Vanilla Sponge Cake

by , on
Jun 17, 2018

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!

Vanilla Sponge Cake 4

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.

Vanilla Sponge Cake 1

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).

Vanilla Sponge Cake 2

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 Sponge Cake 6

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.

Vanilla Sponge Cake 5

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.

Vanilla Sponge Cake 3

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!


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