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Vanilla Sponge Cake

Published under: CakesChristmas
Enjoy the classic flavours of Vanilla Sponge Cake - a tender and airy treat with a golden brown crust and delectable icing. Simple yet irresistible, it's a dessert that will always stay in style.

Vanilla Sponge cake is one of the most basic cake recipes. Made from staple ingredients found in our kitchen, this cake is extremely easy to make. There are just 5 major ingredients to this cake – flour, sugar, butter, eggs and baking powder.

The British cuisine has a popular cake named Madeira Cake, which is nothing but a simple sponge cake. Unlike many other cakes, the sponge cake is set apart because it doesn’t require any fancy ingredient like leavening, shortening or products that are not easily available for home baking. The sponge cake, also known as the first cake, is considered one of the earliest cakes that incorporated yeast-less baking technique which did not depend on yeast for the rise.

The secret to a soft, spongy cake is in the beating of eggs and butter mixture. The rise depends heavily on the amount of air incorporated during the whisking stage. Once the butter, eggs and sugar mixture is airy and light, the flour is folded into this carefully using a spatula. To achieve the desired texture, it is important to whip the eggs and sugar on high speed in your mixer to incorporate the air.

This easy vanilla sponge cake recipe is perfect for beginners. This plain sponge cake will surely satisfy your sweet tooth with its fluffy and moist texture.

This delightful dessert requires only a few simple sponge cake ingredients. Gather flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, butter, milk, and vanilla extract. You can quickly whip up a mouthwatering plain cake with these humble components.


Vanilla Sponge Cake

Vanilla Sponge Cake

Serve it as a tea cake by itself or use as a base for any other cakes that you want to make during a special occasion like birthday parties or festivals like Christmas. An easy recipe for a simple, moist and delicious vanilla sponge cake.

Whether you enjoy it as is or customize it with chocolate or citrus flavours, the Vanilla Sponge Cake is a timeless treat that will please kids and adults alike.

Vanilla Sponge Cake
3.83 from 140 votes

Vanilla Sponge Cake

Enjoy the classic flavours of Vanilla Sponge Cake - a tender and airy treat with a golden brown crust and delectable icing. Simple yet irresistible, it's a dessert that will always stay in style.
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, vanilla


  • 125 g Maida (Plain Flour)
  • 125 g Butter
  • 125 g Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/3 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • Salt a small pinch

For the icing:

  • 25 g Butter
  • 25 g Icing Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla Essence


  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar until frothy.
  • Break the eggs into the butter mixture and mix.
  • Add vanilla essence.
  • Sieve together the maida, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
  • Gradually add the dry mix into the butter mixture and carefully fold it using a spatula.
  • Transfer to a greased and floured cake tin.
  • Smooth the surface and place it into a preheated oven at 180C for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove and allow it to cool before de-moulding and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Beat all icing ingredients until frothy and light.
  • Transfer it into a piping bag and keep ready for decoration.
  • Once the cake is cooled, decorate as desired.


  • To make chocolate flavour, add 2 tbsp for unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry mix. Sift it well to remove lumps.
  • For an orange or lemon flavouring, grate the peel of the fruit and add it to the batter. You can optionally use an orange or lemon essence as well.

Whether hosting a birthday party or simply craving a slice of cake, this easy vanilla sponge cake is the perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vanilla Sponge Cake

What is the best way to decorate a vanilla sponge cake?

The best way to decorate a vanilla sponge cake is to use a simple buttercream frosting. You can add food coloring for a pop of color, or use piping techniques to create beautiful designs. Add fresh fruits, edible flowers, or sprinkles for an extra touch of decoration.

How do you know if a vanilla sponge cake is fully cooked and ready to be taken out of the oven?

To check if a vanilla sponge cake is fully cooked, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, the cake is done. If the toothpick has batter on it, continue baking for a few more minutes and test again using a wooden spoon or spatula to gently press down on the top of the cake. If it springs back, the cake is fully cooked and ready to be taken out of the oven.

Can I substitute the plain flour (maida) with whole wheat flour?

Yes, you can substitute the plain flour or all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour in this Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe. Whole wheat flour adds a nutty flavour and a slightly denser texture to the cake. However, remember that the cake may be marginally heavier than plain flour. To make the substitution, use the same amount of whole wheat flour mentioned in the recipe and proceed with the rest of the instructions. You may need to adjust the baking time slightly, as whole wheat flour requires a longer baking time.

Can I make this cake without eggs?

While eggs contribute to the structure and texture of the Vanilla Sponge Cake, you can replace them with an egg substitute if you follow a vegetarian or egg-free diet. Some common egg substitutes for cakes include applesauce, mashed bananas, yoghurt, or buttermilk. These alternatives can help provide moisture and binding properties similar to eggs, making it possible to create an eggless vanilla cake. However, keep in mind that the texture and taste of the cake may differ slightly when using egg substitutes. Experimentation is critical to finding the best eggless version of the recipe that suits your preferences.

