Mary Berry’s best chocolate cake recipe

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30 min


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%

Mary Berry's chocolate cake recipe is simple, easy-to-follow and mouthwateringly delicious. With a light, fluffy chocolate sponge texture and delicious, creamy chocolate icing, this will go just perfectly with a lovely big cup of tea. This chocolate cake recipe will serve 6 people, and takes just 50 mins to prepare and bake. Mary has some great advice on how to stop your chocolate cake from cracking when you bake it - and how to keep it rich and moist, as all great chocolate cakes should be. Remember not to place the cake on the top shelf in the oven when baking - and resist the temptation to open the oven door and check on it before it's seventy-five percent baked. Also, prepare to be a little sparing when adding the chocolate powder - Mary will talk you all through it perfectly in this recipe. Mary also has a secret insider tip on how to keep your icing crumb-free when layering it on top of your cake. Simply spread a little apricot jam over the top of your cake before icing and hey presto, crumb-free icing! She also advises adding water sparingly to the icing, to make sure it's a lovely, thick consistency to top your perfectly baked Mary Berry's chocolate cake. This Mary Berry's chocolate cake recipe is one of our most popular recipes ever and you know you're in safe hands when following one of Mary's brilliant recipes. Enjoy a perfectly rich chocolate sponge cake with creamy chocolate icing that's just too deliciously more-ish! This is a great chocolate cake to make with the kids at home too as it's nice and easy to prepare - and finger and spoon-licking fun to make. Love Mary's recipes? We've got loads more delicious recipe ideas from the former Bake-Off judge here!


  • 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
  • 150ml (5fl oz) double cream
  • 150g (5oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 x 17cm (7 in) deep sandwich tins, greased and lined with non-stick baking paper


  • 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 in 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 tip for making Mary Berry’s best chocolate cake

If leftover cake is a little stale, warm a slice gently on a low heat in the microwave for about 10 seconds to make it moist again!

How do you avoid your chocolate cake cracking?

If you're following this chocolate cake recipe and your chocolate cake is cracking, you could be putting your cake on the wrong shelf in your oven. Thankfully Mary Berry has some advice on how to prevent this from happening! She told Women’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 to make your 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 batter as soon as it’s mixed, and resist opening the oven door until it’s at least three quarters cooked. Also, resist adding to much coco powder - stick to the chocolate cake recipe measurements - as too much extra cocoa powder can make it dry.

How do you stop crumbs on your chocolate cake mixing with the icing?

No body wants cake crumbs mixed in with their smooth icing! Thankfully, Mary Berry has the perfect advise for this chocolate cake recipe. She told Women’s Weekly: ‘When icing a cake, seal the top with apricot jam first to prevent crumb contamination. Add liquid gradually to icing, too. You can always add more and a thicker icing works better than one that runs off the sponge.’

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(24253 ratings)
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