This light and airy Chocolate Genoise (Italian Sponge Cake) is light and airy and filled with a quick, easy and delicious chocolate mousse, loads of summer fruit like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, with a scrumptious stabilized whipped cream icing.
I recently made this Italian chocolate sponge cake for my husband's birthday and it was AMAZING! So, if you are looking for birthday cake recipes for adults, Italian birthday cakes or homemade birthday cake ideas, this is the one. My family went crazy for it!
For this chocolate sponge cake recipe, you'll need:
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- white granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- unsalted butter
- hot water
- semi-sweet chocolate chips
- heavy cream
- whipped cream frosting recipe
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Filling: you could you any filling you want, but the chocolate mousse goes so perfectly with it!
- Frosting: you could use plain whipped cream, but it won't hold up as well as the Stabilized Whipped Cream Icing does. When you add gelatin (or piping gel (affiliate link) in this case) to the whipped cream, it holds the whip longer. This genoise sponge also goes well with an Italian Meringue Buttercream.
- Berries: you can use any berries you like!
👪 Serving Size
This genoise recipe makes 16 servings (a 3 layer cake). However, you make ½ double or triple the recipe, if you'd like to make additional cakes, by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust. You'll just need additional cake pans.
You will need three 8-9 inch round cake pans, as well as mixing bowls and spoons, and a mixer. You will also need an electric mixer. You could use an electric hand mixer, but I would recommend using a stand mixer (affiliate links) for the beating involved in this type of cake. If you don't already have one, it's worth the investment. This is a purchase you will make good use of for a very long time!
I would also recommend using Wilton cake release (affiliate link). This is what I use for crumb-free, perfect cake every single time! And if you prefer to use parchment paper, I recommend these parchment liners (affiliate link) - they fit a round cake pan and come in 8 or 9 inch depending on the size you have.
- Storing: Store this chocolate genoise sponge recipe in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Freezing: You can also freeze this cake UNDECORATED AND UNFILLED, in a sealed extra large cake carrier (affiliate link) or another sealed container for up to 3 months. *Just make sure it's completed defrosted before you decorate it.
Your eggs need to be room temperature for this recipe (this is critical! ) *If you need to warm them quickly, then pour some boiling water into a shallow bowl, then crack your eggs into another bowl and set it on top of the bowl of boiling water. Just keep checking to see if the eggs have warmed. I did this and it worked well.
💭Italian Chocolate (Genoise) sponge vs. sponge
Sponge cakes are lighter cakes and are known for having a subtle flavor and delicate texture. Génoise sponge cake has Italian origins, although it's been adopted for treats that are more commonly associated with French cuisine. The batter is also the basis for Madeleines and ladyfingers, delicate cookies baked in molds. Italian Sponge Cake often ends up in a layer cake, such as this one, with fillings like whipped cream, buttercream or mousse.
And while the sponge and genoise are often regarded as being one and the same, they are, strictly speaking, two quite different creatures.
- A true sponge contains no fat other than that occurring naturally in egg yolks, and the yolks and whites are usually beaten separately.
- With a genoise, butter (in this case melted, but clarified butter is used in some) is used to enrich the batter, which is made by beating whole eggs, sometimes with additional yolks, together with sugar.
Although an Italian sponge is probably the most complicated to make, this recipe is foolproof! It is the perfect chocolate sponge cake recipe. The most critical part is that your eggs are warm and you follow the directions, precisely, whipping the eggs together with the sugar, with a mixer (a stand mixer preferably) until the volume expands dramatically.
If you're curious about the different types of cakes and how they compare, you can Read more about the differences between cakes HERE and HERE!
So, if you're looking for a great summer cake, birthday cake or celebration cake, this Chocolate Genoise Sponge cake is one of the best homemade cakes you will ever eat!
And if you're looking for an additional sponge cake recipe, check out this easy 3 ingredient sponge cake recipe!
Did you make this chocolate sponge cake recipe? If you loved it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment below!
