Chocolate ruffle cake

(39 ratings)
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  • Serves: 12-16

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Costs: Mid-price

  • Skill level: Master chef

Woman's Weekly Cookery Editor Sue McMahon shows you how to make this chocolate-packed recipe in this simple step-by-step video

Watch our How to temper chocolate video for tips on working with chocolate


For the cake:
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • Pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 175ml milk

For the ganache:
  • 450ml (3/4pint) whipping cream
  • 300g (10oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Few drops vanilla extract

For the decoration:
  • Approx 100g carton chocolate vermicelli
  • 2 x 200g bars dark chocolate
You will also need:
  • 20cm (8in) round tin, lined with baking parchment
  • granite or marble worksurface or board
  • spatula, preferably crooked-handle
  • paint-scraper (reserved for using with chocolate!)
  • Chocolate thermometer
  • Disposable gloves


  1. To make the cake, set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180C.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarobonate of soda and pinch of salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the oil and milk and then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin. How to line a round cake tin video
  3. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for11/4-11/2 hours, or until it feels firm to the touch in the centre.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and upturn it onto a wire rack and leave it to cool, removing the tin, but leaving it wrapped in the lining paper. Turning the cake upside-down will help to flatten the top of it, if its domed during baking. If the cake is still very domed when its cooled, then the top may be cut off.
  5. To make the ganache, bring the cream to the boil. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the cream and add the vanilla extract. Stir until the chocolate melts. A stick blender may be used to speed up the blending process. Leave the mixture to cool, and then chill it in the fridge until it starts to thicken.
  6. To temper the chocolate for the to decoration, break the chocolate into pieces and then melt it, either in a microwave oven or over a pan of hot water, to over 50C. Pour out about 2/3rds of the chocolate onto the granite or marble and spread it out with the palette knife. Use the paint scraper to scoop the chocolate back to the middle, and then spread it out.
  7. Keep repeating the spreading until the chocolate starts to thicken. This chocolate should be at 27C.
  8. Scrape the chocolate from the worksurface back into the bowl and mix with the reserved chocolate. The chocolate in the bowl should now be at about 31-32C which is the working temperature. If its above this temperature, repeat the cooling stage on the table, and if its below the temperature re-warm it very gently.
  9. To make the ruffles, pour some of the tempered chocolate onto the worksurface and spread it out thinly, using a palette knife, into a rectangle. When the chocolate is on the point of setting, use the paint scraper to go around the edges to neaten the rectangle. Then, working quickly, starting at one edge, place the paint scraper under about a 5cm (2in) area of chocolate and place your finger on top, and then scrape the chocolate away from you so that the chocolate ruffles up. If the ruffles are too tight, they may be opened out a little before the chocolate sets fully. Repeat the ruffles along the rest of the rectangle, then repeat this process a further 2-3 times to use all the tempered chocolate.
  10. Use a long-bladed knife to cut the chocolate cake into 3 layers.
  11. Whip the chilled ganache until its light and fluffy. Fill the layers of the cake with the whipped ganache.
  12. Spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it as much as possible.
  13. Tip the vermicelli out onto baking parchment, and scoop it up and gently press it against the sides of the cake.
  14. Wearing disposable gloves, starting at the outside edge, press the ruffles into the ganache on the top of the cake.
  15. Work around in rings to fill the centre, using a little extra ganache to hold the ruffles in place if necessary.

Like this? Youll love Mary Berrys chocolate cake recipe

Nutritional information

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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  • 4
(39 ratings)

Your comments


would it be okay if i use a rectangle tin?


This is such a lovely recipe and Sue is so gentle in her delivery. I love all recipes demonstrated by Sue as she is always clear and to the point. I would like to know whether this recipe is dense enough to scale up for a 12" bottom tier wedding cake. Thank you very much.

nassera mouaci

hi I like Sue McMahon recipes they looke yammy and tasty and for the first time I have decided to make shepherds pie can you please send me Sue McMahom's recipe

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