Go Back
+ servings
Close up of a vanilla sponge cake that has been cut into.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Simple Sponge Cake

Every baker needs a reliable recipe for a simple sponge cake. This easy vanilla sponge cake recipe delivers consistently fabulous results. Adapt it with fillings to suit your latest whim safe in the knowledge that the basic sponge cake is as light and fluffy as any quality cake should be. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: British
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 502kcal



    For the Easy Vanilla Sponge Cake

    • 120 g Unsalted Butter - softened
    • 120 g Caster sugar
    • 2 Eggs - large, free range
    • 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoon Whole (full fat) milk
    • 120 g Plain (all purpose) flour
    • 1 teaspoon Baking powder


    • 2-3 tablespoon Strawberry & rhubarb jam
    • 250 ml Double (heavy) cream
    • 2 tablespoon Icing (confectioner) sugar
    • 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
    • 1-2 tablespoon Crystalised ginger (chopped small)


    Make the cake

    • Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ GM4 and grease & line 2 x 6-inch cake tins.
    • Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy.
    • Separate the egg white and yolks. Put the whites aside. Add the yolks to the creamed ingredients along with the vanilla extract and milk. Beat until just combined.
    • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and gently stir in, using a large metal spoon until thoroughly combined. Take care not to overwork the batter though.
    • Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Take a spoonful and mix it into the cake batter to loosen it, then fold the rest in. Continue to mix until just combined and no obvious patches of egg white are visible.
    • Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for approx 20 minutes until well risen and golden. A cocktail stick poked into the centre of the cake should come out clean
    • Remove from the oven when sufficiently baked. Let cool in the tin for 2 minutes, before unmolding. Remove the parchment and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

    Filling the cake

    • Put the cream into a medium mixing bowl with the vanilla extract and sieve the icing sugar in. Whip until the cream holds its shape nicely.
    • Place 1 layer of cake on a plate/ stand and spread with 2 tablespoon jam.
    • Top with ⅔ of the cream - either pipe it on or smooth it out with a knife.
    • Scatter ⅔ of the ginger over the cream and place the second layer of sponge on top.
    • Spread a thin layer of cream across the top and pipe the rest of the cream around the edge of the cake (I used a Wilton 8b nozzle) and fill the centre with the remaining jam.
    • Garnish with the remaining pieces of ginger.
    • Best served immediately but this cake can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days (let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours prior to serving).


    Scaling up for 7-inch or 8-inch cake tins
    The ingredients listed in the main recipe are sufficient to fill 2 x 6-inch cake tins. The recipe works on the following basis:
    per egg add the following:
    • 60g butter/ sugar / flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    From these measurements, it is easy to calculate ingredients for a 2-layer cake using the following cake tin sizes:
    • 6-inch tins (2 eggs + 120g butter/ sugar/ flour + 2 teaspoon extract + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 2 tablespoon milk) - the base recipe
    • 7-inch tins (3 eggs + 180g butter/ sugar/ flour + 3 teaspoon extract + 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder + 3 tablespoon milk) - this is 1.5 times the base recipe.
    • 8-inch tins (4 eggs + 240g butter/ sugar/ flour + 4 teaspoon extract + 2 teaspoon baking powder + 4 tablespoon milk) - this is 2 times the base recipe
    Allow extra cooking times for the larger cakes - perhaps check at around  23 minutes for the 7 -inch cakes and 25 minutes for the 8-inch cakes.


    Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 1203IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg