Kirbie's Cravings

Chocolate Sponge Cake

photo of two slices of Chocolate Sponge Cake on a plate

I’ve gotten pretty good at making chiffon/sponge cakes. I find them easier to make than the majority of cake recipes, even though I have to separate the eggs and whip the egg whites. I love whipping the egg whites and watching them come together. Every time I whip egg whites, I recall when I was much younger and trying to make a meringue and having an absolute disaster with trying to whip the egg whites.

close-up photo of chocolate sponge cake

So this weekend, I tried out a chocolate sponge cake recipe that looked tasty. I set about separating my eggs. Crack, open, separate. Everything was going great, and then the unthinkable happened. One of my yolks broke.  I don’t even know how it happened. I didn’t see it happen. One minute, the egg yolk was in my hand and solid and the next minute it was beginning to leak. I saw it just as it was about to fall into my bowl of egg whites. I quickly dumped it into the egg yolk bowl. Only a drop got in. I thought I could save it. I stuck a spoon in to try to remove the drop. But I couldn’t completely. Some of it just spread out even more.

It was just a drop. I could still whip up the egg whites right? I mean there were five egg whites in my bowl and one drop of yolk. But no. Apparently, that one little drop was enough to completely ruin my egg whites. They simply would not whip together.  I was so annoyed. I had to start all over again.

Anyway, I finally got it right. I enjoyed the cake. I like the spongy texture. The chocolate flavor is pretty light. I think my favorite is still the pandan chiffon cake. But this one is pretty good too.

close-up photo of slices of sponge cake

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Servings: 1 (10-inch) tube cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
This chocolate cake gets its spongy texture from whipped eggs whites. It’s a great cake to serve for dessert or with tea.


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs separated, preferably at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • In a small bowl, blend the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  • Separate the eggs. Place the whites in a mixing bowl with 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Set aside.
  • Put the yolks in a very large mixing bowl. Beat them with an electric beater on high speed for a few minutes until very thick and pale yellow. Add the sugar gradually and continue beating for another couple of minutes. It should be pale and very thick.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the yolk/sugar mixture, alternating with the cold water and vanilla (dry-wet-dry-wet-dry), beating after each addition until blended, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • Beat the whites until stiff peaks hold.
  • Delicately fold the whites into the cake batter: begin by folding in about a third of the whites in order to lighten the heavy batter. Then fold in another third, then the final third. Don’t overdo it or, again, you will knock out too much air.
  • Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 55- 60 minutes until set. If you think it is done, if the cake is risen high and seems baked through simply press the top very lightly. If you hear a foamy sound – don’t worry, if you hear or feel that foamy sensation you will know it – simply let the cake bake for another couple of minutes. If the cake is not perfectly baked through it risks falling as it cools.
  • Invert the cake and let cool, while the cake is still stuck to the pan. Once cooled, loosen cake from pan (I use a plastic knife) until cake slides out of pan.


Recipe adapted from Life's a Feast

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

Chocolate Sponge Cake

11 comments on “Chocolate Sponge Cake”

  1. Oh don’t you just hate that when egg whites don’t beat up? Yup, even just a hint of oil, just a hairline streak on a bowl will completely ruin a whole batch of eggwhites. So I follow what many bakers recommend, separate the egg in a bowl, if it’s clean, add the white to the actual bowl. That way the whole batch won’t be wasted. A PITA if you ask me but I guess it’s better than having to make an egg-white omelet. 🙂

  2. I should do that next time. I made a chiffon cake again last night and I was sooo slow and careful when separating the eggs. Took me twice as long as usual to do the cake.

  3. Whenever I accidently get a small piece of egg yolk into the egg whites, I found using the one half cracked egg shell easily spoons out the egg yolk.

    • I’ve tried it before, but it’s hard to get it completely out because the yolk starts spreading and contaminating the egg whites. I think I’ve successfully saved an egg white mixture only once.

  4. Thanks for this chocolet cake !! Was lookin for 1 like that !! What kind of flour u use…is it cake flour or all purpose flour ??

  5. Thanks a lot !!

  6. wat can we subsitute for cream of tartar incase we cant find it?

    • I don’t know a substitute for cream of tartar, but it should be commonly available. It’s usually with all the spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. The cream of tartar helps keeps the eggs stabilized so the cake does not deflate.

  7. I used the same way but my sponge became like rubber 🙁 was that bcz of cream of tartar ?

    • cream of tartar keeps the egg whites stabilized so that the cake will rise properly since it relies so much on those stiff egg whites.

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