Classic Sponge Cake

  • Serves: Makes one 10-inch tube pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 12669
  • Comments: 26

Variation: Tiramisu Cupcakes from a Sponge Cake

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The Sponge Cake (not to be confused with a Butter Sponge Cake or Genoise) is sometimes used to refer to the whole category of foam cakes. The texture and flavor of sponge cakes is so delightful that they are usually eaten without or without adornment. Sponge cakes are leavened by whipping eggs (whole, yolks only or whites only) with sugar. Whipping air into the mixture is what makes them light. When baked, the air bubbles expand from the heat of the oven and the cake rises. My Tiramisu Cupcake Variation is a special treat!

Sonja, La Dolce Vita Bakery, Canada via e-mail: "Hi Sarah, I own a Bakery in Canada, and I have tried all kinds of recipes. I just tried your sponge cake recipe and this is the best one so far I've come across. Thanks so much for an informative site. Keep up the Great Job! You're doing Fantastic!"


Use a light colored aluminum pan called an "Angel Food" Cake or Tube Pan that is 10- x 4-inches with a removable bottom. DO NOT use a non stick pan.
DO NOT grease the pan.
Many stores still call the pan a "tube" pan because of the tube in the center, but be sure to purchase a pan with a removable bottom. You need it to ensure the cake will come out easily.

1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour; sift onto a sheet of waxed paper and then spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 large eggs, separated; separate when cold. Can use cold in the recipe.
1 cup superfine or regular sugar, divided
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons water, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SARAH SAYS: I like to beat the egg whites, first, instead of the yolks, so you do not have to worry about them getting contaminated with fat from the yolks. Properly beaten whites
can sit for awhile after beating.

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased two-piece 10-inch tube pan.
Combine the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

2. In a dry, clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, with the mixer on medium-low speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar.
Continue whipping until the foam is white and opaque. Increase the mixer speed to high and add 1/2 cup sugar slowly at the side of the bowl, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Do not let the whites become stiff or dry. Scrape whites into a clean bowl and set aside.

3. Using the same bowl, with the mixer fitted with the same whisk attachment, at high speed, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 to 5 minutes.
The yolks will "ribbon". That is when you raise the beaters, the mixture should fall in a ribbon pattern that sits on top of the swirl for seconds before sinking.
That's why it's called making the ribbon.

4. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, water, and vanilla on medium-low until the mixture is smooth

5. In two additions, sift the flour mixture over the beaten yolk mixture and fold in, using a large rubber spatula.
With the last addition of flour, stop folding just before it is fully incorporated. Set aside temporarily.

6. Stir a little of the whites in the egg yolk / flour mixture to lighten it.
Then, gently, but thoroughly, fold the rest of the egg whites into the egg yolk / flour mixture.

Scoop into the tube pan.
Run a thin knife through the cake batter once or twice. This prevents air pockets from forming in the body of the cake. Gently smooth the top.

7. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched with finger and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.
Remove from the oven and immediately invert cake in pan on funnel or bottleneck to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

8. When cool, gently loosen the sides of cake with a thin-bladed, flexible knife, moving the knife firmly in one direction; do not use a sawing motion otherwise you will gouge or scrape some of the crust off the side of the cake.
First, slowly trace around the perimeter of the inner tube with a thin-bladed knife, scraping against the pan rather than the cake. Then, slowly trace around the perimeter of the pan with a knife, scraping against the pan rather than the cake.
When loose, push up the bottom to remove the cake from the outer ring. The central tube will be attached. Cover the cake with a serving plate, and at the same time holding both, invert the cake onto the plate. With a thin-bladed, flexible knife, carefully trace around the bottom of the pan and the cake. It will simply fall onto the plate. Lift the bottom and inner tube from the cake.

Dust with powdered sugar. Cut slices with a thin, serrated knife and serve with fresh fruit.

Store at room temperature for a couple of days, or wrap well and freeze for a month or more.

Tiramisu Cupcakes from a Sponge Cake

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