This rich and decadent Chocolate Cake with ganache frosting is a remarkably simple homemade chocolate cake recipe with a light, yet moist sponge and silky smooth dark chocolate ganache topping.
I adapted this moist chocolate cake recipe from my Snowflake Tested Recipes file (year unknown, but probably around 1990) and have used it successfully for more than twenty years. I still consider it the best simple chocolate cake recipe ever and always keep coming back to it.
Mummy Rachel’s one bowl chocolate cake with chocolate cake frosting was the standard against which all chocolate cakes that any of our family tasted, was measured. It was her signature chocolate celebration cake with a chocolate frosting that was not too sweet.
I regret that I never learnt how to make it during her lifetime, but this classic chocolate cake recipe is one of the best chocolate cake recipes with butter. With the easy ganache recipe it makes an excellent chocolate ganache drip cake and is also suitable for chocolate ganache cupcakes or a chocolate ganache bundt cake.
This chocolate butter cake recipe is very versatile and can be used for layered chocolate cake with ganache, a small chocolate cake recipe, cupcakes as well as tray bakes.
Chocolate cake filling ideas
Chocolate ganache cake frosting
The easy ganache recipe was inspired by a Nestle dessert cream topping that I tasted many years ago. One of my cousins brought a chocolate ganache bundt cake to a family function and it was covered in the most delicious chocolate ganache cake decoration. I had never tasted anything quite like it, and loved the fact that the cake did not require refrigeration if it was made as a sheet cake or bundt cake (with no fresh cream filling or topping).
I did not have a recipe for the original topping and tried and tested different combinations of chocolate, dessert cream and candy bars until I reached a consistency that was easy to spread, without being too sticky or too runny. For glossy shine I added butter and maple syrup. It turned out to be a glossy smooth textured chocolate ganache for drip cake.
Eye catching versions are the Chocolate Raspberry ganache cake or a Chocolate Raspberry bundt cake.
Dulce de leche and cream
If making the ganache is too much effort, try the caramel cream by whipping a can of caramel or dulce de leche with a carton of cream until thick enough to spread. Layer this with sliced banana and top with ferrero rocher chocolates.
For other cakes Click on the links to check out the options below:
- Best Glazed Orange Bundt cake.
- Carrot and Beetroot cake
- Gluten free Orange and Almond cake
- Bittersweet Citrus Semolina and Almond cake
- Old Fashioned Spiced Boiled Fruit cake
- Rose Cupcakes with white chocolate ganache
Decadent Chocolate Cake with ganache frosting
- 250 grams butter (at room temperature)
- 345 grams sugar (fine granulated, approximately 435 ml or 1 ¾ cups)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 325 grams cake flour (approximately 585 ml or 2 1/3 cups cake flour, sifted)
- 25 ml baking powder (approximately 5 level teaspoons)
- 65 grams cocoa powder (approximately 165 ml or 2/3 cup)
- 125 ml hot water (approximately ½ cup)
- 125 ml milk (approximately ½ cup)
Chocolate Ganache glaze
- 2 Mars chocolate bars (or Two Bar one bars)
- 100 grams 70% cocoa chocolate
- 160 grams Nestle dessert cream (1 small can)
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp butter
- 125 ml Nestle caramel or dulce de leche
- 250 ml fresh cream (whipped until stiff peaks)
- 2 bananas (sliced and splashed with lemon juice to prevent browning)
- 200 grams Raspberries or any other berries for decoration (approximately 1 cup)
- 125 ml flaked almonds (approximately ½ cup)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 160 fan / 350 F / Gas mark 4.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and creamy. This may take between 5-10 minutes depending on the type of cake mixer you are using.
- Mix the cocoa powder and 125 ml hot water to form a thick paste. Add the milk and work out any lumps and leave to cool until required.
- Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time and beat thoroughly between each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and ensure that you scrape the sides of the bowl to mix in all the butter and sugar at the bottom and sides.
- Fold the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the cocoa and milk mixture.
- Spoon into a greased baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. It may require a shorter baking time if you are using a fan assisted oven.
- You may use the same batter for cupcakes and they will take about 12 – 15 minutes.
Chocolate Ganache glaze
- Melt the Bar one or Mars chocolate bars with the chocolate for about 30 seconds in a microwave. If you are using a double boiler it will take a bit longer but have the same result.
- You can use milk chocolate but preferably 70% cocoa solids, for a less sugary flavour.
- Mix out all the nougat lumps and ensure the mixture is smooth. Do not overheat as the sugar in the confectionery will burn and turn bitter.
- Add half a tin of the Nestle cream, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey and a teaspoon of butter return to heat for further 20 second intervals until it looks done. Add more Nestle cream if the mixture is too thick. It should be smooth, dark and glossy and easy to spread.
- NB!! The melted chocolate gets very hot so take care with the steam and sugar burns.
- For a filled cake add the caramel, sliced banana and cream on the bottom layer before topping with the second cake.
- If desired, you can do a crumb coating by spreading a thin layer of ganache over the entire top and sides of the cake. Let it set for about 10 minutes and then cover with the rest of the ganache.
- Top with raspberries and decorate with flaked almonds
- 360 grams caramelised condensed milk or dulce de leche
300 ml double cream
- Beat the caramel until smooth and add the cream and whisk until light and thick. Take care not to over beat.
- Spread the caramel cream over the cake and top with chocolates or flaked almonds. I use Ferrero Rocher.
Nutritional information for the recipe is an approximation and varies according to the ingredients and products used.
This recipe was first published on 27 March 2015 and has since been updated.
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