Mary Berry’s Chocolate Sponge Cake

In honour of International Suit Up day ( but also because I have been inspired and impressed by Mary Berry on the Great British Bake-Off, I decided to make her chocolate sponge cake to share with my colleagues.

I could have also called this post “how I accidentally made chocolate fudge” because I ad-libbed with the icing instructions a little bit and wound up with fudge rather than chocolate icing. Nevertheless, the result was a tasty chocolate sponge that disappeared fast.

Firstly, take your butter out of the fridge while you eat dinner to bring it to room temperature (assuming you’re baking on a week night like me). Now assemble the rest of your ingredients;


  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6 oz)caster sugar
  • 175g (6 oz) softened butter
  • 1½ level tsp baking powder
  • 40g (1½ oz) cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp boiling water
  • A little icing sugar, to serve

Icing/fudge filling:

  • 450g  plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of icing sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of raspberry jam (also optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and then beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
Put the cocoa in separate mixing bowl, and add the water a little at a time to make a stiff paste. Ensure you actually read the instructions before beginning to you don’t end up with lumpy cocoa. Add to the cake mixture. Or if you don’t want to dirty another bowl (because I couldn’t see the benefit of this step) just sift the cocoa in with the flour in step one.

Divide the mixture evenly into two 17cm round sandwich tins (greased and lined) and bake for 20minutes or until they shrink from the sides. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.

While the cakes are baking, you can get on with the icing. The icing I have used here is from Mary Berry’s book Simply Cakes and is used with her Death by Chocolate cake recipe. As usual, I was missing an ingredient (cream) and so could not make the recommended ganache to top the sponge. Instead I made the chocolate and butter icing.

First, melt the butter, then stir through the chocolate until it melts. Or vice-versa. Stir the mix until it thickens. It will thicken further upon standing.

When the cakes are cool, first spread your jam on the bottom cake. Then half your icing on top. Place the other half of the cake on top and then cover with the rest of the icing. Decorate with chocolate flakes if you like.

If you want to make fudge, to make life difficult (or more delicious!) just add about 1/4 cup of icing sugar to half of the above chocolate-butter mix and beat well. Then either roll it into balls, press into a mold ar roll out into a circle the same diameter as your cakes and put it in the middle of the two sponges.

I was surprised at how good the consistency of the chocolate-butter icing was, it sat perfectly, no dripping or mess. I will definitely use that icing recipe again. And also the fudge recipe, if I want to make fudge, not cake! As for the cake itself…. it was a little on the plain side. While it was a lovely sponge, very airy and probably moist if made in a 17cm tin rather than a 20cm tin, it was not ‘chocolatey’ enough for me. I prefer my chocolate cakes to be rich and moist and dense with chocolate flavour (ala Store Cupboard Chocolate Orange Cake).  I will however persist in trying Mary Berry’s Death by Chocolate cake soon.

1 Comment

  1. Was just about to click off wordpress when I saw this in my following feed, I had to click. It looks lovely.I’ve been following Great British Bake-off too. I love Mary Berry, she’s wonderful. A proper British home cooking master!

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