Simple Sponge Cake With Variations

READY IN: 50mins




  • Preheat the oven to 375°F Grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper; grease the paper. Dredge the pans with flour and shake out the excess.
  • Cream the margarine with all but 2 Tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is very pale and fluffy.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together into another bowl.
  • Using a wooden spoon, beat one egg at a time into the sugar mixture, following each with 1 Tablespoon of the flour.
  • Mix in the remaining flour and the lemon juice, Divide the mixture between the two prepared pans and level the surfaces.
  • Bake the sponge cakes for 20 to 25 minutes, until well risen, golden brown, and just firm to the touch. Turn them out onto a wire rack, and leave the paper attached until they have cooled completely.
  • Strip off the paper. Place one sponge layer on a plate, and spread it with jam. Set the second layer on top of the first and then sift the remaining sugar evenly over the top of the cake. Serves 12.
  • For a richer flavor and a moister texture, make the sponge cake with light brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.
  • For a whole wheat sponge cake, replace HALF the white flour with whole wheat flour and INCREASE the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon.
  • For a Chocolate sponge cake, REPLACE 2 Tablespoons of the flour with sifted cocoa powder and use water in place of the lemon juice.
  • For a richer filling, beat 2 Tablespoons of low fat ricotta cheese into the jam.
  • Replace the jam filling with a thickened fruit puree; lemon curd; flavored pastry cream; or 4 Tablespoons of yogurt cheese, sweetened with 1 Tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar.
  • Sift 2 Tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar over the cake in place of the granulated sugar. Alternatively, lay a doily on the sponge cake, and sift 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar over it. Carefully remove the doily to reveal a pattern on the cake.
  • Fresh Ways with Cakes.