Chocolate gateau - a sinfully delicious chocolate cake layered with a chocolate-heavy cream filling.
Making a chocolate gateau cake is easier than you might think. It looks impressive, but the cakes are easy to make (the best chocolate cakes ever, by the way), and the filling is made with only heavy cream and two sorts of chocolate.
What can I tell you about this gateau?
- It is my favorite chocolate cake.
- I have been making this cake for at least 8 years now, not only for us but most of the time for other people, so I bake it about 7 or 8 times every year; there is no other one that I get to bake so often. I don't even have to check the recipe anymore; it is the only cake recipe I know by heart.
- The chocolate gateau looks really impressive; one would think you'd have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and use some fancy ingredients to make it, but don't worry, making this particular cake is a “piece of cake”, everything is stirred in no time, and the filling must be one of the easiest I know.
- And the taste is just amazing: chocolate, a dense moist cake sandwiched with this wonderful, luscious cream filling.
Table of contents
Ingredients for the cake
- Coffee: You will not taste the coffee instead, but it's a key ingredient. When added to the batter, coffee boosts the chocolate taste of baked goods.
- Cocoa powder: Make sure is the unsweetened kind used for baking and not drinking cocoa.
- Buttermilk: It helps leaven the cake, makes it tender, and adds flavor.
- Oil: I am a big fan of baking cakes with oil; it makes them incredibly moist and helps keep them fresh for a bit longer.
Ingredients for the filling
- Buy good brands to make the filling, only the kind of chocolate you would enjoy eating as it is as well. There is so much of it in the filling that you will definitely be able to taste the chocolate itself, so it has to be something good.
- This is not a sponsored post, but I still recommend using Lindt dark chocolate 70% cocoa and Milka (German); they are the two sorts I use most of the time. Usually, I would go for dark Lindt and milk Milka. (Amazon affiliate links)
How to make a chocolate gateau?
How to make chocolate cream?
You will have to make the filling one day in advance, as it needs time to set in the fridge.
- Chop the chocolate very finely (1).
- Pour the heavy cream into a small pot, slowly bring it to a boil, take off the heat, and add the chocolate to the cream.
- Stir slowly until the chocolate has melted (2).
- Place a piece of plastic foil directly over the cream (so that it doesn't form a “skin”), let the mixture get cold, then place it in the fridge until the next day (3).
- When ready to use (the next day), whisk the cream mixture until stiff with the electric mixer like you would normally whisk heavy cream.
How to make the cake layers?
- Preparations: Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 360°F. Butter and flour 2 springforms or cake pans of 20 cm/8-inch diameter.
- Brew one cup of strong coffee.
- Mix and sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl (4).
- Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract, preferably in a jug or in another bowl (5).
- Pour this mixture, slowly, over the dry ingredients whisking with an electric mixer at very low speed (7).
- Add the hot coffee and stir with a spatula very shortly until the ingredients are just combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- Divide the mixture into two equal parts (I use the scale to make sure I divide the mixture evenly) and pour into the two prepared forms (8).
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out relatively clean, it can still be a bit wet, but it should not be covered in chocolate.
- Cool in the pan for a while, then transfer the chocolate cakes to wire racks and let cool completely.
How to assemble the chocolate gateau?
- Cut each cake into two equal slices (9).
- Whisk the chocolate-heavy cream mixture until stiff with the electric mixer like you typically whisk the cream (10).
- Place one cake layer on a platter. Add some chocolate cream, the second cake layer, and so on (11).
- Cover with the remaining chocolate cream; you should use about half of it for layering the cake and half for covering the whole cake (See Expert Tips to learn about the parchment paper you see in the picture).
- Decorate the cake to your liking. I used dried strawberries and meringues, crushed between my fingers, some chopped pistachios, and some hazelnut brittle.
- This recipe is part of the Harry Potter series; my interpretation of the chocolate gateau Ron Wesley stuffs his face with in the 6th book of the series.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees for best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- Don't be tempted to add sugar to the filling, even if you might think it could be sweeter. The cake itself is sweet enough so that the filling should not be sweeter than it already is.
- Make in advance: Both chocolate cream and chocolate gateau can be made one day in advance.
- Let the cakes get cold on a wire rack, wrap them tightly in plastic foil to prevent them from drying out, and keep them refrigerated until the next day.
