Easy Sponge Cake Recipe
This soft and tender Sponge Cake Recipe is light and airy. Sandwiched between fluffy Chantilly Cream and delicious strawberry jam!
As with all of my recipes, a lot of experimenting and testing went into coming up with the very best sponge cake recipe, but I also wanted it to be an easy recipe with great, consistent results. Happy to say, I succeeded! It’s super soft, really tasty, and rises wonderfully! It’s moist, light and can be used with any frosting or filling. But I love serving it with strawberry jam and freshly whipped Chantilly cream.
What I love about this Sponge Cake is how well it goes with pretty much any occasion, fancy tea, sorted! Casual afternoon dessert with a cup of tea, perfect for that too!
By the way, I have a great Strawberry Sponge Cake Recipe that I first used this recipe in, it’s scrumptious! And I developed a chocolate version of this cake and used it for my Decadent Black Forest Cake recipe which I would highly recommend trying.
What Makes This The Best Sponge Cake?
Sponge cake is a light and airy cake that rises with the help of eggs that are whipped to perfection. Some cakes, like this one and leaveners like baking powder to help give it an additional boost. The result is a light and fluffy cake texture.
There are lots of different types of sponge cakes, the one we’re making today is closer to a genoise cake without the addition of a fat like oil or melted butter which can help the cake be softer. Surprisingly, and by accident, when I tested this recipe out without using fat, this cake was delightfully tasty, light and moist. I’d argue, softer than recipe that contain fat. Of course this recipe does contain fat from the yolks, but that’s the only fat it has in it.
Ingredients You Need To Make Sponge Cake
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.Jump to Recipe
- Cake flour – this truly helps give this cake a soft and melt in your mouth texture. Cake flour is a low protein flour that is used to make desserts light and moist. You can use store bought which has a much finer flour consistency, or simply make your own with my simple recipe. Click here to get the recipe and learn all the tips and tricks.
- Baking powder – will help the cake rise.
- Eggs – make sure your eggs are at room temperature. When separating your eggs, do them in a separate bowl before diving amongst two large mixing bowls. That way you don’t risk contaminating your egg whites with egg yolk which will prevent them from whipping.
- Cream of tartar – you can substitute with lemon juice. This helps stabilize the egg whites when you’re whipping them to prevent them from overwhipping.
- Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar is best when making the cake. Granulated sugar isn’t as fine, and you risk overwhipping.
- Vanilla Extract – Always use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
- Heavy cream – Make sure your cream is cold from the fridge.
- Powdered sugar – optional if you don’t want a sweetened Chantilly cream. I often leave this out because I think the cake has enough sweetness.
- Vanilla bean paste – or a real vanilla bean if you want to see flecks of vanilla beans in your cream. Vanilla Extract will also work.
- Mascarpone Cheese – make sure your mascarpone is cold from the fridge and opt in for a good brand. Generic brand ones don’t keep your Chantilly cream stabilized for long.
- Strawberry Jam – any good strawberry jam will work here.
- Powdered sugar – to dust on top. Use a fine mesh sieve if you can and go light on the dusting. Also keep in mind the sugar will melt underneath your strawberries so put dust the cake no longer than an hour before serving and put the strawberries on fresh!
- Strawberries – make sure you wash and dry your strawberries. Dry them well, otherwise they will melt your powdered sugar a lot more.
How to make A Great Sponge Cake!
- Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to a large mixing bowl and froth a little before slowly 1/2 cup (105g) adding the caster sugar.
- Once all the sugar has been added, it with thicken and become shiny.
- To a separate bowl whip egg yolks, remaining sugar and warm water until thick, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and fold through until well combined.
- Fold through the egg white mixture
- Transfer between two 8-inch cake tins. Bake. Once baked, allow to cool completely in the tin before using a knife to carefully loosen the sides from the tin.
- Use a serrated knife or cake slicer to trim the top of the cake and flatten it.
- Place your first layer of cake on your serving plate or cake board.
- Spread the jam on top
- Spread or pipe the cream on top
- Add the next layer of cake
- To decorate: place a cooling rack on top of the cake
- Dust with powdered sugar. Carefully lift the cooling rack away to reveal your pattern and top with some fresh strawberries!
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Don’t use ‘non-stick’ cake tins for this recipe. I’ll explain in the next tip!
- Make sure you only spray the bottom of your cake tins. This will ensure your cake sticks to the side of your cake tins. This will ensure it maintains a proper round shape as it cools and not come away from the tin.
