Every baker needs a good base vanilla sponge cake recipe in their repertoire. Something that can be used as a delicious stand alone flavor or as a base for many different flavor variations. It took me a long time to find and tweak a vanilla sponge cake recipe to my liking and it’s hight time I share it with you guys.
This exceptional, yet simple Vanilla Sponge Cake has a velvety, tender crumb. Light and airy, with soft texture.
What is different about a vanilla sponge cake verses other vanilla cake recipes?
There are many mixing methods for making cakes. Each technique is based on specific ingredients using different mixing methods, and results in a different final product: from a light as air cake, to one that’s sturdy enough to hold up in wedding tiers. Two standards methods are the creaming method and the reverse creaming method. Both of these methods tend to produce a more dense cake with a tight crumb and a sturdy texture. This style of cake lends itself well to many applications including tiered cakes and sculpted cakes. Sponge cakes are a made a little different and they tend to have a more open, airy crumb.
Mildly sweet, sponge cakes are high-rising and light as air, with the perfect degree of moistness.
Sponge cakes can be made different ways. One way is beating egg yolks and sugar (or whole eggs and sugar) until a very thick foam-like batter is created. The batter is pale yellow in color, and falls off the beater in ribbons. Flour is then gently stirred in. This is the method I use. It’s quicker and easier than separating the eggs, whipping the whites and folding them back in at the end, and the resulting cake is just as good in my opinion. This method dates back to before the widespread use of baking soda or powder, when trapped air was a cake’s only leavening.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are making your Vanilla Sponge Cake:
1: Make sure to whip your eggs and then your eggs and sugar long enough. If you don’t get enough air whipped into the mixture your cake will not rise as nicely and thus have a more dense, gummy texture.
2: Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature so they play nice together
3: Do not over heat your milk/butter mixture. The emulsification process is impended when the milk is too hot.
4: Bake right away! This batter needs to be baked immediately and will not hold. Do not make more than you can fit in your oven immediately.
5: Do not over bake: vanilla sponge cake will dry out quickly if over baked. This type of cake can also benefit from a little drizzle of simple syrup if it is tending on the dry side.
6: Use a high quality vanilla extract and vanilla bean extract. I’m serious. It makes a HUGE difference! My absolute favorite is Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract & Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. I KNOW! It’s expensive! But I can’t even tell you what and incredible flavor difference it makes!
What fillings and frostings are good on Vanilla Sponge Cake?
One of the most awesome things about a good vanilla sponge cake is that pretty much ANY cake fillings and ANY frosting is perfect on it! But I have to say my FAVORITE is a fresh fruit compote filling, like my fresh raspberry compote filling, and a light and fruity Swiss buttercream. >>> Links for my go to recipes for Fresh Fruit Compote cake filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream <<<. You’re welcome! Doesn’t this cake just scream “EAT ME!” ??
But like I said, vanilla sponge cake will pair well with so so many flavors. Get creative!
Can I make other cake flavors with this recipe?
Of course!! THAT is why every baker needs a good base vanilla sponge cake recipe! Any flavor extract can be substituted or added to the vanilla extract for a different flavor of cake. Lemon, almond, orange, coconut… Check out my Rich Decadent Cappuccino Cake Recipe (<<< link). It’s on the top of my favorite all time cakes list. I will be posting more recipes for new sponge cake flavors using this base recipe and other add ins. Stay tuned!!
Now Let’s get baking!!
Have A Sweet Day!
|Prep Time||10 minus|
|Cook Time||25 - 30 minutes|
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour 313 grams
- 2.5 cups granulated white sugar 494 grams
- 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1.25 cups whole milk
- 3 ounces salted butter
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
- Prepare three 8 inch cake pans by greasing then lining the bottom with parchment paper. I also like to use a rose nail in the center of the pan for more even baking
- pour milk into a microwave safe container had heat for one minute. You want to milk to be slightly warm, not hot
- melt the butter in the microwave then add to the warm milk and mix
- stir in vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste and almond extract. Set aside
- Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with paddle attachment for 4 minutes. Do not skip this step!
- While eggs are beating, In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder.
- When eggs have been beating for 4 minutes add sugar then continue beating for another 4 minutes until light and the batter streams off the beater in ribbons
- Add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined, scraping the bowl once. Do this step as quickly as possible. Do not over mix.
