Mary Berry's chocolate cake

(2938 ratings)

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Mary Berry's chocolate cake
Mary Berry's 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 chocolate cake recipe for a delicious and moist chocolate sponge cake with creamy chocolate icing. This easy chocolate cake recipe is simple and easy-to-follow, serving 6 people and taking only 50 mins to prepare and bake. Mary Berry's chocolate cake is perfect served with a drizzle of fresh cream for an indulgent dessert or afternoon snack with a cuppa. Store in an airtight container or cake tin for up to 2 days. If you have any of this moist chocolate cake recipe left after 2 days (unlikely!), we'd recommend warming a slice in the microwave for about 10 seconds and serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is our best chocolate cake recipe and is part of Mary Berry's three cakes in one recipe, taken from Mary Berry's Stress-free Kitchen. Mary Berry's chocolate cake will keep for 3 days in the fridge, but the icing will lose its shine.


For the chocolate cake:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6 oz)caster sugar
  • 175g (6 oz) softened butter
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 40g (1 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 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.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 3
(2938 ratings)

Your comments

Sharon R

One of the best chocolate cakes ever! I used the normal method of creaming butter sugar etc. Added my cocoa powder into my flour and then added hot water to the mixture! Perfect 👍

Sharon Riley

What have I done wrong with the ganache? It seems very runny, used milk chocolate. Have noticed other people also have, thought it might be that.

Cupcake 3

I put the runny cake in for another twenty minutes and the cake was perfect the family loved it 🍰

Cupcake 3

this recipe is awful I put it in for thirty five minutes and my knife still came out runny when the picture shows a delecet sponge not a runny disaster


I made this and it didn't rise so had to throw it away any suggestion she why also I added the right amount of all the ingredients even added little extra baking powder


i just took a bite and it was amazing, definetly making this again


I just made this cake, its currently in the oven but i cannot believe a cake can be made with such ease!


took 45 mins to cook ya fucking melt


I made this but don't understand why it's asking to put baking powder in when your using self raising flour, plus I use fresh strawberries and whipped some cream and it went down very well.

Katie Payne

I made this for my boys birthday, he doesn't like jam so left it out...

Liv Sikopoulis

I use this recipe all the time (minus the icing/ganache, instead I use buttercream) and my friends and family absolutely love it! I simply bake for pleasure but I get asked a lot by family to make this for their birthdays etc. The recipe always comes out well and tastes very yummy! This recipe is very easy to follow and hassle free unlike other chocolate cake mixtures I have come across in the past. When making my butter cream for the filling and topping I also use the same method of making a paste, I find this works really well for me and molds in better to the mixture rather than adding in another dry ingredient - It just works for me! I am only 21 and have little experience in baking as like I said I only do it for pleasure and not very often but this is definitely my fool proof go too when I want to make a chocolate cake. Happy baking! :)


I don't recommend put the cream and chocolate together for heating for the ganache...mine curdled immediately. I found tempering the chocolate first then folding in the double cream with a metal spoon worked better.


This is the first time that I have used this recipe. I am so pleased with the result. You need to take time to mix the chocolate paste in but then the mixing is light and shiny.

Graham Nash

I have made two one with a pinch of chilly and the other with some fresh ginger finely grated into the mix.

dennise Jefferson

I always follow point for point when baking for the first time I will adjust on the second bake


Hi Niki, Ours was the exact same, my daughter is now eating them as flap jacks. I can taste nothing but sugar. She'll be flying around on it, so a hoover will be placed in her hand!! Loved your comments....


Just done this with my daughter. It was a disaster, very flat, did not rise at all. Any advice as to why would be appreciated.

April Rose Waters

Just made this cake a couple of days ago, after reading the comments I just sieved the cocoa in with the flour and it turned out great. I also adjusted the icing - I used chocolate, double cream, sugar and cocoa powder to get a gorgeous thick ganache that I covered the whole cake in. (I also topped with maltesers)


Hello all Ive made two batches of this and found the same as a lot of you...making a paste just doesn't work (although it does taste fine) so I just beat in the cocoa on the last one and added the water after (to get the right consistency) and it was perfect! Agree as well about the chocolate cream...tastes much better with a frosting but I had already made the cream so whisked this into a butter cream to save waste. I think jam is only needed to create a barrier between the cream and the cake as the cream would just get absorbed into the cake otherwise...I used Lotus caramel spread instead as I was going for an overindulgent chocolate birthday cake...its gone down pretty well considering I never bake! Wahoo! :)

Dayana Ramlan

i've tried this recipe! it is easy & amaaaaziiingggg! But yes, i had that specks of cocoa when i made the choc paste too, but it doesnt matter, it tastes good!


the specks are little air holes!


I made this cake last week .... but I'm not sure about using the apricot jam though!!


I cooked this cake today and found the ganache very runny although I had let it rest for quite a while for it to thicken up

Sean Whelan

So, in short it's a great simple cake. I make it with my young girls. Rather than using two tins I use one and adjust the time by 10 mins. I also leave out the jam and make a sugar syrup. I did find that the frosting is quite loose, I reduce the cream by 25ml. You can also use electric whisk to beat the ganache into a lighter fluffier consistency, this does take the gloss shine out though (good for the filling).


I've made it before without, I don't think it really matters ( but don't tell Mary) !

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