Perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake

~ Moist and perfectly leveled – this Chocolate Sponge Cake recipe is the one to have. Find out my tips and tricks to perfect sponge cake every time. ~

Chocolate Sponge Cake - Fluffy, moist and perfectly leveled – this sponge cake recipe is the one to have. Find out my tips and tricks to perfect sponge cake every time. - By Let the Baking Begin Blog - @Letthebakingbgn

There’s not a recipe I get asked for more often than a regular sponge cake. A lot of people have a hard time with this simple, but delicious classic that is part of so many delicious cake recipes.

What is Sponge Cake made with?

Traditionally sponge cake is made with eggs, sugar and flour and nothing more. For a novice baker, that recipe requires a bit of finesse as you need to know what the eggs are supposed to look like once they’re whipped to the proper consistency, otherwise the cake might not rise, or just deflate as you remove it from the oven.

The recipe that I am sharing today is the one you should use until you have the skills to make the 3 ingredient sponge cake successfully.

It uses baking powder to ensure a consistent rise and melted butter for just the slightest amount of moisture that a cake might lose while baking.

I hope the step by step photos and thorough instructions give you the confidence you need to attempt this awesome cake.

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Yields: One 8 inch round, 2-inch tall cake layer

Chocolate Sponge Cake Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, large, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted  (for white sponge cake, omit the cocoa powder below and increase the flour from 3/4 cup to 1 cup total)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Equipment:

How to make the Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • Prep: Gather your ingredients and measure them before starting.
    • Sift or combine together the flour, cocoa powder, and the baking powder together.
    • Melt the butter.
    • For easy cleanup and removal of the cake, line the baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

      Alternatively you can cut out a parchment paper circle to place on the bottom of the pan as well. Buying the pre-cut parchment circles can also be a good idea (I have used these Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans 8 inch diameter, 24 pack that I bought on amazon.com)

Chocolate Sponge Cake - Fluffy, moist and perfectly leveled – this sponge cake recipe is the one to have. Find out my tips and tricks to perfect sponge cake every time. - By Let the Baking Begin Blog - @Letthebakingbgn

  • Wet the cake strip and fasten it around the bottom of the cake pan. This will guarantee that your cake will come out even without the unsightly dome that you will need to level off before assembling the cake. I have been using the cake strips for years now and all of my cakes come out perfectly level.
  • Whisk the eggs until foamy, then add the sugar and continue whipping for about 15 minutes.
    • When you lift the whisk from the mixture the ribbon should not disappear right away. Not whipping the egg mixture long enough will yield a dense cake.

  • Add the flour mixture in halves and fold it in carefully. Next, add the butter and fold it until completely incorporated.

For this amount of batter, you can either use one baking pan and then split the 2-inch tall baked cake into two 1 inch tall layers later, or you can bake it in two separate pans at the same time which will give you two separate 1-inch tall cake layers.

  • Pour the batter into the baking pan and swirl the pan quickly back and forth a couple of times to even out the batter.

I really like that I do not have to waste any cake by cutting off the dome. In theory, you can make your own by making a strip out of a kitchen towel, wetting it, wrapping the cake pan in it and then pinning the ends with a safety pin, but I didn’t want to go through the hassle so I just ordered the Cake Strips on Amazon.

Baking the Chocolate Cake

  • Bake in a preheated to 350F oven, on the middle rack for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not open the oven sooner than 15 minutes into the baking process. Shut the oven door slowly, not to disturb the rise of the cake.
  • Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and allow to sit inside the pan for 5 minutes.
  • Then, invert the cake onto a cooling rack,  it straight onto the cooling rack, but peel off the foil or parchment paper and allow to cool completely before using it in cakes.

