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Member recipe

Chocolate Sponge Cake

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(20 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 8

This is an easy and foolproof recipe for chocolate sponge cake, perfect for an occasion or just a wanted treat!

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  • 6oz/170g unsalted butter, softed, not melted
  • 6oz /170g caster sugar
  • 4oz/115g self-raising flour or plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 large egg
  • 2oz/ 55g cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate
  • pinch of salt
  • For the buttercream
  • 3oz/85g unsalted butter, soften, not melted
  • 6.5oz/185g icing sugar
  • 2oz/55g milk or dark chocolate


    1. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan or gas mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
    2. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy and lighter in colour, using a spoon, hand held mixer or frestanding mixer.
    3. Sieve the cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl and crack one of the eggs into a cup or ramekin. Stiring all the time, add the egg and a third of the flour mixture into the sugar and butter, add the second egg and third of the flour and add the last egg and flour mixture in to the butter and sugar. You should have a smooth thick batter. If your batter is sift, add a splash of milk and stir.
    4. Put even amounts of the mixture into the tins and spread using a knife. Put into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until springy to touch. Take out of the oven at leave them in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    5. Meanwhile, make the buttercream by melting the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over barely simmering water. Leave to cool but make sure the chocolate stays in liquid form. Put the butter into a bowl and add half of the sieved icing sugar and mix. Add the rest of the suger with the chocolate and stir to combine. If you icing is runny, put it in the fridge to set up.
    6. To assemble your cake, put a small dollop of icing onto a plate and put one of your cooled cakes on top. Spread the top of the cake with half of the icing with a knife but don't spread to the very edge. Put your second cooled cake on top and pusk very, very gently down and spread the remaining icing on top.

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (25)

AmberHerbert03's picture

This was my first time trying it and I hadn't read the comments to see first as I knew that there would be some mixed opinions. I went for it anyway and I followed it step by step and used all of the corrected ingredients but it just didn't rise one bit!! I had to make two to get a good height but I had to bin my first one because it didn't rise and it stuck to the pan! Then on my second on I went to level it with my cake leveller and it fell apart! I will not be using the recipe again!

Dashing Dace's picture

I started this recipe before reading the reviews. I was surprised it was only 170g recipe when using 20cm sandwich tins and I would say this is the problem with the flat cakes. There is too little mixture in the tins. Smells & looks good but if doing again I would probably make it a 225g butter/sugar/flour recipe to fit the tins better!
I have now used exact same recipe to make cupcakes, this recipe makes 24 cupcakes (not muffins) perfectly. I baked in oven same temperature for 15 minutes & they are perfect. I'm going to ice with buttercream & I think there will be some happy birthday boys.

Millycents's picture

Unfortunately I only read the comments below after I had made 2 failed attempts at this cake. If you follow the instructions exactly it does not rise. I used all the ingredients last night trying to make the cake and today is my kids birthday party and I have 4 flat chocolate disks to show for it. I now see several other people had the same outcome so would suggest you try another recipe.

Jeanlwk's picture

This is the most yummy chocolate cupcakes. Rise to perfection! Thank you for the recipe. Would definitely recommend it to my friends.

hcs927's picture

Made this in 2/3 proportions and into 12 medium sized cupcakes instead of 1 big cake. Turned out lovely, soft and sweet. Didn't bother with the buttercream, just topped with Nutella instead.

Debs.B's picture

Followed the recipe absolutely and I too found that the cake did not rise - wish I had read the last two comments before I started! Lovely taste and texture though.

BellaBasset's picture

See my tip posted today

Kernowcts's picture

Does anyone ever proof read these recipes - it's so full of spelling and grammatical errors eg:
Butter, softed not melted

2. frestanding
3. Stiring and 'If your batter is sift'
5. suger 'put it in the fridge to set up'
6 'pusk very gently down'

amy3971's picture

It's a user submitted recipe, not a BBC one. It says so at the top of the page. The BBC only moderate them, not spell check them.

SuJay's picture

I too found the cake didn't rise. I think maybe it's because too much flour is substituted with cocoa so reducing the rising agent. Better if the cocoa was in addition to the flour? Ps. Tasted ok! It all got eaten!

HunnyBunny88's picture

I tried this recipe two times. Each time the cake would not rise though I precisely followed the instructiona concerning temperature and baking powder. Apparently not so foolproof!

daj200's picture

The timings for this recipe are all wrong! They forgot to include 15 mins to scrape the cake mixture from the kitchen walls after an electric whisk incident and the 30 minute wash cycle to remove icing sugar from my top!! Will have to wait for feedback from work colleagues tomorrow but this cake had better be worth the stress to this newbie cake baker! ;0)

drewerose's picture

Delicious and super easy to make, even for us newbies.

Dazgm's picture

Perfect! Proof that good baking doesn't have to be complicated.

darcycraig21's picture

good recipe, really easy for children to make

dohadi's picture

BBC, I am really disappointed that this recipe was not at the very least, proof-read! SO many typos ...

amy3971's picture

It's a user submitted recipe, not a BBC one. It says so at the top of the page. The BBC only moderate them, not spell check them.

nissanking's picture

Thanks. I'm useless at making cakes but this recipe worked for me.

misspowderblue's picture

I used this recipe for a Giant Cookie Mould. I had to double the quantities but it worked out really well.

queenofthecols's picture

This just works really well. Just as tasty (if not more so) than any of the more complicated recipes.

It freezes really well too! Just wait til it's completely cool once turned out of the tin. Put a circle of greaseproof paper either side of each cake round (so you'll have 3 circles for two cake rounds stacked on top of each other). Put the whole lot in a zip-seal freezer bag and put it somewhere flat in the freezer.

It doesn't have to be completely defrosted before icing either so great if you're in a hurry! :-)


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Tips (3)

BellaBasset's picture

This is simply the classic Victoria sponge mix, with a proportion of the flour substituted with cocoa. The principle is one egg to 2oz of butter, sugar and flour. Try weighing your eggs in the shell, eg 3 large eggs weigh about 7oz, whilst 4, medium weigh 8.7oz. Then use butter, sugar and flour /cocoa in the same proportion.
I use baking marge, one quarter cocoa to self raising sponge flour, add half a teaspoon of baking powder and half a tablespoon of milk for each egg. Grease and flour and line the baking tins with baking parchment.
Before levelling off the mixture weigh the tins to make sure they are even weight. I bake at 160 fan. 15 mins for 2 egg mix in individual cases(12). 25 mins for sponges 3 egg mix and 30 for sponges using 4 egg mix.
(The cocoa is heavy which is why I find it best to use sponge flour, and add milk and baking
powder. It will rise and drop back slightly as it cools)

Mary_Berry's picture

I found the amount of buttercream was not enough for both the layer and the topping so I used it all for the middle filling and simply topped the cake with a dusting of icing sugar.

woody35's picture

I made this cake exactly as the recipe said - but is only about 1cm thick - more like a biscuit!. Does anyone have any tips as all the cakes I make are flat.