"After baking countless cakes over the past 11 years for our pages, I've come back around to appreciating the versatility of a sponge cake," says Jennifer Aaronson, editorial director of food and entertaining. See the test kitchen's step-by-step guide to making sponge cake and discover 3 ways to use this flexible favorite.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans or two 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheets. Line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment and flour pans, tapping out excess flour. Whisk together egg yolks and 1 cup granulated sugar in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and thick enough to form a ribbon that dissolves onto itself, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt; transfer to a large bowl.

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  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold one third of egg whites into yolks, then gently fold in remaining whites. Sift flour over top and gently start to fold in. When nearly all is folded in, pour melted butter down side of bowl and fold just until incorporated and smooth.

  • Divide batter among pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes for rounds, or 15 minutes for sheets, rotating and switching racks halfway through. If baking in round pans, immediately invert cake and remove parchment, then reinvert and cool right side up. If using baking sheets and making a rolled cake, immediately invert cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioner's sugar. Dust top of cake with confectioner's sugar and roll up in towel. Let cool completely, about 1 hour, before unrolling and spreading with filling.

Cook's Notes

Jennifer Aaronson uses this recipe for her go-to ice cream cake. She simply spreads softened ice cream onto a sheet of cake before rerolling it, then freezes it until the ice cream hardens.

Reviews (8)

103 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 38
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 17
  • 2 star values: 12
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
05/03/2019
No Adjustments needed! This cake is perfect for so many variations. Follow the instructions, which are not difficult and you too can receive rave reviews!
Rating: 5 stars
07/04/2018
I followed the recipe to the letter and it turned out perfectly. It was SOOOO fluffy when mixing it together with all those egg whites! It really rose in the cake pans, my pans were somewhat shallow but still worked fine. I read other recipes that called for an entire cup of butter for the recipe whereas this one is only 1/2 cup and it was still delicious and not greasy or too buttery. I would definitely make this again for a strawberry shortcake dessert.
Rating: 2 stars
07/28/2017
This is not a sponge cake. It comes out crumbly and is more dense than it should be. A sponge is supposed to be light and airy. I would probably not make this again.
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Rating: 4 stars
07/03/2017
Made this cake last night . Its very easy to make and the texture is awesome. Will be making it again
Rating: 1 stars
05/22/2017
Sorry folks, but this is not the recipe for a sponge cake. A sponge cake is a British cake. It has about 4 eggs, and no butter. If you want an authentic recipe, try a British, Australian or New Zealand recipe page.
Rating: Unrated
07/26/2015
9 eggs? Seriously and this makes 1 cake
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Rating: 5 stars
06/22/2013
Great sponge cake recipe, works perfect. I did some variations to make a "Light Dessert". Substituted half of sugar by Splenda and instead of butter used Blue Bonnett. I used as a roll cake with light cream and splenda, strawberries, and add the juices of the strawberries to moist a little the sponge. The dessert was delicious and my husband could enjoy a little as a diabetic. Next time I will make just for him a full Splenda version, for those who don´t take sugar.
Rating: Unrated
05/25/2013
Would love to have the step by step pictures online, as they are featured in the magazine. Thanks in advance!