In this post, I’m sharing how to make an incredibly fluffy sponge cake. Use this light, silky, fluffy genoise sponge cake for all types of desserts such as a whole cake, roll cake, cupcakes, etc!
Even though the steps and ingredients are VERY simple, one mistake can dramatically affect the texture. You might get problems such as:
- It did not rise.
- The texture was so rough.
- The batter was so loose.
- It was dried.
...etc. I'm sharing all the troubleshooting so that you can make it successful at home!
In this post, you'll learn essential baking tips such as:
- The difference between genoise sponge and biscuit sponge cake
- Crucial tips to make fluffy sponge cake
- How to make the texture so fine and silky
- 4 Tips to fold the batter professionally
- How to make the cake syrup ...and so on!
- 📌 What is genoise cake?
- 📌 Frequently Asked Questions
- 📌 VIDEO: Learn how to make it visually!
- 📌 Ingredients for Genoise sponge cake
- 📌 How To Make Fluffy Sponge Cake
- The detailed steps with more images:
- 📌 Preparations
- 📌 Step 1: Warm whole eggs and sugar with a water bath, constantly mixing until it feels comfortably warm like a baby bath.
- 📌 Step 2: Whip whole eggs and sugar.
- 📌 Step 3: Add cake flour and fold until you don’t see any flour.
- 📌 Step 4: Add Liquids and fold until the batter flows smoothly when you drop it with a spatula.
- 📌 Step 5: Pour into a pan and BAKE with 355F | 180C
- 📌 Step 6: After it's out of the oven, flip it and let it cool completely before slicing it.
- 📌 Simple syrup for genoise sponge cake
- 📌 The Printable Recipe
- Fluffy Genoise Sponge Cake
📌 What is genoise cake?
Genoise sponge cake is made by whipping up whole eggs and sugar together. That is the unique method for this sponge to create a fluffy texture.
The primary 4 ingredients are eggs, sugar, flour, and butter.
In addition to it, "Biscuit sponge cake" is also a very popular sponge widely used in the world. I would say Genoise sponge and biscuit sponge are the BIG 2 in the sponge world.
What's different is how you whip eggs. The sponge with biscuit method is made by whipping up egg whites and yolks separately. All the other processes are the same as the genoise sponge cake.
Here is the illustration I created to explain the 2 methods:
📌 Frequently Asked Questions
To store it, wrap it tightly, put that in a zip log or wrap it one more time. And use it up within a few days ideally. You can also freeze for up to a few months. Or eat it right away for the very best taste!
The texture of the sponge is not going to be the same with all-purpose flour. It creates more gluten and that makes the sponge heavier and less fluffy. I highly recommend using cake flour if you can get it!
That can happen in these processes:
* Eggs were not whipped enough. The batter didn't contain enough air bubbles because of that.
* The batter was over-mixed after adding flour, milk, and oil.
* A lot of the air bubbles disappeared because the batter was not baked right away. After you practice for some time, you naturally start moving faster!
* At the end of the whipping process, you did not whip at a low speed for long enough. The air bubbles remained big because of that.
* You did not fold the batter enough. By under-mixing the batter, it contains more air bubbles and rises more in the oven BUT you'll feel it is less silky and slightly rougher.
When it deflated more than slightly, the sponge might not be baked enough: It shrinks because the body (such as glutens, eggs, etc.) is not set enough yet.
📌 VIDEO: Learn how to make it visually!
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📌 Ingredients for Genoise sponge cake
One batch of this recipe makes 1 8" or 2 6" cakes.
- Whole eggs: 200g | 7oz (4 eggs, large)
- Granulated sugar: 140 g | 4.9 oz
- Cake flour: 130 g | 4.6 oz
- For this cake, use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour to make the texture very fluffy.
- Milk: 20 g | 0.7 oz (4 tsp)
- It'll make the sponge moister. It also adds a nice flavor!
- Oil: 40 g | 1.4 oz
- I like to use olive oil as a healthier option but any regular oils work.
- You can use melted butter instead if you like. Just know that the sponge rises slightly less with butter. As a pro, it also adds a nice flavor. Use warm melted butter so that it blends well in the batter.
- Vanilla extract (Optional): ¼ tsp
- Use vanilla beans or other extracts as you like. Be careful not to add too much; The texture gets less fluffy and silky when you add too much.
📌 How To Make Fluffy Sponge Cake
The 6 simple steps:
- Warm whole eggs and sugar with a water bath, constantly mixing until it feels comfortably warm like a baby bath.
- Whip whole eggs and sugar.
- Start whipping at high speed to make it fluffy (Drop the batter with a whisk. It should flow slowly and the lines should stay on the surface.)
- Finish at low speed to make air bubbles smaller until it looks very shiny.
