Basic vanilla sponge cake- the best so far


Its been ages since I’ve posted a cake recipe here. Truth is, i haven’t baked a cake in ages. In spite of tempting Ro every now and then saying, I’ll bake a cake, I never get around to doing it. I did bake once or twice in between, but fetched not so nice results- that and the lack of motivation to take pictures left me hanging.

This cake was baked way back in June. My sister in law and family were throwing a BBQ party at theirs and I was in charge of dessert. I decided to make Ria’s Tropical Mango Pudding Cake, and after harassing her with numerous questions, I was confident enough to go ahead with the recipe. It was probably one of the best desserts I’ve made so far. Got really good reviews from all the guests and even though it was a bit time consuming, I’m so totally going to make it again, and blog it. Managed to take some pictures with the phone, just so you get an idea of what it looked like. 

Coming to the genoise cake. I suck at it. Like I’ve never ever got a sponge that is so so soft and spongy, but always managed to over bake it, over fold it, under fold it, under bake it and whatever can go wrong with it, it always used to happen to my sponge cakes. I love eating sponge cakes, and every time i try a new recipe, its a disaster, hence absolute deprivation of sponge cakes.

PicMonkey Collage
I was petrified about Ria’s sponge cake recipe and since i was baking for a party, I couldn’t afford to screw up. So i searched and searched and searched for a less intimidating one and the search led me to Jo Pastry website which i must say is a treasure trove of information on pastries. His recipe and description and comments on tackling the genoise put me at ease and i decided to go ahead with it. I was so so nervous while the cake was in the oven, but the moment i took it out, i knew id nailed it. It was soft, spongy, evenly/perfectly cooked and all what a sponge cake was supposed to be. There was a bit of left over batter that i used for 2 cupcakes and they were immediately consumed without any regret. 
I had to record this recipe for posterity and its certainly one I’m going to be fall back on for all my sponge cake bases. For those intimidated by the whole genoise cake making process, this is for you. Try it and I’m sure you wont need to look elsewhere.

PS. I baked 2 cakes with the above measurement. Didn’t want to take a chance and double it.

Recipe adapted from here (Makes 1, 9×12″ sheet cake) 

Milk- 1/4 cup

Butter- 3 tbsp

Vanilla extract- 1 tsp

Eggs- 3, at room temperature

Egg yolks- 3, at room temperature

Sugar- 6 oz (1 cup minus 2 tbsp)

Plain flour- 3/4th cup


Preheat oven to 205C and grease a 9×12 inch jelly roll pan and line with baking paper.

Mix together the milk, butter and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. 

Take off heat and keep aside.

Into the bowl of your free standing mixer, add the eggs, egg yolks and sugar and beat on high using your paddle attachment for about 8 minutes or till the mixture is really thick and when the paddle is lifted the batter falls down in ribbons and hold its shape for about 5 seconds before dissolving. This step is very very important, don’t skip.

Slowly trickle the warm milk mix through the side of the bowl.

Sift in the flour in 3 additions, folding well after each. I did this using the slowest speed on my mixer, just until incorporated. But if you are not comfortable doing this in your mixer, do it by hand using a spatula.

Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl while folding, but not too harsh that you deflate the mix.

Pour into the prepared pan and using an offset spatula spread the batter around, making it into corners etc. Even the top so there is consistency in the baking

Bake in the middle shelf of your preheated oven for about 12 minutes till golden and springs back to your touch
Take it out of the oven and when still hot, loosen the sides using a blunt knife.
Turn it out into a wire rack carefully, cool completely and use as required.

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