Sponge Cake Recipe – Cake Homemade – Vanilla & Chocolate

6. May 2022

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves: 12-16

With this basic sponge cake recipe, I’ll show you how a make a fluffy vanilla cake recipe which and can be used in many ways! There are often challenges with the recipe for sponge cake and I will go into the most important tips and hacks so that you can make the perfect homemade vanilla sponge cake.

  • There are many more insights and videos about my recipes on my Instagram account and TikTok account
  • You can find more baking hacks in the category ‘Baking Tips’

Recipe for Sponge Cake

The first question to be asked is what types of sponge cake recipes are there? There is definitely the Italian sponge cake, the chocolate sponge cake and many more. I’ll cover the best tips and tricks for the plain sponge cake in this post. 

Easy Sponge Cake Recipe

1. Whip the egg mixture until fluffy
First, the eggs must be at room temperature, this way it’s easier to whip them light and fluffy. The most important point when baking a basic sponge cake is to whip the egg mixture for a long time. In order to obtain a fluffy and moist vanilla sponge cake the egg and sugar mixture has to become light and frothy, thick. This can take up to 5-10 minutes. The eggs are mixed together with sugar and a pinch of salt, there’s a rule of thumb to whip the mixture 1 minute long per egg.

2. Process the cake batter quickly
Don’t overmix this basic vanilla cake sponge batter! Another important aspect is the air in this cake batter, it can get lost in between whipping up the egg mixture and putting it into the oven. Therefore, sift flour, cornstarch and baking powder into the egg mixture and then carefully fold in with a whisk or spatula.

Folding in the flour mix for too long can also compromise the fluffiness of this easy sponge cake. When too many air bubbles escape from the egg mixture, the cake won’t be fluffy and thus won’t rise well. Another aspect is to bake the vanilla cake from scratch immediately after folding in the ingredients. If the batter is resting for too long, the fluffiness is lost.

3. Don’t grease the baking pan
Sponge cake easy, don’t grease the baking pans. In order to be enable to cake to rise, a simple vanilla cake needs grip on the baking pan, otherwise the batter “slips off”, cannot rise properly and therefore collapses. You can grease the bottom of the baking pan or simply line it with parchment paper.

4. Bake the sponge base correctly
At what temperature to bake sponge cake? 180°C / 356°F is the perfect oven temperature for baking the best vanilla cake homemade, when using an oven with heat from above and underneath (Ober-Unterhitze). When using a circulating heating system (Umluft) I advise to lower temperature to 160°C / 320°F.

How long to bake sponge acke?
That depends on whether it’s a small batch and what size the baking pan has you’re using. With a 26cm / 10inch diameter baking pan it takes between 30-40 minutes, this also depends on the oven. Do not open the oven during the first two thirds of the baking time, otherwise the cake could collapse in the middle. The cake is baked when you press on the surface with your fingers, and it comes back. If the cake has been baked for too long, the finger prints will remain in the cake and won’t disappear immediately.

Why sponge cake deflate?
You’re wondering why sponge cake collapse after baking? There are many aspects to consider when thinking about why sponge cake sink after baking. Either the cake was not completely baked, but that should be avoided by the previous steps. Or the cooling process or baking pan removal didn’t happen properly, read on here.

When to remove sponge cake from baking pan?
After baking, let the cake cool down in the open oven for 10 minutes, then let it cool down at room temperature for 10 minutes and only then remove the cake from the baking pan to let it come completely cool down to room temperature on a rack.

When to freeze Sponge Cake?

Some may wonder ‘will sponge cake dry out in fridge?’ and I can assure yes. After cooled down to room temperature, it can be wrapped in cling film and be put in the fridge and stored for a couple of days. Can sponge cake be frozen? Yes, you can proceed the same way and just put it in the freezer. This is a sponge cake recipe you can freeze.

Fluffy Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe

Vanilla extract, lemon zest, orange zest, tonka bean, or other flavorings can be added to this recipe or you can turn it into a chocolate sponge recipe.

Baking a sponge cake as sheet cake is very easy, it’s the same recipe, line the baking sheet with parchment paper and distribute the batter evenly on it. The baking time is of course much shorter, it can take about 10 minutes. With the sponge cake base for Swiss rolls, it is very important that the dough is not baked for too long, otherwise it will be too dry and break when rolled up. Here is the recipe for my Swiss roll recipe.

Print Recipe

Sponge Cake Recipe - Vanilla Cake Homemade

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 12-16


Vanilla Sponge Cake

  • 8 eggs, room temperature
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 240g (2 cups) flour
  • 40g (1/3 cup) cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 8 eggs, room temperature
  • 220g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 170g (1 1/2 cups) flour
  • 40g (1/3 cup) cornstarch
  • 60g (1/2 cup) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder


Sponge Cake

  • Whip the eggs together with the sugar, salt and optional flavoring until fluffy, this can take about 5-10 minutes. The egg mixture should have tripled in volume, this way the sponge will be super fluffy. Mix the flour, cornstarch and baking powder. For the chocolate sponge cake, leave out the vanilla flavoring and mix in the dark cocoa powder. Sift into the egg mixture and carefully fold in with a whisk. Make sure that you fold in slowly and very carefully from the outside in, otherwise too much air will escape from the batter and the cake won’t be as fluffy.

    For a 26cm / 10inch diameter baking pan it will have a height of 6cm / 2.3inch

    For a 15cm / 6inch diameter baking pan it will have a height of 9cm / 3.5inch

    Now fill the batter into the baking pan which is only lined with parchment paper (do not grease!). Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes 180°C / 356°F top and bottom heating. After baking, open the oven and leave the sponge cake in it for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the baking pan with a knife and let it cool down for 10 minutes again, wrap in cling film and store in the fridge until usage.


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