Triple chocolate cake

Triple chocolate cake


With light sponge, silky milk chocolate buttercream and glossy dark chocolate ganache, this decadent cake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream – and a great way to learn new ways to bake with chocolate. Whether you have a birthday party or afternoon tea coming up – or you’re simply craving a wonderfully chocolatey treat – this showstopping chocolate cake won’t let you down.


  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 90g cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 120ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract        
  • 100g milk cooking chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 170g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tbsp milk (optional)
  • 150g classic 74% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 150ml double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round cake tins. Put the sponge ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. Add 150ml boiling water and carefully whisk until combined. Divide the batter between the greased tins and bake on the middle shelf for 35-40 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 15 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. For the buttercream, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Beat the butter, adding the icing sugar a little at a time until incorporated, then fold in the vanilla and melted chocolate. If the icing is stiff, add a little milk until loose enough to spread. Spread 1 sponge with two-thirds of the buttercream, then top with the second sponge. Using a palette knife, spread the sides with the remaining buttercream. It won’t completely cover the cake but will give a ‘naked cake’ style effect.
  3. For the ganache, put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small, heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat until just steaming then pour over the chocolate. Leave to melt for 1 min then gently mix together until the chocolate and cream are combined as a glossy ganache. Pour over the cake, encouraging it to drip down the sides with the back of a spoon or pallette knife. Leave to set at room temperature for 30 mins before serving, or cool for 15 mins, then chill in an airtight container for up to 2 days.