Basic sponge cake recipe

Last Christmas, I baked a Boston Cream Pie, I overdid the chocolate ganache topping and the custard filling, the finished product looked so messy that I didn’t have the heart to post the recipe.

Basic sponge cake

But I learned one very important lesson that day — the basic sponge cake recipe that I used was a real keeper. It’s the same recipe I use for my tres leches, one adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook. I’ve used that recipe for over half a dozen baking projects and the results were always great.

What’s a sponge cake? It is a foam type cake that derives its springy texture from stiffly beaten egg whites. Traditionally, sponge cakes do not contain any oil (if you add vegetable oil, it is technically a chiffon cake) but this recipe includes melted butter which makes the cake less dry but still full of volume and spring.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/4 c. of butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. of cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 c. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare an eight-inch (three-inch high, for best results) round pan. If you’re not using a non-stick baking pan, line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
  3. Add the salt and baking soda to the egg whites.
  4. Beat until stiff (see stages in beating egg whites).
  5. Add the yolks and sugar to the beaten egg whites.
  6. Beat over low speedy (or gently by hand) to blend. Be careful not to destroy the air bubbles already created.
  7. Blend in the flour in three batches.
  8. Working with a third of the flour each time, blend using a spatula and the cut-and-fold method.
  9. Make sure that the flour has been thoroughly incorporated.
  10. Pour in the melted butter (and vanilla extract, if using).
  11. Again using a spatula and the cut-and-fold method, mix the butter carefully into the batter until fully incorporated.
  12. Pour into the pan.
  13. Level off the top with a spatula so that the cake is uniform in height when it bakes.
  14. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
  15. Invert onto a plate then re-invert onto a rack and cool completely.
  16. The cake is dry to the touch outside so it is easy to handle.
  17. When cool, the cake is ready to be frosted or first cut into layers.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 1

  • maimai16

    wow… this is great news! i’ve been searching for a sponge cake recipe and always tumble on for 10″ pan… buti na lng naka-subscribe ako sa site mo hehe
    thank you for posting your tried and tested recipes, this makes life easier =)

    • Connie

      We’re a family of four, so 10″ cakes are too much for us. :)

  • Kat

    “Beat over low speedy (or gently by hand) to blend.”
    Ms. Connie, you were still thinking of your hubby while doing this sponge cake ano? ;)

    • Connie

      LOL I guess. If he had done this, he would have overbeaten. :-P

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  • http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com Joy

    The cake looks wonderful. I love this recipe.

  • ianne

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    Where can I find the baking pan that you have used? It’s silicone right? How much? thanks a lot. Your website is really a good help. Keep it up.

    • Connie

      Oh, goodness, I can’t remember anymore where I bought that — but Landmark sells pretty good silicone pans in different price ranges.

  • Angela

    I am so confused. I followed this recipe exactly and my cake only came out half an inch high… Was I supposed to triple or quadruple the recipe?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      No. The volume is acquired via the stiffly beaten egg whites. :)

  • Leena

    Hi Connie,
    I love your classic sponge cake recipe ( classic sponge cake with strawberry jam and whipped cream) but unfortunately I can’t find it on your site anymore. The page comes up blank. I would really appreciate if you could repost it. Thanks.

  • Leena

    Great!! Thank you so.. much Connie.

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      You’re welcome. :)

  • Arthur

    hi. i’ve tried and i love your sponge cake recipe..
    but i’m just wondering how would you convert it to a chocolate sponge cake?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      By substituting part of the flour with cocoa powder. By how much, you’ll have to experiment on that. :)

      • Arthur

        Thank you so much Ms. Connie. I never thought making a chocolate cake is just substituting flour with cocoa powder. I love your recipes. I just wanted to ask one thing again, do you have any fondant recipes which you might share? Thanks.

        • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

          No. :)

          • taiki

            Ms Connie, i just have a question with this sponge cake. arent there any incorrections with the list of ingredients? since whatever you do, you wont be able to get that fine texture in your whipped egg whites without the use of cream of tartar, and as i can see on the pictures above, your eggwhites’s texture are silky and fine. its just abit weird. hoping for your quick and kind reply, thank you ms connie :)

          • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

            My beaten egg whites are silky and fine because I know how to beat egg whites. If you think that “whatever you do, you wont be able to get that fine texture in your whipped egg whites without the use of cream of tartar”, then, you’re simply inexperienced at beating egg whites. It takes practice. :)

          • taiki

            thats abit harsh for you to say, are you saying i dont know how to beat egg whites? maybe i should shout at my kitchenaid for not doing what its suppose to do properly?

          • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

            Re “are you saying i dont know how to beat egg whites?”

            Yes, I already said that. Need I repeat? Furthermore, I’m saying you don’t know how to correctly discern the stages in beating egg whites.

            Don’t blame your Kitchen Aid. It only performs as well as the person using it. Learn.

          • Jaquilyn Petalcorin

            Hi miss Connie can i add cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites? thank you… godbless=)

          • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

            You can but I find it unnecessary.

  • hilda jagua

    would this sponge cake be good for a fondant base cake?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      That’s for you to try and find out. :)

  • augusta

    Can sponge cake be baked without adding the melted butter

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      Yes, some sponge cakes have no oil at all like angel food cake.

  • Ann

    How much is 1/4 cup of butter in ounces.

    Thank you

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      A “stick” (125 grams) is 1/2 cup.

  • http://facebook.com adeola olayinka

    The recipe is great thanks for posting it

  • barvs

    My internet connection is a bit wonky today so I paused loading the page as soon as I saw the text was there (the pictures weren’t). When I saw the servings (1) I was a little confused kasi the recipe called for 3 eggs and if I wanted to make a cake for four people nakakaloka ang 12 eggs in one cake hahaha Good thing I refreshed the page to finally see the pictures. Thanks po for sharing :)

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      Even without seeing the pics, you would have read that the cake was baked in an eight-inch cake pan. That’s not exactly for a one-person serving. :)

  • Smiley

    Dear Ms Connie,
    Can I use All Purpose flour instead?
    Thank you,
    :)

  • Fauziya

    Usually sponge cakes which come under foam cakes category do not require butter and leavening agents but you have used both in this recipeand why baking soda and not baking powder?pls explain

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      I don’t have to explain. That’s the recipe.

      • Fauziya

        Usually sponge cakes which fall under a foam cakes category do not require fat and any leavening agents at all but you have added both to the recipe.and why baking soda and not baking powder?pls explain

  • jess

    Hello po ms. Connie. Just curious kasi you wrote na this is the same recipe for tres leches, and I’ve noticed that this is just half the recipe of the tres leches sponge cake. Kaya lang po in both recipes you used 1/4tsp Salt and baking powder for both. Was this suppose to be 1/8 tsp salt and baking powder for basic sponge cake? Thanks.

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      No.