🎂Chocolate Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe
Chocolate Sponge (Genoise) Cake:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon sifted cocoa powder
- 9 eggs at room temperature **it is critical your eggs are at room temperature
- 1 ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse:
- ½ cup hot water
- 4 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream) -at least 33%
- 2 tablespoon white granulated sugar
Stabilized Whipped Cream Icing:
- 2 small containers of blueberries
- 2 small containers of strawberries hulled and sliced (save a few half and whole strawberries for garnishing the top)
- 2 small containers of raspberries
- 2 small containers of black berries
Chocolate Sponge (Genoise) Cake
- Head up: Before you even turn on the oven, make sure your eggs are out of the fridge - they need to come to room temperature. *this is critical for success with this cake! If you need to warm them quickly, then pour some boiling water into a shallow bowl, then crack your eggs into another bowl and set it on top of the bowl of boiling water. Just keep checking to see if the eggs have warmed. I did this and it worked well.
- Preheat the oven to 350° f or 175° c. Grease three 8-9 inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper (I would suggest parchment rounds- See Equipment) or use cake release ** I always use "Cake Release" by Wilton and it eliminates the need for anything else and your cakes come out perfect every time! *See Equipment
- Sift the flour and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for about 10 minutes on medium-high speed (high speed if you are using an electric hand mixer). * You'll know when it's done because the mixture will turn pale and quadruple in volume. Then gently fold in the melted butter.
- Gently pour the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, folding it in with a spatula.
- Pour the genoise batter into the cake tins, dividing evenly by all 3. * Always fill pans to ⅔ full and no more. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes.* you will probably have some leftover batter so make a few cupcakes!
- Let cake cool for about 10 minutes. Gently run a spatula around the edges of the pans to loosen the cake. Gently turn onto a wire rack and let completely cool. * If you use Wilton cake release, your cakes will come out perfect and crumb-free!
Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse:
- Dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot water.
- Melt the chocolate chips on 50% power for 2 mins and 30 seconds in the microwave, then stir then for another 30 seconds just until smooth. *Do not let any water/moisture touch the chocolate or utensils or it will make the chocolate seize
- Add cocoa mixture to the melted chocolate chips and stir well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream mixture to the melted chocolate and fold in with a spatula until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Stabilized Whipped Cream Icing:
- I use this recipe: https://foodmeanderings.com/stabilized-whipped-cream-icing/
- Add first cake to a serving plate. Then spread ⅓ of the chocolate mousse on the first layer of cake, then add about ¼ of the berries. Pipe some whipped cream around the edges of the layer, prior to putting the next layer on top.
- Repeat for 2nd layer, then again, for the top layer.
- Pile the remaining berries on top of the cake!
- Pipe whipped cream around the edge of the top of the cake, the bottom and each layer, if it looks like it needs it.
- Stud whipped cream (between layers( with additional berries, as in my photos, if desired.
This looks so good! I've never had it before but really want to now!
Thanks, Colleen! If you try it, I can assure you that you won't be disappointed!
I would spend the $500 on my summer vacation
Spending $ on summer vacations is the best, Edith!
I would spend the $500.00 to pay for a ticket for myself and for my husband to go to the Food Bloggers of Canada Road Tour event in September in Banff/Canmore!
That sounds like a great way to spend the money, Redawna! I'm going to see if I can get there too - it's finally close enough to home 🙂
Vanessa | Zest & Simmer
This cake looks absolutely amazing! You now have me craving a piece! 🙂
If I were to win the $500 I would use to for decor/Renos to the house we are getting this summer!
Thanks, Vanessa! That sounds like a fun use of $500. Congrats on the new house!!!
This sounds and looks so delicious. The berries make it healthy ... right ?
That's right, Ingrid! Berries make it healthy :). But seriously, genoise sponge is one of the healthiest, as far as cake goes, but it's all the filling (mousse and whipped cream icing) that kind of blows it. Oh well- we only live one, right?!
Wow this looks like such a perfect summer cake! Also, feel your pain on the name spelling...I have been called Gabi, Gabbey, Gabbi, you name it!
Thanks, Gabby! Yes, it's especially bad when someone close to you spells your name wrong! 🙁 Now there's another Teri at work (on my team) and I have to say, "I'm Terri with 2 'r''s" ugh! And we still get each other's emails all the time!
This cake looks amazing! I would use the $500 to visit my parents this summer. They just became grandparents and I’m visiting with my son regardless, but it would make flying with an infant much easier, haha!
Thanks, Jessica! How wonderful that your parents get to meet your little guy - what a great way to spend the $! Good luck in the giveaway!
