A good sponge cake is a must-have recipe on hand for every baker. It's often the base for many variations from vanilla to chocolate and everything in between. This recipe is simple and easy with 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake.
Dry ingredients - Vanilla cake - Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside Chocolate cake - sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixerwith the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy Pro tip - we want to add some volume in the batter and the sugar completely dissolved so make sure to cream well.
Next, add eggs one at a time. Followed by the vanilla extract.Pro tip- ensure the eggs are at room temperature or the batter will curdle. If that happens just add a tablespoon or two of flour and combine well.
Then, add flour mixture and milk alternating in three batches.Pro tip - since whipping cream is thick the batter looks a bit stiffer than regular vanilla cake but the cream will melt in the oven so don't add any more milk
Scrape the sides of the bowl, ensure you have a smooth batter. Then, divide the batter between the prepared baking pans.Pro tip - use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan so it bakes evenly.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.Pro tip - I like to use cake strips to ensure my layer cakes bake flat.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert on a cooling rack and cool completely. Always cool cakes completely before you decorate or store them away.Pro tip - Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for an hour. This will make fewer crumbs when torting and leveling the cake.
In a stand mixer with a paddle the attachment cream butter with salt for a minute. Then gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract
Once all the powdered sugar is in - gradually add the whipping cream. Continue to whip until you have a light and fluffy whipped cream consistency ( 2 to 3 minutes)Pro tip - if you do not whip the consistency will be very soft. The whipping will add volume to the buttercream making it light and fluffy.
Prepare simple syrup - cool completely before using.Pro tip- Simple syrup is just sugar water that has been boiled and cooled. Used to keep cake layers moist.
Using a bread knife or cake leveler cut the domes off the cake layers. Cut each layer in half horizontally giving you a total of four layers. Brush each layer with the cooled simple syrup
Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.pro tip -if you plan to move the cake again, it is best to use a cake circle under the cake, so you can pick the cake with its base and without any accidents.
Top the second cake layer on top followed by more frosting until you have used up all the layersPro tip - it is best to lift individual cake layers on pieces of clean cardboard or cake lifter so you do not break them from table to cake.
Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes so the layers hold together. Pro tip - Chilling the cake at this point will ensure the layers don't move when you frost the outside. Though, if you leave the cake uncovered in the fridge for too long it can dry out. So, 10 minutes is all you need.
Final touches - You can place the remaining frosting in a piping bag with a star or round piping tip and pipe a border or swirls on top.
Other sponge variations
Lemon sponge cake
replace 2 tbsp milk with lemon juice.
Add ¼ tsp lemon extract along with the vanilla extract.
Adding 2 drops of lemon yellow food color is optional
Orange sponge cake
replace the milk with orange juice
Add ¼ tsp orange extract along with the vanilla extract
Adding 2 drops of orange food color is optional
Strawberry sponge cake
replace the milk with reduced strawberry puree (pulsed in the food processor)
Add ¼ tsp strawberry extract with the vanilla extract
Adding 2 drops of pink food color is optional
Fondant cake - This cake can be covered with fondant. It is a butter-based cake and works beautifully in tiered wedding cakes.
Lighter cake - You can whip the eggs separately to make the cake light and fluffy just as I have done in my recipe for fluffy vanilla cake.
Celebration cake - this is a simple recipe but can be frosted to make a celebration cake as I did with my Vanilla Birthday Cake
Freezing the cake - Freeze it on a baking tray for a few hours then wrap well in cling/plastic wrap, followed by the parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Thaw wrapped in the fridge for 24 hours so the condensation will stay on the papers, not the cake.
Once decorated the cake does not need to be refrigerated.
It can stay at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Once cut always cover the cut side of the cake with cling/plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you