Gluten Free Chocolate Sponge Cake

Besides learning how to make this delicious and moist gluten free chocolate sponge cake, you also learn how to convert vanilla cakes to chocolate. It’s all very easy to do. Layer it with a number of fillings like chocolate ganache, chocolate, vanilla, or even cherry liqueur whipped cream. Chocolate pastry cream is another choice along with cherry or strawberry pie filling. Make one simple change and you can make a Black Forest Cake! (Recipe coming soon.)

Links You May Need:

Carla’s Gluten Free Self-Rising Cake Flour Blend Recipe

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

The Perfect Homemade Whipped Cream (Chantilly)

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Cherry Liqueur Whipped Cream with Homemade Liqueur

Chocolate Pastry Cream

Chocolate Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (mint optional)

How to Convert a Vanilla Cake to Chocolate

If you look at the recipe for Gluten Free Sponge Cake (the vanilla version), you’ll see that it calls for 1 cup of Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour. To make this chocolate version, all I did was to remove 2 tablespoons of flour and add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of cocoa powder. Therefore, in the future when you want to convert a vanilla or yellow cake to chocolate, use the same ratio as above. Example: If a vanilla/yellow cake calls for 2 cups of flour, you would only use 1-3/4 cup of flour and add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder.

How Many Layers Can I Make Using This Recipe?

As written, the recipe makes a three-layer cake in an 8-inch pan and a single layer in a 10-inch pan. A 9-inch pan creates a medium-sized layer, which is iffy it could slice it in thirds. It would be best as a two-layer cake. I used a single recipe to make an 8-inch pan that is only 7-1/2 inches at the bottom. I have also made a three-layer cake in a 10-inch springform by doubling the recipe and cooking it until it springs back. My first attempt at making this recipe, I used four 4-inch spring-form pans. I have also used three separate 8-inch pans (one spring-form pan and two standard cake pans), where I used a double recipe to make three separate layers, instead of slicing the layers.

Gluten Free Chocolate Sponge Cake

Make this delicious gluten free chocolate sponge cake and layer it any way you wish including various flavors of whipped cream, chocolate pastry cream, chocolate ganache, or cherry liqueur whipped cream!
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Ingredient Keyword cocoa powder, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, eggs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 (or more) slices


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature, separated (or 1/4 butter or fat of some kind + 1/2 cup liquid from a can of cannellini beans)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Gluten Free Self-Rising Cake Flour Blend see above recipe link
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt


  1. Oil a 7 to 10-inch springform pan or four 4-inch springform pans. (See above paragraph for size pans.) Then, line the bottom with parchment paper and oil the top of the paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the sugar and egg yolks on medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl if needed. Little pebbles of sugar-yolk will form.
  3. Pour in the boiling water a tiny bit at a time, over about 90 seconds, with mixer running on medium; allow to cool for 2 minutes.
  4. While the mix is cooling, sift together the cake flour blend, cocoa, and salt onto a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper; set near the mixer.

  5. Stir the vanilla extract into the egg-sugar mixture and beat on low speed.
  6. Add about 3 tablespoons of the flour blend at a time into the mixing bowl by cradling the sifted mixture and allowing it to slide into the mixing bowl. Beat on low speed after each addition until smooth, scraping sides as needed.
  7. Using a clean mixing bowl and beater(s), (I like to use my hand blender fitted with the whisk attachment) whip the egg high speed until they reach firm, stiff peaks. (The length of time varies on the power of your mixer and the temperature of your eggs: 1-1/2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Using a silicone/rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whipped egg whites into the cake batter until no streaks remain. Repeat with remaining egg whites one-third at a time. (Over mixing will result in a heavy cake as you are popping many of the air bubbles.)
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth out the top(s). (Do not tap the cake pans on counter or shake to even out the batter, as this will cause the air bubbles to surface or pop).
  10. Bake a single recipe in 4-inch pans for 25 minutes. Bake a single recipe in a 7-inch pan for about 35 minutes. Bake a double recipe in three 8-inch pans for 25 minutes. ***No matter which version you make, bake the cakes until they spring back when pressed lightly with your fingertips and the cake moves away from the sides of the pan.

  11. Remove the cake(s) from the oven and allow them/it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan while resting on a wire rack. The cake will continue to move away from the sides of the pan.
  12. If necessary, use a knife or small spatula to loosen any stuck-on cake from the springform ring and remove the ring.

  13. Oil a wire rack and invert the cake(s) onto the rack. Remove the bottom of the pan as well as the parchment paper. Allow the cake(s) to cool completely, upside down. You may reinvert the cake halfway through cooling or sooner.
  14. Once cool, base any hard edges with simple syrup, if needed.

  15. If desired, slice each layer in half, horizontally, using a serrated knife, using a sawing motion. (To do this easily, slice into the cake about 1-inch all the way around. Then, wrap waxed dental floss or cotton string into the crevices. Criss-cross the ends and pull in opposite directions until the entire cake is sliced in half or thirds (whatever you’re striving for). Alternatively, after slicing into the cake about 1 inch, you may use the same knife to slice all the way through the cake.

  16. To prevent crumbs from mixing in with your filling or frosting, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or cold all the way through.
  17. If freezing unassembled layers, defrost at room temperature 1 – 2 hours, depending upon size and room temperature.
  18. Add your filling(s) of choice between each layer and top with your favorite topping or frosting.
  19. Sponge cake may be served immediately and even frozen assembled, but once filled, refrigerate because it only gets better with time. You can easily make this cake two days in advance. The cake absorbs moist fillings like custard or whipped cream and makes them perfectly moist!

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