- When whipping the egg whites, make sure you whip only until thick and glossy. If the meringue appears grainy, you’ve over-whipped.
- When whipping up the egg yolk mixture, this can take a bit of time to do, but aim to get them thick and pale. It’ll take about 5 minutes.
- Don’t deviate from this recipe! Make it exactly as written, using the exact measurements and instructions provided in the recipe card.
- Measure out your ingredients using kitchen scales for good, consistent results. Cup measurements are not as accurate as measuring by weight.
- Fold ingredients gently, using a spatula, only until well combined. Over mixing can cause the eggs to deflate which can lead to a rubbery cake
- For an even rise and flat top on your cakes, use a cake strip dipped in water and wrap it around the sides of your cake. It’s optional, but works really well.
Troubleshooting: Why is my sponge cake flat?
This recipe is fairly easy and straight forward. If you follow it, you’ll get a magnificent sponge cake.
- Cake is dry – most likely overbaked. Bake only until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. There’s no way to reverse it from being dry but dabbing it with simple syrup before you put your cake together is a great way to re-hydrate it.
- Cake came away from the sides – you’ve either used a non-stick pan, sprayed the sides of the cake tin (only spray the bottom) or you overmixed the batter, developing the gluten which caused it to shrink as it cooled.
- Cake didn’t rise – overwhipped the egg whites or didn’t whip them enough. You’re looking for a thick, glossy meringue. If it looks grainy, you’ve overwhipped it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sponge Cake
What does it taste like?
How do I store this?
- Undecorated: Wrap up tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to three days. Alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month. Thaw completely at room temperature before assembling.
- Decorated: in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Can I halve this recipe to get a flatter cake?
Yes! I will admit, this is a fairly tall cake. If you want something not as tall, simply halve all the ingredients, use all of the same method and then use a serrated knife or cake slicer to cut in half and fill.
If you loved this recipe, check these out!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
Easy Sponge Cake Recipe
- 1 cup heavy cream cold (see notes)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) powdered sugar sifted (see notes)
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (see notes)
- 1 cup (250 g) mascarpone cold
- 1/2 cup (100 g) strawberry jam
- Powdered sugar to dust
- strawberries to decorate
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 150C / 300F (conventional oven to 170C / 340F). Spray only the bottom (not sides) of two 8-inch cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
- To a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- To a separate large bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Use an electric hand beater to whisk until frothy. Slowly add 1/2 cup (125g) of the sugar while the mixer is on high speed. Once all the sugar has been added continue mixing for 90 seconds. The mixture will thicken and become glossy. Take care not to overwhip the mixture otherwise it will result in large air bubbles in your cake.
- To a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, remaining sugar, water, and vanilla extract and use your electric hand mixer to whip until pale, thickened, and creamy, about 5 minutes. The mixture should fall off in ribbons when you lift the beaters.
- Sift 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture and use a spatula to fold through. Then repeat with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients until all of it is combined. Take care not to overmix.
- Add half the meringue and gently fold through with a spatula. Then add the other half and repeat.
- Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully running a knife around the sides to release them. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) and use an electric hand mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip until you reach stiff peaks. This usually takes about 3 - 4 minutes to achieve. What you’re looking for is a smooth but stiff whipped cream, not one that looks split. If it looks split or separated, congratulations, you’re on your way to making butter!
- Add your first layer of cake on your serving plate and spread strawberry jam on top. Then spread the Chantilly cream on top. Add the second layer of cake. Dust generously with powdered sugar and decorate with strawberries.
Powdered sugar - I don’t like my cream too sweet, but if you like yours on the sweeter side you can use up to 1/2 cup. Make sure you sift it! Mascarpone - is an Italian cheese that is similar in flavor to sour cream, but more creamy and less sour. Opt in for a better brand one as they tend to be thicker and make sure it’s cold straight out of the fridge! Vanilla - I have a great recipe for Vanilla extract here on the blog which is alcohol based. It can be used for most recipes. However, I would advise against using it for whipped creams (yes, even stabilized ones like this one) or meringues as it can muck around with the air whipped in the mixtures. Instead use a syrup based vanilla extract. I find vanilla bean paste is best. Storage - This cake is best served the day it’s baked but can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to three days. Nutrition - is based on per slice. This cake serves 8 people. A note on measurements - all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales.