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Monday, August 27, 2012

Basic Chocolate Sponge Cake

I was so happy finally found a good sponge cake base that can be use as a cake base for Birthday cake. This recipe is even more easier to make if compare to the earlier sponge cake recipe that i used.
And the tip that i learnt from this recipe is to make sure you beat egg white till stiff peaks (十分发 / 硬性发泡) since we use a normal cake tin without tube/insert like chiffon cake tin. Also make sure you do not use a cake tin that is non-stick.


A simple basic sponge cake using chiffon cake method..
Basic Chocolate Sponge Cake
(recipe source: adapted from 妙手烘培)
*make a 7” round cake (with removable bottom cake pan)

4 egg yolks (large)

20g caster sugar
50g corn oil
60g milk
15g cocoa powder
1/2tsp chocolate emulco,optional
75g cake flour

4 egg white (large)

1/4tsp lemon juices or 1/4tsp cream of Tartar
60g caster sugar


1. Lightly whisk egg yolk with sugar.


2. Add in corn oil, stir to combine.

3. Add in milk, stir to combine,then add in cocoa powder, mix well.

4. Add in cake flour, mix well, set aside.


5. Add lemon juices into egg white, beat till foamy.
6. Gradually add in sugar, beat till stiff peaks (十分发 / 硬性发泡)

7. Take 1/3 portion of egg white mixture and use hand whisk to mix with egg yolk mixture till light.

8. Fold the balance of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture using a spatula, combine well.

9. Pour batter into the pan (do not need to line with baking paper and do not use a non-stick pan), bake at pre-heated oven at 140c for 25mins (at lower rack), then increase to 170C and continue to bake for 25mins. Remove cake from oven and cool on a wire rack (prefer to invert the cake pan). Once cake is slightly cool down(10-15mins), remove cake from cake tin (use a think and flat spatula to run around the side and bottom of the cake pan) and let it cool completely on a wire rack.


*if you want to make a normal vanilla sponge cake, replace chocolate emulco with vanilla essence, and omit cocoa powder and add back 15g of cake flour to become 90g cake flour.


Sow Ling said...

hi Sonia,
i always having the problem of the cracked top for my sponge cake. is this due to my oven temperature? i start from high temperature then lower it after 15mins till baked.

i thought is due to the beating of egg white. but you are beating it till stiff peaks.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Sow Ling, this recipe started with low temperature at lower rack, i guess the main purpose to cook the batter first and then increase the temp to further rise the cake..Yes, you have to beat till stiff so there is sufficient air to support rising the whole cake which is no any insert at the middle to support. Dont worry about the cake texture, it still moist and soft even meringue beat till stiff peak. The only problem is a bit difficult to fold stiff peak meringue into egg yolk batter..

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I haven't made sponge cake in my life. Thank you for this basic sponge cake recipe - saving this for later use! :)

Yummy Bakes said...

Sonia, thanks very much for sharing. I shall keep this as my base sponge cake.

Yan said...

I love this recipe also, Sonia. I must make sponge cake one day.

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Sonia, I will sure try out this recipe next time if I am making birthday cake :).

Vivian Pang said...

Very useful Sponge cake recipe and the tips. Cook at lower temperature then higher for nice brown colour. Yours no sign of shrinkage. Shall give this a try one day. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia, thanks for sharing this recipe!
I tried using your old sponge cake recipe. My top sink after cooling down. Is it my oven not hot or i over or undermix my batter?

Thanks for advise


kimmy said...

Hi Sonia, thanks for sharing the steps with photos. I definitely gonna follow your way. Just this cake with no frills is good enough.

Mindee said...

Do we switch the oven to fan function too when baking cakes? Thanks for this recipe.

mui mui said...

Hi Sonia,
This is such a good sponge cake recipe for me. Thanks for sharing..^^

Lovinlife said...

Hi Sonia,
U advised to use non stick baking pan. Does this means, I totally do not need to put butter / put any parchment paper to the tray? Bake just like how we bake sponge cake, where none of this is required?

Lovinlife said...

Hi Sonia,

U advised to not use non stick pan. does this means we do not need to grease it at all? So method will be just like we do sponge cake?

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Lovinlife, yes, do not use non stick pan, because the batter need a wall to climb up, and also do not grease and do not line with paper, just like making chiffon.

Susan said...

Hi Sonia,
Are you using loose bottom pan for this cake?


アンゼエリン said...

This is good for birthday cake right? if I would bake in a normal square tin. So what is the right size of the square tin I should use?

Wanted to bake a square birthday cake for my son.

Avie said...

Hii Sonia,...your blog is full of info and new recipe to me,...I have waiting list to try some of your cake recipe,like this.. sponge cake recipe..
And i also permitted you to add your blog site to my blog..
thank you for sharing...

