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Mary Berry's chocolate cake

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Mary Berry's three cakes in one - chocolate cake
  • Serves: 6

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

    (may need an extra 5 mins)
  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Mid-price


Try Mary Berry's simple and easy-to-follow chocolate cake recipe for a delicious and moist chocolate sponge cake with creamy chocolate icing


For the chocolate cake:

  • 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
  • A little icing sugar, to serve
For the chocolate spreading/ganache icing:

  • 150ml (5fl oz) double cream
  • 150g (5oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
You'll also need:

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

That's goodtoknow

cartoon image of chef

Mary Berry's chocolate cake will keep for 3 days in the fridge, but the icing will lose its shine.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
  2. Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the cocoa in separate mixing bowl, and add the water a little at a time to make a stiff paste. Add to the cake mixture.
  4. 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.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Use the remaining ganache icing to ice the top of the cake in a swirl pattern. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
This recipe is part of Mary Berry's three cakes in one recipe, taken from Mary Berry's Stress-free Kitchen.

Users of Good to Know can order a copy of Mary Berry's Stress-Free Kitchen by Mary Berry, RRP £20.00, at the special discounted price of £17.00 (including p&p).

To order a copy please call on 0870 755 2122 quoting the reference code BSH664 or order online at Please allow 28 days for delivery, offer subject to availability.

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(407 ratings)

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Your comments


I made this cake last weekend and was unsure about the apricot jam aspect....I believe it is quite keep chocolate icing in place??? I probably used a little too much and am making again this weekend and will cut down the quantity of jam


do you have to use apricot jam, can you just leave that oout?


This cake is so easy to make it's a joy! **** Baked in slow cooker/crockpot**** Follow the directions above line your slow cooker with a paper liner (can buy these at super market cheaply, saves loads of time), then put the cake mix in. Then put a clean dry tea towel over the pot and place the lid on top. Cook on high for 1.5- 2.5 hours. You need to check every now and then as different slow cookers cook at a different pace. But do not lift the lid for the first 1.5 hours. Every time you lift the lid it adds 20 minutes to the cooking time. This cake is awesome served hot straight from the slow cooker smeared with Tesco's new own brand Bourbon chocolate spread and a little single cream. I don't personal bother with the ganache. I use the Tesco's spread on it hot or cold. Fab!

wee haggis

Ruined first cake batter with the paste :'( all lumpy, made new batter adding it with the flour and sifting it in to wet ingredients then folding it gently it worked so much better :) first time a Mary Berry recipe I used went wrong


I just made this cake for my boyfriend's birthday. It turned out perfectly - so moist and tasty! And so easy!! The only think I didn't do was the ganache. My boyfriend is a huge Nutella fan, so I filled the cake with Nutella and spread it on top too. Tasted amazing! Everyone loved it. Will definitely be using this as my go-to chocolate cake recipe in future!


Thank you for my first ever cake recipe. Had a wonderful time making it, as it is easy enough for even a novice like me and my 7 year old over excited helper! I didn't have the 2 sandwich tins so went ahead and made it in one round tin, and 2 ramekins! (35 minutes and 20 minutes baking time respectively). Wasn't confident enough to slice the cake and put the icing in the middle, so that made a bit of a difference in the moistness. Loved the cake but not sure about the icing. The 7 year old loved the whole thing but did say she wanted to spoon over the icing on her slice to make it even better. On second thoughts, we should have waited to thicken the icing before pouring iron..But thank you..our family had a lovely day and a delicious cake at the end of it.. Love


I had the same problem as 'Tester' - little specks of cocoa in the mix that wouldn't mix in. Very odd idea! If I make this again I'll definitely be mixing the cocoa powder with the flour etc. and not making a paste.

correa suzita

wonderful recipe, didn't change anything....made a lovely hat cake (using 2 x 8" round cake tins) with this recipe and covered with fondant for a friends farewell party - and may it was voted the best dish of the day - thank you for posting this recipe...and also made cup cakes with this recipe for my nephews birthday....all loved it! Thanks once again...


I've made this cake 4 times now and it has turned out perfect every single time! Moist, delicious and foolproof chocolate cake recipe. I find it tastes best filled with chocolate buttercream (butter, icing sugar, melted chocolate and a bit of cocoa) and topped with milk chocolate ganache. This is now my go-to chocolate cake recipe!

Rach Smith

Please can I ask how I scale up this recipe for a 15 x 10 inch (38x25cm) cake tin? I have no idea and also how long to then cook it for. I am wanting a yummy chocolate cake recipe to make into a guitar shape (got my template) and ice with maybe fondant icing. Any advice gratefully received!!!


its the best chocolate cake ive ever made !!!! give it ago


Just made this cake but just wanted to know why the coca powder needed to form a paste first? My mixture had little specks of coca powder paste that I couldn't mix in, so the cake had little dark brown specks all over. Normally I would put the coca powder straight in the mixture.


This cake is very easy and very impressive. I used baking margarine ( as I always do), and the supermarket's own brand flour. I also used own brand plain and milk chocolate (30p per bar!) for the ganache, and it was still perfect!


I made this a couple of day ago it was a huge hit instead of using dark or milk chocolate for the gnache I used white chocolate I didn't sandwich them together and cooked it as one cake and put chocolate panels around it


N ever made a chocolate cake before but this cake tastes like I have been making them for years yummy I used an electric whisk for the chocolate and cream then put in fridge sets nice and solid yummy I have loads of orders from friends x


I made this cake today and it turned out brilliantly! I always make Mary Berry's victoria sponge so gave this a go! I made a chocolate butter cream as I didn't have cream in the house and it worked a treat!


Best chocolate cake I've ever made; freezes well too!


I have made this cake only once and it turned out absolutely brilliant! Such a 'yummy cake' and not at all sickly. Kept so well for three days in the fridge and the Ganache didn't loose all it's shine. I will make this cake many times over - when I want to impress!


i have made this cake for the last few months & love it, its so simple to make & no fuss, but i add chopped walnuts to the cake mix to add a twist !!

Nelia-I made this cholate cake and it was delicious even my fussy son loves it. Best chocolate cake I ever baked.


Just made chocolate cake I try a new recipe every week and Mary berry is the best to follow x

Hazel H

I have made Mary Berrys 'Death by Chocolate' on numerous occasions, I first got the recipe book from the library and it is an amazing cake. I have made it and taken it when we visit friend down south and its gone down a storm!! Definately the best chocolate cake ever x


I had never made a chocolate cake before and decided to try this one for my daughters birthday cake and it was delish and very easy to make. However for the ganache I did mix in some milk chocolate as found with all dark chocolate it was too bitter. I never used the apricot jam either x


Made the cake today, Its brilliant - To make it extra chocolatey, I added a few mini chocolate chunks (smashed up) and mixed in a couple of drinking chocoalte chunks also.... Delicious!

Josephine Hutton

I can't wait to try this cake,I tried the victoria sandwich with perfect results.


Great best cake ever


I used mixed a cheap mixed fruit jam! its only an adhesive,the cake was great and so easy.

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