- Add cake flour and fold until you don’t see any flour.
- Add milk and oil and fold until everything is mixed evenly. The batter should flow smoothly when you drop it with a spatula.
- Pour into a pan and BAKE with 355F | 180C
- for about 25-30mins for 2 6’ pans
- for about 30-35mins for 1 8” pan
- After it's out of the oven, flip it and let it cool completely before slicing it.
Now, to see more detailed steps with more tips & images, check out below!👇🏻
📍 The printable recipe with instructions is at the very end of this post.Jump to Recipe
The detailed steps with more images:
- Preheat the oven: to 355 F | 180 C
- Prepare hot simmering water to warm eggs.
- Set up cake liners inside a pan. (Or you can coat a thin layer of butter, dust flour on top, and toss to remove excess.)
- Sift cake flour.
- (Combine milk, oil, and vanilla ahead.)
💬 If you have not made this sponge many times yet, I recommend finishing up the preparations ahead. It'll allow you to focus on the tips in each step without feeling completely overwhelmed!
📌 Step 1: Warm whole eggs and sugar with a water bath, constantly mixing until it feels comfortably warm like a baby bath.
💬 As soon as you add sugar to the eggs, mix immediately with a whisk so that the egg yolks do not absorb it and create lumps. (You can also mix eggs ahead to avoid that.)
Next, warm eggs and sugar with a water bath.
💡 By warming up the eggs, they get whipped up in a lot shorter time. Sugar helps to slow down the heat delivery process (which means the eggs are not getting cooked as easily. - But they'll still get cooked if the temperature goes up too high!)
How to heat egg and sugar
To make sure that we are not cooking eggs with simmering water, there are some things we can do:
- Once the water starts boiling/simmering, I turn off the heat or lower it before use.
- Make sure that the bowl of eggs is NOT soaked in the hot water.
- Heat up until it reaches between 35-45 degrees. I usually do not check the temperature with a thermometer but instead (You can if you like!), insert a finger and check: it should be comfortably warm like a baby bath.
- Mix constantly as you heat.
- When you check the temperature, try doing it quickly or remove it from heat for seconds.
📌 Step 2: Whip whole eggs and sugar.
Now that the eggs are warm enough, let's start whipping!
First, whip it up at high speed to make it super fluffy.
(You can use a stand mixer or hand mixer whichever you prefer. With a stand mixer, you can do other prep work while you are whipping. And it also takes a lot less time to finish.)
👩🏻🍳 Start whipping right away while the eggs are still warm.
The most important part
How much you whip it is EXTREMELY important. The most crucial part. A lot of people fail here by not whipping it enough.
When you don't whip enough, it does not contain enough air bubbles inside and that leads to a shorter, less fluffy cake.
How to check if the egg is whipped enough
- Stop your mixer for a second, scoop the batter with a whisk, and drop. It should flow slowly like a ribbon.
- Check if the dropped lines stay on the surface.
Ok. Now It is whipped enough BUT it is not quite done yet! - The size of the bubbles is big at this point because we whipped at high speed. And that leads to a rough sponge texture.
To finish off, whip more at low speed until it looks shiner. - for about 5 minutes with one batch of this recipe.
💡 By doing that, the size of the bubbles gets smaller. - Which creates a more silky, fine texture! And those small bubbles do not get eliminated as easily as big ones. The sponge rises more and gets fluffier!
👩🏻🍳 To see if the air bubbles are small enough, pay attention to the look. Once the bubbles are small all over, your batter looks smoother and shinier.
📌 Step 3: Add cake flour and fold until you don’t see any flour.
After you add cake flour, start folding right away.
💬 Once you stop whipping eggs, finish folding other ingredients as quickly as possible and put them in an oven while the condition of bubbles is the best.
(I like to sift flour ahead so that I can start folding right away)
Continue folding just until you don't see any more flour.
By folding instead of vigorously mixing, you don't need to kill too many air bubbles.
4 tips to fold sponge batter (or any pastry batter)
- Move your spatula like you draw a "J".
- As you move your spatula, move your bowl about 45 degrees so that you can mix evenly.
- Fold fast. That helps to break down chunks of flour. The air bubbles stay more stable by finishing up faster as well and that results in a taller, fluffier sponge.
- Clean your spatula and bowl on the way to ensure you do not miss any uneven parts. Make sure that no flour is left on the bottom or sides.
Check out the video tutorial to see it visually!
📌 Step 4: Add Liquids and fold until the batter flows smoothly when you drop it with a spatula.
💬 If you add them when you still see flour, they touch each other directly and sometimes they create lumps that are more difficult to break down later. Not a deal-breaker but it is something to be mindful of!
