Chocolate and Vanilla Cake Recipe

Best ever chocolate and vanilla cake recipe! Not only it is super tasty, but it is also super easy to prepare too. The soft chocolate sponge is topped with salted caramel sauce and layered with vanilla cream cheese and whipping cream frosting.

chocolate and vanilla cake

This Chocolate and Vanilla cake is wonderfully moist, dense, and quick to make. My youngest daughter loves chocolate. Anything that is made from chocolate, really. It is safe to say that she is a true chocoholic…

So when her birthday came, I thought it was a perfect time to bake her a chocolate cake. This cake sponge is my most baked cake sponges ever. I like its’ simplicity and versatility.

Also, it doesn’t dry out when stored in the fridge and it will taste and keep well for 2- 3 days in an airtight container.

As for the filling, I went with vanilla cream cheese and whipped cream frosting. It is such a classic combination that you can’t go wrong.

To jazz things up, I added my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce between layers.

If you are short on time, use a tinned caramel or skip the sauce altogether.


Step 1. Mix the wet ingredients

cake ingredients

To start with, pre-heat the oven to 170 C and line the 23 cm baking tin. Though this cake can be baked in 2 x 20 cm tins too.

Then, measure the milk and add 1 tbsp of vinegar, let it curdle for a few minutes.

Afterward, mix room temperature eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and curdled milk together in a bowl and set aside.

 Leave the coffee out ( it will be added at the last step ).


If you are like me and forget to bring the eggs to room temperature ahead of time, place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 min. It will help eggs to come to room temperature very quickly.

Step 2. Sift the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and bicarb. soda. Mix all to combine.
Mix dry ingredients

Step 3. Combine dry & wet ingredients

Add all the wet ingredients, except the hot coffee, and stir it with a whisk.

Step 4. Mix and bake

Next, add the hot coffee and mix it all well. The cake batter will be very runny but don’t worry, this is how it has to be.

Pour the batter into a lined baking tin or divide it into 2 smaller tins. Place it in the preheated oven and bake for about 50- 60 min, or until inserted skewer comes out clean.

cake batter

Step 5. Prepare salted caramel sauce

While the cake is baking, prepare the caramel sauce. It will need some time to cool down.

The recipe for the sauce could be found HERE, or you can skip this step if omitting the sauce.

Step 6. Prepare Vanilla cream cheese filling

Begin with beating the room temperature butter in the large bowl for a few minutes. Once it has softened, add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

In another bowl, beat the double whipping cream with icing sugar and vanilla extract until the soft peaks are formed.

Start adding spoonfuls of whipped cream to the cream cheese/ butter mixture.  Fold gently with a rubber spatula. Don’t add all the whipped cream at once.

Continue adding cream until all the filling is combined.

Cover with a plastic film and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 min.

cream cheese frosting

whipped cream

cream cheese frosting ready

Step 7. Cool and slice the cake

I have used an adjustable cake slicing tool to divide the sponge equally.

It was difficult to slice the sponge into 4 layers because the layers were very thin.

With this in mind, I would suggest baking this cake in 2 separate tins rather than one. That way each cake will be sliced only in half and be more stable to handle.

baked cake sponge

Step 8. Assemble and Decorate

The cake ring is very useful when assembling the cake. It helps to keep the sponge in place.

For this cake, I only used a small amount of cream, just enough to cover the sponge.

Then, drizzled some caramel over the top and placed the second layer.

When I reached the top, I removed the ring gently ( by running the knife inside the tin ). I then spread the rest of the cream cheese filling to the sides.

At this stage, the cake wasn’t covered in a thick layer of cream. That didn’t bother me. This can be covered and fixed when decorating.

adding the caramel
filled cake

The sides of the cake were decorated with wafers. I also crumbled some Oreo cookies for the top and added fresh strawberries just before serving.

After staying in the fridge overnight, the wafers have softened. But that didn’t spoil the overall presentation and the wonderful taste of the cake.

