Sponge cake is the basic cake for birthday cake, it has mild flavour and its texture is soft and spongy. Once you have mastered the baking technique of sponge cake, you can easily DIY you own birthday cakes at home.

CHINESE VERSION: 基本香草海绵蛋糕

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Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake | MyKitchen101en

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks (grade A)
  • 60 g fine granulated sugar (about 1/4 cup + 2 tsps.)
  • 60 ml corn oil (or other vegetable oil) (about 1/4 cup)
  • 70 ml milk (about 1/4 cup + 2/3 tbsps.)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 120 g low protein flour (cake flour) (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 tsps baking powder

Ingredients for meringue:

  • 4 egg whites (grade A, room temperature)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 60 g fine granulated sugar
 

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F (you may add in a tray of water to increase the humidity, which helps cake bake evenly).

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2 Line a 9″ (23-cm) round or 8″ (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper.

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3 Combine egg yolks and sugar, then beat until thick.

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4 Add in corn oil and beat until combined.

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5 Add in milk and vanilla essence, mix well.

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6 Sieve in low protein flour and baking powder, mix until just combined (do not overmix, to avoid activating the gluten).

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7 In another clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites over medium-low speed until large bubbles are formed.

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8 Add in cream of tartar, continue whisking until small bubbles are formed.

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9 Add in sugar gradually, continue whisking until stiff peak (the peaks will point straight up and hold).

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10 Add meringue to batter in 3 batches, mix gently using a balloon whisk.

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11 Fold gently until well mixed using spatula.

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12 Tap mixing bowl on countertop for a few times (to release large bubbles), then pour batter slowly into baking pan and tap baking pan again for a few times.

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13 Bake at 160°C/320°F for 25 minutes, then increase to 180°C/355°F and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until fully cooked (wooden stick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean).
(Reminder: The heat for different oven is different, the suggested time is only for reference, adjust the baking time base on your oven if necessary.)

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14 Once remove from oven, drop the baking pan from 1 foot high onto countertop (to minimize shrinkage), then let the cake cools in pan for 25-30 minutes before unmoulding.

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15 To unmould, remove the parchment paper, cover the cake surface with cling wrap.

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16 Invert the cake onto a flat plate, then remove the parchment paper at the bottom.

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17 Invert the cake again onto cake board.

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Tips:
1 For Pandan Sponge Cake: Omit the vanilla essence, replace milk with pandan milk (blend together 10 g pandan leaves with 80 ml milk until very fine, then measure out 70 ml of pandan milk).

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Tips for baking sponge cake:

1 Egg whites and equipment used to beat egg whites must be grease-free and water-free (including egg yolk) or the meringue will fail. I will usually clean the egg shells and equipment with dishwasher detergent, then dry with a clean cloth.

2 Use a clean small bowl to separate the egg yolk and egg white, if the egg yolk cracks, don’t use that egg white.

3 When all sugar has been added to beaten egg whites and the meringue begins to look glossy, stop and check after beating for every 10 seconds, stop the beating process immediately once it has reached the stiff peaks, do not over whip.

4 When folding meringue into the batter, do it quick but gentle to avoid deflating the meringue. Scrape the bottom of mixing bowl with rubber spatula and fold over, repeat folding motion until just well mixed.

5 Do not open the oven during the first 30 minutes of baking or the cake might collapse when out of oven.