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Simple Sponge Cake Recipe

Simple Sponge Cake is made with only a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. This sponge cake is commonly used to make layered cakes but can be used as-is as well. Perfectly soft, spongy, and delicious!

You might also like to check out a Chocolate Version of this Sponge cake.

Simple yellow sponge cake on a cooling rack next to a baking sheet.

A Simple Sponge Cake recipe that any baker new to baking or not needs to have in their recipe repertoire. This cake was one of the first Yellow Sponge Cake recipes that I learned to make, and it has served me very well.  It is used in many of my cake recipes. Well-loved for its beautiful texture, simplicity in making, and foolproof instructions. 

What is a sponge cake?

A sponge cake is a delicate, spongy cake with a uniform crumb that is made with eggs, sugar, and flour as the main ingredients. The cake absorbs the moisture from the cream very well, making it suitable for just about any kind of cake or a roll. See the bottom of the post for a variety of cakes to make with this fluffy cake.

Pro Tips for the best sponge cake

  • Make sure to whip the eggs well. The cake relies mostly on the volume of the eggs for the fluffiness, so whipping the eggs until a thick ribbon flows off the whisk and doesn’t disappear for 2-3 seconds is very important. Not whipping the eggs enough not only will yield a dense cake but will also give off an eggy taste in the finished product.
  • Sift the dry ingredients before adding to the whipped eggs as this ensures there are no clumps of flour in the finished cake. Sifting also aerates the flour which will give you a light and fluffy sponge cake.
  • Do not overfold – folding too aggressively or too much will deflate the cake and will yield a denser cake. So, fold carefully to preserve the aeration built by whipping the eggs.
  • Even rise – for an even rise of the cake, make sure to use baking strips (like the ones here). These strips are wet & fastened around the baking pan before baking, ensuring that the cake cooks from the bottom up, instead of from the bottom and the sides. This prevents the formation of an unsightly dome on the baked cakes.
  • Do not overbake – or too much moisture will be lost and the sponge cake will be dry.

Also, try this Chocolate version of the sponge cake.

How to Make a Simple Sponge Cake:

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe card with many important details:

Yield: One 8″ round cake, 2 inches tall

  • Whip 4 eggs in a stand mixer until foamy, then gradually add 1cup sugar and continue whipping until the eggs fall off the whisk in a thick ribbon (~20 min).
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan (at least 2 inches tall) lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Or brush the inside of the pan with softened butter and dust with flour. Shake out excess. Fasten wet cake strips around the cake pan.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour & baking powder).
  • Combine all wet ingredients (melted butter, water, vanilla).
  • Fold the dry ingredients in halves, carefully forming a number 8 with your movements.
  • Fold in the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Sponge Cake Step by step pictures
  • Bake the cake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
How to check the baked yellow sponge cake for readiness with a toothpick.
  • For best results, leave the cake on the counter for 6-8 hours before using it in a cake. This will reduce the amount of crumbling when you go ahead to split the cake layer in two horizontally.

Use the this sponge cake to make any of these cakes below:

Desserts using this Sponge Cake Recipe:

  • Marble Cake  – delicious marbled cake filled with fluffy sour cream frosting, sour cherries and walnuts.
  • Kyiv Cakelayers of sponge cake, crispy meringe, nuts & delicious dulce de lechde buttercream.
  • Tiramisu Cakeclassic cake made with sponge cake soaked with spiked coffees syrup & layered with fluffy cream cheese based cream .
  • Rum Balls  –  crumbled sponge cake mixed with dulce de leche buttercream, rum & nuts, then rolled into balls & coated in cocoa.
  • Walnut Cake with Coffee Frosting  – sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, sprinkled with nuts & layered with cream cheese frosting. 
  • Peaches and Cream Cake –  light cake made with peach syrup soaked sponge cake, peaches and cream.

