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One bowl chocolate cake with two ingredient ganache

This is an incredibly simple cake but it blows my mind every time! Dense but not heavy, chocolatey and rich. A two-ingredient dark chocolate ganache helps cut through the sweetness, the sour cream keeps the sponge light and tangy and the coffee - although you can't taste it - really brings out the depth in the chocolate. Such a simple yet show stopping cake. Keep the look rustic with big swirls or frost it perfectly smooth and neat - you decide!

Click here to watch this bake on YouTube

Total time to make : 4 hours (including bake, ganache and cooling)

Time to prepare : 20 minutes

Time to bake : 1hr 15 minutes

Servings : 12 large slices


260g butter, room temperature

200g good quality dark chocolate (I like Lindt 70%)

250g caster sugar

125ml freshly made coffee*

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

240g self raising flour

40g cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

225ml sour cream


300g dark baking chocolate*, very finely chopped

300ml double cream ('thickened cream' in AUS)


  1. Preheat a fan oven to 170C and grease and line with baking paper a loose bottom baking tin(s). I used 1 x deep 8" cake tin. You could also use 2 x 8" shallow cake tins for a cake with two layers

  2. In a small saucepan or in the microwave, gently melt the dark chocolate until it's 75% melted. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until it's smooth and glossy. We don't want it to be hot when we mix it in with the rest of the ingredients, leave it to cool slightly whilst you make the coffee fresh, leave this to one side for it later too. By doing this, it lessens the chances of the fresh ingredients 'splitting' (butter, cream, eggs)

  3. In a bowl (or standing mixer with whisk attachment fitted, using a low setting throughout), weigh out the butter and pour the melted but slightly cooled chocolate in. Use a whisk to gently beat together. Add in the sugar and mix until combined. Pour in the fresh, slightly cooled coffee and whisk again. Gently whisk in each egg, one at a time, and the vanilla

  4. Sieve in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, using the back of a metal spoon to push any clumps through the sieve holes. Mix gently with the whisk until just combined. Add in the sour cream and fold through until evenly mixed, it doesn't matter if there are still a few lighter streaks in the batter

  5. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin(s) and bake in the oven for 1hr 15 minutes (if using the deep tin) or about 35 - 40 minutes for 2 x sandwich tins. The sponges are ready when they don't jiggle anymore, have a soft spring back when pushed with fingertips and a knife or skewer comes out with no raw batter - it's OK if there's wet chocolate crumbs, but no wet, streaky batter

  6. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in it's tin whilst you make the ganache. Once the cake tin is cool enough to touch, remove the tin (place the cake on something sturdy like a pint glass or NutriBullet cup, so you can push the cake tin collar down and off), then gently slip the sponge off the base and place on a cooling rack

  7. For the ganache, finely chop the baking chocolate and place in a large clean bowl. In a small saucepan over a low - medium heat, warm the cream until steaming but not to simmer or boil - or the cream might split. Pour the warmed cream over the chopped chocolate and leave for 10 minutes

  8. Mix the ganache with a spoon and the chocolate should be mostly melted from the warm cream, continue to stir until the ganache is glossy, try not to whip it and don't use a whisk as this will create air bubbles. Leave the ganache to cool for another 30 minutes at room temperature, this is the perfect consistency for a runny, mirror like ganache or a 'drip' effect cake. Otherwise, for thick and spreadable ganache as pictured, cover with cling film, pushing the cling film down onto the top of the ganache to stop it forming a skin, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until you're ready to decorate the sponge

  9. The sponge needs to be fully cooled before icing. Remove the ganache from the fridge (may need to wait 10 minutes to bring it to room temperature if it's been in a while) and use a slanted palette knife or metal spoon to scoop the icing onto the sponge and smooth over the top and around the sides (and in-between the sponges if you made two). Swirl to create a waved texture or use a fork for a ribbed pattern. Use a clean, straight edge to neaten up any edges if you like

  10. Slice and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

(per serving)

648 calories

6g protein, 43g carbs, 49g fat

Good to know:

  • If using instant coffee, dissolve 1 1/2 tsp into 125ml boiling water

  • This recipe is for 8" circular cake tins, different sizes and shapes may require different baking times and temperatures

  • For the ganache, using baking chocolate is best. This is chocolate available in the baking aisles in either block, melts or chip forms and it's made to 'melt' easier. Regular chocolate can be used too if it's chopped finely, but can be more costly

  • Baking 'low and slow' creates a sponge that has a slightly more flattened top, this is the perfect base for icing! It may come out the oven with a few cracks on the top, this is normal and easily covered with the icing

  • Vegetarian

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