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Easy Sponge Cake Recipe

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This soft and tender Sponge Cake Recipe is light and airy. Sandwiched between my fluffy whipped Chantilly Cream and delicious strawberry jam!

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - finished cake sitting on a serving plate

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.
Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - front on shot of cake with slice taken out showing the inside of the cake

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.

Strawberry Cake - sponge cake layers wide image

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.

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - ingredients 03

Sponge Cake

  • 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 ExtractAlways 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!
Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - ingredients 02

Chantilly Cream

  • 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.

Decorations

  • 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!

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - steps 01
  1. 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.
  2. Once all the sugar has been added, it with thicken and become shiny.
  3. To a separate bowl whip egg yolks, remaining sugar and warm water until thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sifted dry ingredients and fold through until well combined.
  5. Fold through the egg white mixture
  6. 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.
  7. Use a serrated knife or cake slicer to trim the top of the cake and flatten it.
  8. Place your first layer of cake on your serving plate or cake board.
Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - steps 02
  1. Spread the jam on top
  2. Spread or pipe the cream on top
  3. Add the next layer of cake
  4. To decorate: place a cooling rack on top of the cake
Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - steps 03
  1. Dust with powdered sugar. Carefully lift the cooling rack away to reveal your pattern and top with some fresh strawberries!
Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - slice of cake being lifted on a cake server

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.
Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - close up of a hand putting a fresh strawberry on top of the cake.

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?

Delightfully sweet, strong vanilla flavor and goes well when paired with your favorite jam and whipped cream or frosting!

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.

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If you loved this recipe, check these out!

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Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake - thumbnail

Easy Sponge Cake Recipe

This soft and tender Sponge Cake Recipe is light and airy. Sandwiched between fluffy Chantilly Cream and delicious strawberry jam!

Serves 10

5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 448kcal

Ingredients

Sponge Cake

  • 225 g cake flour, see notes
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 large eggs, 55g each, room temperature and divided.
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 210 g caster sugar, superfine, divided in half
  • 40 g warm water, just above room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chantilly Cream

  • 310 g heavy cream, cold (see notes)
  • 50 g powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, see notes
  • 125 g mascarpone, cold (see notes)

Decorations

  • 200 g strawberry jam, or raspberry
  • Powdered sugar, icing sugar, to dust
  • A punet of strawberries to decorate, cleaned and dried


Instructions

Sponge cake

  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 150C / 300F (170C / 340F for no fan). Spray only the bottom (not sides) of two 8-inch cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
  • Combine dry ingredients – To a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Make meringue – 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 (105g) 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.
  • Whisk egg yolks and sugar – To a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, remaining sugar (105g), 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.
  • Fold in dry ingredients – Sift 1/2 of the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture and use a spatula to fold through. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and fold through until no dry ingredients are showing. Take care not to overmix.
  • Fold in meringue – Add half the meringue and gently fold through with a spatula. Then add the other half and repeat.
  • Bake – 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.

Chantilly Cream

  • Prepare mascarpone cheese – Add the mascarpone to a large mixing bowl (glass or metal) and use a spatula to stir and break up as some brands can be firmer than others.
  • Whip remaining ingredients – Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and use an electric hand mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip on medium high speed 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!

To Finish

  • 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. Slice and serve!

Notes

Cake Flour – 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. 
Cream – make sure you use cream labelled heavy cream for this recipe. Whipping cream will work but won’t be as stiff as heavy cream. Low fat cream will not work.
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! Use a spoon or spatula to mix the mascarpone cream a little before adding to the cream to ensure it’s not lumpy as some brands can be thicker than others.
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 – this recipe is offered in weight measurements. This is in an effort to offer the most accurate way to get the best results. Cup measurements simply aren’t accurate enough for a recipe that needs precision and cup sizes differ depending on where you are in the world. Here is where you can learn more about how to measure ingredients using digital kitchen scales!

Nutrition

Calories : 448kcal
Carbonhydrates: 40g
Protein: 10g
Fat: 21g
Saturated Fat: 12g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 4g
Cholesterol: 197mg
Sodium: 153mg
Potassium : 174mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 20g
Vitamin A: 839IU
Vitamin C: 2mg
Calcium: 80mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure
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2 comments

Zooy October 12, 2023 - 1:12 pm

5 stars
❤️❤️❤️❤️

Reply
Nick Makrides October 19, 2023 - 3:37 am

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! N x

Reply
5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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