Light and fluffy sponge cake, also known as a genoise sponge, filled with cream and jam.
- 105 grams (3/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated, optional
- 120 grams (1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon) caster sugar
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
- 135 grams (1/2 cup) strawberry jam
- 300 ml (1 and 1/4 cups) and thickened cream or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 125 grams (1 cup) fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
- Icing sugar or powdered sugar, to serve
- Preheat oven to 170 C (340 F) standard / 150 C (300 F) fan-forced. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper. Do not grease the bottom or sides with butter or oil.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift flour twice.
- Sponge cake
Place eggs and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl. Beat eggs for 1-2 minutes using an electric mixer on medium speed. Once eggs start to become thick and foamy, add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to mix.
- Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and continue to beat until eggs become pale and fluffy, and triple in volume. This will take around 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your butter in the microwave until melted and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
- You’ll know your eggs have reached ribbon stage when you can use the whisk to draw a figure 8 on top of the batter. If the number 8 is still there when you have finished drawing, your eggs are ready. (See photo below).
- Very gently transfer your egg mixture to a wide mixing bowl with a flat bottom. Sift half of your flour (yes a third sift), and then use a large metal spoon to gently fold it into your batter. Be careful not to knock the air out of your eggs, or your sponge will be flat and tough. Gently fold the batter, in an up and over motion.
- Sift over remaining flour, and continue to fold, ensuring there are no visible pockets of flour.
- Take a spoonful of batter and add it to your melted butter – ensuring your butter is still melted and smooth but not hot. Stir until batter and butter have combined. Then add the mixture back into your cake batter.
- Gently fold to combine, still being careful not to over-mix your batter. Gently transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake for approximately 28 minutes or until cake is golden on top and springs back gently to the touch.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully run a butter knife around the edge of the cake and gently remove cake from pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cream filling
Add cream to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat using an electric mixer on medium speed until cream has thickened and reached soft peaks. Add vanilla and beat briefly.
- Carefully slice cooled sponge cake in half using a serrated knife. Place the bottom layer on serving plate or cake stand. Generously cover the sponge in strawberry jam, going right to the edges.
- Dollop cream over the top of the jam and spread to the edges of the cake. Add sliced strawberries. Place remaining sponge cake on top.
- When you are ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with icing sugar.
Cake pan: Do not grease your cake pan with butter, oil or flour, and only line the bottom of the pan with baking or parchment paper. The cake needs to cling to the sides of the pan in order to rise correctly. Once baked, you can easily run a butter knife around the edge to release the cake.
Eggs: It’s important to use fresh, room temperature eggs. Our large eggs are between 50-55 grams each. Your eggs must reach ribbon stage in order for your cake to correctly rise. You can double check they’re ready by using the whisk to draw a figure 8 on top of the batter. If the 8 is complete and hasn’t sunk by the time you finish drawing, you’ll know your eggs are ready. See photo below.
Lemon zest: This is optional but it adds flavour to the cake. It can also help overcome the eggy flavour that sponge cakes can be prone to.
Caster sugar: Caster sugar is ideal for this recipe because it’s so fine and dissolves easily. If you don’t have access to caster sugar, you can use granulated sugar – just make sure you add the sugar gradually so it has time to dissolve.
Storage: This cake is best eaten on the day it’s made but it will keep for 1-2 days. I recommend storing it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container at room temperature. Once you add the whipped cream filling, you’ll need to store any leftovers in the fridge.