Traditional recipes

Meg's Simple Sponge Cake recipe

Meg's Simple Sponge Cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Sponge cake
  • Easy sponge cake

The recipe calls for equal amounts of butter, flour and sugar. Dust the top with sugar.

Cheshire, England, UK

56 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 225g (8 oz) butter or margarine
  • 225g (8 oz) self raising flour
  • 225g (8 oz) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • jam for the filling

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4 and grease two tins (preferably the same size).
  2. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one mixing as each one is added. Add sugar and mix. Sieve in the flour and fold until the ingredients are all combined. Pour the mixture equally into the two tins and spread it out with a palette knife or a spoon. Place into the oven for 12 -15 mins.
  3. To test that it is thoroughly cooked, poke a skewer into it and it should come out clean. If it isn't cooked, pop it in for some more time.
  4. Leave cakes to cool on a cooling rack.
  5. Spread with jam or other fillings and serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(16)

Reviews in English (16)

This is my favourite recipe for simple sponge cake - try adding half tsp baking powder and half a tsp of vanilla extract for extra flavour! Will be converting mine into a 3 tier present style cake (maybe 1 choc sponge) for my sisters birthday!-09 Feb 2012

i loved it. it was nice, easy and fast-23 Nov 2011

love it easy to follow but i put coco power in the mix and made coco butter icing to stick the cakes together and on the top as well with a little chocolate-04 Aug 2012

Meg's Simple Sponge Cake recipe - Recipes

My most popular or rather, main cake order is the rainbow cake or ombre cake.

Usually when customers send an inquiry, I would offer 2 choices for the cake base, either white cake or sponge cake.

A lot of my customers are repeat customers or referred through word-of-mouth, because they like it that my cakes are less sweet, very tender and light, suitable for the elderly as well as young children and even folks who don't usually like cakes and cream enjoyed my cakes.

Most of the time, customers preferred the sponge cake, but sometimes I do get requests for the white cake due to specifications like vibrant colours, able to stand at room temperature/outdoors, very tall cakes, full buttercream rosette piping.

That said, I must highlight that the white cake is not exactly very delicious, or should I say, not as delicious as the sponge cake. So it's kind of difficult to explain to customers who made requests for the white cake (due to the specifications).

Another point that I would like to emphasize, my cakes are freshly baked (one day in advance only - reason in disclaimer below), no preservatives or chemicals like ovalette, sponge gel which are used in commercially-sold cakes to make the cakes more tender and last longer (only agents used where necessary are baking powder, baking soda or cream of tartar).

Here are the differences between white cake and sponge cake, their pros and cons.

In the kitchen with: meg mateo ilasco’s puto

I was really excited when Meg Mateo Ilasco, co-founder and creative director of Anthology magazine, said she’d share a Filipino recipe with us here on the column. I try to get traditional non-American recipes from far and wide for the column that fit our “simple and seasonal” theme. I realize that means we may miss out on some great dishes, but it means we get many other great ones, like this steamed cake called puto. This is the first Filipino recipe which has ever fallen between my hands, and I am very curious to try it because it is sweet yet is sprinkled with cheddar cheese! If you have a relatively simple and seasonal recipe, or a simple recipe that is not bound by seasons, like this puto, please reach out through our submissions address. We’d love to hear your ideas! –Kristina

Meg Mateo Ilasco is a mother of two, freelance artist and writer, and a serial entrepreneur who started her first business in 1999. She is the author of several books, including Crafting a Meaningful Home and Mom, Inc. She is also the cofounder and creative director of the home and lifestyle magazine Anthology. See Meg’s first recipe on In the Kitchen With, here in our archives.

See the recipe for this Filipino steamed cake (puto) after the jump!

