Light and Fluffy Sponge Cake

This recipe for Light and Fluffy Sponge Cake has recently been on our sister site Bronyadcc.co.uk until being moved back here in January 2022.

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Do your sponge cakes always come out as light and fluffy as you’d like? You may have heard that baking is a science, well here is the most basic recipe which proves it is.

Baking isn’t just luck, it’s a science, tried and tested through generations. Baking is a combination of the right ingredients and the right techniques…and this combination of ingredients and technique will make the perfect, light and fluffy Sponge Cake, in England often known as a classic Victoria Sponge.

Ingredients Neede

The Right Ingredients

Cakes are made up of 4 basic ingredients: Butter, Sugar, Eggs and Flour with a raising agent. Quantities vary to get different results, but to get this perfect Victoria Sponge all ingredients are equal. For more information on ingredients read Cakes Essential Ingredients.

This recipe is one of the easiest and most scalable ever. It starts with your eggs. Weigh them in the shell. I used just 2, but I only made a small 2 layer 6” inch cake. For a 3 layer 8” round cake I would recommend 4 large eggs.

Once you know the weight of your eggs, you weigh all the other ingredients to the same weight.

My 2 eggs weighed 135gms, which meant I used 135gms of baking spread, 135gms of caster sugar and 135gms of plain flour. When I sifted the flour, I added 1.5tspns of baking powder – 1 tspn, rounded to the nearest half, per 100gms of flour, or you could just use Self Raising Flour.

Once I cracked the eggs, I was going to lose the weight of the shell, so to get that back I added 1tbspn of milk, per egg, before beating them ready for the mix. For flavour I also added a teaspoon of Vanilla Essence, which can added either to the butter or the egg mix.

Pro-Tip

Always make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. It’ll make it easier for them to come together in the mix.

How to mix for a light and fluffy sponge cake

Mixing1

Do you use the creaming method? For this recipe you should! Make friends with the creaming method.

Put the sugar and butter (or baking spread) in a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat it until its changed colour to at least 3 shades lighter. Next you need to add your beaten egg and milk mix – but do it slowly! Adding too much liquid, too quickly will make it curdle.

Mixing 2

What if it curdles – you could potentially lose its fluffiness?

If it does start to curdle you will start to lose all that lovely air, and, well basically, it goes a ‘bit funny’. If you start to see it curdling pop a dessert spoon of flour into the mixer. This will help it come back together. Don’t add too much flour at this stage tough.

Also, make sure you mix on as high power as possible, without it covering the kitchen and/or you with mixture..

When all the egg mix is added, stop the mixer. You’re now going to finish the batter by hand. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift together your flour and baking powder into the mix.

When all the egg mix is added, stop the mixer. You’re now going to finish the batter by hand. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift together your flour and baking powder into the mix.

Now, using a large metal spoon, or a rubber spatula, carefully fold the flour in. Folding means cutting through the mix and folding it in on itself. Don’t beat it or stir it, as, you’ll lose all the lovely air you have taken the time to lovingly beat into it. Fold it until all the flour is incorporated.

Sift the dry ingredients

Pour the batter into your baking tins, which should be well greased with baking parchment on the bottom. I then scrape a well in the middle. As a cake bakes, the edges will bake first. Then when the inside heats up it will need to expand and that’s why you get a dome on your cake. There are a few tricks for avoiding a dome – baking at a lower temperature, adding a ‘baking belt’ to your tin, or as I do, starting with less mix in the middle to start with.

into the tins

Which Tins for the Lightest Cakes?

I recommend you bake these in several shallow pans. I have tried baking in one big deep pan and slicing the layers. However, as it is such a light and fluffy sponge cake, the airbubbles inside can’t support themselves, and it collapsed in on itself. When I tried to bake in a deep tin, the inside of my cake ended up tough and chewy.

Lastly, give you tins a couple of good bangs onto the work surface. This will ensure the mix is distributed into the corners of the tins and will encourage any large air bubbles to rise to the surface.

Baking Rules for a Light and Fluffy Cake

I bake a 150c (which is quite low – to avoid the domes). Pop your cakes on the same shelf if possible and

I bake a 150c to avoid a domed cake. Pop your cakes on the same shelf if possible and don’t open the door for at least 25 minutes!

You may have heard how you should never open the oven while a cake is baking, or that you should never bang the door. There is a very good reason for this!

As the cake is baking the air inside is getting hot and expanding. This is when it’s at its most volatile. If you open the door, and let a cold gust of air in, it may stop the air from expanding, or worst still, pop all those lovely air bubbles and then there is only one, sad, result – a sunken cake!

