Basic Sponge Sandwich


A simple light sponge recipe that is the basis of many kinds of sponge cakes, the famous one being the Victoria Sponge Sandwich. This basic sandwich sponge can be filled with a conserve or creamy filling and the top iced, usually with a soft icing, or simply covered with caster or icing sugar/powdered sugar.


Basic Sponge Sandwich
Prepares: 6–8 servings
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20–25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • You will also need 2 x 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins, greased and base-lined.

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer makes this cake very quick to prepare.

  4. First, sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl to introduce as much air as possible.

  5. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix for 1 minute until the mixture is creamy.

  6. Divide evenly between the two pans and level the tops.

  7. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 20–25 minutes until firm to the touch. The sponge should spring back when gently tapped with a fingertip.

  8. Leave in the tins for 1–2 minutes then carefully remove, peel off the linings and cool on a wire cooling rack.

  9. For a deeper sponge
  10. This is known as a two-egg cake, for a deeper sponge use 3 eggs and increase the rest of the ingredients accordingly, and bake for 30–35 minutes.

  11. This mixture will also make
  12. This quantity of mixture will also be sufficient for 18 cup cakes, a 18cm (7 inch) square cake, a 20cm (8 inch) round cake or a 23cm (9 inch) ring cake.

  13. For flavourings
  14. Chocolate
  15. Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder blended with 1 tablespoon of boiling water.

  16. Coffee
  17. Add 2 teaspoons of coffee extract or 2 teaspoons of instant coffee blended with 1 teaspoon of boiling water.

  18. Citrus
  19. Add 1 teaspoon of grated orange, lemon or lime rind.

  20. Tips
  21. Always line the base of the tin even if it is non-stick. When greasing, brush butter on evenly. The cake will still stick if it is greased unevenly.

  22. Have everything weighed or measured before beginning to mix.

  23. No self raising flour? Add 1 level teaspoon baking powder to every 115g (4 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour. Sift the flour twice to incorporate as much air as possible and mix the two ingredients together thoroughly.

  24. Butter should be at room temperature for baking. If you’ve forgotten to take it out of the fridge, it can be microwaved on defrost for 20–30 seconds, until the butter is soft but still holds its shape.

  25. Leave at least 1 inch space all round tins so that the heat can circulate freely.

  26. Give the sponges the baking time suggested in the recipe but use this as a guide. Ovens vary – some are hotter and so cakes will take less time to cook and vice versa. It is better to start checking a few minutes before the allotted time. and if the cake is cooked in less time take it out of the oven. Conversely, if it is not ready at the allotted time allow a couple more minutes and check again. Also, when a cake is ready you can smell it. So your sight and smell are good allies.
  27. To tell when they are ready, gently touch in the centre with the fingertips and, if the mixture feels springy and no imprints remain, the cakes are baked. They should also shrink away from around the sides of the tin.

  28. For more tips, here's a link to my page on Baking Cakes.

Updated: October 3, 2018

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