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Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe

Ready to bake a simple sponge cake with just four everyday ingredients? This easy 4-ingredient sponge cake recipe makes baking a breeze.

Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe

No need for complex steps; it’s a straightforward homemade cake that’s both versatile and tasty. And you can customize it with your favorite toppings or frostings. 

No matter if you’re a baking pro or a kitchen newbie, this recipe guarantees a delicious outcome!

Ingredients you’ll need for this fluffy sponge cake

You’ll need just 4 simple ingredients to make this cake, found in any grocery store:

  1. Eggs: Eggs are essential for binding the cake together and making it rise. They also make the cake soft and fluffy by trapping air bubbles during mixing.
  2. Granulated Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cake, but it does more than that. It keeps the cake moist and prevents it from drying during baking.
  3. Cake Flour: Cake flour is a finely ground flour that makes the cake tender and delicate. It’s responsible for the cake’s soft texture.
  4. Butter: Butter adds flavor and richness to the sponge cake. It makes the cake taste delicious and contributes to its moistness.

Take a look at the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

Can I substitute All-purpose flour for cake flour in sponge cake?

Absolutely, you can swap cake flour for all-purpose flour in your 4-ingredient sponge cake. Both flours work well, but here’s the difference in simpler terms:

Cake Flour: This is like the specialist of flours for cakes. It’s finely milled and has less protein, which makes a super tender, soft and light cake. If you use cake flour, your sponge cake will turn out delicate and fluffy.

All-Purpose Flour: This is your all-around flour, suitable for many types of baking. If you use all-purpose flour, your sponge cake will be a bit sturdier and have a slightly different texture. But it will still be tasty.

So, feel free to use what you have on hand. Your sponge cake will be delicious either way!

Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe

Can I substitute oil for butter in this 4-ingredient sponge cake?

Yes, you can substitute vegetable oil for butter in your sponge cake. When you use oil instead of butter, it can make your cake moister because oil is 100% fat. However, you’ll be missing all of the buttery flavor butter provides.

Use 3/4 cup of oil instead of the butter.

Here’s a simplified way to understand the switch:

Butter: It adds a rich, buttery flavor to your cake, and makes it denser and slightly more crumbly.

Oil: Oil makes the cake more moist and can result in a lighter, fluffier texture. However, it might not have the same buttery taste.

So, if you’re okay with a slightly different flavor profile, go ahead and use oil as a substitute for butter.

Add-ins to customize your fluffy cake

You can throw in a few extra things into this simple recipe to give it your personal touch.

  1. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract gives your cake that classic, comforting vanilla flavor.
  2. Lemon: You can use lemon juice or lemon zest to add a zesty citrus kick to your cake. Top with lemon curd for the perfect finish.
  3. Almond Extract: A bit of almond extract adds a pleasant nutty taste that pairs well with vanilla.
  4. Cinnamon: A pinch of cinnamon provides a cozy, warming spice flavor.
  5. Fresh fruits: Gently fold in fresh fruit for bursts of fruity flavor.
  6. Orange Zest: Grated orange zest adds a refreshing citrus twist to your cake.
  7. Cocoa Powder: Incorporating unsweetened cocoa powder into the cake batter creates a delicious chocolate sponge cake version.
  8. Chopped Chocolate or Chocolate Chips: Consider adding chopped chocolate or chocolate chips for pockets of gooey chocolate.
  9. Dried Fruits: Chopped dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, or cranberries can add a chewy and slightly sweet contrast to your cake.
  10. Chopped Nuts: Chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans add a crunch and nutty flavor.
  11. Strawberries and cream: I opted for this classic combo. Whip some fresh cream to stiff peaks and add some fresh strawberries for a strawberry shortcake option.

Feel free to mix and match these add-ins to create your own unique and delicious sponge cake variations!

easy 4-ingredient sponge

How to make this light sponge cake

Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 Fahrenheit, and lining the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Leave the sides of the pan ungreased.

Use a medium bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer (you can also use a hand mixer) with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed the eggs and sugar until they triple in size, for around 5 minutes.

It is key to whip the eggs to just the right volume and no more. If it’s whipped too hard and it becomes stiff, it won’t rise as it should.

Lift the whisk from the batter and make a figure-eight with the dripping batter. If the figure-eight stays on the batter, it’s good to go.

Fold in flour into the egg mixture using a spatula. Gently mix it into the wet ingredients until just combined, being careful not to overmix and keeping the batter light and fluffy. This is to avoid popping the air bubbles created by whipping the eggs.

Fold in the melted butter, the same way you did with the flour. Pour the batter into the pan, and immediately place it in the oven to bake

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and your cake looks golden brown.

Remove the sponge cake from the oven, place over a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, invert the cake tin into the cooling rack and remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake.

Leave the cake to completely cool upside down on the wire rack, for around 2-3 hours.

What is the secret to a good sponge cake?

