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 vanilla sponge 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’,!
Watch My Sponge Cake Video Tutorial!
Watch my YouTube video recipe for my in-depth, step-by-step instructions! This video is one of my most in-depth tutorials, helping you get the perfect sponge cake every single time! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Vanilla Sponge Cake
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a perfect sponge cake. Making my cake recipe is super easy and requires just 5 ingredients.
- Eggs: both room temperature and cold eggs from the refrigerator work well. I find that eggs at room temperature will whisk more quickly. Use the cheapest store eggs. These will have the least amount of flavor and won’t make the cake ‘eggy’.
- White Granulated Sugar: use only this type of sugar, or superfine sugar, for the recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: adding vanilla adds great flavor and helps mask the eggy flavor of the eggs.
- All-Purpose Flour: this is the best type of flour for this sponge cake recipe.
- Baking Powder: although not all sponge recipes call for a leavening agent, I find that adding the baking powder helps ensure a perfect cake.
How to Make Sponge Cake: Whisking the Eggs
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 Vanilla 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 vanilla sponge cake 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 layers were used for this delicate Raspberry Tiramisu Cake!
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.
My Summer Sangria Cake is always a hit! The sponge cake layers are soaked with sangria!
Cake Recipe to Try
Here are some of my favorite cake recipes that use my vanilla sponge cake recipe! Sponge cake is super versatile and you can flavor it with just about any type of flavor and use it for just about any type of filling. Because this cake tends to be on the dried side, it’s the perfect cake for applying liqueurs and more liquid fillings like fruits and jams!
- Raspberry Tiramisu Cake – The most delicious raspberry cake ever, with creamy tiramisu filling, raspberry liqueur and fresh raspberries!
- 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!
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The Best Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe (video)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350F/177C when starting the recipe. Also, prepare the 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.
- Clean your stand mixer bowl using a degreasing soap or vinegar to get rid of any grease residue. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla into the bowl and whisk on high speed for 7 to 9 minutes, until the eggs are thick, pale and voluminous. Watch my video recipe for all the details! If using a hand mixer, this step may take an additional 5 to 7 minutes, depending on mixer strength.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour and baking powder. Once the eggs are ready, sift the dry ingredients into the eggs in small increments or one-third at a time. Using a spatula (do not use a whisk or the mixer for this step!), fold the flour gently but thoroughly into the eggs, mixing from the bottom of the mixing bowl. Keep the eggs as light and fluffy as possible!
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the top of the cake turns a rich, golden-brown color. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, run a knife along the edge of the pan to release the cake. This will allow it stay level as it cools. Allow the cake to cool completely before splitting/cutting the cake or using for a cake recipe.
- Need to increase this recipe? For more cake layers or if using large cake pans, increase the recipe in 1/2 increments. For example, if using this recipe for three, 8-inch cake pans or two, 9-inch pans, use 9 eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Keep the baking temperature the same and adjust the baking time as needed. The top of the cake should be a rich, golden-brown color when ready. For four, 8-inch pans, double the recipe.