This looks amazing. We always have cake, birthday or no birthday lol! I love how you used lots and lots of berries! It's the perfect spring treat. PS: Awesome giveaway too 🙂
Hi Jolina- thanks! Yes, I agree - I'll use any reason to eat cake! The mounds of berries make it feel a little healthier 🙂 and sort of compensated for the whipped cream and mousse! Good luck in the giveaway!
Congrats on quitting smoking!! I'm at almost thirteen years ago now that I quit and still celebrate. 🙂 I'm jealous of the nickname. Sharon doesn't really spawn any and I always wanted one. I want this cake too! Looks delish.
Thanks, Sharon! And congrats to you for staying smoke-free too! Funny... I always loved the name Sharon and as a kid, I remember wishing it was my name!
Looks amazing! ? I’ll have to make this sponge cake very soon with my little sisters, they love to bake! They want to open up their own bakery when they are older (they are 12). If I won the $500 I would put it toward my college education and college expenses. I am paying for my education all by myself without the help of my family and the $500 would be extremely helpful with tuition, books, and so much more. Thank you for this amazing opportunity! ❤️
Hi Madelaine! I hope you enjoy baking this cake with your little sisters- that would be so fun! I wished I had an older sister to bake with when I was young - they are lucky 🙂 Good luck with the contest- that's a great way to spend the $! I also paid my University education myself. I know how challenging that is! All the best to you and I hope you stop by Food Meanderings again...
I would replace my food processor - it's almost 20 years old and has taken a beating over the years.
You could get yourself a pretty amazing food processor, Karen! Good luck in the giveaway!
i would spend it catching up on bills. Winter was rough and the utility bills were really high
Yes, it was a rough winter, Amanda! I feel your pain with the high bills... Good luck in the giveaway!
Denise from Urb’n’Spice
I happen to love the name, Terri. It was my Moms nickname too (for Theresa). I adore making this type of cake - it is my favourite cake to make, actually. Sponge cakes are so lovely to work with. If I won this prize, I would buy my niece a KitchenAid for her wedding gift. She loves to bake and often asks me for tips. Thanks for this opportunity and your great cake recipes.
Thanks, Denise! I do like Terri, but not Teresa. Because I never felt like it was MY name. It's neat to hear someone else named Teresa that used Terri for short! Most Terri's I know, aren't Teresa's. That sounds like an amazing wedding gift! I got one for my wedding and was thrilled beyond belief at the generosity!
This looks crazy delicious!! I’m all about cake lol. I would use the money for a lovely summer family get together/ reunion!
Thanks, Jo! Sounds like a great way to use the $ - good luck!!!
I would spend the $500 on a weekend road trip with the family.
I love road trips, Jonni! I would do the same 🙂
I accidentally left the E off the end of my name when I commented but I'm Jonnie Hartling on the rafflecopter form
Thanks, Jonni - I will note that!
This cake is gorgeous!
If I win the giveaway cash I would be spending it towards some new kitchen counter tops for my kitchen. This would be a big help for me as they need to be changed. Your chocolate Italian sponge cake looks totally sublime! It would be such a decadent treat. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!
We need a new car, so it would probably go to that...
Good luck, Ally!
I am in awe of what I see with all your blogs do what you have made but what stumbles me the most is I have never got to taste them and I'm your neighbor. Sharing is caring Terri lol great job
🙂 Thanks, Heather! I didn't want to sabotage you guys, but I'm happy to drop off leftovers! 🙂
I would spend the money likely on the grandkids family BBQ with good food and laughter building memories with the grandkids Thank you for the opportunity to enter
Sounds like a wonderful way to spend it! They do say that spending $ on experiences is way more fulfilling than spending it on ‘things’
Looks and sounds super fancy- and delish!
I'd use the cash for our bathroom renovation for some extra pretty touches
Thanks, Anna! That sounds like a great way to spend some extra cash!
I love this cake, looks delicious!
I would put the money towards our summer holiday to our family reunion in Saskatchewan.
Thanks, Sheena-sounds like a wonderful way to spend the money! Good luck!!!
Love your recipes!! I would put the $500 towards our honeymoon:) We haven't been able to afford to go since we got married but your generous giveaway would definitely help towards it! Thank you❤️
Hi Sivakame. Thank you -I am glad you are loving the recipes! That would be so wonderful for you to get away on your honeymoon. Good luck in the giveaway!
This looks so delicious! I am definitely going to try this one!
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!