baking powder
  • 40g (1½ oz) cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp boiling water
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam

For the chocolate icing:

  • 150ml (5fl oz) double cream
  • 150g (5oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • A little icing sugar, to serve

Special bakeware / equipment

  • 2 x 17cm (7 in) deep sandwich tins, greased and lined with non-stick baking paper
  • Electric whisk




  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4. Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter, and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Put the cocoa powder in a separate mixing bowl, and add the water a little at a time to make a stiff paste. Add to the cake mixture.
  3. Turn into the prepared tins, level the top, and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins, or until shrinking away from the sides of the tin and springy to the touch.
  4. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.
  5. To make the icing: measure the cream and chocolate into a bowl and carefully melt over a pan of hot water over a low heat, or gently in the microwave for 1 min (600w microwave). Stir until melted, then set aside to cool a little and to thicken up.
  6. To ice the cake: spread the apricot jam on the top of each cake. Spread half of the ganache icing on the top of the jam on one of the cakes, then lay the other cake on top, sandwiching them together.
  7. Use the remaining ganache icing to ice the top of the cake in a swirl pattern. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Watch how to make Mary Berry's chocolate cake recipe

Top tips for making Mary Berry's chocolate cake

If your cake goes wrong (opens in new tab) and often cracks, you could be putting them on the wrong shelf in your oven. Thankfully Mary Berry has some advice on how to prevent this from happening. She told us: "To avoid cakes cracking don’t bake them too high in the oven. If you do the crust forms too soon and cracks as the cake continue to rise."

How do you make a chocolate cake moist?

There are a few things you can try to ensure your chocolate cake is moist after baking. Make sure you bake the mixture as soon as it’s mixed and resist opening the oven door until it’s at least three-quarters cooked. Also, avoid adding too much cocoa powder - stick to the chocolate cake recipe measurements, as too much powder will make it dry.

How do I cover a chocolate cake with icing?

Covering a chocolate cake with chocolate icing is simple. Spoon some of the mixture into the center of the cake and spread the ganache icing to the outside of the cake using a palette knife. Add another spoonful or two at a time carefully making sure you don't push the icing over the edge of the cake when smoothing. 

Mary Berry also shared her tips for making basic icing too; "When making the icing add the liquid gradually to the icing sugar this will make sure the icing is thicker and doesn't run off the sponge."

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