Whisked sponge

Whisked sponge

How to Cook Cakes
Peter Cassidy

This fatless sponge is best eaten the day it is baked. You will need a 20cm round cake tin.


Quantity Ingredient
oil, to grease
85g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
85g plain flour, plus extra to dust
pinch salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons warm water

To assemble

Quantity Ingredient
200ml whipping cream
250g raspberries or halved strawberries


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 quantity Buttercream
4-5 tablespoons raspberry jam


  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC. Oil and line the cake tin and dust with sugar, then flour. Sift the flour and salt onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Using a hand-held electric whisk, start whisking on a low speed without moving the whisk through the mixture until they are combined.
  3. Place the bowl over a saucepan of just-boiled water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Continue to whisk the mixture on a low speed for 3–4 minutes. This creates a network of small air bubbles, which helps to stabilise the mixture.
  4. Increase the speed and continue whisking until the mixture becomes very pale, fluffy and mousse-like, and is ‘to the ribbon’, holding about a 5–6 second ribbon. Remove the bowl from the pan and continue whisking until the bowl has cooled slightly, a further 1–2 minutes. Lastly, whisk in the water.
  5. Sift the flour and salt again over the whisked mixture and, using a large metal spoon, carefully fold it into the mixture.
  6. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared tin, holding the bowl as close to the tin as possible, to ensure minimal air loss. Give the tin a little tap on the work surface to bring any large air bubbles to the surface.
  7. Stand the cake tin on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. After 25 minutes, you should be able to smell the sponge. At this point (not before, or the sponge may sink), open the oven door a little and have a look. The sponge should be risen, golden, slightly shrinking away from the sides and crinkly at the edges. When lightly pressed with your fingertips, it should bounce back and not leave an indentation. You may hear a slight creaking when you press it.
  8. Stand the sponge, still in its tin, on a wire rack to cool a little for 1–2 minutes, then carefully invert it and leave upside down on the wire rack, still in the tin, to cool completely.
  9. To release the sponge from the tin, run a cutlery knife around the side of the sponge, keeping the knife against the tin. Once the sponge is fully released, carefully turn it onto a clean hand and gently place back on the wire rack. Peel off the lining paper.
  10. To serve, cut the cake horizontally into 2 even layers and sandwich together with whipped cream and fresh berries or buttercream and jam.

A note on 'to the ribbon'…

  • When the beaters are lifted, the mixture should fall from them onto the surface of the mixture in a wide ribbon-like trail and hold itself there for a few seconds before sinking in. When a recipe calls for a 4 or 5 or 6 second ribbon, this refers to the length of time the ribbon trail holds. Normally a 5–6 second ribbon is required, but check the recipe.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again