- If it's not too warm, you can keep them at room temperature until the next day as well; just make sure you wrap them well.
- Parchment paper: Use two pieces of parchment paper to cover the serving platter to keep it clean while filling and decorating the chocolate gateau.
- Cut two pieces of paper and place them on the platter, overlapping them a little. Once you've finished filling and decoration, pull them out carefully and gently so that the cake stays put on the platter. This saves you the more difficult task of transferring the cake to a clean platter.
More chocolate cakes?
Chocolate gateau - a sinfully delicious chocolate cake layered with a chocolate-double cream filling. Making an impressive gateau is easier than you think!Print Pin Share GrowSaved! Rate
- 2 springforms or cake pans of 20 cm/8-inch diameter
- Chocolate cream filling:
- 500 ml heavy cream 17 fl.oz/ 2 cups
- 100 g milk chocolate 3.5 oz (Note 2)
- 100 g dark chocolate 70 - 75 % cocoa 3.5 oz
- Chocolate cake:
- 210 g all-purpose flour 7.4 oz/ 1 ¾ cups
- 400 g granulated sugar 14 oz/ 2 cups
- 85 g unsweetened cocoa powder 3 oz/ ¾ cups
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 250 ml buttermilk 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup
- 120 ml vegetable oil 4 oz/ ½ cup
- 2 eggs large
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 ml hot coffee 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup
- Decoration optional, you can decorate as you like:
- dried strawberries
- chopped pistachios
Chocolate cream filling:
- Start one day in advance by making the filling.
- Ganache: Chop the chocolate very finely. Pour the heavy cream into a small pot, carefully bring to a boil, take off the heat, and add the chocolate to the cream. Stir slowly until the chocolate has melted. Place a piece of plastic foil directly over the chocolate cream (so that it doesn't form a "skin"), let the mixture cool completely, then place it in the fridge until the next day.
- You could bake the cakes one day in advance as well. Let them cool completely, then wrap them tightly in plastic foil to prevent them from drying out.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour 2 springforms or cake pans of 20 cm/8-inch diameter. Brew one cup of strong coffee.
- Dry ingredients: In a large bowl, mix and sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Wet ingredients: Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract, preferably in a jug or another bowl. Slowly, pour this mixture over the dry ingredients whisking with an electric mixer at very low speed.
- Combine: Add the hot coffee and stir with a spatula very shortly until the ingredients are just combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well in the process. Divide the mixture into two equal parts (I use the scale to make sure I divide the mixture evenly) and pour it into the two prepared forms.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out relatively clean, it can still be a bit wet, but it should not be covered in chocolate. Let cool in the pan for a while, then transfer the cakes to wire racks and let cool completely.
Assemble the chocolate gateau:
- Cut cakes: When the cakes are completely cooled, cut each one into two equal slices.
- Whip the chocolate-heavy cream mixture until stiff with the electric mixer like you would typically whisk heavy cream.
- Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a cake platter. Add some of the chocolate cream, then the second cake layer, cream, third cake layer, cream again, last cake layer. Cover the cake with the remaining chocolate cream, you should use about half of it for layering the cake and half of it for covering the whole cake.
- Decorate the cake to your liking. I used dried strawberries and meringues, crushed between my fingers, some chopped pistachios, and some hazelnut brittle.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it ensures the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- For a genuine taste, I recommend using German/European style chocolate (Milka, Lindt – German, Belgian or Swiss chocolate) (All Amazon affiliate links).
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 495mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 53g
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Happy anniversary! Sounds like a fun day. I love Harry Potter, chocolate cake, and any reason to celebrate with chocolate cake. This looks divine and I can see why it's a favorite!
It looks amazing! I love the look of those black sponge layers. Happy anniversary! xx
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
It looks beautiful! Happy Anniversary!
Chris Scheuer says
This is a chocolate lover's dream come true and so beautiful! I can see why you have lots of requests for it!
Happy Anniversary, Adina! What a lovely cake to celebrate!
I am not a porterhead fan but my daughter is. She went to watch the first show of this new movie with her friends.
deeeeeply dark chocolate cake and a super smooth frosting too! this is perfection. 🙂
OMG. This is amazing cake ?Thank you very much. Thank you very much for recipe. Was delicious ?