Steamed Cake (Puto)
Yields about 8-12
Special equipment: Bamboo steamer, muffin tins or ramekins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • melted butter or vegetable oil
  • shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk water, egg white, evaporated milk, and vanilla until smooth and then add dry ingredients. Whisk until combined. If necessary, strain batter through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
3. Lightly brush your muffin tins or ramekins with butter or vegetable oil. Fill each muffin tin or ramekin with batter until about ¾ full.
4. Place the tins or ramekins in a bamboo steamer.
5. Steam the puto for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the puto to check if it’s done. If you are using tins and ramekins in a variety of sizes (as shown in these images), completion times will vary. Larger or deeper containers will need more time.
6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each puto and place the cover back on the steamer for a few seconds to allow the cheese to melt.
7. Remove tins or ramekins from steamer and allow to cool for about 3 minutes before removing the cake.
8. You’ll repeat steps 3-6 until you’ve finished the batter. Be sure to check your steamer to make sure there’s ample water.

Why Meg loves this recipe:

A lot of my memories of cooking with my mom are tied to potlucks. (In Filipino culture, it’s customary as a guest to bring a dish to a party—so every party we went to was essentially a potluck.) One of the dishes in my mom’s potluck repertoire was a steamed cake called puto, a popular Filipino dessert. When I was a kid there was something magical and gratifying about cooking a cake with steam: just put batter in a tin, pop it in the steamer, and in about 15 minutes it’s done! It was better than an Easy-Bake Oven. I still make this dessert, this time with my kids. I love looking at their faces when we open the bamboo steamer and reveal the little steamed cakes.

Meg's Simple Sponge Cake recipe - Recipes

WOOHOO! I've been featured on The Sunday Times Life Section =D Really excited and blessed to be given this opportunity :)

I have been baking genoise sponge layer cakes for 3 years now and created colour variations such as rainbow and ombre as well as different flavours like vanilla, lychee, mango and rose, in varied number of layers and sizes. More pics can be found in Meg's Pastry Studio.

So far I've not shared the recipe as my method is slightly tedious and somewhat difficult to explain in words and steps (I only shared my roll cake recipe which uses the same sponge recently). Ok, I'm just being lazy and always procrastinating. There are just too many recipes to work on and share.

Anyways, this opportunity to finally write the recipe comes about when Kenneth Goh, Food Writer from The Straits Times emailed me and asked if I would like to feature any of my bakes in the weekly column of The Sunday Times Life Section. Actually there's a back story behind this. He emailed me back in Jan to feature my Bake Cheese Tart recipe, but I totally missed that email! I only replied some 2 weeks later but by then he has already approached another baker. Oh well. However, he was really nice and asked if I would like to share another bake. After some discussion, we settled on this Ombre Strawberry Shortcake since Korean strawberry's in season and the cake looks all pretty and pink :)

I shared before that my passion for rainbow and ombre cakes first started when my kiddo was 3 years old and he requested for a rainbow cake for his birthday. Back then I didn't bake layer cakes so I searched online and used a white-cake base recipe (basically 1 single batter, divide into portions, add colouring and bake). Although the cake looked pleasant aesthetically, I didn't like the taste and texture which was too sweet and dense.

Personally I love Japanese-style Strawberry Shortcake (I'm a big Japan fan) so I began exploring ways of improving my cake through many trial and error. Chanced upon a roll cake that used Japanese genoise sponge and decided to adapt it for my rainbow and ombre cakes.

This ombre (meaning gradual shares of colour) strawberry shortcake is thus a marriage of rainbow cake concept with Japanese-style Strawberry Shortcake.

The genoise sponge uses just 5 basic ingredients, flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk without the use of any chemicals or additives. It's amazing how through the technique itself, these simple ingredients can create a cake with moist and tender texture.

For the filling and frosting, I use chantilly cream, which is whipping cream with mascarpone cheese and icing sugar (which can be adjusted for sweetness level). The cream is once again very light and slightly creamy and when paired with genoise sponge, makes the cake really delectable.

The cake received positive feedback from friends and family members who commented that it's tender, moist and not too sweet. Even young kids, elderly and folks who don't eat cream cakes enjoyed it :)

Baking this cake is not d i fficult, just tedious. Because each layer is prepared and baked individually i.e. prep ingredients for 1 layer, send into oven and bake, then the next layer and the next, depending on the number of colour layers desired. Basically, it's tedious because of the colour. If just a single colour, I can prepare 1 batter, divide into portions and bake or bake in a single big sheet and use cutter to stamp the desired size.

