Genoese sponge

Genoese sponge

French Lessons
10 mins
Cooking time
5 mins
Steve Brown

A light and airy whisked fatless sponge cake, a Genoese is soft and moist, but fairly plain in flavour, so it provides the perfect base for all kinds of creamy fillings and fancy layered cakes. I usually make it in thin largish rectangles and cut them to size, according to each recipe. But you can just as easily make a more traditional round sponge, split it and spread with the filling of your choice.


Quantity Ingredient
6 eggs, lightly whisked
160g sugar
100g plain flour, sifted
50g cornflour, sifted


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Line 2 shallow non-stick baking trays with baking paper. Alternatively, if you want a deeper, more traditional sponge, grease and line a 24 cm x 6 cm cake tin.
  2. Put the eggs and sugar in a stainless-steel bowl and set it over a bain-marie or a pan of simmering water; the base of the bowl should not come into contact with the water. Heat very slowly to about 50°C.
  3. Tip the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on a high speed for 2 minutes until pale and creamy. It should be thick enough to form a thick ribbon that leaves a trail across the surface. Reduce the speed and continue whisking until the batter cools to room temperature. Use a large spatula to gently fold in the sifted flours.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared tins, to a thickness of about 1 cm. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5–6 minutes. If making the thicker cake, bake for 8–10 minutes. When the cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, remove from the oven and cool for a moment before turning it out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel away the greaseproof paper – brushing with a little water helps to loosen it from the surface. Allow to cool completely before cutting into the desired shapes. Alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to a month.
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