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Vanilla Sponge Cake


Use this recipe to make Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake. To make our Watermelon Bombe, use a half batch of this recipe: Divide the batter between two 6-inch-round layer-cake pans, and bake for 35 minutes. Use one layer for the bombe, and freeze the second layer for later use.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch-square cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998


  • 1 tablespoon 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. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Line bottom with parchment paper; butter parchment. Dust with flour, and tap out excess; set aside. Sift together flour and cornstarch into a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Put yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Put egg whites and salt into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg white mixture into the yolk mixture. Fold in reserved flour mixture in 3 batches. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula.

  5. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Turn out cake onto rack. Cake can be wrapped well in plastic and stored at room temperature up to 2 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • hawaiian sunrise
    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!