So glad to hear it! Thank you, Magda.
rosita vargas says
Wowww ...todo con chocolate me encanta,que delicia es una gran torta,gracias por su comentario la espero siempre,abrazos.
That's so funny that you dreamed about this cake before making it. Now I'll be dreaming about it. 🙂 What an OMG cake!!!! Death by chocolate for sure. So lovely.
Kim | Low Carb Maven says
Adina, we are Potter fans at my house, too. We haven't seen the movie yet, but it is on our list of things to do this weekend, along with putting up the Christmas tree and cleaning house in anticipation of my folks flying out to visit. I think Ron's cake looks simply amazing and I bet it tastes amazing, too. I love the addition of the coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor and the buttermilk to balance the sweet and give the cake moisture and a bit of a lift. Outstanding.
Looks delicious! Can you tell me what size cake tins you used?
Hi Cheryl. Two springforms of 20 cm/8 inch diameter.
hi! complete amateur here, I've only ever baked cupcakes - horrible - but I'm a huuuge HP fan and your amazing description (not to mention droolworthy photos) totes made me want to try this. some questions:
1) I have the sugar in everything I bake eg cookies and was thinking of cutting this to 300g, do you think it would be ok?
2) can I substitute the baking powder w baking soda (and vice versa) and how should it be done?
3) do you bake both cakes at the same time? our oven isn't very big and I don't think it can fit two 8 inch cake tins at the same time 🙁 is stacking possible?
thanks a lot Adina!!
Hi Sunny. I am glad you want to bake the cake, it is an amazing chocolate cake and actually well suited for beginners in baking. To your questions:
1. You can reduce the sugar quantity a little, but normally sticking to the required quantities when baking is always best. Unlike cooking, baking is almost chemistry and requires precission, if you change the quantities and the ingredients, the result will not be as expected. However, in the case of this cake, I had used less sugar the first times I have made it and although I find the texture of the cake better when the whole quantity of sugar is used, the reduced sugar version was ok as well. If you are worrying that the cake is too sweet, don't, for some reason, although there is so much sugar in it, the cake is not overly sweet. Must be all the bitter chocolate and the coffee.
2. No, you can definitely NOT substitute baking powder for baking soda, they have different effect on the cake. Use always as required by this or any other future recipe.
3. I bake the cakes together because I have a convection oven. I put two racks in the oven and place each cake pan on a rack. If you don't have a convection/hot air oven and the cake pans don't fit together one next to the other (not stacked) in the regular oven, then it is better to split the recipe and mix the batter twice. If one cake waits so long to be baked, it will not rise anymore in the oven, so it is better to only make the batter just before you can put the cake in the oven.
I hope this helps, if you have more question, do ask. 🙂
Thank you so much Adina! I will try it out with help from my friend this weekend, super excited! 🙂
Hello there. I just baked this recipe and it's divine. I would like to know if I can bake it in a bundt pan, considering the thickness of the pan. Will the consistency stay without breaking or getting burnt.
I ask this because my friend's birthday is next month and I will like to bake something really special for her.
Thank you in anticipation of your response.
Hi Ebi. I am so glad you liked the chocolate cake, we love it too and I make it so often. However, I have never baked it in a bundt pan, so I cannot say for sure how that will turn out. Theoratically, it should work. If you notice that the top of the cake gets too dark before the inside of the cake is baked, cover the top very loosely with some aluminum foil, just place the piece of aluminum foil on top of the form without pressing it down or anything.
Hi Adina, now currently making this cake for my dad's birthday tomorrow, this is my first time making it ( hoping it goes right first time as won't have any more ingredients). Slightly concerned that when I asked for cream stabilizer in the supermarket no one knew what it was so I googled it and said the next best thing is gelatine. Would this be ok to use because the last thing I want to do is muck it up because I added the wrong thing. Many thanks.
Hi Tanya. No, that is not gelatine, gelatine would not do well here. Either leave it out, but in this case the heavy cream will be softer, less stable. Or mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon icing sugar together. Use this mixture exactly as the stabilizer, which is beat the cream shortly and very slowly start adding the cornstarch mixture while mixing all the time.
Tanya Rees says
Thao @ In Good Flavor says
I love it when Harry Potter marathons are on. I leave it on all day long as I'm working in the house. This cake looks chocolaty and delectable! I can eat that chocolate cream filling by the spoonful!
