World’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

Adapted by Yotam Ottolenghi

World’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (1)

Total Time
1½ hours, plus cooling
Read community notes

The recipe for this cake, adapted from "Sweet" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, first appeared in an article written about Ms. Goh when she ran her cafe, the Mortar & Pestle, in Melbourne, Australia. Rather intimidatingly for her, the headline for the article was "World’s Best Chocolate Cake." It could actually be called lots of things: “world’s easiest cake,” possibly, requiring nothing more than one large bowl to make it all in. Or “most versatile cake,” given that it can be served without icing and just a light dusting of cocoa powder, or dressed up to the nines, as it is here, with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and served with espresso cinnamon mascarpone cream. In the Ottolenghi shops in London, it is smaller and goes by the name Take-Home Chocolate Cake, designed to be shared by four people after a meal. This larger version is no less delicious, and keeps well for four to five days. As with any baking project, you should weigh your ingredients in grams for the best results. —Yotam Ottolenghi

Featured in: Yotam Ottolenghi on Creating Recipes and His Cookbook ‘Sweet’

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Yield:12 servings

    For the Cake

    • 1cup plus 1½ tablespoons/250 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 1½ tablespoons), at room temperature and cut into ¾-inch/2-centimeter cubes, plus extra for greasing the pan
    • 7ounces/200 grams dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids), chopped into ¾-inch/2-centimeter pieces
    • teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1½ cups/350 milliliters boiling water
    • cups/250 grams granulated sugar
    • 2large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
    • cups plus 2 tablespoons/240 grams self-rising flour (see note)
    • cup/30 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus 1½ teaspoons, for dusting
    • ¼teaspoon salt

    For the Chocolate Ganache (optional)

    • 7ounces/200 grams dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids), broken or chopped roughly into ¾-inch/2-centimeter pieces
    • ¾cup/180 milliliters heavy cream
    • 1tablespoon light corn syrup
    • 1tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

    For the Espresso Cinnamon Mascarpone Cream (optional)

    • cups plus 1 tablespoon/375 milliliters heavy cream
    • ¾cup/190 grams mascarpone
    • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla pod
    • teaspoons finely ground espresso
    • ¾teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

917 calories; 66 grams fat; 40 grams saturated fat; 1 gram trans fat; 18 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 72 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 35 grams sugars; 11 grams protein; 548 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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World’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9-inch/23-centimeter round springform pan with butter and line with parchment paper, then set aside.

  2. Step


    Make the cake: Place butter, chocolate and hot coffee in a large heatproof bowl and mix well until everything is melted, combined and smooth. Whisk in sugar by hand until dissolved. Add eggs and vanilla extract and whisk again until thoroughly combined and smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together into a bowl and then whisk this into the melted chocolate mixture. The batter here is liquid, but don’t think you have missed something; this is how it should be.

  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs attached. The top will form a crust and crack a little, but don’t worry, this is expected. Leave the cake to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan, then set aside until completely cool.

  4. Step


    Make the chocolate ganache, if desired: Place chocolate pieces in a food processor, process until fine and set aside. Combine cream and corn syrup in a small pan and place over medium-high heat. As soon as bubbles begin to appear (just before it comes to a boil), remove from the heat. Get the food processor running again, with the chocolate still inside, and pour in the hot cream in a steady stream. Process for 10 seconds, then add butter. Continue to process until mixture is shiny and smooth. (You can also make the ganache by hand; just make sure the chocolate is chopped fairly finely before adding the cream mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until almost melted, then add the butter. Stir again until the ganache is smooth.)

  5. Step


    Use a rubber spatula to scrape the ganache into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, with the plastic actually touching the top of the ganache. Set aside until it has set to the consistency you want. If you want a thin layer to spread over the cake, it can be poured over while liquid so that you get an even, light and shiny coating. For a thicker ganache with a spreading consistency, leave it for about 2 hours at room temperature. (The ganache can be stored at room temperature, providing it’s not too warm, for 3 days or kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It can also be frozen, although it will lose a bit of its shine when defrosted.)

  6. Step


    Make the espresso cinnamon mascarpone cream, if desired: Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until soft peaks form.

  7. Step


    Peel the parchment from the cake and discard. Transfer to a serving platter and spread the ganache, if using, on top of the cake. Slice into wedges, divide the cake among plates and, if using, spoon the mascarpone cream alongside. With or without icing, the cake will keep well for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.


  • If you can’t find self-rising flour, whisk together 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons/240 grams all-purpose flour and 2¾ teaspoons baking powder and use this mixture instead.



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Cooking Notes

Zeus G

Great cake, but why so much fuss about the ganache? Just dissolve semi-sweet chocolate with heavy cream over a bowl of hot water and out comes a delicious, fudgy ganache icing that I use for everything.


"finely ground espresso" - is that finely ground espresso beans or finely ground instant espresso or something else?


World's Best Chocolate Cake
As calculated by MyFitnessPal
250 gram, Butter - Unsalted
1 tsp, Instant Coffee Granules
350 ml, Water
250 g, Sugars, granulated
2 large, Egg
2 tsp, Vanilla extract
0.25 teaspoon, Salt
200 gram, 70% Dark Chocolate
1.88 cup(s), Self Rising Flour
30 g, Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

12 Servings
Amount Per Serving
calories 416
Fat 26 g 40 %
Total Carbohydrate 44 g 15 %
Protein 5 g 10 %


There's nothing optional about chocolate ganache, ever!!!

Lynda H.

