Sponge cake is considered to be a favorite dessert by many. You might enjoy the sponge cake that your family makes or perhaps you buy sponge cake from a local bakery to enjoy now and then.
If you’re new to the idea of baking your own sponge cake, then you’re likely still trying to perfect things. Getting sponge cake to turn out well isn’t necessarily difficult, but it might take some time to figure out how to get it just right.
Most people are going to want the sponge cake to be as fluffy as possible. If your sponge cake isn’t as fluffy as you’d like it to be, then you’re likely wondering what it is that you’re doing wrong.
Keep reading to learn more about making sponge cake and how to get it to turn out fluffy. This should allow you to have the best sponge cake possible and you’ll be able to make it yourself whenever you’re in the mood for dessert.
Remember to Heat the Oven
Heating the oven ahead of time is going to be important. You also want to get your oven ready so that you can place the pan or tin in a good spot.
Experts recommend baking sponge cake on a shelf in the middle of the oven. It should be easy enough to adjust things accordingly.
When you have the shelf in position, you’ll be able to preheat the oven to the temperature that is recommended by whatever recipe you’re following. You’ll get better results if the oven is preheated and ready to go by the time you’ve finished your batter.
This is mostly because of how fast raising agents will start working. If you wait too long and have to preheat your oven after finishing the batter, then you could wind up with holes in your cake or an inadequate level of rising.
It’s also good to note that you want the ingredients that you’re using to be at room temperature. Ensure that the eggs and butter are at room temperature before you start preparing the batter.
You’ll get worse results if you use cold ingredients that have just come out of the refrigerator. Knowing this ahead of time will help you to avoid mistakes.
Cream the Butter and Sugar Properly
The big trick to get the sponge cake to turn out fluffy is to pay close attention to how you cream the butter and sugar. If you don’t get this right, then the cake won’t be as fluffy and light as you’d like it to be.
Whisking these two ingredients together is something that you have to learn how to do the right way. During this process, you’re going to be whipping air into the batter.
The air that you whip in will be what helps to make the cake light and fluffy. If you don’t cream the butter and sugar properly, then it won’t have enough air and it won’t be fluffy.
It’s certainly possible to cream your butter and sugar by hand if you know what you’re doing. Many skilled bakers do this just because they can, but it’ll likely be easier for you to use a hand mixer.
Using a hand mixer will allow you to cream your butter and sugar without having to tax yourself. You can get consistent results and you just need to know when to stop.
Generally, you’re going to want to mix with the hand mixer until the batter has a pale yellow color. This should be the point in time when the batter is full of air.
It’s also good to note that you’ll have an easier time with this if the batter is at room temperature. Doing the creaming process the right way like this should lead to good results.
You might have been whipping the batter too much or too little in the past. This can lead to problems and the cake might turn out a bit dry or too dense.
Remember to Take Your Time with the Eggs
Taking your time is going to make getting better results easy. When you try to rush the process of beating your eggs and adding them to the creamed mix, you’re going to encounter problems.
This is why many experts recommend really slowing down your approach with the eggs. Instead of adding all of the beaten eggs to the creamed mix at once, it might be best to add a little at a time.
For example, you could add only one or two tablespoons of the beaten eggs to your creamed mix. Use your hand mixer to mix the beaten eggs in properly and then add another one or two tablespoons.
You keep doing this until you’ve incorporated all of the beaten eggs. When you’re done, the mix should still be light and fluffy.
It’s possible to tell if you’ve made a mistake, though. If your mix appears to be somewhat slimy, then you might have made a mistake along the way.
You can get things back to good if you add a bit of flour, though. Beat one tablespoon of flour into the mix if things appear too slimy and you’ll turn everything around.
Knowing how to recover from a mistake like this can mean the difference between enjoying a fluffy sponge cake and making a sponge cake that is less than ideal. Thankfully, it isn’t hard to beat a bit of flour into the mix if necessary, but you do need to be able to tell if the mix is slimy first.
Fold the Flour Into the Batter the Right Way
Folding the flour into the batter needs to be done the right way as well. Some people just dump dry ingredients into the batter one after the other without thinking about how to mix things in and get good results.
It’d be a lot better to combine all of your dry ingredients in a bowl before beginning. This means that you’ll be adding salt, baking soda, cocoa, and whatever other dry ingredients the recipe might call for into the dry ingredients bowl with the flour.
Once you have those ingredients combined in the dry ingredient bowl, you’ll be able to move forward. Slowly sift the dry ingredients into the batter and try to turn the dry ingredients over into the batter.
You don’t want to aggressively stir this mix because you’ll run the risk of having the cake turn out tough. Just keep gently folding the dry ingredients into the mix until everything is even.
It’s recommended to use a thin rubber spatula to get the job done. You should be able to use the spatula to fold the flour into the mix properly without destroying the air bubbles that you’ve created.
Checking to See If Everything Looks Right
Now that you’ve come this far, it’ll be time to check to see if everything looks right before you put the batter into the pan. Ideally, you’re going to want your sponge cake to be as light and fluffy as possible, and batter that can produce light and fluffy sponge cake should behave in certain ways.
When you gather the batter in a spoon, it should be easy to shake the batter off of the spoon with just a bit of gentle effort. If it’s sticking to the spoon, then you might have done something wrong.
Sometimes you’ll need to add a bit more liquid to the mix to get the right consistency. This is why many popular sponge cake recipes will call for milk to be added after folding in the flour.
Adding a bit of milk can ensure that there is enough liquid in the batter so that it won’t turn out dry. Dry cake is not going to be what you want when you bite into your sponge cake.
When everything looks right, it’ll be time to spoon your batter into the pan or tin that you plan to use to bake it. Slowly spoon the batter into the pan and then place the pan into the oven when everything is set.
Getting your sponge cake to turn out just right is going to involve paying attention to how you’re doing things. If you’ve had a few attempts that didn’t turn out great in the past, then you likely did one or two things wrong that threw everything off.
When you want the sponge cake to be light and fluffy, it’s imperative to pay attention to how you’re creaming the butter and sugar. It’s also necessary to carefully add the beaten eggs to the mix so that you don’t eliminate the air that you’ve whipped into the batter.
If you weren’t using a hand mixer to mix things before, then it’s likely going to be a good idea to start doing so. You can mix the batter together and whip air in by hand, but it’s not as easy as it is to simply use a hand mixer.
Be careful when you’re adding your dry ingredients to the batter as well. You can easily destroy the air bubbles and wind up making the cake not turn out so fluffy.
If you follow the advice above carefully, then you should be able to enjoy a fluffy sponge cake. This is going to allow you to enjoy sponge cake with your friends and family whenever you feel like making it for them.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.