The classic European sponge cake. No chemical leavener, just air that is beaten into the eggs. Folding (stirring without deflating) is the biggest factor. Be gentle!

Recipe Summary

Servings:
10
Yield:
1 8 inch round cake
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch round cake pan. Line with parchment paper and grease it as well. Lightly flour pan and paper.

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  • Sift together the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt onto a piece of wax paper.

  • Place the eggs into a mixing bowl set over a pan of hot (not boiling) water. Add the 1/2 cup sugar to the eggs and whisk until the mixture feels warm (not hot) to the touch, about body temperature. Place the bowl onto a mixer and beat on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale yellow in color and falls off the end of the whisk attachment in long ribbons. Add the vanilla. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the beaten egg and fold in. Continue to add the remainder of the flour, folding it in each time.

  • Place about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl containing the melted butter and combine the butter with the batter. Add this back to the main batter and fold it in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Immediately bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 25 minutes or until the top is a light brown. Cool in pan on a rack about 10 minutes and then invert onto a rack. It is best to invert it again onto another rack so that it cools with the top up. Let cool completely before cutting or frosting.

Nutrition Facts

151 calories; protein 3.7g 7% DV; carbohydrates 23.9g 8% DV; fat 4.4g 7% DV; cholesterol 80.5mg 27% DV; sodium 28.7mg 1% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2003
A delicious feathery génoise in an ideal size. I used superfine sugar (I pulverized the required amount of ordinary sugar in my blender for a few seconds), I clarified the butter, and I sifted the flour 4 times and then a last time over the batter when folding it in. A great cake one can eat plain, although there's nothing plain about that génoise. I'll make it again - it's so versatile, and I might try other flavourings than vanilla. Read More
(78)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
05/07/2011
I was somewhat disappointed with this cake. I am a very proficient baker but this was not what I had imagined genoise to be. I followed the directions to a T but ended up with a dense cake. Read More
(7)
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2003
A delicious feathery génoise in an ideal size. I used superfine sugar (I pulverized the required amount of ordinary sugar in my blender for a few seconds), I clarified the butter, and I sifted the flour 4 times and then a last time over the batter when folding it in. A great cake one can eat plain, although there's nothing plain about that génoise. I'll make it again - it's so versatile, and I might try other flavourings than vanilla. Read More
(78)
Rating: 5 stars
10/13/2009
This is the classic sponge cake recipe. It is flat tasting because you need to soak the cake with simple syrup first before decorating it.(That is why it is called a "sponge") Mix equal parts of sugar and water and heat to just boiling, one cup of each should be enough for one cake. Add flavor of your choice, about 2 teaspooons. One cup of syrup will be enough for one cake. Split the cake into 2 horizontal layers and wih a pasry brush apply the syrup to each layer. To finish the cake you can use buttercream or sweetened whipped cream. In between the layers can be fruit or jam or more of the frosting. This is a delicious cake when make properly as the direcions indicate. Read More
(57)
Rating: 5 stars
09/03/2006
This is it the only cake that took me off my diet. Soft and delicious recipe used not only for cakes but for petits fours madeleines lady fingers and miniature Florentine squares. Read More
(37)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/05/2010
This is a heavenly cake. Mine was neither flat tasting nor eggy tasting as previous reviews suggest. I'm a batter taster even though it's supposedly bad for you but even prior to cooking is was a delicious fluffy sweet vanilla. One thing to make sure of though is when you are beating the eggs make sure your whisk whisk attachments and bowl are absolutely oil free. Any reside oil makes the eggs difficult to get fluffy and fluffiness is the key to this recipe. Also be very very gentle folding in your ingredients and while adding them to the bowl itself you what to preserve as many air bubbles as possible. Some things I changed: used ultrafine bakers sugar and sifted my ingredients twice (once to shift together and then once while I was gently adding them to the bowl). I also like vanilla flavor so added 2 tsp rather than 1 tsp. When done it is a beautiful sponge cake. This is a perfect base for my petit fours. I ll be using this recipe again. Read More
(19)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2005
This is the strangest cake ever. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
05/07/2009
This is so far the best GENOISE recipe I have tasted and tested. This is quite similar to the ways the ITALIANS bake their own sponge cake. This is an excellent recipe and is simplified for an easy understanding of the procedure. I modified some ingredients because I ran out of them---cake flour I used ALL PURPOSE FLOUR. I added 1 egg thinking- it should soften the cake since I was not using a cake flour and I have no corn starch powder to improvise on a cake flour! I used POWDERED SUGAR (CONFECTIONER). All turned out well. THANK YOU! Read More
(15)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2012
Based on area of 6" round = 56% of 8" round I halved the recipe for a 6" cake. Out of parchment so used foil instead... Used salted butter skipped the salt and the vanilla. It did rise to the proverbial 1.5" from a 1" deep batter and shrank very little... Folding was indeed the key!! And a Balloon Whisk made a huge difference from a rubber spatula!! Slow motion also minimized deflation... I lost very little volume this time before baking... whereas I lost about 1/3 of the volume last time when I used only a spatula and normal folding speed. Flouring the pan/foil after greasing... Need to really tap out the excess flour... Last time when I didn't fold lightly enough and left excess flour... the oily part of the batter sank and mixed with the flour and gave me a leathery sheet at the bottom!! The aroma was fantastic during baking and the top a lovely golden brown... and a light and tender crumb inside... Butter egg tastes indeed pronounced but that's part of its rich flavour... Can't imagine why people complain... A word of caution though: Because it's so rich filling/frosting should be on the light side... I filled it with a White Choc Raspberry Ganache and the pink looked great against the gold of the cake but it was too sweet / rich together... Next time I will just serve the whole wedge with Raspberry Coulis and a dusting of icing sugar... The cake is delicious on it own!! A good first Genoise recipe... Thanks Kevin!! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
12/18/2006
wonderful recipe! perfect for my petits fours. Thanks! Read More
(9)
Rating: 3 stars
05/07/2011
I was somewhat disappointed with this cake. I am a very proficient baker but this was not what I had imagined genoise to be. I followed the directions to a T but ended up with a dense cake. Read More
(7)