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    Light & Airy Sponge Cake

    This better than bakery sponge cake recipe is light, airy, and just straight up DELICIOUS! It’s so versatile that you can pair it with literally anything. I love filling mine like a classic Victorian sponge cake with my homemade raspberry filling recipe and whipped cream – YUM!

    Sponge cake

    What is a Sponge Cake?

    A sponge cake is a light and airy cake that is made primarily from whipped egg whites. Unlike other types of cake, such as butter or oil cakes, sponge cakes do not contain much fat which contributes to it’s light texture.

    Sponge cake is often used as a base for other desserts, such as layered cakes, trifle, or as a component in various French-style pastries. It can also be served on its own, dusted with powdered sugar or paired with fresh fruit and whipped cream like a Victorian sponge cake (which is how I love mine!).

    What makes this recipe stand out?

    I am so proud of my sponge cake recipe and it is no doubt my favourite sponge I’ve tried, with the simple reason being – I don’t use that much flour!

    Some flour is needed to help with the structure of the cake, however many recipes I’ve tried I feel use way too much and just end up being too heavy (almost like a regular cake). What I’ve done instead is substituted a lot of the flour with cornstarch, which helps thicken the batter without forming more gluten than we need. This results in the softest, airiest, bakery like sponge cake!

    How to make Sponge Cake

    Now I’m not going to sugar coat it, sponge cakes are a little more challenging to master than regular cakes! BUT, if you carefully follow the steps below you should end up with the perfect sponge 🙂

    Begin by preheating your oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 2 on recipe card if you don’t have a fan function) and line the bottom of two 8×3 inch baking tins with baking paper without greasing the bottom. Leave the sides of the cake tins ungreased and bare (do not line with baking paper). This will prevent the cakes from shrinking once they’re baked.

    sponge cake

    In a bowl combine your flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined (you do not need to sift it yet). Set aside.

    In a medium sized bowl add in the egg whites and white vinegar, and using a hand or stand mixer, whip on a medium high speed for 30 seconds until foamy. Gradually add in 1/3 cup of the sugar and then continue mixing for a further 2 minutes. Then turn your mixer down to low and mix for a further minute (about 4 minutes of mixing altogether). You should end up with stiff peaks (see note 3 on recipe card). Set aside.

    sponge cake

    sponge cake

    In a large bowl add in your remaining 1/3 cup of white sugar and warm water. Mix so that the sugar is coated in the water. Add in the egg yolks and vanilla, and with a hand or stand mixer, whip on a medium high speed for 4 minutes, and then turn the mixer down to low and mix for a further minute (5 minutes of mixing altogether). Your mixture should now be thick and you should be able to create ribbons with it when you lift it up with a spoon.

    Stream the vegetable oil into the egg yolk mixture while mixing on a medium speed. Mix until well combined.

    sponge cake

    sponge cake

    Add in half or your egg whites to your egg yolk mixture, and using a spatula gently fold together until just combined. Then sift in your dry ingredients, and gently fold through until just combined.

    Finish off by adding in the remaining egg whites and gently fold until just combined. You can use your spatula to break up any large chunks of unmixed egg whites but try not to push out too many of the air bubbles and do not overmix.

    sponge cake

    Distribute the batter into your baking tins and then tap your baking tins lightly on your counter. Then run a thin knife or toothpick through the batter to remove any large air bubbles and then bake for 25 minutes. To test whether they’re done, gently touch the tops and it should create a little indent which slowly bounces back.

    sponge cake

    Once the sponges are done, immediately tap them on the counter from a height of about 10cm, and lay them upside down (while still in their baking tins) on a wire rack to completely cool (see note 4 on recipe card).

    sponge cake

    Once cooled (about an hour later), run a thin knife around the edges to release the cakes from the cake tins, and then turn them out onto a wire rack.

    To make my cake layers look nice and neat, I gently rub my fingers around the edges and the top and that removes the dark crust on the sides and tops of the cake (see video for demonstration).

    sponge cake

    APPLY SIMPLE SYRUP: Combine sugar and hot water together for the simple syrup and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the top and sides of the sponges with the simple syrup (see note 5 on recipe card).

    sponge cake

    How to Decorate a Sponge Cake

    You can decorate your sponge cake however you like 🙂 but I like to fill mine with raspberry filling, strawberries and cream – YUM!

