Basic Sponge Cake

Sponge cake

Baking is easy.

Well, mostly. There are some things I definitely can’t bake – you may remember the disaster that was macarons. But cakes are mostly easy. Except for my nemesis:

Sponge Cake

The humble sponge cake.

It’s a classic, it’s supposed to be easy, and yet in the past all I’ve managed to bake are heavy, stodgy things that could be used as a door stop.

It’s a freaking sponge cake. It’s nothing special. It only has four ingredients in it and it frustrates me that I can’t make a good one.

Sponge Cake

I gave it another go recently. I made sure that I followed the instructions precisely – room temperature eggs, melted and cooled butter, triple sifted flour, and I whisked the eggs until they were super thick.


My sponge still turned out heavy. πŸ™ I must’ve knocked out too much air when I was mixing the flour in. Waaah.

I’m still determined to crack this thing. I know that if I can make it well just once, then I’ll be set for life.

Basic Sponge Cake

Rating: 21

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 10

Basic Sponge Cake


  • 80g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing
  • 240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 8 eggs, at room temperature
  • 220g caster sugar
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean


  1. Preheat the oven to 180Β°C.
  2. In an electric stand mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla bean seeds on med-high speed using a whisk attachment. Whisk until it’s thick, pale and tripled in volume. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
  3. While the egg mixture is whisking, prepare two 20cm cake tins by brushing them with melted butter, lining the bases with baking paper, and dusting the sides with flour.
  4. Sift the flour three times to get as much air in as possible and set aside.
  5. When the egg mixture is ready, sift a third of the flour over it. Gently fold the flour in with a large metal spoon until just combined.
  6. Repeat with another third of the flour, and then with the last third.
  7. Add a tablespoon of the egg mixture into the melted butter and mix together (this lightens the butter a bit so it doesn’t sink to the bottom).
  8. Add the butter mixture into the main cake mixture and gently fold in using the metal spoon until just combined.
  9. Divide evenly between the two tins and bake until lightly golden and the centre springs back when pressed lightly (about 20-25 minutes).
  10. Turn on to a wire rack and cool completely before sandwiching with cream and jam/fruit.