Chocolate Sponge Cake - Fluffy, moist and perfectly leveled – this sponge cake recipe is the one to have. Find out my tips and tricks to perfect sponge cake every time. - By Let the Baking Begin Blog - @Letthebakingbgn

How to split the cake into two layers

  • To split the cake into two even layers, put the palm of your left hand (if you’re right-handed) on top of the cake; with you right hand score the side of the cake with a long serrated knife halfway up the height of the cake all around the side about 1/2 an inch deep into the cake. Continue to rotate the cake with your left hand and cutting about 1 inch into the cake; keep doing this until the cake is split into two separate layers.

How to Split a Chocolate Sponge Cake

4.72 from 7 votes
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Perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake

 Chocolate Sponge Cake - Fluffy, moist and perfectly leveled – this sponge cake recipe is the one to have. Find out my tips and tricks to perfect sponge cake every time. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Russian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 238 kcal
Author Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs , large, room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar granulated
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter , melted

Dry Ingredients

  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour , sifted (for white sponge cake, omit the cocoa powder below and increase the flour from ¾ cup to 1 cup total)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder , sifted
  • tsp baking powder

Also:

  • One or two 8 inch round Cake Pans , 2-3 inches tall
  • Foil & non-stick baking spray or Parchment Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans 8 inch diameter
  • Cake Strips , Optional

Instructions

  1. Gather your ingredients and measure them before starting. 

    Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and the baking powder together. Melt the butter.

  2. For easy cleanup and removal of the cake, line an 8-inch baking pan with foil  or parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Wet the cake strip and fasten it around the bottom of the cake pan.

  3. Add the eggs and a pinch of salt to a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and whip the eggs until slightly foamy. Slowly pour the sugar into the eggs and continue whipping for about 15 minutes or until the mixture forms a ribbon that doesn't disappear for about 3 seconds when you lift off the whisk.

  4. Add the flour mixture into the whipped eggs in halves and carefully fold until almost no streaks of flour are seen. (To fold: use a large spoon or spatula and go under the batter, then bring it over as you invert the spoon to pour the batter on top). Do not over-mix or the cake will be dense.

  5. Add the melted butter and carefully fold until all butter is incorporated. Do not overmix.

  6. Pour the batter into the lined and greased baking pan and quickly siwrl the pan back and forth couple of times to even out the batter.

  7. Bake in a preheated to 350F oven, on the middle rack for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not open the oven door sooner than 15 minutes into the baking process. Shut the oven door slowly, not to disturb the rise of the cake.
  8. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and allow to sit inside the pan for 5 minutes before removing it.
  9. Then, remove it from the pan and invert it straight onto the cooling rack, then peel off the foil or parchment paper and allow to cool completely before using it in cakes.

How to split the cake into two layers

  1. To split the cake into two even layers, put the palm of your left hand (if you’re right handed) on top of the cake; with you right hand score the side of the cake with a long serrated knife halfway up the height of the cake all around the side about ½ an inch deep into the cake, then keep rotating the cake with your left hand and cut about 1 inch into the cake; keep rotating and slowly cutting deeper inside the cake until your cake is split into two separate layers.

Recipe Notes

  • For this amount of batter, you can either use one baking pan and then split the 2-inch tall baked cake into two 1 inch tall layers later, or you can just bake it in two separate 8-inch pans at the same time – this will give you two separate 1-inch tall cake layers.
Nutrition Facts
Perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Potassium 238mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 25g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 5.5%
Calcium 7.8%
Iron 10.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Bon Appetit & Happy Pinning

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Hashtag your photos #LetTheBakingBeginBlog so I can see your creations and for a chance to be featured!

 

There you have it, folks! Nothing too complicated with consistent results! Give it a try and let me know how it went!

https://youtu.be/VuVFJJ-IQuM
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  • A.J. Hoy

    Wow. Awesome!
    Followed directions exactly. Turned out great.
    I have never attempted a sponge cake before. Did it upon request for my partner because she loved sponge cake with devon custard as a child. ( Canned Devon Custard is ok, but I am sure I can do better my self). Thank you.

