Foolproof Sponge Cake


Intimidated by Sponge Cake? Well, there’s no need to be. Not with this Curtis Stone Foolproof Sponge Cake recipe. It has only 4 ingredients!

This is the first sponge cake i have ever made, and well, it was pretty easy.

No butter. Just Four eggs, sugar and SR Flour. Could it be any easier?

Sponge Cakes are a fantastic way of showcasing seasonal fruits, and make a lighter Summer desert. Like this:

Lemon Curd Layered Sponge Cake and Strawberry Layered Sponge Cake


This recipe can be used two ways. Either make 2x20cm sponges; Yes they will look small, but when you fill the cake with filling it will 1.5 times the sponge height (lemon curd cake above); Or, make one 23 cm cake, and cut through the centre to have two halves (strawberry cake above). I suggest doing this when it is very cold, perhaps freeze for half an hour or so before cutting to avoid it being to crumbly. Carve a line around the outside vertical edge of the cake so that when you cut it you will cut evenly all the way through. Like this:


By using two halves of the one cake, the cake will become more susceptible to absorbing the moisture from the filling you put in it (like a sponge!!), there is nothing wrong with this, but it might go soggier much more quickly than using two individually baked halves. It up to you- and what cake tins you have, and how soon you want to eat it. Also, if you do want a bigger cake, you could multiply this recipe by 1.5 and bake in either 3x20cm tins, or 2×23 cm tins. The baking time will need to be adjusted accordingly. Separate halves will keep longer once filled.


Some handy tips:

  • Grease and line the base of the tin with a baking paper round, then grease again and dust lightly with flour, tap out the excess- this is very important to get the cake to rise- but also not to stick.
  • Make sure you sift the flour three times, you want this cake to be as light, fluffy and aerated as possible.
  • Make sure you beat the eggs for 5 minutes, you want to incorporate as much air as possible into the batter. They will thicken and increase in volume, add the sugar in multiple stages too for the same reason.
  • Fold through the flour until just combined and no air-pockets, you don’t want the cake losing the air you’ve just spent all that time getting in there and becoming tough by overmixing the dry ingredient in.
  • Sponge cakes un-filled keep wonderfully in the freezer, wrapped airtight, and are great to have on hand for a last minute desert. They also keep well at room temp- un-filled for a few days, they are wonderfully versatile.

This is not a “Victoria Sponge”- which has butter in it and is usually softer and fluffier. Although a Victoria sponge is typically filled with strawberries, jam and cream too. This is a conventional sponge cake, the likes of which has been around for hundreds of years. Victoria sponge is sometimes known as Madeira cake too, which has lemon rind in it. They are not quite the same.

Foolproof Sponge Cake


    For the Sponge
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 1 Cup Self Raising Flour- triple sifted


  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius, Fan forced, OR 180 degrees Celsius Conventional. I prefer a conventional oven for this kind of recipe.
  2. Grease and line your tin (either 2x20cm or 1x23cm) with a baking paper round. Then, grease again and lightly dust the base and sides with flour, tap out the excess. You may choose to line the sides of your tin if using a tin with perfectly perpendicular sides.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs using an electric beater on high, for 5 minutes. You need to incorporate lots of air into the eggs so they increase in volume and turn thick and pale. 5 minutes!
  4. Add the sugar in stages, 2 Tablespoons at a time and continue to beat until well incorporated, thick and aerated.
  5. Sift over the flour and using a metal or silicon spoon, fold through until just incorporated and no flour pockets remain, do not overmix at this stage or cake will lose air and be tough and flat.
  6. Divide the batter between the two tins (or one larger).
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cake is light and springy to touch in the centre.
  8. Rest cake for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Leave on wire rack to cool completely before filling.
  9. If cutting cake in half, i suggest freezing for half an hour before doing so (or refrigerating) (after cake has reached room temp).
  10. Fill with whipped cream, marscapone and cream or a creamcheese and cream combination; fresh fruit, jam, lemon curd etc...

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