Basic Sponge Cake

Sponge cake is a versatile fluffy cake leavened primarily by eggs. The egg whites and yolks are whipped up to incorporate air before baking, which makes for a very light cake. It pairs especially well with fruit. If properly made, it should nearly melt in your mouth.



The size of the pan can be adjusted to your recipe. A wider cake pan will mean the cake rises less and you will have fewer layers to slice off. For an 8-inch pan, you will get about 4 layers. For a 12-inch pan, you will get only 1 layer.


Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Sift the flour, corn starch, and baking soda together.

This mixture should be light, pale, and frothy. You can do this by hand without too much sugar, but a stand mixer will make it much easier. Dump this mixture into a bowl and clean the whisk for the egg whites next. Make sure the whisk and bowl are very dry or the meringue will not form properly.

The yolks will deflate a bit here, but that is okay for this recipe. Set the yolks aside and prepare the meringue.

It should be a stiff mixture like whipped cream. Try to work quickly on the next steps to avoid the meringue sitting for too long.

Start with a small amount to lighten the texture and make the rest easier to combine. The meringue will deflate here, so only use a small amount. Then, working one third of the meringue at a time, fold in the rest while deflating as little as possible. Err on the side of under-mixed rather than over-mixed to ensure a light and fluffy sponge.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to stick to the bottom. Buttering and flouring the bottom may not be enough to separate the cake from the pan.

The batter will rise a bit and start to brown on the top. This will be about 30-35 minutes, but depends on your oven.

This means the center is done and the cake is ready to come out. You may have to test a few times, putting the pan back in the oven if it's not ready. Let the cake cool in the pan.

A properly buttered and floured pan will make a very clean separation. You can also use a paring knife to cut the edges.

You can store this for quite a while, a week or more in the refrigerator or months in the freezer.

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