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A classic sponge cake base tastes so airy and light. No wonder that it serves as the basis for many pies and cakes. It is very easy to make it yourself. You only need three ingredients. A detailed sponge cake recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found below.
How to make sponge cake with 3 ingredients?
The classic sponge cake consists of three main ingredients. These are eggs, sugar and flour. Flour and sugar come in proportions of 1:1. And their quantity depends on the number of eggs.
For taste, add a pinch of salt and, for example, some vanilla to the batter.
For a chocolate sponge cake, replace a small amount of flour with the same amount of cocoa powder, as I did for the Wenceslas cake, among others. In the recipe below you use about 90 g flour and 30 g cocoa powder.
For a more tender cake base, you can replace some wheat flour with the same amount of cornstarch – potato or corn starch. This is how I did it in my recipe for the banana cream cheese cake, cake “Slavutych”, cake “Gusinye lapki” and cream puff cake with cherries.
Basic sponge cake recipe – no baking powder
You don’t need baking powder for the basic sponge cake recipe. The fluffy beaten egg-sugar mixture ensures that the cake base rises during baking and tastes fluffy afterwards.
For this reason, you should beat eggs with sugar thoroughly. This could take about 10 – 15 minutes. In the end, the mixture should have an airy, creamy, thick consistency, a light color and increase significantly in volume.
Sugar should dissolve as much as possible during whipping. Therefore, use fine sugar for a sponge cake. Also, room warm eggs, and not those from the refrigerator, ensure that the sugar dissolves more quickly.
To keep the whipped egg-sugar mixture airy, you should fold in its flour. This means that you stir the flour carefully into the egg-sugar mixture in batches, using a silicone spatula or whisk and making circular motions from the outside to the inside.
Also, do not stir the batter too long after adding the flour, so that it does not collapse. Therefore, sift flour onto the egg-sugar mixture to prevent lumps from forming in the batter.
Before you start mixing the batter, you should prepare all the ingredients and the baking tin for it. Because a sponge cake batter must not rest and must be baked immediately.
First, line the bottom of the baking tin with baking paper.
Then weigh out all the ingredients. As soon as you have beaten eggs with sugar until fluffy, you must immediately fold in flour. So you have to weigh the flour beforehand.
The oven must also be preheated when you put the batter in the oven. When you turn it on depends on how long your oven takes to preheat. I usually turn on my oven before I start folding in flour.
To whip eggs with sugar into a fluffy mixture, you’ll need a hand mixer or food processor. You can also do it with a whisk. However, it takes much longer, and you’ll need a lot of patience and strength in the process.
To sift flour, I use a flour sifter with a handle**. For folding flour of the egg-sugar mixture, I always use a silicone dough scraper**. However, you can also do it gently with a whisk**.
With the quantities in the recipe below, you’ll need a Ø 20 cm large springform tin** for baking. And for loosening from the edge after baking, a cake ring knife is used.
Separate egg whites from yolks beforehand
Some people swear that a sponge cake batter becomes airier and rises better if you separate egg whites from yolks for it. In this case, whip egg whites with sugar. Then carefully add the egg yolks one by one. And then you add flour.
From my experience I cannot confirm it. I get just as fluffy a sponge cake with less work by beating whole eggs. But you have to whip the egg-sugar mixture really well.
Baking sponge cake base – springform tin or baking sheet
Depending on what you need the cake base for, you can bake it in a springform tin or on a baking sheet.
Line the bottom of the springform tin with baking paper. Do not grease the edges. This allows the cake to adhere well to the edge during baking, to rise and not collapse so quickly. To remove the sponge cake from the baking tin later, carefully go through the edge with a cake ring knife.
The cake base with the quantities given below must be baked in a Ø 20 cm springform tin at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 30 minutes. A larger cake can also require up to 40 minutes baking time.
Bake the sponge cake on a baking tray for about 7 – 12 minutes, depending on how thick the dough layer is.
Do not open the oven door for the first two-thirds of the baking time. So in my recipe, you let the sponge cake bake for the first 20 minutes without opening the oven.
To check whether the cake is done baking, test it with a chopstick. To do this, insert a wooden skewer briefly into the center of the sponge cake and see if it comes out clean. If the wooden skewer comes out smeared in the batter, you have to bake the cake for a few more minutes.
