Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake

Servings: 10-12                    Time: 50 mins + decorating 20 mins

Difficulty: easy if you avoid my mistake

Comment: The cake itself is quite straight forward and will have a firm but light texture and an excellent flavour. Filling and decorating should also be straight forward, provided you don’t make the mistake that I did (see below). Fortunately I managed to rescue the cake and it tasted great.


    For the cake
  • 125g/4 oz self-raising flour
  • 25g/1 oz cocoa powder
  • 150g/5 oz caster sugar
  • 150g/5 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Cherries, raspberries or other selected fruit as decoration
  • For the white chocolate cream cheese icing
  • 150g/5 oz white chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 75g/3 oz unsalted butter – softened
  • 200g/7 oz full fat cream cheese
  • 330g/11.5 oz icing sugar


    For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan 160)/Gas 4.
  2. Grease and line the base of two 18cm/7″ loose bottomed round cake tins.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
  5. Continue mixing and gradually add the beaten eggs and water with a little of the flour.
  6. Carefully fold in the rest of the flour and combine.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly into the two prepared tins and level the surfaces.
  8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to fully cool.
  10. Sandwich together using half the white chocolate cream cheese icing (see below) NB If you intend covering the sides of the cake you will need to increase the icing mixture proportionally. I would suggest an extra 25 – 30%
  11. Cover the top with the other half of the icing mixture and add chosen fruit to decorate.
  12. For the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
  13. Melt the chocolate carefully and set aside (use a bain marie or short bursts in a microwave)
  14. Beat the butter and cream cheese together
  15. Add a third of the icing sugar and beat slowly then increase speed
  16. Repeat twice, using all the icing sugar
  17. When the chocolate has cooled (but still runny) add in and mix together.

Now for my admission. In my naivety I pureed and sieved some raspberries and added the juice to the buttercream mid-layer. Disastrous – far too runny. I created a fruity mini Niagara. Next time it’ll be jam or something even thicker.