Hello Adina, this recipe is fantastic, I am baking the cake now, but I made the ganache e yesterday and put in in the fridge, since I am going to fill it tomorrow do you think my ganache will last until tomorrow? Thank you..
Don't worry, it will be perfectly fine. Happy baking!
Thank you Adina! The cake was perfect but something went wrong with the ganache, I have used what in Italy we call "cooking cream" it is a very heavy cream, maybe TOO heavy... What is the correct percentage of fats in the cream you use for this recipe? Sorry for the weird question...
Hi Alix. The standard cream here has 30% fat, it is used for whipping and cooking. A little more is not bad, less would be more of a problem. What went wrong?
Barbara Key says
Hi there. Just taken the cakes out the tin to finish cooling. I baked at 160 degrees fan oven. The cakes are peaked and not very tall. I probably could lower the oven temperature by 5 degrees but how can I get a higher lift to my cakes. Followed the recipe apart from using caster sugar instead of granulated. Thank you. Barbara
Hi Barbara. The cakes are rather dense and moist, not airy like a sponge cake, so they are not particularly tall, but they should not be completely flat either. Was the oven preheated and did you bake the cakes immediately after stirring the batter? If not, the baking powder will lose its power while waiting for the heat.
I never had problems with peaks when baking this cake, if there is a very light dome, I will let the cake cool on the wire rack upside down, so that the dome will flatten. Lowering the oven temperature (and baking the cake slightly longer to make up for the temperature loss) mostly helps. Generally, the best method I found against the domes on top of the cakes is to use baking strips or wet kitchen paper wrapped in a layer of aluminum foil and fastened to the cake tin with safety pins or something that holds them together. In my experience, this peaks happen mostly when baking nut cakes. I hope this helps.
Barbara Key says
Thanks for your reply. Oven preheated and cakes baked immediately. They do look super moist so looking forward to feedback from my social club as I bake for them. The most peaked one will go on the top and just putting whipped cream between the two layers before a chocolate icing on the top. I don’t think I could possibly cut each layer in two. May give the recipe another go and lower the temperature more, bake for longer and put a circle of parchment paper on top. Thanks again.
You are welcome, Barbara.
Amanda Barker says
I'm really excited to try making this but I have a question about the coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker, does it need to be added? What kind of coffee? I have some decaff at my house for my Mam when she visits, but should I use some of her 'fancy' coffee? What do you recommend for a non coffee drinker?
Hi Amanda. Decaff is fine, you don't need anything special. The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, but you will not actually taste the coffee itself. You could use water instead, but in my experience, you can always taste when a cake was made with water, I don't like using it, generally.
I made a cake but I had trouble with chocolate filling. It was very hard and I couldn’t even beat it with mixer? Do you know why? Should I take it out from fridge earlier before assembling cake?
Hi Karolina. I'm m sorry about that. Yes, you should take the cream out of the fridge earlier, it will soften as it comes to room temperature. I will add that to the recipe.
Hello! This looks delicious! I'm really looking forward to making this cake but I have one concern - the recipe asks for HOT coffee. Last time I made a chocolate cake where recipe asked for hot water it made strange reaction almost immediately after pouring the water into the batter. The batter became super gooey but I baked it anyway. It turned out flat, compact and not edible...
Hi Virginia. It never happened to me and I baked this cake like a million times. I make the coffee before I start with mixing the batter, so it has a few minutes of cool time, I really never noticed anything strange. Happy baking!
Nadira dawood says
Hi!I'm so glad I found this recipe. I'm currently making it for my husband's birthday.. I made the filling yesterday n placed in the refrigerator, I wanted to know how much Stabiliser to add and when to add it?
Hi Nadira. You can add it when you beat the filling, 1 small envelope should be enough. It's not always necessary, it depends on the fat percentage of the heavy cream, if it's over 36% the cream should be stable enough. If the fat percentage is only about 30% (like regular heavy cream in Germany), then you should use some stabilizer.