Sabrina Fu said...

Hi there!

Is this cake very moist?
Also, could i replace the cocoa with matcha powder?


Anonymous said...

Hi thanks for sharing the recipe! I've made this cake twice now but every time I take it out of the oven the centre sinks an the cake ends up with a big dip in the middle...based on your expertise can you explain why this happens? I follow your recipe to he point but I used a non stick pan since I don't own any that aren't... The cake rises really well in the oven but deflates whilst cooling.

Any tips would be great coz the cake tastes beautiful otherwise! Many thanks,

Passionate baker x

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your great recipe !
I love it!

Anonymous said...

why my cake shrink and become moist like the ogura cake after taking out from the oven?

rei chan said...

hi there i love your blog and was wondering if you have a cake tin like (Removable bottom)that wouldnt the batter just leak through when baking ??

much appreciated if you could respond

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Rei chan, it wouldn't leak because the batter is quite thick but not runny.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Passionate baker , sorry for my late reply as I have overlooked your question . Do not use a nonstick pan, if no choice, line with baking paper but not non stick paper.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Veronica, you have to bake at low temp first then change to high. It is norm for sponge cake to shrink back to the original batter level but it will not collapse.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sonia,

Im aware that this recipe is for 7 inch round tin. What if I need to bake a 9 inch cake? can i adjust the recipe by topping up the ingredients?

Thanks for your advise.

Pui Mun

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Pui Mun,

Yes, you have to adjust the ingredients, maybe add extra 2/3 from the 7" ingredients, and cooking time also have to extend longer..

Lucas咖啡店 said...

Sorry, the cake flour you means is self raising flour or low-gluten flour(低筋面粉)?

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Lucas, is low gluten flour 低筋面粉.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia,

Can I bake into cupcakes?
How long do I need to bake?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia,

My oven only have one rack so the preheat time and baking time is the same?..


Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia,

I tried your receipe yesterday, and as 2 comments left above, my cake sink in the middle after cooling.

You had reply that the cake will reduce to normal level and will not sink. Thus, do you happen to know what causes it?

The cake I bake, the middle had drop down lower than the outer. Thus, it look like a 'well' which can 'contain' water in the middle.

Is it due to any reason like beating of the egg? Fyi, I had used 'All Purpose Flour' and as I'm not using the detachable bottom pan as I dont have one, not sure is either of this causes the sink.

Btw, the taste really nice. Not too sweet or whatever :)


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Joey, I suspect you have under bake your cake or under beaten the egg white (you have to beat to approach to stiff peak or stiff peak). Try again and let me know.

Anonymous said...

HI.... large egg meaning A or AA?

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Large egg= A egg

Anonymous said...

Hi.. love ur blog.. would it sink if i dun remove cake after 15mins.. i let it cool completely on wire rack (inside pan) but ended up with a shrink centre..

Lee Zenn said...

Hi Sonia,

I have a few questions to ask u.

1) May I check if we use fan mode for both temperature?

2)What is the purpose of using a fan mode?

3) Do we bake at low rack for both temperatures ?

4) Can I use convention mode (top and bottom heat)?

Thank u.

Anonymous said...

To Sonia and all the readers, I made this yesterday came out perfectly good. Beat egg whites till stiff peak and i used only lemon juice. ( beating egg whites is very important, when the recipe says stiff peak, means stiff peak not soft peak, so many didn't get the instruction right). and another most important thing is your oven temperature. I bake in center oven not lower rack. I preheat oven at 150c, bake 10mins and increase 170c-180c ( i know my oven well, so you must know yours too ). My cake didn't sink or shrink, cake turn out the same level before and after baked. The cake taste so good but the size a little small. thanks for the recipe Sonia :P

Jenny said...

Hi Sonia, what other flour can I substitute with top flour/cake flour? Because Australia does not sell them!

Please help! Thanks!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Jenny, try to get super fine flour or any lighter flour.,

dolphy said...


Lovely cake! Can I ask if I wish to do this as white chocolate sponge cake, can I use melted white chocolate to replace the cocoa powder? Or will you know where I can get white cocoa powder? TIA!

All In One said...

Thank you Sonia for this great recipe. I use this recipe n bake 1 chocolate n 1 vanilla. I using a 6 inch removable love shape pan for the chocolate n 6 inch removable chiffon tube pan for the vanilla. Both turn out great very soft. Too bad I can't post the pic here bcos I using iPhone n my laptop just end it journey.

Anonymous said...

My oven has no fan in it and it has top and bottom heating elements. May I know whether I need to turn on both the top and bottom heating elements while making this cake? As for the rack, do I place the cake at lower rack to bake instead of middle rack? Thanks!