Here are some straightforward tips for baking a flawless sponge cake:

  1. Skip greasing the sides: When preparing your cake pan, it’s best to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Leave the sides ungreased; this helps the cake climb up the sides for a light and fluffy texture.
  2. Use room temperature eggs: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before using them in the recipe. This allows them to whip up better, creating more stable and voluminous egg foam, which is crucial for achieving that light and airy texture in your sponge cake.
  3. Don’t over-mix your eggs: Lift the whisk from the batter and make a figure-eight with the dripping batter. Count to 10 seconds. If the figure-eight stays on the batter, it’s good. If it sinks before 10 seconds, keep beating it a bit more.
  4. Fold in flour and butter gently: When adding the flour and butter, use a gentle folding motion to mix them into the wet ingredients. This helps avoid air bubbles starting to pop and cake starting to deflate.
  5. Bake immediately: Have a preheated oven and your cake pan ready before you start. The quicker you get the batter into the oven, the better. This prevents air bubbles from popping and the cake from deflating as it bakes.
  6. Avoid opening the oven: During baking, avoid opening the oven door frequently, to avoid the cake from sinking. Only check for doneness near the end of the baking time.
  7. Cool Inverted: After baking, cool the sponge cake by inverting it onto a cooling rack. This prevents it from collapsing as it cools.

How to store a sponge cake

If your sponge cake isn’t frosted, it’s best to leave it at room temperature, securely wrapped with plastic wrap, for about 6 to 8 hours until you’re ready to frost and serve. This allows the cake to settle and become even more delicious.

If you have a plain sponge cake without any perishable toppings, you can store it at room temperature for approximately 3 to 4 days. Just make sure to cover it well and wrap it up tightly to keep it fresh.

However, if your sponge cake has fresh toppings like fruit or whipped cream, it’s better to store it in the fridge. Place it in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for around 4-5 days to maintain the freshness of the toppings and the overall quality of your cake.

Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe

Don’t miss out! Click this link to watch the video of this perfect sponge cake up close.

Take a look at this link for more easy dessert recipes, or the links below for other recipes you might like:

Coffee Loaf Cake Recipe (with Coffee whipped cream frosting)

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Perfect Vanilla Cake

If you make this recipe, please be sure to give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe

This easy 4-ingredient recipe makes baking a breeze. No need for complex steps; it's a straightforward homemade sponge cake that's both versatile and tasty. And you can customize it with your favorite toppings or frostings. 
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Cakes and Frostings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 4 ingredient sponge cake, Easy 4-ingredient Sponge Cake recipe, fluffy sponge cake recipe
Servings: 12 slices

Equipment

  • 1 Electric mixer
  • 1 9-inch cake pan

Ingredients

  • 4 Large large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour spooned and leveled, then sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled

Instructions

  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 Fahrenheit, and lining the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, leaving the sides of the pan ungreased.
  • Over a medium bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer (you can also use a hand mixer), using the whisk attachment, whip on high speed the eggs and sugar until they triple in size, for around 4-5 minutes.
    It is key to whip the eggs to just the right volume and no more. If it's whipped too hard and it becomes stiff, it won't rise as it should.
    Lift the whisk from the batter and make a figure-eight with the dripping batter. If the figure-eight stays on the batter, it’s good to go.
    4 Large large eggs, 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Fold in flour into the egg mixture using a spatula, gently mixing it into the wet ingredients until just combined, being careful not to overmix and keeping the batter light and fluffy. This is to avoid popping the air bubbles created by whipping the eggs.
    1 3/4 cup cake flour
  • Fold in the melted butter, the same way you did with the flour, pour the batter into the pan, and immediately place it in the oven to bake.
    Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and your cake looks golden brown.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Remove the sponge cake from the oven, place over a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, invert the cake tin into the cooling rack and remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. Leave the cake to completely cool upside down on the wire rack, for around 2-3 hours.

Notes

Here are some straightforward tips for baking a flawless sponge cake:
  1. Skip greasing the sides: When preparing your cake pan, it’s best to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, but leave the sides ungreased; this helps the cake climb up the sides for a light and fluffy texture.
  2. Use room temperature eggs: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before using them in the recipe; this allows them to whip up better, creating more stable and voluminous egg foam, which is crucial for achieving that light and airy texture in your sponge cake.
  3. Don’t over-mix your eggs: Lift the whisk from the batter and make a figure-eight with the dripping batter. Count to 10 seconds. If the figure-eight stays on the batter, it’s good. If it sinks before 10 seconds, keep beating it a bit more.
  4. Fold in flour and butter gently: When adding the flour and butter, use a gentle folding motion to mix them into the wet ingredients, to avoid air bubbles starting to pop and cake starting to deflate.
  5. Bake immediately: Have a preheated oven and your cake pan ready before you start. The quicker you get the batter into the oven, the better, as this prevents air bubbles from popping and the cake from deflating as it bakes.
  6. Avoid opening the oven: During baking, avoid opening the oven door frequently, to avoid the cake from sinking. Only check for doneness near the end of the baking time.
  7. Cool Inverted: After baking, cool the sponge cake by inverting it onto a cooling rack. This prevents it from collapsing as it cools.

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