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

Chocolate sponge cake

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(110 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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Vadim Gajek's picture
Vadim Gajek
24th Jan, 2020
Donnelly, Brandon G Student's picture
Donnelly, Brand...
9th Dec, 2019
This was sooo. Awesome! :D
6th Nov, 2019
This is an excellent and very easy. I see people are commenting that this is a stodgy cake. It is not, its nice and light. I do sift everything through a sieve though. My daughter loves it especially when it is covered in unicorns and fairy sprinkles too.
18th Sep, 2019
Very chocolaty. I wanted this for a tray bake recipe so increased quantities by 50% for my size of tin. It rose well. Didn't do buttercream icing as it is for lunch boxes and its a bit messy to pack up. Dusted with icing sugar, cut in slices, it kept well and froze well. I might cut back on the cocoa powder and add some choc chips next time.
5th Aug, 2019
Too sweet and stodgy horrible cake. I followed the recipe it is too heavy and doesn't rise.vthe picture obviously has more buttercream than cake. I won't be Making this again
12th May, 2019
Didn’t have any baking tins so used this recipe for cupcakes, turned out really nicely. Raised well, very fluffy and rich.
15th Apr, 2019
Not a great cake. Didn't rise much and is lacking in fluffiness. Not sure if I'll give it a second shot.
Amber.wright's picture
15th Apr, 2019
good clear instructions and my cake turned out great!
Matilda Hall's picture
Matilda Hall
12th Apr, 2019
I decided to add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the buttercream icing which contrasted the chocolate nicely and made it less overpoweringly sweet! I would recommend doing this and maybe adding a few drops of green food colouring as well. :)
10th Feb, 2019
I wanted to experiment with this recipe so I decided to put it in cupcake cases instead of one big cake ! It actually worked really well and rose better in the cases than in a tin!


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.
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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