Simple Sponge Cake Recipe

4.85 from 268 votes

Simple Sponge Cake is made with only a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. This cake is commonly used to make layered cakes.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Keyword: sponge cake, yellow sponge cake
Calories: 146 kcal
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 One 8″ x 2″round cake, or two 8″x1″ round cakes


Dry Ingredients



  1. Whip eggs and sugar: Whip 4 eggs in a stand mixer on high speed until foamy (~2 min) then gradually add 1 cup of granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whip. Then, whip until the mixture falls off the whisk in a thick ribbon that doesn't disappear for 1-2 seconds (~20 min; or more if using a hand mixer).

  2. Prep: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F with the rack centered.

    Line an 8-inch round cake pan (at least 2" tall) lined with foil or parchment and spray with nonstick spray. Alternatively, you can brush room temperature butter on the inside of the pan, then dust it with flour, knocking out the excess to make the surface non-stick.

    You can also bake this cake in two separate 8-inch round cake pans; this way, you wouldn't have to cut the cake into two horizontally after baking.

  3. Optional: Fasten the wet baking strips around the baking pan for an evenly risen cake (optional). The baking strips ensure that the cake rises evenly and doesn't form a dome.

  4. Sift dry ingredients: Sift 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 tsp baking powder, twice.

  5. Mix liquids: In a cup whisk together 2 TBSP melted butter, 1 TBSP hot water and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

  6. Fold in dry ingredients: add the dry ingredients into the whipped eggs in halves, carefully folding with a spatula, forming the number 8 with each stroke. Do not overfold, or the cake will be dense and doughy. Just fold enough to incorporate the flour barely.

  7. Next, Fold in the liquids and carefully keep folding the batter until thoroughly incorporated. Do not overmix or the cake will be dense.

  8. Bake: Pour the sponge cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not open the oven to check until you can smell cake in the kitchen (~30 min).

    If baking in 2 instead of 1 baking pan, reduce the baking time to 20-25 minutes, or until a toothcpick comes out clean.

  9. Remove the sponge cake to a cooling rack and allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. Then invert it onto a cooling rack and remove the foil or parchment. Allow to completely cool before using.

  10. Let rest: For best results wrap the cooled cake in plastic and leave on the counter for 6-8 hours before using in a cake. This will reduce the amount of crumbling when you split the cake layer in two horizontally.

  11. How to split the cake in two horizontally: place the palm of your non-dominant hand over the top of the cake and keep rotating it as you use your dominant hand to hold a long serrated knife, and start scoring the outside of the cake, about 1/2 inch deep, going all around the cake. Continue going in circles scoring deeper and deeper until you get to the center.

    The easiest method: attach these two cake leveler pieces on two opposing ends of the knife blade, then just cut the cake horizontally by moving the knife back and forth in a back-and-forth motion while keeping the knife perpendicular to the surface. The levelers will ensure that the blade stays level throughout the cutting.

Recipe Notes

The amount of ingredients listed is enough to make a 12″x18″ sponge cake for a cake roll.

Just line a 12″x18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then use tiny amount of sponge cake batter under the 4 corners of parchment paper to keep it in place. 
Even out the batter over the baking sheet. 
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
Simple Sponge Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 47mg2%
Potassium 73mg2%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Updated 8/15/2021

Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Phil

    Thank you for the recipe. Could you please provide the measurements in oz or grams?

    · Reply
  • Wow, this simple yellow sponge cake recipe is a true gem! I love how effortlessly it comes together with just a handful of basic ingredients, yet yields such a delightful treat. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!”

    · Reply
  • Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad to hear that you found the recipe easy to follow. Enjoy baking your sponge cake, and I hope it turns out delicious! If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Happy baking!

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  • Ra

    Fantastic recipe. In fact, this turned out to be the best sponge I have ever made. I used this recipe to make Lamingtons for work and they were an absolute success. Everyone said how soft the cake/sponge was.
    My advice to anyone reading these comments: make sure you whisk/beat the eggs for 20mins.
    Thank you for sharing this onto the internet. I’ll definitely be saving this for future bakes.
    Ra from Australia.

