Recreate the Great British Bake Off’s chocolate ganache cake with expert recipe

The Great British Bake Off made its season 14 debut last night on Channel 4, with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith reprising their roles as judges.

It saw 12 contestants take on “cake week” whereby they attempted a vertical layer cake, a raspberry-topped chocolate fudge cake, and a showstopper cake shaped like an animal.

While all the contestants have some level of baking expertise under their belts and still get it wrong, one expert has claimed that recreating the bakes is easy with the right technique – in particular, the chocolate ganache cake which so many got wrong on last night’s episode.

Speaking to, baking expert and founder of Candy’s Cupcakes, Candice Bannister said: “This year’s contestants appear confident and have varying backgrounds. I believe this will make an interesting watch this year.

“The first episode did not fail to entertain! Cakes collapsing, buttercream curdling and ganache splitting only highlight that there are certain areas the contestants need to improve upon throughout the series.”

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Those hoping to give the chocolatey bake a go themselves should look no further than Candice’s simplified sponge recipe which is easy to follow.

Her method is quick and easy as the sponge can be made by adding all of the ingredients into the bowl before baking.

The trickiest part is whipping up a ganache to cover the cake, though the baking expert shared her top tips to master this too.

She said: “Don’t refrigerate ganache, leave it to cool at room temperature to maintain the texture and shine. And remember, when it comes to flavour, less is more with overpowering ingredients such as peanuts and coffee.”

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Chocolate sponge recipe

  • 300g plain flour (sieved)
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 60g cocoa powder (sieved)
  • One teaspoon of baking powder (sieved)
  • One-quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (sieved)
  • Two eggs
  • 215ml whole milk
  • 145ml coffee
  • 75ml vegetable oil (rapeseed)
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract


Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, ensuring that the flour, cocoa powder and raising agents are all sifted in to prevent any lumps.

Mix with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth in texture and add to a lined cake tin, leaving one or two inches of space at the top of the pan.

Bake at 180C until the sponge bounces back to touch, or when a couple of crumbs come out onto a skewer that has been inserted into the centre of the cake.

Leave to cool completely, then decorate with buttercream or ganache.

Candice also revealed her predictions for the series ahead, suggesting that Nicky is a potential winner based on the first episode.

She said: “Dan has caught my eye as a potential winner. Being from Cheshire, a local contestant, I was impressed by his Rhubarb vertical layered cake. It looked impressive in its design and he demonstrated technical skill when making a crème patisserie to finish the cake.

“Saku brought a delicious range of flavours to the tent including a lemon and blueberry cake. However, she failed to impress the judges on flavour when presenting the most artistic turtle cake I’ve seen on the show. Style over substance is a common mistake in the baking industry. It’s important to get the foundation correct before decorating.

“Personally, Nicky is one to watch. Her chocolate and rum Beaver animal cake looked fantastic but unfortunately, the judges decided that the sponge was too dry. I think Nicky will bring some fantastic creations to GBBO this season as well as some giggles.”

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