Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe – 2020 Version

Read our amazing vanilla sponge cake recipe Vanilla Sponge Cake or even Hot Milk Sponge Cake is a name you may be more familiar, is a very light and delicate cake that is so very versatile with an array of fillings and icings to chose from.

It is a more dry style cake by nature, which requires a bit of simple syrup on the layers to make it shine at it’s best.

I have tried to simplify the mixing method as best as possible, and honestly, I have mixed this recipe several different ways and had great results every time!

So that tells me this a very “friendly” recipe so don’t feel nervous when I say things like “liaison” and ask you to heat the eggs over a double boiler

Give this a go and see for yourself!

The combinations are endless here with this really great, basic cake recipe.

Read about What is Cake? to get a better idea of all the different styles of cake recipes to choose from and how to best pair up fillings and icings!

*Update: Now I hate to make anyone nervous about mixing this recipe since so many have had great success and LOVE this cake so much, it has now become their “go-to” cake recipe.

But others have had extreme failures here.

I mentioned in the video that this is my 5th time refilming this recipe and I have settled on a method that I found to be most “user friendly” but there are still some points to pay attention to for the best results for a nicely risen, fluffy cake.

The Ribbon Stage: Most important step here for your cake to be fluffy and light versus heavy and dense with no rise (as this is the complaint of most who have had failure)

A Sponge cake relies on foamed eggs to give it is lightness, airiness and most important- RISE.

This recipe has a bit of baking powder in it to help it along but a traditional sponge or genoise style cake will not.

The most important step in the mixing of this cake (well, there are 2) but #1 is that the eggs get foamed to their maximum possible foam-age but not over whipped to the point that they are going to shrink up upon baking and cause a tight crumb due to the overstretching of the egg white proteins.

That article was written more for egg whites and specifically for meringues and such, but the same scientific rules apply for whole eggs too, since whole eggs have egg whites in them right?

Although it is less apparent when you have over whipped your whole eggs than when you have over whipped your egg whites as I show in that video on that page.

So again I will stress that if you just do exactly what I do in the video (and achieving maximum foam-age in whole eggs is typically 5 – 7 minutes BUT the best way to know is to do the ribbon test.)

One you lift the beaters and the egg/sugar mixture falls back into the bowl forming ribbons that last about 3 seconds before disappearing you are good!

And last #2 Important Key Factor in the success of this cake, is do not over fold in the flour!

Originally I did the flour folding by hand, but I found that too many people were over-folding causing severe deflation of those eggs we just worked so hard to achieve!

So I adjusted the method to the mixer bowl so that on low speed it would incorporate the flour faster and more delicately, but *sigh* I suppose it is all up to the person mixing the recipe and how they perceive certain things. So if you feel like the mixer is going to be too damaging to the mixture by adding the flour that way, please, by all means, fold it in by hand!

I hope that this updated note will help folks understand just what the heck is happening in this recipe and why we have to be super careful at those 2 key points in the recipe.