Nadira dawood says
@Adina,HI!When I first made this cake it was delicious, I made the gateaux with only milk choc... But I have an order for it and used dark and milk choc as stated in the recipe but my ganache isn't looking smooth what do I do? Please help h
I whipped it and added some Stabiliser as well
Hi Nadira. It's strange, maybe it's the brand of chocolate? Or maybe the chocolate just didn't melt well enough in the cream? To avoid clumps that won't melt quickly enough, I often process the chocolate in the food processor, so that everything is small and even. But it's really difficult to say what went wrong from afar. The stabilizer is only to help the ganache keep its shape if too soft, it should not affect the smoothness. Unless you noticed that it happened after you added the stabilizer. Try microwaving a very small amount of the ganache for just 1-2 seconds. Stir well and see if the clumps are gone, in this case, it's probably the chocolate that hasn't melt well enough. Whip the sample to see how it works and if all goes well, you should be able to proceed with the rest, preferably in smaller batches. I can't guarantee that this will work, but it's probably what I would try before I'd start again with a fresh batch of ganache.
Nadira dawood says
@Adina, thank you for replying! Maybe it was the chocolate, I don't eat dark choc but since the recipe called for it I used it & I used Lindt dark choc so you can imagine how upset I was when it Flopped. I tried and failed to rectify the ganache.Oh well, I guess you win some and you loose some. I'm still an amateur and have tons to learn. Thank you so much for the lovely recipe and for sharing, it was delicious when I made it with only milk choc ?! Take care
Nadira dawood says
@Adina, does the ganache need to come to room temp before whipping?
Hi Nadira. Yes, it should be room temperature. If it works better for you with milk chocolate, you can always use that.
back here again and (you can refer to my comment back in 2018 as proof) this is really the best chocolate cake ever!! I didn’t really enjoy chocolate-based desserts before this but now when chocolate cake cravings hit, it’s always the one from this recipe ?
going to be baking this for maybe the 5th time - for me, that’s a lot - for my dad’s birthday this week. sending thanks all the way from Southeast Asia for this recipe!
Wow, Sunny, thank you so much. Reading this is making me happy! It's my number one chocolate cake as well. Just like you, I'm not much into chocolate, but I love this cake!
I have made this cake before and it turned out great, thanks for sharing! I am going to make it again today but didn’t start off yearly with the cream, will it not think if I whip it after 10hrs in the fridge?
Hi, Kalani. 10 hours should be ok, I guess. Good luck!
Hi, I was wondering how far ahead you could make this? Ive been asked to make one but I’m away the weekend that it’s needed so would have to make it 3 days before. Would it last fully assembled in a fridge for that length of time?
Hi Sarah. The cake itself will keep in the fridge for 3 days (well covered in aluminum foil), but the frosting is made with heavy cream, and I can't recommend keeping that for 3 days. You could make the cake and use chocolate buttercream instead of my filling; buttercream keeps better.
@Adina, thanks for your help!
I did not chill cream/chocolate mixture overnight. I made it only 3 hours in advance and whipped it in a chilled mixing bowl with a chilled whisk attachment until fluffy. I also added Kirsch-soaked cherries in center layers before adding cream. It was great! I also only baked mine for about 28 minutes and it was perfect.
Chef Ruthy🤗 says
Is very yummy, moist and very easy to make.
I reduced my sugar quantity because am taking care of elderly people.
Thank you so much.
Looking forward is trying out more of ur recipes🤗
I am happy to hear it! Thank you.
Hi Adina. I just finished the cake. Not tasted yet , it’s for my son -in law birthday .
I made a mistake and added 200 g of both chocolates in double cream. O boy, that was rock hard next day, so I checked the recipe. Boiled another 500ml of cream and mixed it in. Now I have soo much leftovers, but it worked perfectly.
Hi Magdalena. I am glad it worked in the end. I hope you enjoy it!
Megan M says
**Do NOT make this gateau!!!**
Whatever you do- don't make this gateau. If you do, then the people you serve it to will insist on you making it all the time. And you'll already be too busy from spending all your time making it for yourself. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
100/10. Can't wait to make it again. Thank you ❤❤❤
Hi Megan. Thank you so much for the nice feedback. I have the same problem with this cake, everybody insists I bake it, so I rarely have the chance to bake other chocolate cakes.
It's 4am and here I am browsing recipes even though I don't have the required tools and ingredients to make it. Looks very yummy. Bookmarked for now. Hopefully I can taste it in the future.
Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you for the comment, I hope you get to bake the cake soon.