Available in Selfridges, London  


Not only is this my favourite chocolate layer cake recipe, it is also the only chocolate cake recipe you will ever need. It's deep, dark and delicious and I'll let you in on yet another trade secret we keep up our sleeves at Anges...we add instant coffee granules to the batter to make it THAT much more chocolatey-er. It's a mega-hit with our customers ordering our chocolate cakes in London and we are frequently told it is the best chocolate cake they've ever had!

You can skip the coffee of course, but it really does deepen the flavour of cocoa which just needs a little extra nudge to come alive. Coffee and cocoa often go hand in hand...in fact, cocoa contains caffeine too. Maybe that's why the coffee granules is like the umami to chocolate cakes - I have absolutely zero-scientific evidence behind this theory and 100% confidence that it just works!

chocolate cake recipe - birthday cake

You can use our trusted chocolate layer cake recipe for tall 6 inch layer cakes, or an 8 inch layer cake, or even as cupcakes. This recipe yields three 6 inch chocolate sponge layers, or two 8 inch sponge layers, or two dozen cupcakes (you can halve the recipe for one dozen cupcakes and reduce the baking time to 20 minutes).

Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

Chocolate Sponge Recipe


350g self raising flour, sifted

8 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

2 teaspoons baking soda

300g caster sugar

4 eggs (medium), lightly beaten

300ml oil (vegetable or sunflower)

300ml milk

4 tablespoons golden syrup

chocolate cake recipe - ingredients


1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius and prepare three 6 inch round cake tins by greasing with butter and a light even dusting of flour.

2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sugar and mix well.

3. Dissolve the coffee granules in the milk and add into the dry ingredients along with the oil, eggs and golden syrup. Whisk the batter till well mixed and just until no lumps remain.

chocolate cake recipe - batter

4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

chocolate cake recipe - cake tins

5. Once baked, bring them out of the oven and let the sponges rest in their tins for around 10-15 minutes before releasing them and cooling to room temperature on wire racks. chocolate cake recipe - sponges

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe


150g egg white at room temperature

225g granulated sugar

300g butter at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

Pinch of salt


1. Follow the recipe for our smooth as silk Swiss meringue buttercream.

2. Once the buttercream is ready and smooth, add in the cocoa powder and whip till well mixed.

Decorating Chocolate Layer Cake

Optional Ingredients


Food Colour gel pastes (pink, green, blue, purple, yellow)


1. Smear a dollop of icing in the centre of an 8" cake board using a cranked palette knife. Place a chocolate sponge layer in the middle and smooth a layer of chocolate buttercream over it.

2. Sandwich and build up the chocolate sponge layers with buttercream until the last sponge layer has buttercream smoothed over and crumb coat the outer edges of the cake with chocolate buttercream, smoothing with the edge of the palette knife or a cake scraper. Chill in the fridge to set for 10-15 minutes.

3. Smooth another layer of chocolate buttercream all over and smooth using the edge of the palette knife or cake scraper. A decorating turn-table helps with getting a super smooth finishing.

chocolate cake recipe - buttercream

4. You delicious chocolate cake is now ready to decorate with swirls of buttercream with a piping bag fitted with any piping nozzle of your choice, sprinkles, or even chocolates and cookies.

chocolate cake recipe - sprinkles

It's quite easy to make a dry and dense chocolate cake, due to cocoa powder's drying effects on sponges, but not this recipe! You may panic at how runny the batter is, but the cake rises well and the high proportion of liquid ingredients helps keep the cake moist for days, and the deep chocolatey flavour cannot be beat. 

chocolate cake recipe

I hope you make this and love it as much as me and our customers do. If you do use this recipe please do share on instagram and tag me in @angesdesucre #angesdesucre so I can see and salivate from afar. And if you have any questions or comments, drop them below this post!

Lots of love,

Reshmi xoxo

7 Responses

Reshmi Bennett
Reshmi Bennett

10 March, 2019

Hi Lydia,
Thanks! My fave piping tip to use is a large savoy nozzle by Jem (also called fine open star nozzle).
Reshmi xoxo

Reshmi Bennett
Reshmi Bennett

10 March, 2019

Hi Vicki,
The temp is for fan assisted ovens (if you are using non-fan, then I would increase the temp by 5-10 degrees and keep an eye on the baking times, give or take 5-8 minutes. This cake serves 10-12 decent portions (but you can also get stingy and make it stretch to 15 or 16 finger portions).
Reshmi xoxo


10 March, 2019

Hi, I have 2 questions…is the oven temperature for a fan oven and how many people would this serve? Thanks!

Lydia Webb
Lydia Webb

29 January, 2019

Hi there,
I made this cake a while ago and loved it, worked perfectly – want to make it again for my sister’s bday buy just wondering how long it will last? Would like to get it made in advance (2 days) but also would like it to last after her birthday for a couple of days.
Thank you!!


19 November, 2018

I love your site and use the Swiss meringue buttercream on all my cakes. Thank you for sharing them with everyone. Could you kindly tell me what tip you use to make the beautiful fine swirls on all your cakes. Thank you c


15 November, 2018

Hi Kay, yes you can use maple syrup, honey, or even corn syrup (if in the US…corn syrup isn’t as readily available in the UK). Basically any inverted sugar syrup works well.


15 November, 2018

Looks yummy! Is there any substitute for golden syrup?

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Cake Size Guide

 Tiers Size (inch) Portions
1 8 14
1 10 21
1 12 28
2 6 & 8 22
2 8 &10 35
2 10 & 12 49
3 6, 8 & 12 43
3 8, 10 & 12 63
4 8,10,12& 14 84