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

Chocolate sponge cake

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(95 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. While cow…

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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9th May, 2015
Perfect! Proof that good baking doesn't have to be complicated.
16th Nov, 2014
good recipe, really easy for children to make
15th Oct, 2014
BBC, I am really disappointed that this recipe was not at the very least, proof-read! SO many typos ...
21st Jan, 2016
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
4th Oct, 2014
Thanks. I'm useless at making cakes but this recipe worked for me.
8th Jun, 2014
I used this recipe for a Giant Cookie Mould. I had to double the quantities but it worked out really well.
queenofthecols's picture
3rd Apr, 2014
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! :-)
13th Oct, 2013
Great recipe - didnt get to try any myself but went down well with the family.
25th Sep, 2013
Easy cake to make, my only adjustment was to double the chocolate (if not using 70%) in the buttercream and add a dessert spoon chocolate powder and a splash of single cream. Scrummy and very light.
11th Jun, 2013
Fantastic easy to follow reciepe my best attempt at a homemade chocolate cake was lovely and light and tasted very chocolatey. Big hit with my boys not much left since they came home from school! Thank you x


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