So now, the question many would ask, why must the different colour layers be baked individually? Why not divide 1 batter into portions and colour the portions? Because this is a genoise sponge which is very delicate, if I do that, I risk the batter deflating by the time I divide the portions and mix the colour and the cake would turn out dense and not as soft as it should be.

Troublesome? Yes. Stupid? Maybe. But since this works for me so far, why not? Until I have time to trial and error again to improve the method further.

Recipe is right below, sorry no step-by-step photos because I need to work fast for this cake (otherwise affect the texture) I work alone so no extra hands or time to take work-in-progress photos.

Meg's Simple Sponge Cake recipe - Recipes

Hi friends,
Am very happy to reach this milestone of 300 posts today,as its quite a big number to me.I had never thought blogging would be so much fun.Its a thrill to learn & develop my culinary skills viewing many newer recipes and tips as well as develop my photography skills to some extent,I feel:-).The most exciting and learnt experience in my blogging is the baking section where I have tried and succeeded in baking many recipes(which otherwise I would never have attempted).All this had been possible with my blogger friends support,encouragement and inspiring comments which drove me all the way long.Also,I would like to thank my family who have tasted & accepted each of these recipes(new or old) wholeheartedly and are my best critics too.My sincere thanks to each one of my readers,my blogger friends,my other friends and my family.Am truly inspired and obliged by your gesture who dropped at Erivum Puliyum space and hope you will continue to do so in my coming posts too. -)

Coming back to today's recipe,I have celebrated all my happy moments with a sweet and so do this post too.Chocolate swiss rolls or chocolate sponge cake rolls,always admired and liked from bakeries or stores.I happened to try these at home and was a successful one.I had earlier tried the Sponge cake rolls sometime back but this was a long awaited demand from my kids and so am very happy that I could make them their favorite swiss rolls.And the biggest surprising part in these rolls is that this doesn't have any flour in it and no baking powder or soda,only eggs.Though the looks seem to be complicated but the recipe is a simple one which anyone could give a try !!

eggs 6 large
semisweet chocolate 6 oz(120g)
sugar 1/4 cup(50 g) + 2 tbsp(30g)
for filling
heavy whipped cream 1 cup
powdered sugar 1/3 cup
vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

- Pre heat oven to 35o degrees F,butter or spray with vegetable oil a 17* 12 " sheet pan.Then line it with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper lightly.(refer notes)
-Separate the egg yolk and egg white and place in different bowls when cold.Then,leave it to reach room temperature before using(30 minutes)
-In the meantime, melt the semisweet chocolate chips using double boiler method or microwave.(I microwaved it for 45 secs on high).Leave aside to cool slightly.
-Using a hand mixer or electric stand mixer,whisk the egg yolks along with 1/4 cup sugar until thick,and fluffy on high speed(It took abut 5 minutes,refer notes for the pattern)
-Add in the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate.Beat just to combine and leave aside.
-In another clean bowl,whisk the egg white until foamy.Beat at medium high speed until soft peak forms.Then,add the remaining 2tbsp of sugar and beat again until stiff peaks.

-Gently fold in the egg white in small amounts in the whisked egg yolk mix using a spatula.Fold in rest of the egg white until incorporated.(Don't over do this step as the air bubbles will deflate)
-Spread the batter in the prepared pan and with the help of spatula or back of a spoon spread until the corners.

-Bake until the cake is puffed and springs back when gently pressed about 15-17 minutes.(mine got ready at 15 minutes)
-Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
-Cover it with a clean slightly damp kitchen towel.
-In the mean time,in a separate bowl whisk the whipped cream until soft peaks.Then add the vanilla extract & sugar,whisk again until stiff peaks.

-Once the cake is cooled completely,spread the whipped cream and gently roll the cake,peeling the parchment paper as you roll.
-Place in the refrigerator for half an hour to set.Then cut in pieces and serve with a cherry on each slice.

* The buttering of tray and the parchment paper is done for easy removal of the sponge cake.
* The whisked egg yolk mixture should fall back in slow ribbons once you raise the beater.
* You can also add flavor to the plain whipped cream by using any fruit preserve.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.

Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.

Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

Double Chocolate Bundt Cake

More than half of the six years I spent writing my Turkish cookbook, then creating this English language version, were devoted to perfecting the recipes. Give me another three years, I can assure you that some of the recipes would change. It’s not that the recipes are lacking in any way. It’s just my nature to continually retest until I’ve explored every nook and cranny, which sometimes results in my preferring a new version. I have yet to decide whether this compulsion is a blessing or a curse, but knowing that I’ve done everything I can to perfect a recipe is the only way I find comfort and peace. Here’s something else I can guarantee: If I’m lucky enough to one day publish a book of my greatest hits, drawn from my long list of works published through the years, this is the chocolate Bundt cake recipe I will include, exactly as you see it here. To me, this cake is perfection: strong enough to stand upright, yet fragile enough to yield to the slightest prick of a fork. The intense punch from strong brewed coffee and cocoa powder is softened by the sweet, sticky ganache glaze. Achieving this balance was no easy feat, but I was relentless — I baked one cake after another, tasted them all with and without the glaze, took all kinds of notes, ate more cake while comparing my notes, and finally reached a conclusion. The things I do for you!

Serves 10 to 12

Sticky Toffee Cake

A sticky toffee pudding cake with a home-made date puree filled sticky sponge & and toffee butter cream.

What's in the mix?

Home-made date puree, free range eggs, golden syrup and treacle create our deliciously sticky toffee pudding sponge. The buttercream is made with natural toffee and vanilla flavouring and British butter.

Sumptuous Buttercream

Natural toffee and natural vanilla flavouring are whipped together with British butter to create a thick and comforting toffee buttercream.

How do I look?

Our Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake is a twist on the Great British Classic. Our home-made date puree with treacle and syrup creates the most comfortingly sticky Sponge which is held together with a warming toffee butter cream.

STORAGE - Please store me in an air-tight container in a cosy spot - I don't like being kept in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to 6 months.

How do I arrive?

Our sponge cakes are packaged in secure and robust packaging. The inner box is wrapped around the cake to securely hold it in place so the sides and top do not get damaged in transit. The box also includes a handy cutting guide! It is then put in a strong cardboard outer box for extra protection so it will arrive to you safely.

Product Serves Pack Weight Cake Diameter Cake Depth Ambient Shelf Life
Sticky Toffee Baby Sponge 0.1kg 0.00cm 0.00cm 7 days
Sticky Toffee Wedge 0kg 0.00cm 0.00cm 7 days
Sticky Toffee Pudding for 8 8 1kg 17.00cm 8.00cm 7 days
Sticky Toffee Pudding for 16 16 2kg 24.00cm 8.00cm 7 days


Have you tried?

Sticky Toffee Cake

Sugar, water, self raising flour (wheat flour, raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, mono calcium phosphate), calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin), margarine (palm oil, rapeseed oil, salt, emulsifier E475, flavouring, sunflower oil, colours (curcumin, annatto), dates, eggs, butter (milk), golden syrup, treacle, raising agent (sodium bicarbonate), natural vanilla flavour, natural toffee flavour.

ALLERGENS IN BOLD. Made in a bakery which handles gluten, eggs, nuts, milk, soya & sulphites.

All of our cakes are baked in the same kitchen and although we do all we can to minimise the risk of cross-contamination we cannot 100% guarantee this.

  • Contains Gluten
  • Contains Milk
  • Contains Eggs
  • Suitable for Vegetarians

Did you know?

Our special twist on the Great British Classic of Sticky Toffee pudding, is great for all occasions! Sticky Toffee Pudding Sponge is perfect for cuddling up with by the fire. It is also delicious warmed up with cream or custard poured all over it for the ultimate treat! Great for helping you to warm up in the colder months, although can be enjoyed at anytime throughout the year.

Personalise your order by adding cake toppers, balloons, candles, greeting cards, drinks and more. To create the perfect celebration cake, ready for any occasion! We have a great selection of cake toppers that can go on your Sticky Toffee Sponge. Including Happy Birthday ones, Christening, Anniversary, and children's ones! Designs include unicorns, princesses, dinosaurs, diggers, fairies and mermaids. There is something for everyone!