Slamming the door of the oven may also pop the bubbles, again resulting in a sunken cake. Be gentle and be careful.

So, no matter how tempted you are….DO NOT OPEN THAT OVEN!!!!!


Light and Fluffy Sponge Cake out of the oven

After 25-30 minutes test your cake to see if it’s done. I do this by either pressing the top – if it bounces back its done. Or the old tried and tested method stick a skewer in the middle – if it comes out clean, it’s done.

When it’s done remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, before running a thin knife around the edges and removing from the tin. Always put your cakes bottom side down on the cooling rack to avoid any unsightly lines on the top

What is this cake best for?

This classic Victoria Sponge is ideal as an afternoon tea cake. I filled mine with orange buttercream and lemon curd. The Women’s Institute frown upon buttercream and recommend filling with JUST raspberry jam. (I once got disqualified from a local cake baking competition for using it.) However, in my mind the classic combo is actually vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam, or even fresh whipped cream and strawberries.

This light and fluffy sponge cake is also great for celebration cakes. If you are covering your cake in fondant, I would recommend filling and crumb coating before wrapping it in cling film and leaving it overnight to settle. If you try to fondant it immediately it will settle afterwards and muck up your fondant work.

This cake is also great in a tiered cake, if your dowelling and internal structure is good.
This cake, however, is NOT good for sculpting or carved cakes. It’s just too light and fluffy for the job. Believe me I’ve tried, with terrible results.

Light and Fluffy Sponge Cake Served


Now, the only decision you have to make is – what are you going to fill yours with?

If you’re looking for tips on cupcakes, head to How to Bake Cupcakes – Hints and Tips or if you want to know more about the science of baking read my post on Cakes Essential Ingredients. Make my Easy Coffee and Walnut Recipe for a flavour variation of this cake.

Professional Bakers Ebook

If you are a cake maker running a business, or someone who’d like to add more knowledge and variety to you baking, why not download my Ebook.

Light and Fluffy Sponge Cake Recipe

This is an unconventional recipe because all the weights start from weighing the eggs! This is enough to make 2 x 6" cake layers. Refer to the chart in the post for scaling the recipe up and down.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course cake, Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbspn Milk per egg used in the recipe
  • Same Weight as eggs Butter or Baking Spread
  • Same Weight as eggs Caster Sugar
  • Same Weight as eggs Plain Flour
  • 1 tspn Baking Powder per 100 gms of flour

Instructions
 

  • For full instructions see Blog Post and Video associated with this recipe.
  • Pre heat your oven to 150c fan, 170c, 325f or Gas Mark 3
  • Grease and Line your baking tins. The size of the tins you use will depend on the amount of eggs you have used. There is a chart in my Light and Fluffy Sponge Cake Ebook which helps when scaling this recipe.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until, light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. If the mix looks like it's beginning to curdle add a spoon of flour
  • Add the milk and mix
  • Once all the eggs and milk has been added, continue to mix until the mixture is light and fluffy
  • Sift together the Flour and Baking powder
  • Fold gently through the mix, making sure it's fully combined. Do not overmix
  • Divide into single layer tins and spread evenly
  • Give each tin a good bang on the work surface make sure the mix is evenly into the corners of the tins
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are risen, golden and a skewer placed in the centre comes out clean
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool on a wire rack

Video

Keyword light and fluffy sponge cake

You can use this recipe to make Creme Egg Cupcakes. I also use this same technique in my Best Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe.

Try my Ginger Cake Recipe for an alternative celebration cake flavour.

11 comments

  1. All your comments make absolute sense and I have been successful. However,I have been asked to make a raspberry and white chocolate celebration cake. Can you give me some hints?

    1. Hi. We actually did a podcast episode about this very thing this week! If you boil down some raspberries to intensify the flavour, strain the pips, and then use the liquid instead of the milk that will make a raspberry sponge. Then use melted white chocolate in your buttercream. Both together you have a Raspberry and White Chocolate cake! Hope that helps.

  2. Hi

    I have to make a 12″ cake and wanted to use your Victoria Sponge recipe. Your website says “Refer to the chart in the post for scaling the recipe up and down” but I can’t find the chart. Can you post it up please. Many thanks

  3. 5 stars
    WOW OH WOW….Best sponge cake ever, even beats the professional ones I’ve tasted. Added lemon to mixture with a limoncello buttercream filling and covering, made on Monday and its still as fresh as the day I made it. My go recipie from this day forward….Thank You..

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m really happy you find the recipe so good. I’ve been making it for over 15 years and it’s great to hear other people like it as well!
      Bronya

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