Blissful Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe in 40 Minutes

This chocolate sponge cake recipe will prove to you that it’s quite easy to prepare an exquisite dessert and will make you crave for more.

Its fluffy texture will leave it melting in your mouth.

Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake Recipe

Let's get this out of the way -- I happen to love chocolate sponge cake!

In all its forms. And what I most like about it is that you can create a really gorgeous multi-layered cake using just this simple base. And who doesn’t love chocolate? It goes well with a lot of things like whipping cream or berries or caramelized nuts and many other delicious toppings.

As you probably know, sponge cake is an Italian invention, although it was first served in Madrid. But it was created by the famous Genoese chef Giovani Battista Cabona. Being conceived by an Italian and first enjoyed in Spain, it got the name “Pan di Spagna”.

Do you know that there is even a National Sponge Cake Day in the United States?

Do you know that there is even a National Sponge Cake Day in the United States? It’s on August 23rd and the date couldn’t be more appropriate. Sponge cake recipe is easy to bake and the final result is fluffy and airy, prefect for summer. Especially if you combine it with a soft mascarpone cream (and not cream cheese) and some berries.

There’s plenty of things you can do on a National Sponge Cake Day. First of all, you may bake a sponge cake, obviously. Let it be a choc sponge. Second, it’s the perfect time to get creative. If the baking forms are limited (either round or square or rectangular), you may cut it in triangles or cones or parallelograms.

Decorate it in an innovative way, like drawing a snowy mountain with icing. Or even a bit odd, like a vomit flavored gum from Harry Potter. I’m just joking here, but it’s always a good thing to let your imagination run wild. Well, not always, but in 90% of the situations…

After baking an easy chocolate sponge cake and decorating it, it’s time to enjoy it. You may do this by yourself but where’s the fun in that? Call your friends and invite them over because sharing is caring. In case you don’t want to wash a lot of dishes afterwards, grab some disposable plates and teaspoons and go to a park if the weather is fine. You’ll celebrate the National Sponge Cake Day in a funny and pleasant way.

You may ask yourself “Who needs a National Day for this?”

The answer is “Everybody!” There are plenty of reasons. People can eat as many slices of cake they want without feeling guilty afterwards. It’s a celebration day, everybody is allowed to do so.

Not doing it would be like breaking the law.

Choc sponge is not a regular cake. It’s classy and delicate.

It deserves a special anniversary. And, in the end, any given day is good for baking. I promise you will feel relaxed and completely satisfied after preparing this dessert.

It’s almost therapeutic. I’m sure that in ten or twenty years, scientists will include baking on the list of activities to do when you suffer from anxiety.

Or maybe it’s already admitted. It works for me every single time.

Whenever I feel anxious, said, nervous, I prepare my kitchen tools and start making a cake especially using my trusty chocolate sponge cake recipe. I don’t usually eat it though or else my weight would reach the sky. 

There are plenty of sponge cakes out there, Victoria sponge being the most famous. 

It earned this name from Queen Victoria. She used to enjoy a slice of sponge next to her afternoon tea. This particular cake is like a sandwich filled with whipped cream and raspberry jam.

It is thought that this is one of the first cakes that didn’t contain yeast. When the eggs are beaten well enough and for a long time, the cake will certainly rise. You should know that even Jane Austen liked it because we can find a mention in letter written by her in 1808.

American “pan di spagna” contains flour, baking powder and eggs. The latter are separated into yolks and whites. Whites are so well beaten that they incorporate a lot of air.

Baking the batter in a tube pan guarantees a fluffy and airy cake. We've also tried to use a ceramic bakeware and it worked great. 

The classic British is Victoria sponge we talked about earlier.

The French sponge is also known as Genoise and is a bit different from the American one as the eggs are beaten whole. The final purpose is not to have a very risen cake but flatter layers. Bakers use genoise sheets to prepare Swiss rolls and many other roulades.

It is also the base for madeleines and ladyfingers. Therefore, it is baked in thinner pans. Chefs usually fill it with whipped cream and fruit purees or jams. The decorations may be simple or elaborate, the cake looks amazing anyway.

The sponge roll is made with a thin layer of genoise, which is flexible enough to be filled with jam and rolled into a roulade like Jelly Roll, Buche de Noel or Swiss Roll.

Genoa cake is actually the Italian version of the sponge. Bakers from the 18th century were no longer using yeast as a leavening agent. They had discovered that well beaten eggs help the cakes to rise even better than yeast and this technique was more appropriate for desserts.

Bakers would cook the cakes directly into layers, by pouring the batter into hoops.

 Those were placed on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.

This is how the baking pans were born, by putting hoops on top of baking sheets. And how one-pan recipes came about (our favorite is chicken and potatoes). Genoa cake benefited from a lot of exquisite additions brought from the East and Middle East.

One could find the cake topped or filled with candied fruit and peel, currants, vanilla, almonds, raisins, citrus zest, cinnamon and many other spices.

