We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Sponge Cake?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A sponge cake is a cake which is made with flour, sugar, and eggs, but no shortening. As a result, the cake is distinctly light and fluffy when it is prepared well. These cakes are also very porous, marked with distinctive holes that make them look rather a lot like sponges. In addition to being served on its own, sponge cake is used as the base for many desserts, since it is a very sturdy, durable cake. Its absorbency makes it ideal for desserts that call for cake soaked in syrup or alcohol, since the cake will soak up the flavor without falling apart.

Making this type of cake properly does require some skill. It relies on eggs for its leavening, along with a small amount of baking powder in some recipes. The eggs need to be well beaten to integrate air, and the ingredients have to be carefully mixed to ensure that the air bubbles are not forced out. Sponge cake also has to be carefully cooled, as rapid cooling can cause it to collapse and become very heavy. Bakers sometimes make several attempts before they manage to succeed.

Base sponge cake recipes are very easy to modify with additions of extracts like lemon, almond, chocolate, coconut, orange, and vanilla. The clear, light flavor of the cake allows these flavors to come through without obscuring or overwhelming them. The cakes can also be frosted with light, delicate frostings or jam; Victoria sponge, a classic version, is made by sandwiching jam and whipped cream between layers of cake. The versatility of the sponge makes it very popular with bakers who want flexibility in their finished goods, since it allows them to play around with flavors without the risk of messing up the cake.

There's another unique attribute to sponge cake that makes it popular with bakers. The cake remains flexible as it cools, so bakers can make it in a sheet and then roll it up with ingredients like jam, chocolate spreads, and custard. Numerous rolled cakes use a sponge as the base as a result. Rolled cake is surprisingly forgiving for cooks who are just beginning to experiment, so once a baker masters the art of the sponge generally, he or she can achieve quick gratification with a rolled one.

Culinary historians believe that sponge cake probably emerged around the early 19th century, because this is when it first started appearing in recipe books. The cake quickly became popular since it was so versatile, and the basic principle of a light, fluffy cake spread across much of the Western world, where various regions developed their own versions. The French Genoise and American chiffon cake are two examples of regional derivatives.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By DentalFloss — On Dec 16, 2010

Another positive about sponge cake is that most sponge cake recipes are very low in alories and fat, especially compared to other cakes. A lot of pre-made sponge cake mixes, though, can be a lot more fattening, but in general sponge cake is a nice, light alternative to other, richer cakes.

By BambooForest — On Dec 14, 2010

I really enjoy sponge cake with other things added to it, like chocolate sponge cake or having it with fresh fruits. It tastes good with so many different things, it's so versatile.

By anon21256 — On Nov 12, 2008

I have made my first 2 sponge cakes and on both occasions they have burned on the bottom, I was leaving them in oven for recommended time and cooking them at 180* Celsius

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.