Also known as Swiss Roll
What is Sponge Cake?
One of the earliest known sweets is sponge cake. It is classified as a “foam cake,” along with angel food cake. It’s quite popular all around the globe, owing to its simple ingredient list.
This type of cake is often used as the base of other desserts such as snack cakes, jelly rolls, Swiss rolls and Tres Leches. A simple sponge cake is made out of simply four ingredients:
- Cake flour
- Eggs (whole or yolks)
- Granulated sugar
The first mention of sponge cakes was in a Renaissance-era Italian baked good. Italian cooks baked “biscuits,” which spread through Italy, England and France. However, it was not until 1615 when the first sponge cake recipe was recorded by the English poet and author Gervase Markham. Still, the cake was thin and crunchy, much like a cookie.
Sponge cakes became well-recognized when bakers started using beaten eggs as a leavening agent in the mid 18th century. The batter was often put into complex molds, but it was sometimes poured into two tin hoops—the predecessor to contemporary cake pans.
How it is made
To achieve its characteristic light texture, sponge cake uses whipped eggs. comparable to angel food cake , it relies on the leavening action of air whipped into and trapped by egg protein. The volume increase is caused by trapped air and water vapor expanding during baking.
Baking powder and/or baking soda are sometimes added to sponge cake formulations to provide additional rise through the production of CO2. Such cakes are often large in volume and have a light, fluffy texture.
|Ingredient||Baker’s % (based on flour weight)|
|Cake flour (short patent cake flour)*||100.0|
|Whole eggs + egg yolks||50.0–175.0|
|Water / liquid milk (optional)||Varies depending on target specific gravity|
|Milk solids (optional)||0.0–6.0|
|Baking powder (optional)||0.0–6.0|
|Melted butter / shortening||0.0–10.0|
*Can also be substituted with pastry flour and starch.
For different product characteristics and target markets, the basic formulation should be tweaked. Sugar, water, milk solids, baking powder, and other minor ingredients may be added if the formula is properly balanced. Eggs are structural builders in sponge cakes that must be balanced against sugar, which acts as a tenderizer and tends to undermine the crumb structure.
Guidelines for balancing sponge cake formulas:
- The weight of sugar should be equal to or more than the weight of eggs.
- The entire weight of liquids, including eggs, should exceed the weight of sugar.
- The flour weight should be smaller than the sugar or egg weight.
- The combined weight of the eggs and flour should be more than the combined weight of the sugar and liquids.
- Ingredients scaling.
- Mixing (hot / cold process).
- Baking. Bake at 360–425°F (182–218°C) to an internal temperature of 204°F (95°C). The baking time for hot processed batter should be reduced. Cold processed batter should be baked longer.
- Deppaning. Depan from oven onto dusted paper pan liners while the cakes are still warm.
- Cooling. Cool product to loaf internal temperature of 95–105°F (35–40°C) before slicing and packaging
- Packaging or serving.
Before beating the mixture, equal parts sugar and eggs are heated to 110°F (43°C). Heat ensures that carbohydrates dissolve and that proteins denature and integrate air more effectively. When heated, both whole eggs and egg yolks form lighter, more stable foams at a quicker pace.
Whipping is deemed finished when wrinkles appear and close slowly. For the hot process method, the desired batter temperature is 90–94°F (32–34°C) at a specific gravity of 0.4–0.6.
Before adding the rest of the ingredients, beat the eggs that have been chilled or at room temperature. To achieve foam aeration, the cold procedure employs emulsifiers and baking powder. Desired batter temperature is 68–72°F (20–22°C) with a specific gravity of 0.6–0.9. The cold procedure offers for greater processing tolerance.
What is the secret to a good sponge cake?
9 Suggestions for Making the Greatest Sponge Cake Ever
- Prepare all your ingredients.
- Keep the ingredients at room temperature.
- Mix it up.
- Don’t rush!
- Don’t over-mix.
- Keep milk close.
- Use real ingredients as best as you can.
- Use a greaseproof paper.
Which baking ingredients is essential in baking a simple sponge cake?
The components for a basic sponge cake may be available in your kitchen all year. These basic ingredients for baking a cake are; flour, eggs, fat (usually butter), sugar, salt, a form of liquid (usually milk), and leavening agents (such as baking soda).
What makes a sponge cake spongy?
Cakes that have specifically cake flour are much lighter and fluffier than the cakes that have all-purpose flour. Cake flour contains corn starch incorporated in it, which makes the cake spongy.
What are sponge cakes traditionally made of?
Sponge cake is a light cake prepared with egg whites, flour, and sugar that is sometimes leavened with baking powder. Certain sponge cakes, such as angel food cake, do not include egg yolks, although the majority do. Sponge cakes, which are leavened with beaten eggs, are said to have originated during the Renaissance, likely in Spain.