Jo Wheatley’s Chocolate layer cake with passion fruit icing

Chocolate layer cake with passion fruit icing

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(3 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr plus cooling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 8 - 10

Great British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley shares her never-fail sponge recipe in this layered cake with a zingy butter icing

Nutrition and extra info

  • sponge only
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving (10)

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  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 75g self-raising flour
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g cocoa
  • 200ml soured cream, at room temperature
  • 50g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

For the butter icing

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 150g full-fat cream cheese
  • 3 very ripe passion fruits

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  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking parchment. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy – this is easiest using a freestanding machine or an electric hand-held mixer. Gradually add the egg, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
  2. Sift both flours, the bicarbonate of soda and the cocoa into a bowl. Add half the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture and fold in using a large metal spoon. In another bowl, mix the soured cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Add half to the cake batter and fold in. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and soured cream, and mix until smooth. Pour into the cake tin. Bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack and removing the baking parchment.
  3. Meanwhile, make the icing. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale and softly whipped. Add the icing sugar and whisk until smooth, then add the cream cheese and whisk again. Sieve the juice from the passion fruits, reserving the pulp and seeds. Add the juice to the icing.
  4. To assemble, split the cake into 3 even layers and place the bottom layer on a cake stand or plate. Spread one-third of the icing over the bottom layer, swirling out to the edges. Repeat with the remaining 2 layers of cake and icing, finishing with a layer of icing. Top with the passion fruit pulp and seeds. Serve straight away. Will keep for 3 days, chilled – but bring back to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2014

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Munchies41's picture
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Amazing cake. Not only does it look the part but it tastes the part! Made this for a special 50th party and everyone loved it. Chocolate and passion fruit is a winning combination.

Rebemness's picture

This cake is absolutely gorgeous. Put it in the oven for exactly an hour and it was perfect! Used Philadelphia Full Fat Original for the cream cheese and only cut it in to two layers instead of three as I wasn't feeling confident enough! On reflection, it would have been fine to cut into three!

I also have the original magazine this was in which says how to make it how it is in that photo as an addition at the end of the recipe.
It says: 'we split the mixture between 2 x 18cm cake tins and baked for 40 mins.Once cool, trim the rounded sponge tops and split each cake in half. Make 1 1/2 times the icing, spoon some into a disposable piping bag and snip a hole 1-2 cm wide. Pipe peaks of icing over each layer, starting round the edge. Flip 1 sponge to ice the uncut side; this will be your top. Stack the layers and drizzle the top with passion fruit.'

Happy Baking! :D

cocojo's picture
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I followed the recipe exactly and the sponge was well done and slightly dry. One hour was too long in my oven. The combination of chocolate and passionfruit is marriage made in heaven! Delicious. I would make again but reduce the cooking time.

katohnine's picture

"Bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean."

Have you ever calibrated your oven? Perhaps it runs too hot so you should have followed Jo's advice by checking it with a skewer or toothpick before the hour mark. I always do this at least 15 minutes before a recipe says it will be done.

pimlicoman's picture

The photo and the instructions simply don't match. Love the look of the cake in the pic. Please let us have proper instructions on how to make this.

katohnine's picture

It's pretty self-explanatory, don't you think? I'd just make two cake layers and slice each layer in half. Then I'd fill a pastry bag with the icing and make little "kiss" shapes as shown in the photo. Adapting the recipe to fit the picture isn't hard. Just create what you see.

rox206's picture

I have noticed that the instructions say to cut the cake in 3 layers, but the picture shows 4 layers....