Recipe: Epic Chocolate Cake


Not a lot beats chocolate cake. Especially our monster SORTEDfood one. Layers of moist chocolate sponge drizzled with coffee syrup, sandwiched with cocoa buttercream topped with lashings of dark chocolate ganache and honeycomb. The best Birthday surprise.


Chocolate Cake

  • 225 g salted butter, softened
  • 225 g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 1 shot of espresso


  • 250 g salted butter, softened
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp hot water

Coffee Syrup

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 50 ml coffee liqueur


  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 handful of honeycomb, to serve
Get Ahead

Step 1

Get Ahead

Line two 22cm cake tins with baking paper and preheat an oven to 180ºC. Make an espresso shot and leave to cool. Melt the dark chocolate for the cake in a bowl over a pan of water or in a microwave, then leave to one side for later.

Butter, Sugar and Eggs

Step 2

Butter, Sugar And Eggs

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or kitchen mixer until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs one at a time as you beat, including a heaped teaspoon of flour with each egg.

Flour, Choc and Bake

Step 3

Flour, Choc And Bake

Sieve the flour and cocoa into the bowl and gently mix in, folding to avoiding knocking out all the air you’ve just beaten in. Fold in the melted chocolate, buttermilk and espresso, then divide equally between the two tins. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool and Slice

Step 4

Cool And Slice

Remove the cakes from the oven once baked, risen and when the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool completely, on a wire rack. Peel back the baking paper and slice each cooled sponge in half horizontally to give you 4 discs of sponge… do not race this, make sure it’s even and don’t do it until the sponges are cool.

Coffee Syrup

Step 5

Coffee Syrup

Heat the caster sugar and water required for the sugar syrup so that it bubbles for 2 minutes in a saucepan, then take off the heat and stir in the coffee liquor. Leave to cool and transfer to a bottle or something easy to pour.


Step 6


Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl with the cocoa powder and a tablespoon of hot water until equally combined and soft and smooth. Transfer to a piping bag.


Step 7


Layer the sponges up, drizzling each layer with the coffee syrup and piping a thin layer of buttercream. Leave the top layer of sponge clean. Use spare buttercream to smooth the edges and top of the cake and fill in any gaps so that the cake has straight sides… this is called crumb coating, get it as tidy as possible. Place the cake into the fridge for at least an hour to set the buttercream.


Step 8


Heat the double cream in a saucepan until at scalding point (just below boiling). Break the ganache chocolate into small pieces and place into a clean bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes. Stir the mixture until smooth, glossy and lump free, then leave to cool for a while so that it’s not too hot when applying to the cake.


Step 9


Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the fairly cool ganache over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides in places. Return the cake to the fridge to set the ganache. Finish with some simple crushed honeycomb in the centre of the cake and serve.

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