Bake this chocolate sponge cake, then check out our chocolate fudge cake, chocolate birthday cake, chocolate drip cake and chocolate orange cake. Looking for something lighter? Try our healthy chocolate cake.

It's always useful to be able to chuck a sponge cake together. Purists may argue that an airy cake is best made in stages, starting with creaming the butter and sugar, but an extra teaspoon of baking powder makes up for any shortfall in lightness.

Make sure your butter is really soft or you won’t be able to beat the mixture without getting lumps. And line your cake tins before you start making the cake – if the mix has to wait while you find tins, baking paper, etc, it may lose some of its lightness.

We prefer to use ordinary dark chocolate, which has a little added sweetness, for icing our sponge cake – you can use 70% chocolate, but you may need to sweeten the icing with a little sugar if it tastes very strong and bitter.


  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp 70% cocoa powder
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened completely
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp  milk
  • 300ml pot double cream


  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 100g chopped dark chocolate, plus extra to decorate


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180c/fan160c/gas4. Line and butter 2 x 18cm sandwich tins. Beat the cake ingredients (not the double cream) together in a bowl, add the milk if the mixture is too stiff – it should drop off a spoon when tapped. Divide the mixture between the tins and level the tops.

  • STEP 2

    Bake on the same shelf for 20-25minutes or until the sponges are risen, slightly shrunk away from the edge of the tin and spring back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Cool completely before filling.

  • STEP 3

    To make the icing, melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir well, then leave until it’s cool enough to spread easily and will run a little.

  • STEP 4

    Whip the cream and use it to sandwich together the cakes. Spread chocolate ganache over the top of the cake, letting some run over the edge. Decorate with chocolate curls.

3 ways to change the flavour of your sponge cake

White chocolate and raspberry: omit the cocoa and leave the flour at 175g. Stir a handful of white chocolate chips into the mix before baking. In the icing, swap dark chocolate for white, melt it without the butter and fold it into 150g half-fat mascarpone instead. Add a layer of fresh raspberries to the filling.

Chocolate and orange: make the cake mix and add the zest of 2 oranges and a handful of dark chocolate chips. Add the zest of an orange and a little icing sugar to the whipped cream.

Millionaires’ caramel: add 1 tbsp extra cocoa powder to the cake mix, swap the cream filling for dulche de leche or carnation caramel.

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