Chocolate cloud cake

Nigella's rich dark chocolate cake contrasts with the lightly whipped cream topping in this decadent creation
By Nigella Lawson
Chocolate cloud cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-12
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 250 g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 eggs, :2 whole, 4 separated
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cointreau, optional
  • 1 oranges, grated zest only, optional

For the cream topping

  • 500 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau, optional
  • ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, for sprinkling

Tips and Suggestions

You can make this into an Easter Nest Cake by folding 200g melted chocolate into the cream topping and dotting with the sugar-coated eggs instead of the cocoa. Leave the Cointreau out of both the cake and the cream.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Melt the chocolate either in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in short 20 second bursts in a microwave, then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

3. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.

4. In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.

5. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites.

6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in it's tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

7. When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here.

8. Whip the cream until soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff.

9. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder.

Can't resist chocolate and cake? We think they are a match made in baking heaven too, here are our favourite chocolate cake recipes.

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