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This is a simple chocolate sponge. I made these in quite large cupcake cases so they only made 8 but the receipe says they should make 12.

I got this recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook where they recommend that you don’t overbeat the mixture as the sponge will become too heavy and it should be light and fluffy.

Makes 10-12 slices / 12 cupcakes



100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g  castor sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

A pinch of salt

40g unsorted butter, at room temperature

120ml of whole milk

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases.




Preheat the oven to 170°C(325°F) Gas 3.


Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. 

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.

Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any mixed ingredients from the sides of the ball with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 20- 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon on the chocolate, vanilla or cream cheese frosting on top and decorate with chocolate vermicelli or silver balls.

I used Salted Caramel frosting.