    · Reply
  • Olivia Robles

    Haven’t ever made a sponge cake but it seems the Great British Baking Show uses this cake a lot. I’d like to learn how it’s prepared.

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  • Bob Hamilton

    Thank you SO much for including metric weights. It makes it infinitely easier to scale any recipe up or down. And everybody knows that they got the same quantities/weights.

    · Reply
  • Wellington

    I tried this recipe twice but both times near the end the cake bubbles and sinks. Not sure if the ration between egg and flour is correct or it is something with my oven but unfortunately it does not work :/

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  • Daelin

    Painfully sweet, to a point I had to throw it out. The writer claims they make European cakes, but it’s quite clear they were raised in the United States with the gross amount of sugar used. It’s quite sad, the texture was lovely and fluffy, but the taste was so awful I had to throw it out.

    Unless sugar is your god and diabetes is your goal, I wouldn’t recommend.

    · Reply
    • Hi Daelin,
      Thank you for sharing your feedback. Sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work for you.
      While I’ve been here since 14, this recipe is a classic that has been used for ages before I ever arrived here. If this one seems too sweet to your liking, you might like this other sponge cake that is made with less sugar and without any baking soda. Hope you give it a try – 3 ingredient Sponge Cake.

      · Reply
  • Holly

    Did I read this right? Whip the eggs around 20 minutes?

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  • Tzipporah

    I really wanted to love this recipe, but my cake turned out too sweet. The texture was off too, but my biggest concern was the taste. I followed the recipe to a T and the taste would’ve been fine, but the amount of sugar makes it taste like an overly sugary dry cake. Would definitely recommend anyone using a somewhere sweet frosting to avoid the amount of sugar in this one!

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  • this is the easiest recipe I have ever read and all the steps to bake a perfect sponge cake are mentioned here. Your writing method is so simple and easy. I will surely try this cake. I love cakes. thanks

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  • Kp

    Being new to baking a sponge cake, this simple recipe has turned me into a baker at home. Everyone loves it whenever I make it!
    And I sometimes reduce flour amount to add cocoa powder. It turns into a spongy chocolate cake too!
    Thank you, your recipe has helped me a lot.

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  • Dylan

    I don’t think this recipe has enough egg to flour ratio. My Cake gained only half a cm after baking. And it smells quite eggy.

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  • Kristen

    Absolutely phenomenal recipe, thank you! Would buttercream be too heavy for this cake as it is exceptionally light?

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  • Peter

    Hi this receipt looks nice and simple but how many grams would you say a cup was? Thanks

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  • TheHappyKnitter

    Question, could you make this in individual ramikens?

    · Reply
  • M

    I am curious, why would you need hot water? Is there a way to substitute or skip the water?

    · Reply
    • Hi M,
      The hot water helps the butter stay liquid instead of getting lumpy when you combine the two.

      Yes, you can skip the water but the sponge cake will be drier. If you’re planning to use it for a layered cake that you will soak with syrup to keep moist that might work, but I haven’t tried it so can’t tell you for sure.

      · Reply
  • Evelyn F

    Simple recipe with perfect results. You can swap out the melted butter for vegetable oil and cake flour (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) for all purpose flour for an even moister cake.

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  • Marisa

    Soy de Paraguay… hice esta receta y me salió muy bien… Todas tus recetas son excelentes… Muy bien explicado….. Muchas gracias y mi calificación es cinco estrellas

    · Reply
  • This is wonderful, God bless you, keep it up, I just read your post, please I will try today, please will like to always have your post even on other things. Thanks so much

    · Reply
  • Rosa Winkler

    Can you make.these in to cupcakes and how long is baking a 350 degree oven?

    · Reply
  • Rosa Winkler

    you meet these into cupcakes and hiw long fo they take to bake at 350 degree oven?