The final folding:
How much you fold is very important. This is the 2nd part a lot of people fail by either folding too much or folding less:
- When you fold less, your sponge gets more volume and rises a lot but the texture is kind of rough and not silky enough.
- When you fold too much, too many air bubbles get killed and that leads to a shorter, less fluffy sponge.
How to check if the batter is folded enough
Check this with a spatula: Scoop a lot and drop.
❌ If it drops and does not flow much, it is not done yet.
⭕️ If it flows smoothly like a ribbon, it is done.
To see it visually, check out the video tutorial.
💬 Don't forget to check the bottom of a bowl one last time to see if there is any uneven batter.
Butter or Oil?
The liquid and fat help make the sponge moister. And as fat, some people use butter instead of oil. So what difference do they make?
Oil is a liquid base, so the sponge tends to rise more and create a lighter texture even after it's cooled down, just like chiffon cakes. Also, you do not need to let it melt beforehand like butter.
When you add butter, you'll need to melt it beforehand until it feels very warm. If it's not warm enough, it'll start getting hardened as you fold it into the batter and does not blend evenly.
The benefit of butter is adding a nice flavor to your sponge.
Pick whichever you like depending on what flavor/texture you like!
📌 Step 5: Pour into a pan and BAKE with 355F | 180C
- for about 25-30mins for 2 6’ pans
- and about 30-35mins for 1 8” pan.
* Adjust the time and temperature depending on the oven.
💬 Now that it is folded just enough, the most important thing at this point is to pour it into a pan as FAST as you can and bake it right away! - While the condition of the batter is still great.
To eliminate bigger air bubbles in the end:
Even though you whip the batter at low speed to make air bubbles small, some big air bubbles get created during the folding process. Try these to resolve it:
- Toss the pan at least a few times to give it a shock.
- Swirl it with a toothpick.
👩🏻🍳 Bake until the center is cooked through. The sponge slightly shrinks in the oven when that happens.
How to check if the sponge is baked enough:
- Touch the surface and see if it bounces back gently.
- Insert a toothpick and see if it comes off clean.
Keep in mind that the sponge still gets cooked up with the remaining heat. I take it out when about 98% is cooked.
📌 Step 6: After it's out of the oven, flip it and let it cool completely before slicing it.
As soon as it's been removed from the oven, I like to give it "a shock" by dropping it a few times on a table. The purpose is to release steam to prevent the sponge from deflating too much. *But Do NOT drop from too high since the sponge can get torn off.
After that, flip it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
💬 The sponge is very fragile when it is hot. Do not cut the sponge while it is still warm since it'll be harder to cut clean.
📌 Simple syrup for genoise sponge cake
Just like any other genoise sponge cake which does not contain a lot of oil or liquid, this sponge cake feels moister with cake syrup. When you want to make a whole cake or cupcakes with it, I highly recommend applying cake syrup.
How to make simple cake syrup
Melt the sugar with hot water. You can also heat them in a microwave or in a pot. The most commonly used ratio is 1:1.
- Aadjust the ratio it as you like!
Enjoy this amazing sponge cake for any of your favorite desserts. I use this sponge for many kinds of cakes and it turns out amazing all the time. I especially LOVE a strawberry shortcake with this sponge. The perfectly fluffy sponge and light whipped cream are a hevenly combination!
💬 I appreciate it if you can leave a review here if you tried this recipe and loved it! I always love to hear how you enjoyed it at home with your friends and family.
📌 The Printable Recipe
Fluffy Genoise Sponge Cake
- Cake mold
- Parchment paper
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 4 eggs Whole eggs Large eggs
- 140 g Granulated sugar
- 130 g Cake flour
- 20 g Milk or 4 tsp
- 40 g Oil Any regular oils
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract (Optional)
- Preparation:1. Preheat the oven: 355F | 180C2. Prepare a hot simmering water to warm eggs3. Set up cake liners. 4. Sift cake flour. 5. Combine milk, oil and vanilla.
- Warm whole eggs and sugar with a water bath over mixing constantly until it feels comfortably warm like a baby bath.4 eggs Whole eggs, 140 g Granulated sugar
- Whip whole eggs and sugar. - Start whipping at high speed to make it fluffy (Drop the batter with a whisk. It should flow slowly and the lines should stay on the surface.) Finish at low speed to make air bubbles smaller until it looks very shiny.4 eggs Whole eggs, 140 g Granulated sugar
- Add cake flour and fold until you don’t see any flour.130 g Cake flour
- Add milk and oil and fold until they are mixed evenly and the batter flows smoothly when you drop it with a spatula.20 g Milk, 40 g Oil, ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pour into a pan and bake!BAKE with 355 F | 180 C for about 25-30 mins for 2 6" pans. Or about 30-35mins for 1 8” pan.
- After it's out from an oven, flip and let it cool completely before slicing it.
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