    Place one sponge cake layer down, and cover the top with a thin layer of my raspberry jam filling.

    sponge cake

    Place strawberries on top (I like to cut mine in half and place them upside down). Cover with generous amount of whipped cream and spread it out evenly with an offset spatula or knife.

    Place your next sponge cake layer on top and then cover with more whipped cream. Finish decorating with more strawberries on top. Enjoy!

    sponge cake

     

    sponge cake

    Sponge cake

    Light & Airy Sponge Cake Recipe

    This better than bakery sponge cake recipe is light, airy, and just straight up DELICIOUS! It's so versatile that you can pair it with literally anything. I love filling mine like a classic Victorian sponge cake with my homemade raspberry jam and whipped cream - YUM!
    5 from 111 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Cooling Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Sponge Cake

    • cup (40 g) flour - regular, all purpose (see note 1)
    • ½ cup (60 g) cornstarch
    • ¼ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 4 large eggs - whites and yolks separated, room temperature
    • tsp white vinegar
    • cup (132 g) white granulated sugar - separated in half (1/3 for the egg whites & 1/3 for the egg yolk mixture)
    • tbsp warm water - not boiling
    • 2 tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • 2 tbsp (30 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola

    Simple Syrup

    • ½ cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
    • ½ cup (110 g) boiling water

    Whipping Cream

    • 2 cups (375 g) cold whipping cream
    • 2 tsp icing sugar - also known as confectioners sugar/powdered sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • 1 punnet fresh strawberries for decorating

    Raspberry Jam

    Instructions

    Sponge Cake

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 2 if you don't have a fan function) and line the bottom of two 8x3 inch baking tins with baking paper without greasing the bottom. Leave the sides of the cake tins ungreased and bare (do not line with baking paper).
    • In a bowl combine your flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined (you do not need to sift it yet). Set aside.
    • In a medium sized bowl add in the egg whites and white vinegar, and using a hand or stand mixer, whip on a medium high speed for 30 seconds until foamy. Gradually add in 1/3 cup of the sugar and then continue mixing for a further 2 minutes. Then turn your mixer down to low and mix for a further minute (about 4 minutes of mixing altogether). You should end up with stiff peaks (see note 3). Set aside.
    • In a large bowl add in your remaining 1/3 cup of white sugar and warm water. Mix so that the sugar is coated in the water. Add in the egg yolks and vanilla, and with a hand or stand mixer, whip on a medium high speed for 4 minutes, and then turn the mixer down to low and mix for a further minute (5 minutes of mixing altogether). Your mixture should now be thick and you should be able to create ribbons with it when you lift it up with a spoon.
    • Stream the vegetable oil into the egg yolk mixture while mixing on a medium speed. Mix until well combined.
    • Add in half of your egg whites to your egg yolk mixture, and using a spatula gently fold together until just combined.
    • Then sift in your dry ingredients, and gently fold through until just combined.
    • Finish off by adding in the remaining egg whites and gently fold until just combined. You can use your spatula to break up any large chunks of unmixed egg whites but try not to push out too many of the air bubbles and do not overmix.
    • Distribute the batter into your baking tins and then tap your baking tins lightly on your counter. Then run a thin knife or toothpick through the batter to remove any large air bubbles and then bake for 25 minutes. To test whether they're done, gently touch the tops and it should create a little indent which slowly bounces back.
    • Once the sponges are done, immediately tap them on the counter from a height of about 10cm, and lay them upside down (while still in their baking tins) on a wire rack to completely cool (see note 4).
    • Once cooled (about an hour later), run a thin knife around the edges to release the cakes from the cake tins, and then turn them out onto a wire rack.
    • To make my cake layers look nice and neat, I gently rub my fingers around the edges and the top and that removes the dark crust on the sides and tops of the cake (see video for demonstration). I find the dark crust on sponge cakes are also what contain that slight eggy after taste sometimes, which is why I prefer to remove it.
    • APPLY SIMPLE SYRUP: Combine the sugar and hot water together for the simple syrup and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the top and sides of the sponges with the simple syrup (see note 5). I use about 3/4s of the simple syrup mixture in total.

    Whipped Cream

    • In a large bowl add in the whipped cream, icing sugar and vanilla. Whip until you reach stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip the cream.