- Pour in warm milk/butter mixture and continue to mix on low until just combined, scraping the bowl once. Do this step quickly also and do not over mix. These last two steps should take less than a minute
- divide your batter evenly into the 3 pans and bake for 25-28 minutes until the middle springs back when touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto wire cooling racks and cool completely
Recipe Tips: 1: Make sure to whip your eggs and then your eggs and sugar long enough. If you don't get enough air whipped into the mixture your cake will not rise as nicely and thus have a more dense, gummy texture. 2: Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature so they play nice together 3: Do not over heat your milk/butter mixture. The emulsification process is impended when the milk is too hot. 4: Bake right away! This batter needs to be baked immediately and will not hold. Do not make more than you can fit in your oven immediately. 5: Do not over bake: vanilla sponge cake will dry out quickly if over baked. This type of cake can also benefit from a little drizzle of simple syrup if it is tending on the dry side.
I have to make a 2 tiered 18th birthday cake. The top layer will be 8 inches. Will use your recipe for that. Can u guide me as to how to covert this recipe for the bottom layer which is 10 inches. Really need your help.
Hello Aminah, To make a 10″ (3 layered) tier, use the servings (people) toggle and set it at 26 people. That will give you the right amount of batter to fill three 10″ pans. Happy baking!
Great. Thank you. Wish me luck
I do not see eggs listed in the ingredients
They are listed. 5 large eggs at room temperature. 😊
Hi Shani , I wanted to use this recipe for a 12 inch cake, but was just wondering if upscaleing this recipe would affect the amount of time needed to whisk the eggs and sugar as its a larger quantity?
Hi Beth, no the mixing time is still the same. For a 12” round 3 layer cake I triple the recipe.
Amazing thanks so much Shani 😊
You’re welcome, happy caking!
Hi! How much batter would I need for 1 dz cupcakes?
Hi Amanda, this recipe is formulated to make a nice flat cake. You can get a nice lightly domed cupcake using the recipe and adding an extra 1/2 cup of flour. This recipe will make approximately 36 cupcakes. Cutting it in half you should get 18 or so.
Awesome! Thank you
Hi Shani,can I make 2 9″ cakes from these ingredients instead of 3 8″?
Yes, they will be taller layers of course.
Can this recipe be used to stack cakes in 3 tiers? I’m not sure if should be pound cake.
Hi Tee. Yes I use this recipe all the time for large tiered cakes. Just make sure you properly support each tier with dowels and a center dowel.
Hi Shani, how much is 2.5 cups?
Hi Esther. 2.5 cups of flour is 312.5 grams
Hi Shani, your recipe looks really good ..I would like to try it though i want ask you if there is any way to reduce the sugar amount, or use a substitute to make a healthy version?
I want to give a try this one. Can I make it ahead of time and freeze it? Or I need to decorate right away? I will do 10″3 layers cake so I need to double the recipe?
Thanks a lot!
Hello Maniecel. Yes this cake freezes well. Just make sure to wrap it well. Double the recipe for 3 – 10” layers
Thank you so much!!! I’m excited to make this!
I was wondering in you can make this into a rolled cake (maybe a 10×15 or a 12 x17 in sheet pan) and fill it with something yummy!??
I’ve never tried this recipe for a rolled cake. I suspect it might not be flexible enough to roll. That is usually better done with a genoise cake.
Hi I have read the comments and will double your ingredients for 10″ 3 layer cake but I also need to make a 3 layer 7″ cake, how could I convert the measurements for this? Many thanks
Hi Charleen. I would do a 3/4 batch. Here are the measurements: 2 cupcakes (250g) flour, 2 cups (395g) sugar, 2tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 4 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4c (2oz) butter, 3/4tsp vanilla extract, 3/4tsp vanilla bean paste 1/4tsp almond extract. Happy caking!
hi i want to make a 1/4″ sheet cake can i use th is recipe for that..or is only for layered cakes
Hi Shani , can this recipe be made in to cupcakes?
Hi Beth, yes I use this recipe for my cupcakes but I do add an extra 25grams of flour. I get a better rise on the cupcakes that way. But of course it depends on if you like a flat top cupcake or domed 😊
Perfect! I love it with the almond extract
Hi, can i have the exact amount of milk in ml n also for the butter in grams. Thank you for the recipes