Cheryl said...

Hi Sonia,

Just want to check what cream should i use to ice the cake? Making a bday cake using this recipe and decorating it with edible image, so what kind of cream should i use? buttercrem, gancahe etc?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia, this recipe makes 7" cake. Can I use your recipe for 8" pan plain vanilla sponge cake to make a 8" chocolate sponge? If so, what would be the proportion of cocoa powder to flour?


Rachel Page said...

Great cake. Light and fluffy in texture yet oh so rich and chocolatey in taste.

http://dapurresepnusantara.blogspot.com/ said...

Thank you Sonia for this great recipe..

Cherie L. said...

Hi Sonia, thanks for sharing this sponge recipe! Wanted to check with you, if we should use top & bottom heating element, or just the top heating element when baking this cake? Because the cake would be position at the lowest rack right? Thanks in advance! :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Cherie, use both top & bottom heating element. If you scare it will not cook the bottom, at the end of last 5mins, you may switch to fan mode to have even heat distribution.

teo ai li said...

Hi Sonia, I plan to bake this cake for my daughter's birthday next week. I have some questions which need your help:-

May I know if I can bake using a non removable base 7" cake tin?

What is the height of the cake tin? It seems quite tall in the picture.

Do I bake at the lowest level or 1 level lower than the middle?


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Teo ai li, sorry for my late reply. If you dont have a removable bottom cake tin, then you line paper at the bottom and grease the side and dust with flour as to easy remove cake. I baked at 2nd rack from the lowest ( from bottom, second steel bar).

teo ai li said...

Thanks, Sonia! I have bought the removeable base tin and the height is 3". Is this height correct? Thanks!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

teo ai li, yes, my tin height also 3"

teo ai li said...

Hi Sonia, appreciate you replying me...I will be baking this tomorrow. I will be cutting the cake into 3 layers and fill with chocolate mousse and then on the top, pour ganache over it. Its for my daughter's 10th birthday. Thanks!

teo ai li said...

Hi Sonia, this cake turned out very soft and fluffy and the mos amazing thing was there was no crack and minimal shrinkage after taken out of oven. I did have some problems removing the cake from the tin but guess should be able to do better with more practice. However, there was one problem that need your help......the top of my cake was burnt black but the button was perfectly ok...I followed your baking instructions to a t. So can you please advise what should I do? Thanks so much for your help!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Teo, maybe your top heat is high, once you see top turned brown , you may cover it with foil.

Tracy CC Tho said...

Great recipe. My cake turns out to be so soft and spongy. I drop and shocked it on the floor immediately after i I took out from the oven and to my surprise it didn't shrink at all!

yuna said...

Hi nasi, just want to ask if its possible to add more cocoa and reduce the flour to make the cake darker?

Jacqueline Lai said...

Hi Sonia. Love your recipes. Am planning to use your sponge cake recipe for the next birthday cake which I usually cover it with fondant. Will this sponge cake hold the weight of a fondant with Swiss meringue buttercream between the layers? Thanks in advance Sonia

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Yuna, yes you can but you have to adjust the liquid portion too , or use darker cocoa powder.

Jacqueline , I afraid this light sponge cake could not hold the fondant , prefer a butter cake if using fondant . Anyway you can just try it and see .

maylee jamieteoh said...

Hi,Sonia. If I want to use 8' or 9' cake tin, should I adjust the temperature? How long should I bake? I want to celebrate my daughter birthday next two weeks.

maylee jamieteoh said...

Hi,Sonia. If I want to use 8' or 9' cake tin, should I adjust the temperature? How long should I bake? I want to celebrate my daughter birthday next two weeks.

Anonymous said...

Can i change the oil to butter?

Lisa said...

Hi Sonia,

I have made both your chocolate sponge cake and orange chiffon cake recipes using normal round cake pans :) May I ask you what is the difference between chiffon and sponge cake as I noticed that your sponge cake and chiffon cake recipes were extreeemely similar. I Googled it but there are many different answers. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi sonia,
Can I use glucose with egg yolks instead of suger?can I use heating oil technique that you did in your other chocolate sponge in this recipe? I just want to get best results by mixing the two techniques .will it work? Thank you

Phyllis Lam said...

Hi, love yr recipes! I need to make a banana sponge cake (which rises as tall as the normal vanilla sponge cake), can i use this recipe as a basis, then add 1/4tsp baking soda and 1 banana (abt 80 to 90g)? Need to make for a party. Thanks!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Phyllis, Look ok to add the baking soda and banana. but i suggest you try this recipe - http://nasilemaklover.blogspot.my/2011/05/spongy-banana-cake.html

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