Chocolate sponge cake recipe

(5313 ratings)

Fill this chocolate sponge cake with cream and raspberries. The ultimate cake for sharing...

Chocolate sponge cake
Preparation Time30 mins (including cooling time)
Cooking Time30 mins (may need 5 mins extra)
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories681 Kcal34%
Sugar47.5 g53%
Fat43.3 g62%
Saturated Fat26.6 g133%
Salt1.1 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein7.4 g15%
Carbohydrates63.7 g25%
Salt1.1 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Our chocolate sponge cake is mouthwateringly rich and indulgent.

There are so many recipes for chocolate sponge cake, but this is honestly one of our absolute favourites. The sponge is deep and rich, with just the right crumbly moistness. The two layers can be sandwiched together with cream and fruit, or just with an extra layer of icing, and the top and sides are dowsed in the most delicious thick ganache. We like it to look rough and touselled, but if you prefer a very modern, smooth finish, you can achieve it with a hot spatula or palette knife. This cake is perfect for birthdays, parties, special occasions and any time you're having a cuppa.


  • 175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • 50g (2oz) cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate icing:

  • 200g (8oz) icing sugar
  • 50g (2oz) cocoa powder
  • 200g (8oz) butter
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

For a cream and fruit filling (optional):

  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 175g raspberries or strawberries




  1. Grease a 20cm (8in) round or square cake tin and line with greaseproof paper. Top tip: Watch our how to line a round cake tin video
  2. Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter into a large bowl, beat until light and pale. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until you leave a trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted (with an electric mixer, about 5 mins).
  4. Sift the flour. Gently fold half the flour into the mixture. When it is well combined, fold in the other half of the flour along with the cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin.
  6. Bake the chocolate sponge cake for about 30-35 mins or until a cake skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Turn out onto a wire rack and remove the greaseproof paper.
  8. Turn the chocolate sponge cake upside down so the top becomes the bottom. Slice it horizontally and fill with whipped cream and fruit - raspberries or strawberries work well. You can decorate the top with more fruit.
  9. Or, for die hard chocoholics, make our quick, chocolate icing. Use an electric whisk to beat together all the ingredients until you have a smooth, light icing. Use half of it in the middle of the chocolate sponge cake and the other half on top. Decorate with raspberries if you fancy.

Top tips for making a chocolate sponge cake

This chocolate sponge cake can be decorated simply with the chocolate icing, or you can go further. Why not top it cake with sprinkles, fresh fruit such as strawberries or raspberries, and dust with icing sugar for a special occasion. If you’re not a fan of the chocolate icing swap for Nutella or chocolate spread instead.

How do you make a moist chocolate cake?

Our two top tips for making sure your cake comes out moist fluffy are:
1. Don't overmix the ingredients. Fold them together lightly to ensure the best texture.

2. Check your oven temperature - and we don't mean on the oven! Use an oven thermometer to make sure the oven, and the exact shelf you put the cake on, are the right temperature, then you'll know how long to cook it for so that it doesn't dry out.

How do you stop a chocolate cake from burning?

It can be tempting if you're in a rush to up the temperature and hurry the cake along, but this will just mean you burn the top before the middle is cooked. Make sure to cook the cake in the middle of the oven, and make adjustments depending on whether your oven is a fan oven or not. 

How can I keep this cake at its best for longer?

Make sure you store the cake in a sealed container that is as small as it can be while still fitting the cake inside properly. You want as little air around it as possible, as this will cause it to dry out. As the cake gets eaten and the leftovers get smaller, store them in a smaller container. Place the cake on a piece of foil and fold it up over any cut sections to stop the air getting to them. Don't store them in the fridge.

How do I stop the cake crumbling away as I frost it?

Make sure the cake is cooled to room temperature before you attempt to frost it. 

What can you put in the middle of a chocolate sponge cake?

Why did my cake sink in the middle?

The most likely cause is underbaking, so check your oven temperatures and make sure the cake is ready before removing it from the oven by sticking a skewer into the middle and ensuring that it comes out clean.

Our recipe sandwiches the chocolate sponges together with the chocolate frosting but if you’d like to opt for something different strawberry, blackberry, or raspberry jam would work just as well. You could also opt for fresh cream whipped until light and fluffy for a dessert cake. As above you could choose to fill your chocolate sponge cake with Nutella or even opt for a peanut butter spread.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies