Last Christmas, I baked a Boston Cream Pie, I overdid the chocolate ganache topping and the custard filling, the finished product looked so messy that I didn’t have the heart to post the recipe.
But I learned one very important lesson that day — the basic sponge cake recipe that I used was a real keeper. It’s the same recipe I use for my tres leches, one adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook. I’ve used that recipe for over half a dozen baking projects and the results were always great.
What’s a sponge cake? It is a foam type cake that derives its springy texture from stiffly beaten egg whites. Traditionally, sponge cakes do not contain any oil (if you add vegetable oil, it is technically a chiffon cake) but this recipe includes melted butter which makes the cake less dry but still full of volume and spring.
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
- 1/4 c. of butter, melted
- 1/2 c. of cake flour, sifted
- 1/2 c. of sugar
- 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare an eight-inch (three-inch high, for best results) round pan. If you’re not using a non-stick baking pan, line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
- Add the salt and baking soda to the egg whites.
- Beat until stiff (see stages in beating egg whites).
- Add the yolks and sugar to the beaten egg whites.
- Beat over low speedy (or gently by hand) to blend. Be careful not to destroy the air bubbles already created.
- Blend in the flour in three batches.
- Working with a third of the flour each time, blend using a spatula and the cut-and-fold method.
- Make sure that the flour has been thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour in the melted butter (and vanilla extract, if using).
- Again using a spatula and the cut-and-fold method, mix the butter carefully into the batter until fully incorporated.
- Pour into the pan.
- Level off the top with a spatula so that the cake is uniform in height when it bakes.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
- Invert onto a plate then re-invert onto a rack and cool completely.
- The cake is dry to the touch outside so it is easy to handle.
- When cool, the cake is ready to be frosted or first cut into layers.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 1