The Best Ever Chocolate CakeThis cake might seem complicated but is well worth the effort, and no electric mixer is required! Gather all the ingredients before you start to make the process easier.


  • 1 1⁄3 cups caster sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 cups plain flour
  • 3⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 180g good quality unsweetened or 82% extra dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup VERY HOT double-strength hot chocolate (made with Dutch cocoa)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

1⁄2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 1⁄3 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 250g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup double-strength hot chocolate
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Make the ganache

  1. Heat the cream, butter, sugar and salt over low heat until butter is melted.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.
  3. Add hot chocolate and vanilla, stir until blended.
  4. Allow mixture to cool, stirring minimally, until it reaches a spreadable consistency (about 2 hours).
  5. This can be sped up in the fridge stirring occasionally to keep the temperature consistent (otherwise it hardens around the edges).

While the ganache is cooling, make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Coat the bottom of two 23cm round cake pans with spray oil. Line the pans with baking paper rounds and coat the bottom and sides with a small amount of additional oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the chocolate into the hot chocolate until completely melted.
  4. In another large mixing bowl combine the eggs, oil, sour cream and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  5. Stir the melted chocolate into the egg mixture.
  6. Lastly, fold in the flour mixture in 1⁄3 increments, stirring well after each addition, making sure the flour is completely incorporated and there are no lumps. This can all be done with a wooden spoon!
  7. Divide batter between prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans, approximately 30 minutes. Run a flat spatula around the edge of the pans and remove cakes to wire racks to cool completely (do not remove baking paper until cool).

To assemble

  1. Spread a thick layer of ganache on top of one layer.
  2. Top with the second layer and spread remaining ganache over top and sides.
  3. Allow cake to sit at room temperature, covered by a cake dome or large glass bowl, for at least two hours before serving.

Photo Credit: David Lyons