Get a perfect sponge cake every time with my simple recipe and in-depth tutorial! Sponge cakes are a unique type of cake made with no oil or butter! Just eggs, sugar, extract, flour and baking powder. This cake is very light and fluffy but also on the drier side, making it perfect for juicy or runny fillings such as fruits, wine or fruit preserves/jams. Use this easy cake recipe along with any of the fillings and frostings from my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series. This cake is also the best choice for cake rolls or roulades! Looking for a chocolate version? Check out my ‘Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe’,!
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How it’s Made: Whisking the Eggs
Making my sponge cake recipe is super easy and requires just 5 ingredients. This recipe starts with the eggs. Room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator – both work well! Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a super clean mixing bowl. I recommend washing your mixing bowl with degreasing dish soap or vinegar to ensure no trace amounts of grease are left in the bowl, as the grease can prevent the eggs from getting fluffy.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed using a stand mixer for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are thick, voluminous and pale white in color. If you are using a hand mixer, this process will take about 5 to 6 minutes longer.
- Sponge cakes get all their volume from the eggs so it’s super important to get them as fluffy as possible!
- Whisking the eggs for longer will help get rid of any ‘eggy’ smell or taste.
Adding the Dry Ingredients
Once you have the eggs light and fluffy, it’s time to add the flour and baking powder. It’s CRUCIAL to add the dry ingredients in gradually and carefully. Using a sifter, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time. Fold the flour into the eggs gently but thoroughly, folding and mixing from the bottom of the mixing bowl, where the flour likes to settle. Do not use a mixer or whisk for this step! The eggs need to stay as light and fluffy as possible. If the eggs fall flat, the cake layers will stay flat.
Baking the Sponge Cake
Preheat your oven to 350F/177C when starting the recipe. Also, prepare your baking pans. This recipe is perfect for two, 8-inch cake pans or a jelly roll pan, if you’re making a cake roll. You can also make cupcakes using this recipe. It’s very important to leave the pans ungreased!! Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper but do not grease the sides, otherwise the cake will not rise properly.
- Bake the sponge cake until the top of the cake is a rich, golden brown color. Under-baked sponge cake will start to fall flat once removed from the oven.
- As soon as you take the cake layers out of the oven, run a knife along the edge to release the cake from the pan. This will allow the cake to remain flat as it cools.
- Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before using in a recipe or slicing in half.
Sponge Cake Troubleshooting
Here are some common questions I get about sponge cakes and a few tips
- Why does my sponge cake taste or smell like eggs? This can be for a few reasons. First, try whisking your eggs for longer. I find that the more air you get into the eggs, the less eggy flavor or smell you get after the cake is baked. Also, try using the cheapest, store-bought eggs. Cheap eggs are from chickens that are typically not fed a great diet, which results in more bland eggs, which is perfect for this recipe!
- Why does my sponge cake go flat when I remove it from the oven? If your cake looks great in the oven and falls flat when removed from the oven, it’s under baked. Try increasing your baking time by 3 to 5 minutes, until the top of the cake is a rich, golden-brown color. The structure of the sponge cake needs to ‘set’.
- My cake doesn’t stay flat as it cools! This trick always works for me: as soon as you take the cake layers out of the oven, run a knife along the edge to release the cake from the pan. This will allow the cake to remain flat as it cools. You can also try inverting the cakes onto a cool rack so they cool upside-down.
Cake Recipe to Try
Here are some of my favorite cake recipes that use my simple cake recipe!
- Summer Sangria Cake – delicate cake with sangria, whipped cream and fruit!
- Creamy Mango Cake – filled with mango puree and mango whipped cream frosting
- Peach Zefir Torte – fluffy cake layers with peach marshmallow filling!
- Coffee Tres-Leches Cake – coffee-flavored cake with coffee whipped cream!