The batter could also contain liqueur for a more elegant dessert. But it can be also served plain, only dusted with powdered sugar. Or filled with jam and cream. In the end, the choice is yours.

How to Make a Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe From Scratch?

Although it might seem that this cake is only the attribute of experienced bakers, you should know that anyone can cook it. All you need is a few ingredients and some patience. 

Relaxing Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake Recipe Steps
Soothing batter for sponge cake

Let me tell you a bit about the ingredients

  • First of all, you need cake flour. All-purpose flour is not recommended for the easy chocolate sponge cake as it has a high protein content. You only need 7% or 8% protein for this recipe. The chlorine in cake flour creates a better binding with the fat from the eggs and the cake will rise faster.
  • I recommend you use a high fat cocoa powder, around 22%-24% so it isn’t very absorbable. You can choose Dutch cocoa powder which is alkaline (the pH is somewhere between 7-8.4) while natural cocoa tends to be acidic. If the cocoa is alkalinized, it gets darker and you will have a beautiful chocolate color for your sponge cake. It is also less bitter, so the taste will enhance too.
  • You can choose either granulated sugar or brown sugar. No one will be able to tell the difference since the cake will be dark colored. However, do not go for coconut or demerara sugar. They contain a lot of moist and will change the texture of the batter.
  • The eggs should weigh approximately 2.45 oz., so you need to buy extra-large eggs. If that is not an option, make sure to weigh them so you will get the right amount. Take them out of the fridge half an hour earlier to reach the room temperature. You may also place them in a bowl with hot water for 20 seconds then remove. 

Basic Choc Sponge Recipe

The Italian recipe doesn’t contain any fat, only the four ingredients described above.

It requires just a little bit of finesse or, better said, a bit more patience because you will need to beat the eggs for at least 15 minutes so they incorporate a lot of air to get to the spongy texture we desire. This is the first step. Eggs will be beaten together with sugar until they get a pale yellow color.

The next step is to add the flour and cocoa powder. Make sure you sift both the flour and cocoa powder so you won’t get any lumps. It is recommended to add them little by little into the eggs and whisk well after each addition.

How to Make the Perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake?

Finished chocolate italian sponge cake

The secret to have a great success with your chocolate sponge cake recipe is..... to respect the time for beating the eggs. 

It has to be at least 15 minutes. This allows the batter to get air and will make the sponge delicate and fluffy.

You should also consider the baking time. Forty minutes should be enough and the recommended temperature is 340F.

Don’t get tempted to open the oven in the first twenty minutes or the cake will collapse. Set a reminder and after the time is done, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, you can turn off the heat.

If you can still find moist crumbles on the toothpick, leave it to cook for five minutes more. But be careful not to let it bake too much or the airy consistency will disappear. Trust me, I’ve been there when my timer turned off for no reason. Oh no, wait! The reason is my phone battery was dead because someone forgot to charge it…

After you turn off the heat, let the sponge relax a bit in the oven with the door slightly open, for about ten minutes. Transfer to a wooden board and set aside for ten minutes. The cake needs to cool down slowly so it keeps the nice texture. Take it off the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

How to Make a Chocolate Sponge Cake Moist?

There are many secrets a chef could share with you so you know how to keep your cakes moist. I have only a few tips:

  • Over-baking your cake will evaporate all the moist in it. As previously stated, please stick to the baking temperature and period!
  • Don’t forget about sugar or try to reduce the quantity. Sugar is important because it absorbs moisture from the air.
  • If you need extra moisture, soak the choc sponge in a delicious vanilla syrup. Or other flavor of choice.
Relaxing Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake Recipe

Relaxing Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake Recipe in 40 Minutes

This chocolate sponge cake recipe will prove to you that it’s not that hard to prepare an exquisite dessert and will make you crave for more. Its fluffy texture will leave it melting in your mouth.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chocolate Cake, Italian, Sponge Cake
Servings: 12 peoples
Calories: 88kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 pcs extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated/brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated/brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup minus 1 tbsp. cake flour
  • 3 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 340F. Butter and flour an 8-inch pan so you prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom or walls.
  • Measure your ingredients and place them at hand.
    Relaxing Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake Recipe Steps
  • Place the eggs, sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Set your mixer on medium speed and beat for at least 15 minutes or until the eggs get a pale yellow color.
    Relaxing Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake Recipe Step
  • Add the cocoa powder alternating with the flour, little by little. Sift them over the egg mixture and mix well with a wooden spatula after each addition so you won’t get any lumps.
  • Transfer the batter to the pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, making sure you don’t open the oven door in the first 20 minutes. If the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, you cake is ready. In the opposite case, leave it to bake 5 more minutes.
  • Leave the choc sponge in the oven for 10 minutes, with the door slightly open. After that, take it off and set aside for 10 more minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Leave the cake to cool completely before cutting it.
  • You may serve it as it is, dusted with powdered sugar, or filled with whipped cream and fruits of choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.6g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 1.9g
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