In the past, I have used many different fillings and combos for this sponge. I really liked the Whipped cream & Cherry filling. Also, Caramel frosting with some roasted hazelnuts. The list is endless.

Hope you will have a go and bake it for someone special too!

decorated chocolate and vanilla cake

sliced cake

decorated chocolate and vanilla cake

Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Layers of soft and moist chocolate sponge cake drizzled with homemade caramel syrup and frosted with cream cheese/ whipping cream vanilla frosting...
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 14


Chocolate Sponge

  • 240 g ( 2cups ) all-purpose flour
  • 65 g ( 3/4 cup ) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 g ( 2 cups ) granulated sugar
  • 240 ml ( 1 cup ) buttermilk * ( room temperature )
  • 120 ml ( 1/2 cup ) vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 2 large eggs ( room temperature )
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 240 ml ( 1 cup ) hot black coffee *

Vanilla Cream cheese / Whipped Cream frosting

  • 250 g ( 1 cup ) cream cheese ( room temperature )
  • 125 g ( 1/2 cup ) unsalted butter ( room temperature )
  • 360 g ( 2 - 3 cups ) icing sugar ( sifted )
  • 350 ml ( 1 1/2 cup ) double whipping cream ( cold )
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


Bake the Chocolate Sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 170 C
  • Grease and line 2 x 8' (20 cm ) or 1 x 9' ( 23 cm ) baking pans
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cocoa powder. Add sugar and mix it all to combine.
  • Pour eggs, buttermilk ( or milk ), vanilla extract into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined.
  • Then, gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Mix with a rubber spatula in a folding motion until combined.
  • Add a hot coffee in the last step. Give it a mix.
  • Divide the batter equally between 2 tins or bake it in 1 larger tin.
  • Place it in the oven and bake for about 45-55 min ( if baking in one tin ) or 25- 35 min if baking in 2 separate tins. Check by inserting a wooden stick into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean - the cake is ready.
    *The time will depend on the oven and the size of the baking tins.
  • Remove the sponge and leave it to cool. After 10 min, take the cake out of the tin and place it on the wire rack to let it cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting

  • Beat room temperature butter with a handheld mixer until soft.
  • Add cream cheese to it and beat to combine. Add vanilla, mix.
  • Start adding sifted icing sugar into cream cheese/ butter mix and beat ingredients until it becomes smooth. Don't add all the amount of icing sugar at once. Start with half and then have a taste. It is always easier to add some more and adjust to your liking rather than taking it out. You can always add some more if the sweetness in this recipe is not enough.
  • Beat cold double whipping cream in a separate bowl until it forms soft peaks.
  • Add whipped cream to cream cheese mixture, a bit at a time, by gently folding with a metal spoon or spatula until both creams are combined. Cover and place it in the fridge until you need it.

Assemble the Cake

  • Slice the cooled cake in layers. In half ( if baked in 2 tins ) or in 3 or 4 very thin layers ( if baked in 1 larger tin ).
  • Spread some frosting on the top and drizzle caramel syrup ( if using )
  • Keep repeating this process until you reach the top layer.
  • Make a very thin crumb coating for the top layer and sides ( reserve some frosting for later ).
    Place the cake in the fridge for at least 1 hr and then spread the rest of the cake with leftover frosting. Decorate to your imagination. Enjoy!


  • Buttermilk could be substituted for milk that is mixed with 2 tsp of white vinegar and kept to curdle for about 5 min.
  • If you don't like coffee, use hot water instead.
  • This cake is delicious and will store well in the fridge for 2- 3 days.
  • The sponges for the cake can be baked 1 day ahead
  • Also, if you are short on time, you can make the frosting 1 day ahead.
I tried this cake numerous times with different types of frosting and hands down, this is the best chocolate sponge recipe that I tried. It doesn't dry out, stores well, super easy to bake, and is heavenly chocolaty. 

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