Sponge cake recipes are based on a few basic ingredients and techniques that make them different from other cake recipes.
They require lots of eggs whereas the most common types of cakes are made with butter or shortening.
If you aren't familiar with sponge cakes, maybe you know them better as Angel food cakes. They are the same type of cake, except that sponge cakes use the whole egg.
Because the egg whites are whipped for the base, baking powder is not needed for rising the cake.
The traditional pan for a sponge cake is a tube pan, but a Bundt-style pan can also be used.
If you don't want a large cake, cut the recipe in half and use a loaf pan.
One key thing to remember is that you should NOT grease the pan. This type of cake needs to cling to the pan as it rises.
This is a basic sponge cake recipe that's great for beginners. You can bake it in a tube pan or a loaf, as I did for the picture here.
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla
5 eggs, separated
1 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).
Sift the flour a few times.
Whip the egg whites until frothy, sprinkling in the salt.
Continue whipping until stiff enough to form peaks. Gradually add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until it is smooth and not grainy.
In a separate bowl, beat the yolks, then add lemon juice, rind, and vanilla. Beat until a batter consistency, then fold into the egg white mixture.
Sift in the flour a little at a time, folding in gently.
Pour into an ungreased tube pan and bake for about an hour. For loaf pans, check the cake at 25 minutes. For layer pans, check at 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn upside down to cool.
For a snowy white sponge cake, you might want to try an Angel food cake, or a Dark Angel cake.
For a chocolate sponge cake, use the basic sponge cake recipe above, but replace 1/4 cup of the flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa. Sift together well.
For an elegant sponge cake, consider the Almond Hazelnut Gateau recipe.
For a Coconut Sponge Cake, sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded coconut over the batter. Bake as above.
If you have a recipe for sponge cake or any special thing you do to them, please let me know and I can add it to this growing collection. We are always looking for more creative ways to top off these cakes.