The best sponge cake… ever
This is hand down the best sponge cake recipe you’ll ever try. Pinched from our accountant Anna, this recipe is one of her favourites.
Soft, fluffy and sweet. Served with fresh cream and strawberries – this is a cake that’s guaranteed to impress your friends and family at the next morning’s tea or a birthday party.
About Anna and her sponge
When someone mentions that one of their home-baked goodies is a Grandma recipe, you know it’s going to be both delicious and a little nostalgic. Classic recipes such as shortbread, apple pie, and sponge cake have a way of plucking at a baker’s heartstrings.
We asked Anna about this recipe and the memories that come with each slice.
“When I was in my 20s and moved out of home, my Grandma gave me a handwritten book of recipes. I always used to pick her brain with the recipes she created. Grandma was an incredible baker and cook. Some of my favourite recipes of hers were an impressive trifle or her asparagus and chicken bake, or even her savoury muffins… there’s too much to choose from. Everything she cooked was very traditional. Imagine an old-school Women’s Weekly magazine. Her love for traditional cooking has definitely rubbed off on me. It’s by far my preference.”
“Although my Grandma baked a huge amount, sponge cake was my favourite recipe of hers. I first had it when I was a little kid and I’ve loved it ever since.”
“I have memories from throughout my whole childhood of watching her bake, licking the batter out of the bowl, fighting with brothers over the last piece of sponge. Every time my family visited Grandma, there would always be freshly baked biccies or a warm meal waiting. We were very lucky.”
“I think one of the secrets to her cooking was using vegetables from the garden. Grandma never bought veggies. Everything came straight out of the garden. And I truly mean everything. When I visited with my two sons, Grandpa would give me two big grocery bags full of veggies. Parsnips, beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, potato, zucchinis, rhubarb, lemons, and lettuce. There were rows and rows of fresh vegetables. A gardener’s dream. When you were enjoying a meal made from veggies from their garden, it offered the dish a freshness you can’t replicate with store-bought fruit and veg.”
“What I love about baking? The smell it fills the house with, seeing the final product completed and enjoying the goodie with a cup of tea.”
“I prefer the traditional recipes rather than experimenting. Most of the recipes that I use are imprinted in my memory. Banana and choc chip muffins and chocolate chip cookies. I can smack into a bowl without even thinking about it. When the kids were little, I used to bake every weekend, but now because the kids are older and I don’t do lunch boxes, I just bake when the creativity strikes. But I must say, my boys definitely had the best lunch boxes.”
“My favourite tea to enjoy with this sponge cake recipe is the English Breakfast Premium. Strong black tea is divine with this light and delicious dessert.”
Thank you, Anna, for sharing your Grandma’s recipe. We’ll make sure we treasure each slice we stick our cake fork into.
Now, it’s time to put your cooking apron on.
How to bake the best sponge cake
- 3/4 cup of cornflour
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon custard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 4 eggs (separated)
- First things first, put the kettle on. Enjoy your favourite cup of tea whilst you bake!
- Next, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line two cake tins with baking paper.
- Sift cornflour, custard powder, bicarb and cream of tartar together not once… but three times! Sifting flour is crucial for sponge cake. This will make the texture of the cake lighter and fluffier. It will also make it easier to stir through the wet ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites in a standard mixer until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar whilst beating. Lastly, add egg yolks one at a time. Remove from mixer.
- Gently hand fold the dry ingredients (DO NOT beat) into the wet ingredients until all is incorporated. Hand folding rather than beating allows for more air to rise in the batter. For sponge cake, this is a must.
- Divide batter between the two lined cake tins.
- Bake for 20-25 mins, until cake starts pulling away from the side of the tin.
- Anna enjoys her sponge cake with whipped cream and passionfruit icing (icing sugar and passionfruit pulp). Strawberries are delicious too.
Let us know how you go! Tag us in your baking on social media @puretea_australia
Anna and our team look forward to seeing your creations… feel free to save us a slice 😉