    Assembly

    • Place one sponge cake layer down, and cover the top with a thin layer of my raspberry jam filling.
    • Place strawberries on top (I like to cut mine in half and place them upside down). Cover with generous amount of whipped cream and spread it out evenly with an offset spatula or knife.
    • Place your next sponge cake layer on top and then cover with more whipped cream. Finish decorating with more strawberries on top. Enjoy!

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You cannot use cake flour in this recipe as a substitute for the all purpose flour and cornstarch. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour only (I haven't tried this myself but it should work okay if you cannot source all purpose flour). 
    Note 2. If you don't have a fan oven, bake at 175 °C (347°F).
    Note 3. If you haven't reached stiff peaks yet then keep mixing. For more information on how to whip egg whites check out my YouTube video
    Note 4. By placing the sponges upside down to cool while still in the baking tins, this will prevent them from deflating. 
    Note 5. Because sponges do not contain a lot of fat, they can dry out quicker than regular cakes. To keep my sponges nice and soft I brush them with simple syrup. I would 100% recommend doing this step, it really takes your cake to the next level 🙂
    Note 6. The reason why I first whip both the egg whites and yolks on a high speed, and then on low for the last minute is to remove any large air bubbles which can cause our cakes to collapse. This just ensures you have a more stable batter. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: light sponge cake, sponge cake, victorian sponge cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

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    264 Comments

    • Gina

      Hi, this looks beautiful!
      I hope this doesn’t look silly but can I use a little olive oil instead of vegetable oil and can I use castor sugar please?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Gina! 🙂 Not silly at all! Olive oil has a distinct flavor to it, which can impact the taste of the sponge. I would recommend using an unflavored vegetable oil if possible, but technically olive oil will work as well :). I haven’t tried with castor sugar myself, but in theory it should work fine. Just be sure to use the gram measurements to make sure you’re using the correct amount of castor sugar. Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

    • Khadeejah

      5 stars
      Hi, I didn’t immediately flip the cake upside down onto the wire rack as it came out of the oven 🙁 I noticed it started caving in! Waiting an hour to see what happens, very nervous.

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Khadeejah! 🙂 Oh no! Hope it all turned out okay 🙂 the taste should still be the same – you may just have slightly sunken in cake layers – nothing a bit of cream can’t fix! Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

    • Migle

      Hello. I am going to mKw your cake one of these days but I just don’t understand the cake tin measurements. 8×3 inch? What is this size? I mean do you mean tin size of 24inches which is 60cm and that’s is huge,or you ment 8x2inch? I mean my biggest tin is like 13 inches only. I’m just a bit confused only as I’ll need to make three cakes and they all will have to be 13inches and I’m not sure how many ingredients to order 😅

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Migle! Happy to clarify this :). By 8×3 inches I mean an 8 inch cake tin that is 3 inches high, though 2 inches high should work okay too 🙂
        Hope that clarifies things! A 13inch cake is very big, so you will need to increase the quantity of the recipe (maybe 3x the recipe or even more for two 13 inch cake tins) 🙂

    • Linda

      5 stars
      A very big thank you for sharing the recipe. I made it and everyone loves it. It is super light and airy. The best ever… thank you so much.

      • Cakes by MK

        Yay! So happy to hear everyone loved it Linda 😀 really appreciate the feedback 🙂

    • Mandy

      5 stars
      Made this today, simple and perfect. So easy to follow your instructions. My family loved it.

      • Cakes by MK

        So so happy to hear your family loved it Mandy! 😀

    • Ruthy Rivera

      5 stars
      An amazingly delicious light and airy cake. I made this recipe for my sister’s engagement party and it was a total hit! I only switched up the whipped cream for Buttercream frosting and a Bavarian Creme filling. It took this cake to another level. Thanks for such a great recipe!

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So so happy to hear the cake was a hit Ruthy 😀 Bavarian creme filling sounds incredible! I’ll have to try that combo sometime 🙂

    • Niyla

      5 stars
      I made this with cornflour (also known as cornstarch) and gluten free all purpose flour instead of the normal all purpose flour as I have coeliac disease and cannot have gluten and the cake was soooo light and airy and exactly what i was missing from when I could eat gluten. Thank you Maryam for sharing this amazing recipe 😀

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So so happy to hear you loved the recipe Niyla 😀

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

      Categories
      Tips & Tricks
      Single Layer Cakes
      Quick Desserts
      Muffins
      Loaf Cakes
      Frostings
      Welcome to Cakes by MK!

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