One final note: A number of people commented that the cake was dry and/or crumbly. As mentioned in other post, the cake should bake at 325F (160C) for about 1 hour (per the corrected edition of "Sweet"). I use an instant-read thermometer and baked the cake to 200F. At that temperature, the probe had a few moist crumbs (not the dry crumbs noted in the recipe). The cake was scrumptious: moist (but not gooey) with a fine crumb.


As a professional pastry chef for 25 years corn syrup, not high fructose corn syrup, is used to keep the ganache shiny and keep it from cracking if the cake is stored at all. You can leave if it bothers you.


Best chocolate cake is on the container of Hershey's Cocoa."Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate CakeRich, moist, easy. My kids want it for every birthday - 30+ years. I've tried other recipes and I always go back to this

Jean Pippin

Can 1.5 cups of hot coffee be used in place of the water and instant coffee?

Kiss Marianne

Thank you very much this fantastic recipe!I have an old Chocolate Cake recipe about 80 years old and it's too very fine.I write it for you:6 eggs 6 tblsp sugar5 tblsp flour5 tblsp water3 tblsp cocoaFirst stir the egg yolks with sugar, flour and water. Add the cocoa and finally add the beat up eggs white. Bake it in a round baking dish and when it baked and no longer too hot, cut it three layer and spread it with a fine chocolate cream.with loveMarianne


If the ganache and the mascarpone cream are optional, is it possible to give the nutritional information for the cake "with" and "without"? I'm assuming that the 880 calories per serving includes the two optional toppings. I'd be curious about the calorie count per serving without ganache and mascarpone cream.


If the butter is melted, why does it have to be room temperature first?


I went with espresso powder. It is, indeed, the world's best chocolate cake.


One reason for the difference in the bake is that the Celsius temperature (which is what Yotam/Helen would use) has been wrongly converted to Fahrenheit. 170C is 338F, not 350 so that would be a reason why the bake time is off. I baked the cake at 170C and it needed 65 minutes before a skewer came out without wet batter. The cake was moist and well flavored. I agree the ganache and cream make it special - without those it is not anything very different.


I found the comments here fascinating for the wide variety - loved it/meh/hated it; dry/crumbly/moist; bitter/perfect level of sweetness; overbaked it at 50 minutes/ perfect at one hour and 20 minutes. Just goes to show we all have different ideas of the best chocolate cake.


Hi JH, Corn syrup is an invert sugar used in things like this ganache to provide body and enhance shine. I think you can probably more easily find Golden Syrup in's harder to find in the States...and that should work for substitute. Also honey could work, or brown rice syrup or cane syrup (sugar cane derived) or even an agave syrup I think would work too. But I think Golden Syrup would be the best substitute here. I'll bring the tea if you're baking! ;-)


Didn’t read comments first, and regretfully baked for 50 mins at 350F. It's incredibly overbaked and dense.

Don Greenberg

Can be very good with modifications.Like many other posts, I found that the cake was perfect at 325 degrees for 55 minutes in my oven. Timing is critical. At 50 minutes, the center was still loose, but an extra 5 minutes was all it needed.Also, instead of 1-1/2 cups of coffee in the batter, I used 1 cup of coffee plus 1/2 cup of sour cream. It adds just the right touch, I think.


I left for 20 min to cool but the cake was still too warm and broke when I transfered it to a serving platter. Perhaps the "world's best" deserves a bit more of our patience.

Cynthia in Hawaii

I baked at 325, 55 minute in a Costco leftovers metal rectangular pan ~ 10.6 x 6". Served it in the pan. Super moist and delicious. 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup + 2 T canola oil (from the comment about oil vs butter). 7/8 cup sugar because we like things less sweet. for the Ganache -melted whipped cream with chocolate chips. Spread a thin layer of jam first.1 1/2 C coffee, heated to almost boiling. Worked great. 14 squares of Trader Joe's dark chocolate 72% (red package). Lightly chopped.


I wanted to use my grandmother's 9x8x1" heart pan (not springform) to make this for Valentine's Day. The recipe makes 6 cups of batter. Three cups filled my pan, so I baked half the batter at a time. Didn't know what the 1.5t of cocoa powder for "dusting" was for, so I dusted the pan/parchment after buttering. Cake pulled away from sides and released beautifully. I used the mascarpone cream (not sweet enough) as a filling between the layers and loaded the ganache on top. It was a big hit!

Tanya B.

As much as we enjoyed this cake, the texture was more like a brownie.


I love this cake and have baked it over years now. I love to serve it with a mascarpone cream as a simple frosting on top.

Skier Runner Eater

Not all that impressed!! Perhaps the title over-sold, but the ganache was unimpressive and overall, good but not great.

Flour Powered

I made a batch as mini-muffins (makes 6 dozen) for my son’s hockey team. Because I had to bake in batches, I found that letting the batter sit for about 20 minutes makes for a fluffier and more tender structure


Only Ottolenghi would call a cake with 19 ingredients the world’s easiest chocolate cake!

D Steiner

I made this for a dinner pot luck and it was a roaring success! Great cake!


Bake at 325, check at 50 min


Bake at 325 for 60 min


Made it twice exactly as written, with ganache and mascarpone, and was wonderful. No clue how people could have messed up. Very easy to make


Now that I've read a bunch of comments, it looks like my baking challenges may have been the magic. Baked at 350 until so aromatic thought the cake was in danger of burning. Dry top, pulled away from sides. Higher than the pan. Wet crumb-streaks on the toothpick. 15 minutes later, I could see raw batter between the settling crown fissures. Covered in foil & put back in a 325 oven for 10-15m increments. Freezing and ice cream hit any flaws.

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