Erma Fox of Memphis, Missouri suggests baking this beautifully high, rich sponge cake for a special dessert.

Allrecipes Member

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
1 hr
1 hr 25 mins
16 servings


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a bowl, combine cocoa and water until smooth; cool for 20 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add oil, egg yolks, vanilla and cocoa mixture; beat until smooth. In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form; gradually fold into egg yolk mixture. Pour into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Bake on lowest rack at 325 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Invert pan to cool; remove cake from pan.

  • For icing, melt butter in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, chocolate and vanilla. Stir in enough water until desired consistency; drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with nuts.

Nutrition Facts

355 calories; protein 5.1g; carbohydrates 51.9g; fat 15.5g; cholesterol 91.5mg; sodium 299.9mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (31)

Rating: 5 stars
This cake is very easy to make, fluffy in texture but also rich in taste. I made it into a 12 inch three-layer birthday cake with brandied black cherries and whipped cream and served 19 people. Very verry nice. Everyone loved it. Someone requested for me to make it again for his family for Mother's Day! Next time I will try to get a branded/ better cocoa powder to get a more chocolatey taste. I reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cup for a more Chinese/ less sweet taste. Also, I first add the 1 cup of sugar in the flour mixture and save the remained 1/2 cup of sugar to beat the egg white (add in gradually like making a meringue). The mixture went into the 12 inch spring pan only half full but rose to taller than the frame after baked. It tastes good by itself but better with whipped cream.Thank you for the recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This cake is simple to make. It is light and tender and has a rich chocolate taste. I did not try the icing. I baked it for 60 minutes and it was just done, even though the top did not spring back. Had I cooked it until the top springed back, it would have been overcooked. I will be using this recipe to make my sister's wedding cake. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I made this cake for my daughter's 6th birthday. I used organic flour and sugar. I baked it in two round pans for about half the time so I could make a two-layer cake. I gave the cake pans a quick spray of Pam. I knew the egg whites need to climb up the side of the pan, but didn't want risk the cake sticking. The cake came out smoothly from the pans. The middle I filled with a layer of raspberry jam and a layer of chocolate ganache (equal parts bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream melted together and cooled). I also substituted the water in the icing for heavy cream. I kept it in the fridge until party time, so the frosting would stay thick. The cake was fabulous - moist and rich, but not killer-sweet. Everyone at the party ate it quickly with vanilla ice cream. I give it 4 out of 5 starts only because I would have liked it to be a bit more chocolatey - but I'm a dark chocolate lover! Thanks for a great recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wow! I have been searching high and low for a good Chiffon Cake recipe, and this one literally takes the cake! Instead of a tubepan, I made use of 2 - 8" x 2" round pans and baked it for 35 minutes. I could have made it into a mile-high 3 layer cake had I had the oven space. I also added 1/2 tsp. instant coffee powder to the cocoa mixture to up the chocolatey flavor. To ensure rising, I added 1/2 tsp. of baking powder, but I doubt it had any effect, but I'll keep doing it just the same. I'll be frosting this cake with Chocolate flavored Swiss Meringue frosting for that nostalgic kiddie birthday cake taste. Not too sweet, not too dry. Light, airy and fluffy. Just the way I like my birthday cakes. Yum. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely FABULOUS! Love it. Made it so many times already. So light & fluffy. Thank you so much for sharing. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I have been looking for a recipe that's a cross between the traditional heavy chocolate cakes and the lighter cake mix ones and this is it! It was just the right sweetness for us (i.e., not too sweet) and we used a ganache frosting for those with sweeter teeth. I did invert it on a bottle but wonder if it wouldn't stay light because it has baking soda in it. The kids GOBBLED it up! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This cake is (was) delicious! I was inspired to make this so I could beat the egg whites with my new KitchenAid stand mixer that I got for Christmas. I didn't have cake flour so I used unbleached white flour. The cake was light and rich at the same time. The frosting is delicious. I used chopped pecans for the nuts and served it with fresh whipped cream. The cake looked just like the photo in the recipe and my family (and I) loved it. I will definitely make this again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Filled the house with a lovely smell, good texture, appearence, color, rose well, but the chocolate flavor is somewhat subtle? This is a good recipe though. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very soft and lite. I am not good at baking and it came out perfect. It was a bit too sweet but overall very good. Read More