Islak Kek: Turkish chocolate cake with chocolate sauce

moist chocolate cake turkish chocolate cake

Premiere: It's the first time that the blog is really chocolaty! But it's a real chocolaty one - we're making up for seven months without chocolate. This Turkish chocolate cake really packs a punch. It's a double chocolate cake, or as you would say in Turkish, a "double islak kek". Islak Kek, i.e. Islak cake = wet cake.


Cocoa and chocolate have less of a place in traditional Turkish cuisine. According to some accounts, chocolate only found its way into Turkey in the 17th century. At that time, Italian travelers had introduced it to Izmir, on the Aegean coast. However, the taste of the chocolate was not well received.


Instead, chocolate dissolved in water (aka hot chocolate) was soon regarded as a medicinal miracle weapon. The small chocolate tablets, which were sold in pharmacies from the 18th century onwards, were supposed to provide energy when dissolved in water and strengthen the immune system. It was not until the end of the 19th century that chocolate became increasingly popular as a sweet, until Turkey's first chocolate factory started production in 1927.


Today, the chocolate shelves in supermarkets are wide-ranging and you can find products from Turkish as well as international and Swiss brands. Nevertheless, it is still the case today that Turkish migrants (have to) arrive in Turkey with kilos of chocolate during their summer vacation. Turkish chocolate bars are actually really good... chocolate bars from white to dark with whole pistachios inside - we mean you.


As chocolate became more and more popular, so did Turkish desserts with chocolate. The Islak Kek (translated: wet cake) is a prime example of this. After all, it is a Turkish chocolate cake that only becomes a wet cake thanks to the additional chocolate sauce that the cake is completely covered in. Other chocolatey Turkish desserts include aglayan cake (a variation of Turkish wet cake), supangle (a type of chocolate pudding) and various chocolate cookies. Some classics are also given an upgrade with a chocolate version. For example, cold baklava with chocolate or Sekerpare with cocoa. 


Back to the Islak cake...

Anyone who loves chocolate will love the Turkish chocolate cake with chocolate sauce. And anyone who eats Turkish chocolate cake must love chocolate. There is no other way. Because the Islak cake is so chocolaty that your chocolate tank will certainly be full for a while. On the other hand, the moist chocolate cake tastes GRANDIOS without question.


First you mix a simple chocolate batter. As is usual with Turkish cakes, this is prepared with oil. Butter is hardly ever used in cakes here. It only takes a few minutes to prepare the batter. When the Turkish chocolate cake comes out of the oven, all you have to do is stir the chocolate sauce briefly on the stove. Cut the cake, pour the sauce over it and the moist chocolate cake is ready.


moist chocolate cake turkish chocolate cake

The secret of a good Turkish chocolate cake with chocolate sauce

...is that the chocolate sauce must be completely soaked up. We have also had a few chocolate cake dilemmas, of course with other Islak cake recipes. Once, for example, the sauce turned out super thick and stuck to the Islak cake as a foamy layer. And you certainly know how disappointing it is when the cake just doesn't turn out. On the one hand because of the ingredients. On the other hand, because you were just SO in the mood for cake. But that's what our recipe for Turkish wet cake is for.


It should be said from the outset that the chocolate cake recipe is not exactly lean. Keyword: oil. Lots of oil. And sugar. Nevertheless, our Islak cake is still comparatively light. Many, many years ago, when we were still having fun in mom's kitchen and baked a Turkish chocolate cake for the first time, mom just watched in amazement as jars of oil ended up in the pan. So there really are people who, in addition to the oil in the chocolate cake, also pour a good two glasses of oil into the sauce. That doesn't mean that very little oil ends up in our moist chocolate cake. But we promise that it is less.


Original Islak Kek vs. our recipe

We don't want to claim that our Islak cake is not original. However, we would like to point out that many people skim off some of the batter for the Turkish chocolate cake and use it to make the sauce. Some use the egg-oil-sugar-cocoa base for the chocolate cake as a sauce. However, this also means that the chocolate sauce contains raw eggs. It doesn't have to be. That's why our Islak Kek makes do with a simple and quickly mixed chocolate sauce. 


Islak Kek recipe: Turkish chocolate cake with chocolate sauce


  • 3 eggs
  • 170 grams/ little less than one cup sugar
  • 200 ml/ little less than one cup milk
  • 200 ml/  little less than one cup sunflower oil
  • 4 full tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 180 gram/ 1,5 cups flour
  • 1 bag vanilla sugar
  • 1 bag baking powder

For the chocolate sauce

  • 300 ml/ little more than 1 cup milk 
  • 100 ml/ half a cup sunflower oil
  • 150 g/ little less than a cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking cocoa
  • a pinch of salt
chocolate cake with chocolate sauce
chocolate cake with chocolate sauce


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180 C°/360 F°. Beat the eggs with the sugar until frothy.

Step 2: Stir the oil and milk into the batter.

Step 3: Now add the flour, vanilla sugar, cocoa and baking powder to the chocolate batter. Stir everything together and pour the cake batter into a greased baking dish. We used one with a length of approx. 30 cm. You can also bake the Turkish chocolate cake in other tins. Just make sure it's not too small. Bake the cake for approx. 35 minutes. Don't forget to test with a skewer.

Step 4: Once the Turkish chocolate cake is ready, take it out of the oven and get straight to work on the chocolate sauce. To do this, mix all the ingredients in a small pan until smooth and boil the chocolate sauce on the stove for approx. 3 minutes.

Step 5: Now cut the hot chocolate cake into pieces and pour the chocolate sauce over it. Wait until the chocolate sauce has been absorbed and decorate as desired with grated coconut, ground pistachios, strawberries etc.

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