Hey everyone!

Between baby screams and diaper changes, I’ve managed to finally get a little baking done since the little one has joined us. It’s been a struggle to try and feel a little bit normal everyday, but we’re gettin’ there!

High Altitude Sponge Cake

So sponge cake. As with all cake, it gets tough when you’re at a higher altitude. One of the most common issues here is that sponge cake will rise too quickly in the oven, and then collapse in the middle once it’s cooked through. This is because things rise a bit faster during baking up here.

High Altitude Sponge Cake Recipe

To fix the issue, the biggest change is how long you beat your eggs for. Or rather, what your eggs look like when you stop whipping them. You want the mixture to be pale and thick. When you lift your beaters from the mixture, it should drip off, and stand on top of the batter for just a minute before it kind of falls into the rest of the batter. (Normally, you’d want batter drips to stay on top for longer before incorporating).

Best High Altitude Sponge Cake

Anyways, since we’ve got a swamp cooler in our house, it’s nearly impossible to whip eggs to anything stiffer than this, so it works well. For me it takes about 8 minutes in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to reach this stage.

Vanilla High Altitude Sponge Cake

Sponge cake feels like magic to me. It’s really just eggs, sugar, and flour, and it bakes up into this fluffy, chewy, real life cake. Eggs you guys, they are the magic ingredient, no joke.

Fluffy High Altitude Sponge Cake

And so anyways, I’ve eaten literally this entire cake as a stand alone dessert (and also I’ve eaten the whole thing myself). That’s to say, it can definitely stand alone with just a dusting of powdered sugar. BUT, it’s also great with fruit and whipped cream piled on top, or frosted with chocolate buttercream, or drizzled with a simple icing.

Easy High Altitude Sponge Cake

Another super nice part of this cake is that it is self-leveling. Basically when it comes out of the oven, it should be domed like a normal cake, but as it cools, it will flatten out and should end up with a perfectly flat top and bottom. It’s super easy, make it today because why not have cake?

Vanilla Sponge Cake

Servings 8 slices


  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 tbs. instant vanilla pudding mix


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 inch round cake pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until thick and fluffy. This should take about 8-10 minutes. When you lift out your beaters, the batter that drips off should sit on top of the batter in bowl for a few seconds before incorporating back in. 

  3. Over a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour and instant pudding mix. Then, sift the mixture again, this time directly over the whipped egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture. Be sure to turn your bowl many times, and scrap through to the bottom of your bowl to ensure that you don’t leave any pockets of flour. 

  4. Pour into your prepared pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan before using a knife around the edges and turning it out. Garnish as desired. Enjoy! 

vanilla sponge cake


  1. louise vince

    June 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Will it work as well without the 2 tbs. of pudding mix?

    • Angie

      June 20, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      I’d guess that the pudding mix just gives it the vanilla flavor. I’m going to try lemon pudding mix….then strawberry; cream cheese; white chocolate. So many options for this one simple cake!

    • Dough-Eyed

      June 21, 2018 at 1:14 am

      Hello! Yes, it will work. I would add just a touch more vanilla extract for flavor. The pudding mix adds flavor, as Angie said, but it also gives the cake a little more moisture. It's subtle though, should be just fine without!

  2. Liza Weissler

    July 5, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    So really, no baking powder? … I'm working my way through a new cookbook during COVID-19 time, and was having particular trouble with a sponge cake recipe in it (that also has fruit in it). It has a lot of baking powder in it and even cutting it down, it's pretty much a mess. I was scouting around for similar recipes online to see what they said and found yours. (I'm at 5000 ft elevation.)

    • Dough-Eyed

      July 6, 2020 at 1:04 am

      Hi there! Yes, no baking powder in this one! It's a classic sponge cake, which relies on the eggs being beat until they are super airy and fluffy. I'm also at 5,000 ft, so this should work well for you!

  3. Jill Weldy

    October 17, 2020 at 9:52 am

    So, this sponge cake recipe is already converted for high altitude baking?
    I'm at 5700 feet, and have had several disasters. I attempted to make a sponge cake/genoise for a trifle, and it did not rise enough, and was a little tough.
    Will this sponge cake recipe work in a trifle?

    • Dough-Eyed

      October 17, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Jill- yes, this recipe is high-altitude friendly. I'm at about 5,000 ft, so all of my recipes are developed at that altitude! I'd recommend reading the post since it offers some tips on making sponge cake at altitude. It's a simple recipe, and it does come out a little chewy, which is pleasant and in my experience, pretty normal for sponge cake. I think it will work well in a trifle, or pound cake is another great option. I hope that helps!

  4. Callie

    November 2, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Curious if I could add cocoa powder to make this a chocolate sponge cake, and how much? I’m at over 6000 ft.

    • Dough-Eyed

      November 3, 2020 at 8:25 am

      Hi there! I would replace two tablespoons of flour with two tablespoons of dutch cocoa powder, and that should work well!

  5. Leah-Mindle Lipszyc

    January 7, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Help PLEEEEASE? I live at 3,000 ft above sea level. How would I alter your recipes?

    • Dough-Eyed

      January 23, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Leah! I find that many people in your altitude do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes- I'm at about 5,000 ft above sea level. While I can't test at 3,000ft, feedback that I've heard tells me that typically my recipes work well there.

  6. Angela Bevacqua

    December 9, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Hello. Can you suggest how I could adjust this if I want to make two layers using 2 pans? Is it OK to use two 9" pans? Thanks.

    • Dough-Eyed

      December 10, 2021 at 11:55 am

      Hi there- You can split the batter into two pans, yes. Your cakes will of course be a bit thinner, and I typically use 8-inch not 9-inch, so that will be a bit thinner still. The only adjustment you should need to make is with the bake time- I would start keeping an eye on the cakes at around 15 minutes of baking since they will be thinner. Hope that helps!

  7. Michael Jenkins

    January 24, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Nicole. Thanks for making this site!
    What size are the eggs in this recipe?

    • Dough-Eyed

      February 4, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      Hi there! I always use large eggs since thats the standard size in my part of the world. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

Never Miss a recipe