This extra moreish one bowl chocolate cake is the ultimate cake for any chocolate lover! Made with soft and moist chocolate sponge, chocolate ganache frosting and a pile of chocolate shavings on top!
The cake is rich, fudgy and extra-chocolatey, but still light and fluffy in texture. It makes a perfect centrepiece for any special occasions or gatherings. Best part - you only need one bowl and a whisk to make it!
Ingredients and substitutions
Here's what you will need to make this one bowl chocolate cake sponge:
- Flour - plain / all purpose flour is used to make the cake sponge. You can also use self raising flour instead (if you do, omit the baking powder and baking soda from the ingredients).
- Cocoa powder - Use a good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Raising agents - Baking powder and baking soda.
- Sugar - I use golden caster sugar in this recipe, as I love that gentle caramel flavour it adds to the bake. Use white caster sugar or granulated sugar as a substitute.
- Oil - I'm using vegetable oil here. You could also substitute it for sunflower oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil.
- Buttermilk - Adding buttermilk to the cakes will create the softest and most incredible texture. See my tip below for how to make your own buttermilk. You could also use soured cream or natural yogurt instead.
- Lyle's Golden Syrup - I'm a massive fan of this incredible ingredient and love baking with it. Golden syrup is added to the sponge as well as to the chocolate ganache. You can also use honey, maple syrup or corn syrup instead.
- Vanilla - To flavour the sponge with. Remember to always use the vanilla extract, rather than artificial vanilla essence.
- Eggs - 3 large eggs are added to the cake batter.
Hint: Make your own buttermilk by combining some milk with vinegar or lemon juice. To substitute 200ml of buttermilk in this recipe, use 200ml of milk and mix it with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Give it a stir and set it aside for 5 minutes. The mixture should curdle and split a little, which is exactly what you want.
To make the chocolate ganache frosting you will also need:
- Butter - Salted or unsalted butter is fine to use.
- Chocolate - Use a good quality dark or milk chocolate, or a mixture of both. Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips/ discs are all fine to use.
- Cream - Double/ heavy cream.
Alternatively, you could make more traditional buttercream with butter and icing sugar (use 400g soft butter combined with 475g icing sugar, depending on the texture, you may want to add 1-2 tablespoon of milk to loosen it up, or more icing sugar, if you prefer firmer buttercream).
It is better to start this recipe by making the chocolate ganache first, as it will need about an hour or two to set and to firm up.
Place the cubed butter, chopped chocolate and Lyle's Golden Syrup in a large bowl set over a pan with gently simmering water. Allow all the ingredients to melt completely, then remove the bowl and set it aside. Pour in the cream and whisk it well until you have smooth, shiny and glossy ganache.
Chill the ganache in the fridge for an hour or so (until its consistency is spreadable).
To make the chocolate sponge, place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add all of the wet ingredients and mix well until you have a thick batter.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 55 minutes- 1 hour.
Slice the sponge into two layers and spread some of the ganache on top of one of them. Use the remaining ganache to decorate the cake with (I piped some of the ganache using Wilton 1M piping tip).
Hint: Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the chocolate ganache to it.
This easy chocolate cake can be modified and upgraded to different versions, by adding some extra flavours and ingredients to it:
- Whipped cream - Whip 150ml of double cream (heavy cream) into soft peaks and spread it on top of the ganache filling layer, before topping it with another sponge. You can also use whipped cream for decorating the cake with.
- Jam - Use 100g of your favourite jam and spread it along with the ganache filling. Cherry or blackcurrant jam works incredibly well in this recipe!
- Fresh fruit - Try mixing in some fresh or frozen berries into the cake batter or into the ganache filling.
- Chocolate muffins - Turn the batter of this one bowl chocolate cake into individual muffins! Simply divide the batter between muffin cases and bake for about 15- 20 minutes.
- Decorations - Use things like sprinkles, chocolate shavings or mini chocolates to decorate the finished cake with.
- Vegan Chocolate Cake - If you are looking for a vegan chocolate cake, check out this Best Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe from Veggie Desserts blog.
- Gluten-free chocolate cake - Check out this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe from Meaningful Eats blog for a gluten free alternative.
- 9 inch (23cm) springform cake tin.
- Baking paper.
- Large mixing bowl.
- Kitchen whisk.
- Piping bag with nozzle (optional).
Storage and freezing
Store any leftovers of this delicious chocolate cake in the cake caddy or an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
This cake is also suitable for freezing (without the frosting) for up to a month. Wrap the sponge in a double layer of clingfilm and freeze. Defrost at room temperature, then add the frosting/ ganache/ buttercream.
To make ahead, prepare the sponge as per the recipe instructions. Wrap it tightly in some clingfilm and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Chocolate ganache can be prepared a day ahead. Keep it in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before using it to decorate the cake with.
Can I bake this cake in a different size tin?
Yes you can. You can use the 9' square or rectangular cake tin (traybake-style). Baking times may vary for different types of baking tins.
Why is my cake domed?
This is more likely to be caused by the temperature of the oven being too hot. I highly recommend using a separate oven thermometer, as oven temperatures can vary greatly. Also, make sure to stick to the temperature in the recipe instructions. Use a serrated knife or a cake leveller tool to cut off the 'dome' and level your cake, if you would like.
My chocolate ganache split! Can I still fix it?
Yes you can! If it goes grainy and curdles, warm it in a bowl over a pan of hot water while whisking. Mix in a dash of room temperature milk (not cream), then whisk vigorously until it comes together. Or, just whizz with a stick blender over the pan of warm water.
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One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- 23cm (9') springform cake tin
- baking paper
- mixing bowl
- Piping bag optional
- 250 g plain flour
- 60 g cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 250 g golden caster sugar
- 60 ml Lyle's Golden Syrup
- 200 ml buttermilk
- 250 ml vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 150 ml double cream for the filling, optional
For the chocolate ganache:
- 150 g unsalted butter cubed
- 180 g dark or milk chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup
- 150 ml double cream
- Preheat the oven to 160C (fan). Lightly grease and line the cake tin and set aside.
- Place the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a large bowl. Add the vegetable oil, Lyle's Golden Syrup, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix well to combine.
- Pour the cake batter into prepared cake tin and for 55 min- 1 hour or until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin into a wire rack to cool completely.
- Trim the top of the cake (if needed), and slice the cake in half horizontally. Place one half of the cake on a cake stand or a plate, and spread the top of the sponge with a little ganache. If using the cream for the filling, whip it into soft peaks, then spread it in an even layer on top of the ganache. Lay the other sponge on top. Spread the remaining chocolate ganache on top and over the sides of the cake. You could also pipe the ganache over the cake, if you'd like.
- Decorate the cake with some chocolate shavings or fresh fruit if desired. Slice and enjoy.
To make the chocolate ganache:
- Place the butter, chopped chocolate and Lyle's Golden Syrup in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and allow it to melt (you can also do this in the microwave). Add the double cream and stir well, until you have smooth ganache.
- Transfer the ganache into the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until it has thickened and it has spreadable consistency. Remove from the fridge and use to decorate the cake. If the ganache is really hard, allow it to come to room temperature and soften a bit, before using it.
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.