    · Reply
  • […] creative you can use the Nutella Custard Buttercream to layer a regular yellow sponge cake, or chocolate sponge cake, or any other cake you know how to make before I post that next cake […]

    · Reply
  • Rose

    Would this recipe work for a yule log type cake?

    Thank you.

    · Reply
  • Kandice

    I enjoy your simple recipe. Do keep me up to date

    · Reply
  • Priyanka

    Hi,

    I tried the recepie the exact way as u said but my cake came out turning bitter Im happy with the overall texture of the spongyness but the taste is very bitter

    · Reply
    • Hi Priyanka,
      It sounds like your cocoa powder might’ve been unusually bitter or something like that, since there’s no other ingredients in this recipe that can cause bitterness in the cake. What kind of cocoa powder did you use?

      · Reply
  • amor

    Used this for black forest cake and it was perfect. The cake was perfectly leveled. I just wet a towel and tied it on the pan. I used other recipes before but this is the first time that the towel trick actually worked. I wonder why!

    · Reply
  • Love this recipe!! Foolproof every time!! I’ve used this recipe to create so many layer cakes that are brushed with syrup and then frosted with whipped cream, the cakes soak up beautifully and stay moist for days!!

    · Reply
  • Mrs. C.J Johnson

    O.K. Marina. I had another Coconut Cake order due Sunday. I like my Coconut Cakes very light due to the coconut pastry cream that I use inside.

    I decided to try this in the plain Sponge. Girl…your awesome!! I typically stick with Gretchen’s sponge cake recipe from Gretchen’s Bakery.

    Now let me say hers great but the fact that yours not only taste good, rose JUST LIKE THE CHOCOLATE did…. But easier….. Baby, I don’t know why I would go

    · Reply
    • Thank you Mrs. C.J Johnson, I really appreciate your review!

      · Reply
      • Mrs. C.J Johnson

        Sorry, about how that review ended. My phone almost made me hurl it cross the room. I was experiencing difficulty typing what I did (my text kept ‘pausing’…. (aaarrrrrggghhhh) and then the whole text disappeared. Well, I won’t club you over the head any longer with my excitement but I if you don’t mind I want to finish what I was trying to say.

        While, I do love Gretchen’s Sponge recipe…It would be pointless for me to continue with its use. This is much MUCH….easier like I said but the other reason is, I made these the night before, cooled them completely & wrapped them up tightly. On assembling the next day the client only wanted a 2-layer but because they rode so high… I took off about a quarter inch.

        Now–not only were they just as soft the next day but my eyes were surprised with a very nice ‘porous’ cake! In fact more porous (I sure hope I spelled that word correctly because it sure looks wrong) than the chocolate. Texture inside very soft….. nice. The only suffering I have with this is I like my Coconut Cakes all-white. But the 8 yolks can’t afford me that. Sometimes sacrifice is good.

        This is excellent.

        Spongy & porous— meant they would definitely love and welcome me ‘syruping’ my layers.

        We know sponges & genoise can be drier than others (genoise more so for me) and I will always ‘syrup them’ but those two ‘unsurped’ 1/4th layers (I doubled recipe and also added a minor addition of coconut emulsion to the eggs and oil mixture after it had tripled in volume) were moist for a sponge on its own. Very tasty and went great with my coffee. My sister love it!

        I know young one… I sure talk a lot but in the words of Matt Downey in character in ‘Tropic Thunder’ – – – – lol… “I’m serious bout my foods”!

        Anyway, you are my ‘little sponge cake fairy’!!!

        When I get a chance I will be trying your ‘Birds Milk’. That beauty just makes me scream…… “GET IN MY BELLY”!!!!!.

        Austin Powers. I know. I know…… I watch wayyyyy toooooo many movies.

        · Reply
  • sangeeta

    1 cup of flour equals how many gms of flour?

    · Reply
  • Mrs. C.J Johnson

    Ma’am, I don’t know you but I just wanted to stop by and let your know. I take my baking extremely serious. I am capable of baking sponges but I have only used my go to the basic yellow sponge. I needed a chocolate sponge and saw your post and decided after reading through the recipe—to give it a shot.