Alternatively, you can gently press on the surface of the sponge cake with a finger about halfway down. If it springs back after pressing, and no pressure marks remain to be seen, it is ready.
How to store sponge cake?
You can make a sponge cake base the day before or even a few days before.
Let it cool completely after baking and wrap it airtight, for example in cling film or freezer bags. Store the cake base at room temperature, but in a place that is not too warm.
If you need a cake base to be cut into several cake layers, it is much better to make it the day before. This is because a classic sponge cake is best sliced only the next day.
To make the cake taste juicier, you can soak the inside of the cake layers with a sugar syrup after slicing the cake. I do this in my recipe for the cake “Slavyanka”, Russian sponge cake with butter cream, marzipan cake or the Russian sponge nut slices, among others. I soak the cake base for my sun cake with tangerine orange juice from the preserved fruits.
The homemade sponge cake is
- from only 3 ingredients,
- easy and quick to make,
- ideal for pies, cakes, slices, mini cakes.
Recipes with sponge cake base
A sponge cake is perfect as a cake base for summer fruit cakes. Delicious cakes with pudding, butter, marzipan cream can be conjured up with it. You can also make sweet mini cakes or slices with sponge cake.
Have you already tried my recipes with the classic sponge cake?
How to make sponge cake: tips and tricks
- Prepare all the ingredients and the baking tin before you start mixing the batter.
- Whipping eggs with sugar can take up to 10 – 15 minutes. The mixture should get a creamy airy, thick consistency, light color and increase greatly in volume.
- For a chocolate sponge cake, replace about 30 g of flour with 30 g of cocoa powder in the recipe and sift it onto the egg-sugar mixture together with flour.
- Do not grease the rim of the baking tin, so that the cake can adhere to it.
- Bake the cake batter immediately in the preheated oven and in no case let it rest.
- Using the amounts here in the recipe, the cake base needs to be baked for about 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door for the first 20 minutes.
- Do a stick test or pressure test to check if the cake base is done baking. See my notes on this above.
- If the cake needs to be cut into multiple cake layers, it is best to make it the day before.
Video for the basic sponge cake recipe
By the way, on my Youtube channel you can find a short video for the classic sponge cake. There you can watch exactly how to mix the batter correctly. If you don’t want to miss any more videos from me, feel free to subscribe to my channel.
Did you make sponge cake according to this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment below on how it turned out and what you did with it.
How to make sponge cake (basic recipe)
- Ø 20 cm large baking springform tin
- 4 eggs room warm
- 120 g sugar**
- 120 g flour**
- 1 pinch of vanilla bean**
- 1 pinch of salt
- Line the bottom of the baking tin with baking paper.
- Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until the mixture is light and fluffy and thick.
- Sift flour in batches onto the egg-sugar mixture and, using a silicone dough scraper or whisk, fold it in, making circular motions from the outside in, to form a fluffy thick batter.
- Pour the batter into the baking tin, gently smooth it out and bake the sponge cake in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 30 minutes.
- Let the sponge cake cool slightly in the baking tin for about 10 minutes, then loosen the edge of the baking tin with a cake ring knife and let the sponge cake cool completely.
- Note the detailed text here at the top of the post, so that you can safely succeed with the sponge cake.
- Prepare all the ingredients and the baking tin before you start mixing the batter.
- Beat eggs with sugar can take up to 10-15 minutes. The mass must acquire a creamy airy, thick consistency, light color and greatly increase in volume.
- For a chocolate sponge cake, replace about 30 g of flour with 30 g of cocoa powder and sift it onto the egg-sugar mixture together with flour.
- Do not grease the rim of the baking tin, so that the sponge cake can adhere to it.
- Immediately bake the cake batter in the preheated oven and in no case let it rest.
- Do not open the oven door for the first 20 minutes.
- Test the cake base with a stick or a pressure test to see if it is done. To do this, briefly insert a wooden skewer into the center of the sponge cake and see if it comes out clean. Alternatively, gently press on the surface of the sponge cake with a finger about halfway down. If it springs back after pressing, and no pressure marks remain to be seen, it is ready.
- If the cake base needs to be cut into several cake layers, it is best to make it the day before.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the sponge cake base at the top of the post.
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