    · Reply
  • Yann

    Your recipe didnt failed me. First attempt and thats it! Ill give it 5 star! Thank you for sharing this easy recipe.

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  • Ummi

    Tried this for the first time yesterday and it turned out well. I used it to make tres leches and it was just wow… Thank you so much

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  • JLA

    Oh wow, this is my new favorite for less ingredients and quick one.
    Thank you very much, mine bake and taste perfectly.. I love it.

    · Reply
  • Rebecca

    Terrible. The worst cake I have ever made. The texture is like bread and I followed the recipe word for word. Save your money and ingredients – don’t make this monstrosity.

    · Reply
    • Hi Rebecca,
      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you 🙁

      From your description it sounds like you didn’t whip the eggs to proper consistency and folded the flour into the whipped eggs for too long, which will give you dense and heavy cake.

      · Reply

    WOW I must try this recipe it seems really good

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  • Anna

    I always bake your chocolate sponge recipe and it turns out perfect. Ive tried this recipe four times and each time the top of the cake get crispy and when I cut it in half, the top falls off. I bake it for 35 min (180). What an I doing wrong?

    · Reply
    • Hi Anna,
      Are you using the convection setting for this cake? could it be that you’re setting the baking rack too high in the oven so the cake top browns before the rest of the cake has had the chance to bake through? Also, have you checked to see if the 180F that you set your oven for is actually 180C? Sometimes the ovens run hot so you’ll need to turn the oven temp to a lower temp to compensate. Just a few ideas to explore.

      · Reply
  • Morade

    Please may I know what you mean by…Sift dry ingredients Twice……….. Do you mean I should add the same quantity twice

    · Reply
  • thanks for your impressive post..

    · Reply
  • La Posies

    I love your sponge bread recipe, i am fond of desserts and you always tell me recipe related it. I always order cake in India from my favourite shop but now i try it at my home. Thank you!

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  • sarah

    this is like the best cake ever, seriously i want to marry it.

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    Waiting to try it out

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  • I looks amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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  • Cay Baker

    Followed directions to the letter. Unfortunately, it sank after 30+ Minutes in the oven. I guess it needed more time before I checked it. I might make the recipe again and let it bake for roughly 40 minutes before opening the oven to check.

    · Reply
    • Hi Cay Baker, have you tried to see if your oven runs cold? To check, you’d preheat your oven for about 45 minutes and leave a thermometer inside (oven-safe) and check if the temperature you set it for (350F for example) is the same temp that reads on the thermometer. If the temperature is lower on the thermometer than that you set it for, then you can adjust future baking temp to compensate for the difference.

      Typically, I don’t check the oven until I can smell the cake in the kitchen. I know, this is not a sciency way of checking but it usually doesn’t fail. Once you smell the cake in the kitchen, you should be ok to open the oven and check.

      · Reply
    • I baked today. It was fantastic. Right temperature is very essential.Don’t open your oven too soon. Pat your cake after 30/35 minutes in the oven. If it springs back. It’s done. Baking it much will make it dry. Hope it will help.

      It was a quick & a very uncomplicated recipe. Thanks for sharing!

      · Reply

    What recipe you followed guys?
    The first one written at the top or the last pne which has the list of ingredients on it?


    · Reply
    • Both are the same recipe. The recipe card at the bottom has all the details you need to make it. The one up top is a summary.

      · Reply
  • Marta

    What a disgusting cake!
    All I taste is egg!
    By far the worst cake making procedure I’ve ever followed

    · Reply
    • Hi Marta, thanks for your feedback. Sounds like you under whipped your eggs which will cause it to taste like a sweetened omelet. I you try it again make sure to follow the directions and whip until the ribbon of whipped eggs and sugar doesn’t disappear for several seconds.

      · Reply
  • Naza

    Foolproof recipe! Every time I use this recipe I tell myself to drop you a thank you line and keep forgetting. Not today! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.

