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Vanilla Sponge Cake

Use this cake to make the Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake. For the Watermelon Bombe, use a half batch of this recipe: Divide the batter between two six-inch-round layer-cake pans, and bake for thirty-five minutes. Use one layer for the bombe, and freeze the second layer for later use.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch-square cake
Vanilla Sponge Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998


  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, and butter again. Flour the pan, and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Transfer the egg-yolk mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment.

  3. Combine egg whites and salt in the mixer bowl, and beat on medium speed until whites hold soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy, about 1 minute.

  4. Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold the reserved flour mixture into this new mixture. Transfer the batter to prepared pan, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool; turn out cake, and wrap it in plastic wrap until ready to use.

Reviews (5)

  • imee_jamarc 9 Mar, 2013

    Hi! Why there's no milk in this recipe?

  • crazyelnao 5 Mar, 2013


  • hneedham 23 May, 2012

    I used this sponge to make tiramisu, not the ice cream version from this site, but the traditional one. I find ladyfingers a bit bland.

    This is a dry is supposed to be - hence the name "Sponge Cake". Sponge cakes are typically paired with a sauce or cream to soak up. They are similar to angel food cakes but contain the yokes for fat and protein.

    This is a perfectly simple traditional vanilla sponge cake that absorbs up berry sauces or coffee liqueur very nicely!

  • mulanie 1 Apr, 2010

    This was very easy to make. The only problem i had was that I found it to be a little bit dry. I put it in convection bake for less time than the recipe called for (checking it often), so I don't think I overbaked it. Maybe next time I should add some milk to the batter to moisten it up.

  • michellelee 21 Apr, 2008

    Light and tasty!

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