    Look here, as long as you keep recipes like this in your pocket or stuffed in your brassiere—I will follow you to the ends of the earth for!! You hear me?!! For your recipes. I surely will.

    FANTASTIC!!!

    I like huge cakes so I doubled your recipe with no problem at all and the layers rose just ‘ab—so-lu–tely’– beautiful! Once cooled, I ended up with (2) 9 inch rounds with a 2 1/4 in height (yes that’s right) on both. I was in pure heaven.

    The only thing I did different was sub out 2 T of the my ‘H’ regular cocoa for 2 T of my ‘H Special Dark’ for a deeper chocolate flavor. Other than that everything remained as written. I didn’t even use my baking strips. Honestly, I was too dang lazy to reach into the cabinet to get them.

    I was worried about that little ‘dimpled’ pucker in your cake picture but I think it was just pulled a little to soon. After I trying this recipe I know dang well you can bake.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how happy I was with it. This was for a special occasion a dinner and dessert auction and it was 1 out of 2 cakes I put in– to raise funds for our youth department.

    This made a 1 beautiful, fluffy, grand Black Forrest (non-alky of course). I may have to try the plain version for my Giant Coconut Cream due this Sunday. I’m gonna have to work this out though calculation wise because I need two 10’s.

    Anyway, you are the best girl. I don’t comment often even on good recipes but this was one of the best. And yes…I’m watching you to see what you have next.

    GOD Bless you!!!!

    · Reply
    • Your comment… man.. it just makes me weep with joy, I’m so excited to hear how much you like this recipe! Thank you so much for making my entire day Mrs. C.J Johnson!

      · Reply
      • Mrs. C.J Johnson

        Oh young-lady… I meant EVERY written word.

        My Ole’ Wise Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hands find to do–do it with all your might”.

        Gifts are given by GOD and that includes baking.

        People may find it trivial but done right and more importantly with love–You can bless tha’ world baby. Don’t mean to get preachy but—Remember that.

        You certainly blessed me. And then I ‘paid it forward’ and blessed someone by your recipe and my own components. Resulting in a gorgeous Black Forrest Cake!

        That’s how gifts work and that’s how HE intends them to work. Right? Rigggght. Providence.

        Keep doin’ what you love Marina. You do it very…very…well.

        · Reply
        • You sure have a way with words Mrs. C.J. Johnson! Your comments are definitely a blessing to me. Thank you so much for your kind words and blessings.
          May God bless you dear!

          · Reply
  • Waje

    Lovely recipe
    I tried out came out very well
    Thanks alot

    · Reply
  • Guy

    I am no cake expert but this cake is excellent. I have children and after some intense experimenting, this is the one they think is best for their birthdays. The key is whisking those eggs properly at the start. We finished it with chocolate ganache and apricot jam. Thanks for such an excellent and sensible guide.

    · Reply
  • This is really perfect choice of chocolate cake. Thanks for sharing it!

    · Reply
  • I am one to attest that this recipe yields a really good and moist cake! I love it so much!

    · Reply
  • Scott

    Thanks for the detailed and easy to follow recipe. I made this in a single 21cm round cake tin and it made a delicious, light and fluffy chocolate sponge cake. I will definitely add this my go-to cake list.

    · Reply
  • Amy

    Can I use unsweetened chocolate baking bars for this recipe, instead of cocoa powder?

    · Reply
    • I think that would alter the texture of the cake and therefor can not recommend using the baking bars in this particular recipe. Cocoa powder is the best here.

