Classic Chocolate Sponge Cake with Rum Infused Chocolate Buttercream

21 Jun


On my lovely visit to England, it was my Auntie Liz’ birthday, so a big Happy Birthday to her and thank you for such a wonderful holiday. It was the only day in the whole holiday that the sun came out and it was splitting the stones, utter bliss and luck. So for her birthday I wanted to make her a cake.


She wanted a classic chocolate cake and I was all too happy to make it because I have actually never made a Victoria sponge before (gasp!). I got this recipe from a Nigella Lawson recipe book which I instantly fell in love with, although I did improve on the original recipe. We had leftover rum from making Sticky Toffee Puddings a few nights ago so I decided to throw a bit into the cake mix and the frosting.


It was the best idea ever as it really gave the cake depth and made it incredibly moreish! Don’t worry though if you don’t like the flavor of rum, like me, because it is a very subtle hint. Although this is a very classic cake, the method is a bit unusual, using only a food processor, but I assure you that it comes out absolutely perfectly.


Classic Chocolate Sponge Cake with Rum Infused Chocolate Buttercream (Serves 8-10)

225g butter, quite soft

225g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla

4 eggs

175g self raising flour

25g cornflour

25g good quality cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

2-3tsp dark rum, or to taste


For the Buttercream:

200g butter, softened

200g icing suger

4tbsp cocoa powder

2-3tbp dark rum, or to taste (optional)

1tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and grease and line the bottoms of two 8″/20cm sandwich cake tins.
  • This is a ridiculously easy method. Put the butter and sugar in a food processor and whizz until just combined, then add in the vanilla, eggs, self raising flour, cocoa powder, cornflour and baking powder and whizz again until it forms a smooth batter.
  • Add in the rum to taste and whizz, you are looking for a soft batter that falls off a spoon slowly. If your batter is a bit thick then just add milk, a tablespoon at a time and whizzing after each addition until it is soft. Don’t worry if you accidentally make it too runny, it should still be absolutely fine.
  • Divide the mixture as evenly as you possibly can (For some reason I find this ridiculously impossible to do!) and bake in the oven for 25-30mins. To check if they are done, you should be able to press lightly down on the surface of the cake and it should spring back into shape. Remove and leave to cool completely then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack until needed.
  • To make the buttercream, place the softened butter in a large bowl and sieve in the icing sugar. Beat together with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until well combined and creamy. Sieve in the cocoa powder  and add the rum and vanilla, beat again until all combined then taste and add more rum if necessary.
  • To assemble, Place one cake half on a clean plate or cake board and dollop the buttercream all over. Smooth it out roughly using a palette knife and place the other cake half on top.
  • Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate as desired. I used crushed pistachios and strawberry halves.


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