How to Make a Sponge Cake

Making a sponge cake seems to be a bit of a lost art. We seem to remember our grandmothers doing it, but we don’t actually know how to do it. There are so many ways you can eat sponge cakes, so it’s important to have a great foundation recipe to start with. Whether you choose to eat your sponge cake plain with some tea, or to dress it up with some frosting as a birthday cake, we think this plain sponge cake foundation recipe will work for you!


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 9 large eggs, warmed to room temperature, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 dash kosher salt


Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Using a stick of butter that’s not included in the above required ingredients, grease two 9 inch cake pans. It’s best practice to line the bottom of your pans with parchment paper before buttering the bottoms, but not completely necessary if your generous with your butter output for grease. Next, using flour that isn’t included in the above required ingredients, sprinkle flour all over the greased pan. Turn the pan upside down to remove all excess flour before proceeding.

Next, pour water into a saucepan and get it simmering on the stove. Place a glass bowl over the saucepan (but do not allow the bowl to touch the water in the saucepan). Add your egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar to the bowl over the saucepan, and whisk until the sugar dissolves completely, thickening up the yolks, about 3 minutes. Once the sugar granules are completely gone, remove the bowl from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat the yolk and sugar mixture (off the heat) until it lightens up in color and thickens even more, close to 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt, and pour the mixture into a larger bowl.

In a separate large bowl, pour your egg whites in and beat on high speed until soft peaks form; beat in the remainder of your sugar until those soft peaks become stiff and shiny (should take 1-2 minutes).

Next, fold your egg whites into your egg yolks, gradually, folding in one third at a time. Then, gently sift the flour over the top and fold it in as well. Stop folding just before all of the flour is incorporated. Once it’s thoroughly mixed in without having lost the texture, pour in the melted butter.

Spread the batter into each pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. The cakes should be done when you can remove a knife inserted into the center and have it come out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, and then gently place a plate overtop the pan, and swiftly turn it upside down. Because of the butter, flour and parchment paper, the cake should slide right out. Gently flip right-side up and allow to cool a bit longer.

Enjoy sprinkled with powdered sugar, topped with icing or fruit flavor, or just simply plain – all are delicious!