Mary Berry’s chocolate cake is a real classic. With a rich, moist chocolate sponge covered in ganache, this cake is the ultimate treat.
This chocolate cake recipe will serve six people and takes 50 mins to prepare and bake. To ensure a light, fluffy chocolate sponge Mary Berry recommends using an electric whisk. This chocolate cake is topped and sandwiched together with a delicious, creamy chocolate icing made from fresh double cream and plain chocolate melted together to form a ganache. Turn this classic chocolate cake into the perfect birthday cake by decorating with sprinkles, chocolate curls, buttons, or fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries.
- 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.
Top tips for making Mary Berry's chocolate cake
How do I stop Mary Berry's chocolate cake from cracking?
If your cakes go 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 Woman’s Weekly: ‘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?
Nobody wants cake crumbs mixed in with their smooth icing! Thankfully, Mary Berry has the perfect advice for this chocolate cake recipe. She told Woman’s Weekly: ‘When icing a cake with fondant, seal the top with apricot jam first to prevent crumb contamination.' 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.’