Mary Berry’s chocolate cake recipe

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  • Nut-free
  • Vegetarian
serves: 6
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 20 min
(may need an extra 5 mins)

Nutrition per portion

Calories 751 kCal 38%
Fat 48g 69%
Carbohydrates 68g 38%
  -  of which Sugars 46g 51%
Protein 9g 18%
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  • Mary Berry’s chocolate cake is the ultimate treat, with a rich chocolate sponge covered in ganache.

    This easy-to-make and deliciously moist chocolate cake is our go-to recipe for any special occasion. The fluffy sponge is topped and sandwiched together with chocolate ganache, made with fresh double cream and melted chocolate. It also requires one extra special ingredient – apricot jam. This fruity spread is used to form a barrier between the cake and the icing, ensuring a smooth finish.  Mary Berry told us: “When icing a cake with fondant, seal the top with apricot jam first to prevent crumb contamination.” This recipe will serve six people. It takes 50 minutes to prepare and bake.


    • 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


    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Leave to cool in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

    Top tips for making Mary Berry's chocolate cake

    How do I stop chocolate cake from cracking?

    If your cake goes wrong and often crack, 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 continues 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?

    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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