This European sponge cake is made in the most classic way! Using only three ingredients, you will get the most moist, leveled cake that pairs perfectly with any of your favorite creams.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I love Twinkies. I know they are terrible for me, but why do they have to be so good?! Making sponge cake at home gives you all the deliciousness of the packaged stuff, but without any of the nasty preservatives. That is a win-win!
What is a Sponge Cake?
Now, don’t try cleaning your dishes with this cake! You’ll be sorely disappointed. Okay, no more mom jokes, I promise. Below I will describe what makes sponge cake different than other types.
Sponge cakes are primarily made with eggs and a bit of sugar and flour. This makes this cake both light and airy and sturdy and absorbent. Therefore, sponge cakes are perfect for spreading on filling or topping with heavy fruits.
Other cakes tend to be comprised of the opposite — less eggs and more flour. This makes for a denser texture that isn’t as absorbent.
What Makes Sponge Cake Fluffy and Moist
Eggs are the key to making your sponge cake fluffy and moist. You will want to beat your whole eggs with the sugar until the volume increases by three times. You will want to make sure you don’t overbeat the eggs, as this will result in a flat cake. You will know when your eggs are ready when the beaters hold a thick ribbon when removed from the bowl.
Tips for The Best Sponge Cake
- Keep the eggs at room temperature before you make the cake. Room temperature eggs beat better!
- Beat the eggs with sugar for at least 10 minutes, on medium-high speed in a stand mixer. The texture should be airy, yet stiff, and you should get thick ribbons. If using a hand mixer, you may need to beat for twice as long.
- Sift the flour first. Getting rid of any lumps and clumps of flour will ensure that you have a consistent texture.
- When adding flour, carefully add it in by thirds into the egg mixture. Lightly mixing in the flour with a rubber spatula (not a whisk) will ensure you don’t over-mix and compromise the fluffiness of your beaten eggs.
- Your baking pan size should be 9 inches or larger. This cake can easily overflow during the baking process.
- Don’t open the oven door during the early baking process because the cake can collapse when hit with a sudden temperature change.
- Test to see if the cake is fully baked by pricking it with a toothpick. Only test towards the end of baking time. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
- Cut the sponge cake only when its fully cooled to room temperature.
Hot Tip: To make a chocolate version of the sponge cake, add 3 Tbsp of cacao powder to the flour.
Cakes to Make with Sponge Cake
- Ferrero Raffaello Cake: Modeled after my favorite candy, this cake is a perfect combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.
- Caramel Apple Cake: Every time I go to a fair, I have to get a caramel apple. This cake is the perfect fall treat.
- Strawberry Chocolate Cake: This is my Valentine’s Day go-to. Just like a chocolate-dipped strawberry, but in cake form!
- Chocolate Liquor Cake: I am a fan of the boozy cake. Adding alcohol to baked goods is not just festive, it serves a purpose! It adds a great punch of flavor and also moistens the cake.
Making Sponge cake in Advance
This is the perfect cake to make a few days in advance. Store it for a few days on the counter in an airtight container. Or, it can be refrigerated up to a week. You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months. Just make sure you store it in a flat box so it doesn’t lose its shape!
Sponge Cake Video Tutorial
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- In a stand mixer, beat 5 eggs (no need to separate them) and sugar on low speed and then on medium-high speed for about 10 minutes or until it's three times in volume.
- Using a spatula, fold in flour by thirds; be very gentle with the batter so you don't over mix it and lose the fluffiness.
- Add cake batter to an oiled baking pan. Springform baking pan works amazing, size 9-12 inches is perfect.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes and check it using a wooden toothpick. If the cake is ready, the toothpick will come out clean.
- This recipe doesn’t need baking soda or baking powder. The leavening agent is the air that is beat into the batter.
- The sponge cake may have a slight eggy taste, but if you beat long enough (at least 10 minutes) this shouldn’t happen.
- The sponge is best used as a base for making other cakes where you would add frosting, fillings, etc. If you prefer, you can add some vanilla extract in step 2.