Nice & Easy Chocolate Sponge Tray Bake

As the title says, this is a really nice and easy, basic chocolate tray bake that can be adapted in many ways and with the optional topping below it becomes quite special.

Makes: 16 medium pieces, 20 small

Time: 20 min prep; 30 min baking then cooling time + 30 min to decorate

Level: Easy

Equipment: A 20cm (8”) square baking tin

Cake Ingredients     

  • 50g/1¾oz cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125g/4½oz butter or Stork, melted
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g/9oz light brown sugar
  • 140g/5oz self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 50g/1¾oz ground almonds  (Can be omitted if anyone has a nut allergy.)            
  • 50g/1¾oz chocolate chips or small pieces

Fudgy Chocolate topping*

  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 50g/1¾oz chocolate pieces (optional, but nice)
  • 125g/4½oz icing sugar
  • 20g/ ¾oz cocoa powder
  • 20ml/¾fl oz40ml/1¼fl oz milk
  • Sprinkles or sweets

* These measurements will give you plenty with a little extra as a cook’s perk


1. Sift the cocoa powder into a heat proof jug or bowl then pour in 140ml/5fl oz boiling water and whisk together. Add in the bicarbonate of soda and continue whisking. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan 160°C / 350°F /Gas 4. Grease and line the tin and dust lightly with cocoa powder.

3. Put the melted butter/Stork in a large bowl or melt it in the bowl. Allow it to cool a little then add in the eggs, vanilla, sugar and the cocoa mixture. Beat to mix well.

4. Sift the flour over and fold it all in with the salt and ground almonds. Stir in the broken chocolate pieces. Pour into the lined tin. (It will be quite runny – don’t worry.)

5. Bake for 32 – 36 minutes until well risen and firm. Test with a skewer inserted into the middle. If it comes out clean then the cake is ready. Leave it on a wire rack to cool in the tin.

6. To make the fudgy topping, Melt the butter and chocolate together over a bain marie. Stir & mix then sift over the icing sugar and cocoa powder and mix again. Place back over the bain marie. Beat and mix, adding milk as required to make a spreadable, slightly runny mixture.

7. Spread the mixture over the baked block then add sprinkles or sweets. Leave to firm up then cut with a sharp serrated knife. (A warm wet knife gives a clean cut and helps to seal any crumbly edges.)

I hope you enjoy this lovely tray bake. Click here more tasty traybake recipes. If you want larger cake recipes click this link, or have a look at my site for lots of other great recipes, both sweet and savoury. Below are a few that I’d love you to try:

Golden Chocolate Cake

Garlic Boxty Bread

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Blondies

Cheddar and Parsley Scones

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Whatever you bake I hope it turns out lovely

Happy baking