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.
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.
- 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.
- 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:
Simple Sponge Cake Recipe
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.
- 2 TBSP melted butter
- 1 Tbsp hot water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
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).
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.
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.
Sift dry ingredients: Sift 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 tsp baking powder, twice.
Mix liquids: In a cup whisk together 2 TBSP melted butter, 1 TBSP hot water and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
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 barely incorporate the flour.
Next, Fold in the liquids and carefully keep folding the batter until thoroughly incorporated. Do not overmix or the cake will be dense.
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).
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.
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.
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 knife stays level all throughout the cutting.
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.
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