Can I prepare the icing in advance and store it?

Yes, you can prepare and store the icing for the Vanilla Sponge Cake in advance. Once you have prepared the icing and achieved a frothy and light consistency, transfer it to an airtight container or a piping bag. Store it in the refrigerator until you can use it for decoration. However, it’s important to note that the icing may firm up slightly when refrigerated, so you may need to bring it to room temperature or gently warm it before decorating the cake using a stand mixer. Quickly whisk or stir to restore its smooth and creamy texture before applying it to the cake.

Can I add other flavours or variations to the Vanilla Sponge Cake?

Absolutely! The Vanilla Sponge Cake provides a versatile base for experimenting with different flavours and variations. Try adding cocoa powder to create a chocolate version of the cake. Sift two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder with the dry ingredients and mix well to remove any lumps. For a refreshing twist, you can grate the peel of an orange or lemon and add it to the batter along with the wet ingredients, including oil, milk, and pure vanilla extract. You may also use orange or lemon essence for a more robust citrus flavour. These variations allow you to customize the cake according to your preferences and create delightful interpretations of the classic Vanilla Sponge Cake.



Avatar of Auddie
Auddie December 9, 2023 - 8:25 pm

I’ve made this recipe twice. What a wonderful crumb this sponge has and buttery vanilla flavor notes. This is delicious with a cup of tea or great for using in a layered mousse cake.

Avatar of Abigail
Abigail May 13, 2023 - 4:52 pm

Hi. Does it matter if I use a square tin instead of a circular tin?

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar May 14, 2023 - 3:58 pm

You can use what you prefer.

Avatar of Gabriele Schadler
Gabriele Schadler March 7, 2023 - 1:35 am

Hi there ,tried your recipe today .cake did not rise at all .

THEMBO JOCKNUS September 18, 2022 - 11:45 am

Thx for teaching us this easy way ov making acake

Avatar of Joe Gates
Joe Gates September 9, 2022 - 4:50 pm

Thanks for this beautiful recipe. Just best off all recipe i found on google. Superb!

Avatar of Msria
Msria August 29, 2022 - 11:35 am

Is powdered sugar also caster sugar and it’s says powdered sugar I didn’t think that icing sugar is good to mix it in the cake mix please reply to me to know if castor sugar is ok to use it

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar August 29, 2022 - 12:48 pm


Icing sugar is another name for powdered sugar.

Would not suggest using caster sugar .

Avatar of Lillian
Lillian June 30, 2021 - 2:04 am

What size pan do you use? I saw the same question asked but no answer

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar June 30, 2021 - 12:03 pm

I believe a 8 or a 9 inch pan was used.

Avatar of Emily
Emily February 28, 2021 - 9:22 pm

What size cake tin is recommended?

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar March 4, 2021 - 10:42 am

We used a standard size.

Avatar of Mo.
Mo. February 14, 2021 - 9:05 pm

To make the sponge, it stares powdered sugar, In uk that’s what we class as icing sugar, do you use this or granulated sugar?

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar February 16, 2021 - 4:55 pm

Powdered sugar is also called icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar.

Avatar of Pat Waites
Pat Waites January 16, 2021 - 9:13 pm

What is Maida flour? and assume that Icing sugar that we in England use to ice cake tops.

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar January 17, 2021 - 10:35 am

Maida flour is plain white flour

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar January 17, 2021 - 10:36 am

icing sugar is also called as confectioners sugar / powdered sugar.

Avatar of Rowena
Rowena October 4, 2020 - 6:45 pm

Hi, what do you mean by powdered sugar and icing sugar? I live in America and we carry granulated sugar and powdered sugar.

Granulated sugar is the small granules of sugar used in baking. You wrote powdered sugar for the baking part.

Here, Powdered sugar is a very powdery form of sugar used in making frosting. …. you wrote icing sugar.

Can you clarify which sugar is comparable to what we carry? Thank you!

Avatar of Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar October 4, 2020 - 7:24 pm

Icing sugar is simply another name for powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar.

Avatar of fitoru
fitoru July 4, 2020 - 4:20 pm

I love this yummy spongy cake recipe.It truly tastes yummy . I did not put baking soda,just baking powder tho. More power!

Avatar of Vineeta Singh Chouhan
Vineeta Singh Chouhan June 10, 2020 - 11:32 pm

Thank you for this easy and beautiful recipe. Really delighted with the result. After multiple recipes trial found this and Bingo. It’s truly a non fuss recipe
Extremely delighted

Avatar of Cynthia
Cynthia March 8, 2021 - 8:57 am

Hi what size pan have u used ?

Avatar of neo.
neo. June 25, 2017 - 8:11 pm

Try this recipe.

Avatar of Adisoy
Adisoy December 19, 2016 - 2:41 pm

Its really a tasty cake,easy to made,very sponge.This cake be ready in short time.Everyone can try to make it. loved it !!!!

3.83 from 140 votes (140 ratings without comment)

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