Amazing Lenten Chocolate Sponge Cake!

Posted in Baked, Beginner, Desserts, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Tea and Coffee nibbles, Traditional Greek Easter Lent recipes Originally published on Last updated on By Cuisine: Greek

Amazing Lenten Chocolate Sponge Cake!

The most moist and rich Lenten chocolate cake that despite being an indulgent delight still complies with the dietary instructions of the Lenten season! If you have ever tried making a Lenten chocolate cake before it is possible that you have faced the disappointment of a heavy, muddy, dull flavored cake, which despite your efforts it didn’t rise at all.. You’re not alone!

The first recipe I got my hands on worked really well, but there was something missing. So I decided to replace some of the water with orange juice (some orange zest will also make a nice addition), added some vanilla extract for extra flavor and coated it with a cocoa based glaze with just a splash of cognac. The result was simply astonishing! This Lenten chocolate cake recipe is nowadays one of my favorite Lent desserts. And has replaced my usual cake recipes as a healthier, more economical,  easier but equally tasty version.


Lenten chocolate cake recipe – Tips

Since no eggs are used for this Lenten chocolate cake recipe, it needs an extra boost for it to rise. The baking soda, self rising flour and vinegar will do the trick. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice before using it in the cake mixture. Be a little careful when doing so as the baking soda will start foaming and it might end up making a mess. Adding the vinegar is really important and if you are afraid to use it, I reassure you that no one will ever know it’s there. As with all cakes baking it the right way is the key to success. Bake this Lenten chocolate cake in preheated oven on the lower rack with both top and bottom heating elements on and do not open the oven while baking. When it looks ready, check by sticking a wooden skewer or toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready!

If you are still wondering how can a cake with no eggs, butter, dairy products and chocolate actually taste like a chocolate cake then you just have to give it a try! Oh and you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Συνταγή για Νηστίσιμο Κέικ Σοκολάτας με γλάσο.


  • 1/4 of a cup corn oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • juice of 3-4 oranges (1 cup orange juice)
  • 1 (flat) tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 a cup water
  • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 6 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tsps corn oil
  • 5 tbsps hot water
  • 1 tbsp cognac (optional)


  1. To prepare this delicious Lenten chocolate cake add in the mixer’s bowl the oil and sugar and whisk. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice and pour in the sugar mixture. Start mixing the ingredients and pour in the water and vinegar. Mix again for about 2 minutes.
  2. In the meantime sift the flour and cocoa powder and blend to combine. Add gradually the flour-cocoa mixture and fold gently with a spatula until combined.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175C (both top and bottom heating elements on). Oil the bottom and sides of a non-sticking cake tin to prevent sticking and pour in the mixture. Place the cake in the preheated oven (on the lower rack) and bake for 50-60 minutes, until nicely coloured and cooked through. Let the cake cool down for a while before removing the cake tin.
  4. Place a rack over a tray or bowl and prepare the glaze for the Lenten chocolate cake. In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the glaze and whisk to combine. Invert the cake on the rack and pour the glaze over the cake.
  5. Place the cake on a serving platter and garnish with almond slivers. Enjoy this delicious Lenten chocolate cake with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Recipe image gallery:



  1. I don’t believe I can use the top and bottom heating elements in my oven, as I have a gas stove. Will it affect the baking process if it’s just my oven preheated at 350F? Would it need to bake a bit longer or would it be better to use a square pan?

    • Hi Roxanne, that should be fine as gas should warm up the oven uniformly. The round tin with the round hole in the middle is the best, as it bakes the cake uniformly (there’s no middle to become soggy!!) plus I love how it looks 🙂

      Best of luck! Eli

  2. Kathy Soutos says:

    I am planning on making this wonderful chocolate cake this week! But , my gas oven will go on to Bake Or Broil! GE Gas profile!

    • Hmm that is a tricky one. If I were you I’d buy an ultra cheap oven thermometer and measure what temperature my oven is working at (measure all the gas marks and rack positions). I’d also use the bake setting as the gas would come from the bottom and with the heat rising it would cook better and more evenly throughout. Just make sure that you move the rack up a notch so the base doesn’t get burnt…

  3. Hello Roxanne, I made your Lenten Chocolate Cake, and it turned out Fantastic, no one believed me there was vinegar in it! Thankyou so much, it will beome a standard Nistisimo Cake for me

  4. I baked the recipe as written, twice now, and both times it came out somewhat dry and crumbly. First one was baked for 45 min. in a convection oven 325 degrees and the second one baked for 40 min at regular electric bake 350 degrees. Not sure how to get more moisture into the cake?

  5. Christina says:

    I just made this cake and it’s incredible! You would not know its a fasting cake. I’m so impressed, thank you! It’s moist, fluffy and deliciously indulgent.

  6. Hello Eli. I m very curious about your cake. Could you give us the quantities in grams and milliliters as well? Many thanks. Christine

  7. Cant beat this recipe. So delcious, thanks for sharing.


  8. What size bunt pan? Lg. Or small and what temp. In convection oven for each size? Can I use organic apple cider instead of red wine vinegar?

    • Lea Kiapos says:

      for the amounts shown, use a small bundt pan. you can easily double it for a bigger pan. I often put mine in a 9 x 13 glass pan, or make cupcakes, with excellent results.

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