Are you looking for an easy one-bowl chocolate cake? This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe, rich, moist, delicious and perfect for birthdays and celebrations. Add my intensely chocolatey mascarpone frosting to make this the BEST chocolate cake ever!


For the cake

  • 200 g | 7oz plain flour
  • 340 g | 12oz sugar
  • 75 g | 3oz cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225 ml | 8 fl oz strong black coffee
  • 225 ml | 8 fl oz buttermilk or milk soured with 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 100 ml | 4 fl oz vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

For the frosting

  • 450 g | 1lb mascarpone cheese
  • 100 g | 3 1/2 oz icing sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 200 g | 7oz dark chocolate melted

For the chocolate sauce

  • 60 g | 2oz dark chocolate chopped
  • 80 ml | 1/3 cup double heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp runny honey

To decorate

  • sprinkles chocolate shavings (optional)


Make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spray 3x15cm (6in) tins with cake release and line the bottoms with baking paper. Alternatively use 2x20cm (8in) tins.
  • Mix the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla together in a large bowl or a measuring jug.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, raising agents and salt) over the wet ingredients in the bowl or pour the wet ingredients over the dry if you have used a measuring jug.
  • Mix well, scraping over the bottom and sides of the bowl and making sure no dry pockets of flour remain. The batter will be quite runny – this is normal.
  • Divide the batter between greased and lined tins and bake for 35 minutes
  • Cool in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting. You might need to level the tops slightly before assembling the layer cake.

Chocolate mascarpone frosting

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 second bursts, stirring, until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • Whisk icing sugar, mascarpone, ground cinnamon and instant espresso powder together in a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in your stand mixer) on low speed to combine. Increase the speed so that the frosting is well mixed.
  • Add the melted chocolate and whisk together until the frosting is glossy, smooth and holds peaks.

Chocolate sauce

  • Make this just before you assemble the cake. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and set it over a bowl of barely simmering water (double boiler method). Stir until completely melted and smooth.

Assemble the cake

  • Transfer the frosting into a piping bag. Pipe a generous amount of frosting over the bottom cake layer and top with the second. Repeat and top with the final layer, smooth side up.
  • Pipe more frosting over the top of the cake and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
  • Add sprinkles or chocolate shavings to decorate and serve immediately.



  • If you don’t have any buttermilk, add 1 tsp of lemon juice to whole milk, mix and let it stand for a few minutes. 
  • If you don't like coffee you can use coffee essence or hot water instead and leave it out of the frosting.
  • The unfrosted layers can be baked up to three days in advance and kept wrapped at room temperature. The cake will feel rather damp and sticky - this is as it should be - so keep the layers separated by greaseproof paper if you are stacking together.
  • The frosted cake will last for 2-3 days in the fridge without any ill effects, not that I have ever had any leftovers! Bring back to room temperature before serving.
Please note: Nutritional values are approximate only and will depend on serving size.