    · Reply
  • Belinda louise Shallcross

    Is that one cup of flour in 2 halves or 2 cups of flour? Thanks

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  • Bobby de los Bobs

    Loved the cake thx


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  • Presley

    I made a cake using your was great

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  • Suan Tonsing

    I love the simplicity and the ease for this recipe.

    Tried it and love the taste.

    It will be my go to recipe I’m sure.

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  • My sponge fell what would cause that?

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  • Shelly

    I think this will be my favorite recipe for sponge, all others were massive flops…

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  • I made this sponge cake recipe for Christmas where all my friends tried and really enjoyed eating. Their appreciation made me so happy that I want to thank you a thousand times.

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  • Looks good

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  • Happy

    I make the cake following the steps, wow it came out soft and delicious

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  • Melissa

    Hi! Wondering if I can double the recipe to make 2 cakes at once, or if I should make them separately? Thank you!

    · Reply
    • You can double the recipe and bake it at once, but it tends to come out heavier. It is best to double the recipe and still bake it in two separate pans.

      · Reply
  • Carlos Lara

    In your Genoise recipe, should I use salted or unsalted butter??

    · Reply
  • Angeline King Jimice

    Please I’m really interested in your recipe,and i like your cakes

    · Reply
  • Michelle

    I just tried this recipe for my brother birthday but for some reason it’s gone lumpy and not baking even though I followed the recipe step by step

    · Reply
    • Could you clarify what you mean by “lumpy” and “not baking”?

      May be I can help you troubleshoot so that next experience is better?

      · Reply
  • Niamh

    I love it

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  • gift

    Lovely work!! Charming one

    · Reply
  • Najla Nazar

    Literally the best sponge cake i have ever made! Thank you for this!!

    · Reply
    • Love hearing that, Najla! Thank you for sharing!

      · Reply
      • Neha Khot

        Something went wrong, it didn’t cook at all in 20 minutes, I kept it for another 10 and still it was watery and then another 15, this time it was done, but it came to chewy and hard

        · Reply
        • Sounds like it did 🙁 The directions say to bake it for 30 minutes, not 20. It says not to open the oven any earlier than 20 minutes.

          If after 30 minutes it was watery and after 45 it was chewy, it sounds like the eggs weren’t whipped enough. Next time keep whipping the eggs with sugar until the mixture doesn’t flow off of the whisk in a ribbon that doesn’t disappear for several seconds. The whipping is what gives us the airy cake texture and not a rubbery, sweet omelet. Hope this helps!

          · Reply
          • Charlotte Tweddle

            I’m in the UK and so was going to go metric. I don’t understand why the sugar and flour both say 1 cup, yet when you change to metric the grams aren’t the same. I did a cup of each (which when i googled what a cup was it advised 128g). The cake was rubbery and sank in the middle, although the flavour was lovely. Where have a gone wrong?

          • Hi Charlotte Tweddle,
            The weight of sugar and flour are different when weighed as the sugar is a lot heavier than flour.
            If the cake was rubbery, it means that not enough air was whipped into the eggs before mixing in the flour. Next time, whip the egg whites longer. Also, if it sank in the middle it could be that it was removed from the oven a bit too early and the center didn’t get a chance to bake through. Next time, bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Anthony

    My cake looked perfect but I thought it wasn’t soft or moist enough. Not sure if I baked too long (30 mins @ 350°F) or perhaps I didn’t fold the flour into the mixture well enough?

    · Reply
    • Hi Anthony,
      sponge cakes like this one are not meant to be as moist as regular American yellow cake or chocolate cake let’s say. This is a different type of cake that isn’t supposed to have too much moistness. It is often used in combination with creams, which will yield their moisture into the cake. Your bake time doesn’t seem to be too long, so I don’t think you overbaked it.
      Hope this helps!

      · Reply

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