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Vanilla Sponge Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A classic vanilla sponge cake frosted with a rich and decadent chocolate buttercream frosting. An easy homemade birthday cake recipe that will be a hit at any party.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Bake Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Servings 6 people


For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ¾ cup oil

For simple syrup:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened ( at room temperature)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2.5 cup icing sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence


To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 180-degree Celsius. Grease the cake pan with butter and then line it with baking/parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, sift in all-purpose flour and baking powder. Add castor sugar and whisk everything well.
  • Separate the egg whites and yolks. Beat egg white until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg yolks and keep it aside.
  • To the egg whites, add half the flour mixture. Fold it in and then pour half the oil. Fold again. Then add rest of the flour mixture. Fold it in gently. Pour the remaining oil into the bowl and fold gently. Avoid over mixing.
  • Then add egg yolks and vanilla essence. Fold it in.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 180-degree Celsius for 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

To make soaking/simple syrup:

  • Heat a saucepan over medium flame. Pour water and add sugar. Bring it to a boil while stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
  • Simmer for 3-4 minutes without stirring. Turn the flame off. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

To soak the cake:

  • Keep the cake on a wire rack and allow it to cool down completely. Slice the cake horizontally and remove the top layer.
  • Poke a few holes in the cake with a toothpick. Generously sprinkle the simple syrup over the cake and allow it to fully absorb. A thin layer of syrup is sufficient. Avoid adding too much syrup as the cake may become soggy and mushy. Allow it to sit for a few hours.

To make the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • In a bowl, sift in icing sugar and cocoa powder. Keep it aside for later use.
  • In another bowl, add the unsalted butter and beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes or until it becomes pale and creamy. You can use an electric hand mixer, stand mixer or even a whisk to make this frosting.
  • Then pour a tablespoon of the cocoa-sugar mixture and beat on low speed. Once it is fully combined, add another tablespoon of the mixture. Beat again. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Keep repeating the same process until all the mixture is added. Pour milk and vanilla essence. Beat again for 4-5 minutes on medium speed for more fluffiness.

To frost the cake:

  • Once the syrup absorbs into the cake, apply a thin layer of chocolate buttercream frosting all over the cake. The layer should be slightly thicker than a crumb coat but not too thick.
  • Take a piping bag, fitted with Wilton 32 tip, pour the rest of the frosting into the bag. To make the design, start from the bottom of the cake and work your way around. Make small swirls all over the cake.
  • Vanilla sponge cake is ready to serve.
Keyword chocolate buttercream frosting, vanilla cake