Sponge Cake

Sponge Cake Recipe My daughter bakes all the time. She loves it. She gets birthday cake requests from EVERYONE…except me (or Denise). I teased her about not offering to bake me a cake a few weeks ago. Last weekend she found one that she wanted to bake, but we inexplicably had no baking soda.

Daughter felt sad–me not so much. I like cake well enough; I just don’t hanker for it in general. Perhaps part of the problem, I did not have a “favorite” cake for her to make.

I might have chosen this one though because I love sponge cakes even though no one has ever made me one for my birthday (or anything else) Sponge cakes are the opposite of Angel Food cakes and really should carry the name Devil’s Food. They don’t though and this lightly lemon cake has you dream of angels and more.

This recipe comes from “Learn to Bake — You’ll Love It” a 1947 promotional cookbook from General Foods.

Definitely sift. Use a mixer though, (with two bowls) unless you are wicked good with a rotary egg beater.

Swans Down Sponge Loaf (5 eggs)

1 cup sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
5 egg yolks (at room temperpature)
1 cup sifted sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sift flour once, measure and sift four times.

Beat egg yolks in small bowl, adding 1/2 cup sugar gradually, beating consistently with rotary egg beater. Combine lemon rind, lemon juice, and water and add to egg mixture gradually, beating constantly until very thick and light. Add flour all at once and fold in until just blended.

Beat egg whites and salt with flat wire whisk or rotary egg beater until foamy. Then add cream of tartar and beat until stiff enough to hold up in peaks, but not dry. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well with whisk or beater. Fold in egg yolk mixture.

Turn into ungreased round 9-inch tube pan. Bake in moderate oven. (375 F) 30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and invert pan 1 hour, or until cold.

To serve, cut in wedges and top with Cocoa Whipped Cream. Or Strawberry Fluff Frosting. (Or leave it alone–no reason to gild this lily)


  1. Wish I could take cake-making lessons. I’m *terrible* at cakes. I can make good pie crust, though, and love most any sort of pie, sweet or savory. Cakes is *hard*. I think its sort of like folks who can knit or crochet but not both. I can crochet… 🙂

  2. We still didn’t buy baking soda, grrr. I’d be happy if RJ made this one. That would be much better than the one she had planned to make.

  3. Rachel–Really? What makes you terrible at cakes? This one is a little picky but most should not be that hard. How about a pound cake or 1-2-3-4 cake? Have you tried those?

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