      · Reply
  • Tanisha

    Is the sugar in powder or solid

    · Reply
  • I tried this out this past weekend and it came out perfect. Pretty light and tasty. Actually added a hint of cayenne pepper to the mix for a slight kick. Cause we’re crazy that way 🙂

    · Reply
  • Allison

    I was disappointed mywith a different sponge recipe cake I made yesterday so I tried this one. This was much better. The butter added makes a difference. I will say that your recipe says 20 minutes at 350. I really can’t imagine having this cake bake in 20 minutes, especially with baking strips. I opened the oven at 20 minutes and checked it with a toothpick and it was hardly 1/2 baked. Sadly by opening the oven at 20 minutes it cause my cake to fall a bit so it was not as fluffy as it could have been. I will try it again as the light and fluffy chocolate flavor makes it worth it.

    I am wondering if it is possible to add a wee bit more butter? Would it be safe?

    · Reply
    • Hi Allison,
      thank you so much for your feedback!
      When you bake this recipe in two 9 inch round pans, 20 minutes is how long it takes to bake. If you are baking the batter in a single round pan, it will take longer.

      · Reply
  • Rhen Casuga

    can i steam this recipe?..i dont have oven…i would love to make this for my kids but im not sure if it will work by just steaming ☺ thank u

    · Reply
  • Gina

    I baked this cake today as I was glad to see a recipe with less butter and wanted to see how it would come out. It’s lovely! I was in a rush so didn’t whisk the eggs that long but it still worked out, I also used far less sugar and it’s still sweet and tasty. Thanks for the recipe, & ps thought you might like to know that this page is very slow on my phone to move & scroll- though most blogs are really!

    · Reply
  • Pearl

    Hello! Do you have other variations of this recipe for different sized cake pans? I am making 14″, 10″, and 6″ rounds. Thank you!

    · Reply
    • Hi Pearl,
      No, I do not have any other variations, but anytime you need to increase or decrease the size of the cake you should calculate the area of the cake circle in the recipe, then find out the area of the cake circle you need and multiply or divide the cake recipe accordingly.

      So if you google “area of a 9 inch circle”, you’ll get this – the area of the 9-inch round is pi r-squared= 3.14 x 4.5 x 4.5 = 63.

      Then you google “Area of a 14 inch circle” and it will tell you that it is 154.

      That means that you’ll need roughly 2.5 portions of the recipe (of the 9 inch cake) for a 14 inch circle.
      Then you can do the same with the other sizes.

      · Reply
  • aneka kue basah

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three
    emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Many thanks!

    · Reply
    • Hi Aneka,
      Unfortunately I myself can not unsubscribe you, but you can do so by clicking “unsubscribe” at the bottom of one of those emails. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this has caused 🙁

      · Reply
  • Tzivia

    Mmmmm yummmm yo gotta make this after Passover wonder if a vanilla cream frosting recipe would work gurl ur such a talented cooking and baking gem btw do u give baking classes online would love to take a class of yours just to try

    · Reply
  • […] forest inspired chocolate sponge cake, with cream, cherries, and cream mixed with chocolate. I used this recipe for the sponge and it was […]

    · Reply
  • Deepa

    Can i use this cakemail for blackforest cake

    · Reply
  • shannon

    Have you tried using cake flour instead of AP flour?

    · Reply
    • Cake flour is usually more expensive and I don’t typically keep it on hand that’s why I posted the recipe that could be used by a common cook. But yes, I believe if you use the cake flour, you will need to omit the baking powder.

      · Reply
      • Robert Roberts

        If you don’t have cake flour put 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a 1 cup and add rest with flour. This is a great substitute for cake flour. Don’t use the baking powder, after use mix everything together, in a separate bowl put 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of white vinergar. Than mixed together and fold it into your batter. It will rise and fluff beautiful

        · Reply
  • Vera

    Hi Marina! I was wondering what brand of AP flour do you use in this cake? Do you think there is a difference in brands?

    · Reply
    • Hi Vera,
      It is known that Canadian all purpose flour is always the best in baked goods, so I try to buy it whenever I can. I have made it with different brands of AP flour and the result was still good.

      · Reply
  • […] 1 recipe of Chocolate Sponge Cake […]

    · Reply
  • This cake really does look perfect! I love how light it is and yet how wonderfully chocolately it is too!

    · Reply

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