Chocolate sponge cake on a white plate with two slices cut out

Chocolate sponge cake

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(186 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 10

Good Food reader Eve Scott shares this easy, foolproof recipe for chocolate sponge cake, perfect for a birthday, afternoon tea or weekend treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal435
  • fat26g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars36g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g self-raising flour (or same quantity plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder)
  • 1-2 tsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

For the buttercream

  • 50g dark chocolate (or milk chocolate if you prefer)
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 85g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g icing sugar, sieved


  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter and line two 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment.

  2. Use a handheld electric whisk or a freestanding mixer to beat 175g softened unsalted butter and 175g golden caster sugar together in a bowl until creamy and light in colour. Then add 1 large egg, still mixing.

  3. Sieve 50g cocoa powder, 100g self-raising flour and a pinch of salt into another bowl and add a third of that to your wet ingredients.

  4. Once combined, add 1 more large egg and another third of the flour mixture and work that in.

  5. Then add 1 more large egg and the remaining flour and beat until you have a smooth thick batter. If the batter is stiff, stir in a splash of milk to loosen it.

  6. Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

  7. Bake for 20-25 mins until springy to the touch. Take out of the oven and leave in the tins for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. Meanwhile, make the buttercream by melting 50g dark or milk chocolate in the microwave, or in a bowl over just simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool. 

  9. Beat 85g softened unsalted butter and half of the 175g sieved icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the remaining icing sugar and melted chocolate and mix together. If the icing is runny, chill in the fridge until it is firm but still spreadable.

  10. To assemble the cake, put a small dollop of icing onto a plate and put one of the cakes on top. Spread the top of the cake with half the icing, leaving a 1cm border around the edge.

  11. Put the second cake on top and push down very gently. Spread the remaining icing over the top.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Daryl Brooke's picture
Daryl Brooke
4th Jul, 2020
Absolutely loved this recipe. I used the all in one method (put all ingredients in a bowl and used electric mixer). The cake is a little smaller than a normal sponge cake but the slices were sufficient when cut into 10 pieces. I used cherry jam and slightly sweetened whipped double cream for the filling. It was delicious. Will definitely be making this again.
Luca Joyce
3rd Jul, 2020
I made this for my grandfathers birthday and everyone loved it! I would really recommend it.
zenya s
24th Jun, 2020
This was a terrible! It tasted disgusting. Never try this recipe.
12th Jun, 2020
Awful. find another recipe. Rose okay although not great, but since coming out of the oven collapsed and shrank away from the tin edges a good centmetre all around. Had the consistency of rubber by the time it had cooled. Went in the bin without even trying to ice it because there was no way we were eating it!
26th May, 2020
This is a terrible recipe. Made for daughters birthday and was so disappointed. Didn't rise at all and very dense. There just isn't enough batter for the size of tins recommended. The buttercream isn't great either. Overly sweet (possibly due to using milk chocolate?) but very thick and grainy too. Made during lockdown so didn't have enough ingredients to remake using different recipe. Wish I had read reviews first.
NGK Firm's picture
NGK Firm
20th May, 2020
Loved you recipe! Will surely try! Checkout the inspired: BASIC CHOCOLATE CAKE without cream
30th Apr, 2020
Really disappointed in the recipe, I had the same problem as a number of other people, the sponge did not rise. Usually I find recipes on this website fool proof but not this time.
poodlequeen's picture
22nd Apr, 2020
I melted dark chocolate and added it to the batter as well. After, I drizzled the cake with a mixture of sugar water, chocolate liquor and cocoa, which kept it extra moist as I found it a little crumbly at first. I also added some extra baking soda for a better rise.
Howard Cheesman's picture
Howard Cheesman
19th Apr, 2020
The cake turned out great. I followed the recipe exactly, I did add a little more butter but and melted chocolate to the buttercream mix though. It produced a lovely moist cake.
15th Apr, 2020
Followed this recipe exactly. Didn't rise much at all...really flat sponge. Really disappointed. Would not recommend using this recipe!


Catherine Fritsch's picture
Catherine Fritsch
5th Mar, 2020
How long does it last in a tin?
Henry Hague's picture
Henry Hague
3rd May, 2019
Does it contain nuts ?
goodfoodteam's picture
4th May, 2019
Thanks for your question. No, this recipe does not contain nuts. If someone has a severe nut allergy, it is important to check all your ingredients to ensure they don't have a 'this may contain traces of nuts' warning on the pack. We have lots of nut-free recipes on the site, including this nut-free collection: If you're looking for recipes including nuts, put your favourite type in the search box and all the recipes containing them will come up.
Claire H's picture
Claire H
19th Jun, 2020
Increase the ingredients to 200g sugar, 200g butter, 150g flour, 50g cocoa, 4 medium eggs, 1tsp baking powder. This makes two good size sponges. For an extra chocolatey flavour add a shot of coffee (1tsp mixed with 25ml of boiling water), you can't taste the coffee, but it brings out the chocolate flavour. It also makes the cake slightly more moist.
24th Feb, 2016
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)
6th Aug, 2015
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.
27th Jul, 2015
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.
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