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

Chocolate sponge cake

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(163 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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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!
6th Feb, 2019
I wouldn't recommend this recipe and won't use it again. Cake mix quantity insufficient to make a reasonable cake and buttercream tasted awful - had to more than double the quantity of chocolate and add milk.
Ms M
27th Nov, 2017
Despite the mixed reviews, this recipe turned out wonderful! I used small rectangular tins instead of round ones though. The sponge was very light and the buttercream was the perfect consistency. Will be making it again very soon.
30th Sep, 2017
Recipe doesn't have baking powder in it, even though it has a lot of cocoa powder which will cause the cake to rise less, so you need to add extra raising agent. I added 1tsp baking powder and got a nice rise on my cakes, so I would definitely recommend using it. Other than that, it's a nice recipe.


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