Let us know how you eat yours and send in your Sponge Moment! We give a Super Sharing Sponge away each month to the best Sponge Moment! Take a photo of you eating, receiving or posing with your Sponge Cake and send it to us! The more creative you are the more chance you have of winning :)Send by email, Twitter,Facebook or Instagram

STORAGE - Please store me in an air-tight container in a cosy spot - I don't like being kept in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to 6 months.

A Lemony Breakfast Cake That Tastes Like a Roman Holiday

The recipe for the cake that knocked me off my breakfast routine is the one that got away. I should have tried to wangle it after the first time I had it. Or the second. Or the third. But I didn’t. I probably didn’t think I’d miss it. Or maybe I just wasn’t thinking. A long weekend in Rome can give you that domani feeling. Nothing seemed urgent there.

My husband, Michael, and I had gone to Rome to visit our friend, Meg Zimbeck, an American we met in Paris more than a decade ago. Back then, Meg, a food critic, was creating the restaurant website Paris by Mouth, eating out two or three times a day and writing in cafes with good Wi-Fi between meals. This time, we were catching her just as she was preparing to launch Rome by Mouth, a sister site. It was Meg who wisely suggested that we start the day with coffee at Roscioli Caffè, around the corner from our hotel.

Michael followed Meg’s recommendation and Italian custom, happily dunking his cornetto (think Italian croissant) into his coffee, while I was content to stick to my morning regulars, two cappuccinos in quick succession, until I scanned the bar and was stopped by a cake as yellow as a child’s drawing of the sun. It was tall and simple and made in a tube pan, the kind that grandmothers around the world always had. Set under a glass dome on the highest part of the counter, it kept watch over the cafe’s fancier cakes, crostatas, cannoli and everything with whipped cream.

The cake was as plain inside as it was out and, as I discovered on first bite, lemon. It wasn’t any sweeter than it had to be, nor was it rich. It would have been right at any time of day, but for me, having it early in the morning, in a foreign country, with the hiss of the espresso machine, the light clatter of cups and saucers and so many snippets of lyrical Italian conversations ricocheting up and down the busy bar, it tasted like vacation.


In the afternoon, when I shared with Meg some of the cake I’d tucked away, she told me that what I’d come to think of as my Roman breakfast cake was called a ciambella (it’s pronounced cham-BELL-ah and, with the right accent, sounds like an affectionate greeting). Learning the word is important for a pastry lover in Italy, because it means ring-shaped and is used for my cake, many other cakes baked in tube pans, doughnuts and some hole-in-the-middle cookies too.

The cake reminded me of others I knew so well — my aunt’s poundcake, my French friends’ yogurt cakes and many Bundt cakes — and I enjoyed it in the moment. It wasn’t until a few weeks after I returned home, when I wanted to make it for brunch, that I regretted not asking for the recipe, or at least finding out more about how the cake was made. It struck me that I didn’t really remember the texture, whether it broke into crumbs like a butter cake or had the spring of one made with oil. I couldn’t recall just how lemony it was, how eggy or not. And then I decided that I didn’t care. I wasn’t looking for a faithful replica of the cake I was hoping to capture the joys of eating cake for breakfast, of veering from the familiar. I wanted to bake the remembrance of a good time.

The cake I made and came to love catches the spirit of the one that inspired it. Mine, like its muse, is sunshine yellow and flavored with lemon — I use both grated zest and freshly squeezed juice. It doesn’t seem rich — an illusion conjured by opting for oil instead of butter. Oil is what my non-Italian grandmother made her cakes with, and it’s what gives my cake the texture I like so much — it’s got spring and stretch: Pull it gently, and you can feel the slight tension in its structure, the tug to pull itself back to shape. It’s very light — after a few experiments, I chose to double up on the leavening, using baking powder and whipped egg whites to tip the cake toward sponge. I baked it in a ring pan, of course, although it’s fine in a Bundt, and now that berries are in season, I’ve taken to folding some in, allowing them to rise or fall as the batter bakes and taking pleasure in how their sweet-tart flavor turns up unpredictably in each slice.

Recently, Meg and I were together again in Paris, and I baked the all-lemon version for her. I was so happy when she exclaimed in Italian: “Una ciambella!” Then, with a touch of wistfulness, she sighed and said, “Memories of Rome.” That’s when I knew the cake was a success.