This sponge cake recipe below is the one in my book for my chocolate fudge cake (page 282). I get asked a lot in emails how readers can make cakes which “look amazing but also don’t take an eternity to prepare?” I’m going to be 100% honest and say ~  if I am making a chocolate cake for entertaining guests, 95% of the time I’ll bake the cake from scratch using all raw ingredients but sometimes ~ especially if I have to make a few of them due to a lot of people coming round and I am totally pressed for time ~ I will buy a good supermarket chocolate cake mix in order to ease stress and make my life easier. Once baked I will then ‘fancy’ the basic cooked cake up to a new level with a variety of fruits and berries/nuts/flavoured creams/alcohol/fruit coulis and sauces etc. etc. (note – not all together! ;)

Disclaimer I do realise I am now opening myself up to a plethora of jibes at my next dinner party as to whether the cake came from my kitchen or a box! LOL ~ but bugger it – we’re all human and sometimes we just need to opt for the less-stessful route.. ;)

I came across a gluten-free cake mix a few years ago when a friend brought a cake to a party at my house in Melbourne. She was coeliac and I was stunned to find out the cake we ended up eating after dinner ~ which she prepared earlier and brought along ~ was in fact made from a cake mix box. It was amazing – really fudgy and moist, super chocolaty and I was blown away how good it tasted. It totally changed my opinion of pre-prepared cake mix packets (strike that – I should say ‘some’ of them ~ and generally more-so it’s the chocolate ones which are most impressive) and I found myself from time to time buying and preparing the same cake for friends. Obviously making the cake from scratch is a better option but not always the most sensible plan.

Christmas is such a manic time for us all, especially if you plan to entertain guests in the run up to Xmas and on the actual day of the 25th, let alone throw a NYE party (!).The recipe for my original cake sponge is below, but if you have to, don’t feel guilty to grab a Devil’s Food Cake or Mud Cake mix and substitute that instead.

Whether you go down the from scratch route or decide to ‘cheat’ and grab a cake mix, once you’ve baked the cake and allowed it to cool the process to finish the cake will be the same. I know a lot of cake mixes can include a bag of frosting, I rarely use these but to avoid wastage, you can squeeze the frosting into the ganache below if you like, it combines very well and just adds a little extra thickness.


  1. Betty
    January 31, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Need help converting to US measure.

  2. Mel
    February 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Katie, I was just wondering could I also add sour cherries to this?? Thanks, Mel

    • Katie
      February 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Yes Mel totally you can.

  3. Melissa
    February 11, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Hi Katie,

    I am just wondering is it possible to make sour Cherrries and add them in with the fresh cherries?

    Thanks! Mel

    • Katie
      February 12, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Yes absolutely!

  4. February 20, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Wonderful Cake…. wonderful picture! Thanks Kate…it seems very very good!!

  5. Kimmie
    March 9, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Hi Katie,

    If making for a dinner party where I am not the host, should I put the cake in the fridge while eating dinner or is it okay to be at room temp? For how long? Thanks. :)

  6. Judi
    August 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Hi Kate,
    what is pouring cream…… here in US we have heavy cream, light cream, half&half TY

  7. Jelena
    January 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    I made this cake for party yesterday and it was huge hit. I put layer of macerated strawberries on top of 1st layer and redcurrants/blueberries on top of cake. It looked and tasted amazing! Big plus was that I baked the cake week in advance and froze it. Assembly literally took 5 minutes before serving.
    I had 2 cakes done, and this one was favoured by kids and adults!
    One question- is the cake in the pictures smaller than 20cm or did you find some jumbo sized raspberries?

  8. Meagan
    January 25, 2015 at 2:53 am

    I made this for a party yesterday and it was honestly the best thing I’ve ever made. In January in the Czech Republic ingredient sourcing was a little rough, so I used frozen raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. No cherries. Also no kirsch, but creme de cassis instead. I also threw a little salt and powdered sugar in the filling to amp it up a bit. It came out really incredible and I’m in love. I also received several marriage proposals from happy partygoers. Thanks for another great one Katie!

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