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Egg yolk sponge cake recipe

Egg yolk sponge cake recipe

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  • Cake
  • Classic cakes

A beautiful cake, which is tinged yellow from the egg yolks used in this recipe. Fill and top with your favourite icing.

106 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 2 layer 20cm cake

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 250ml egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 175ml milk

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour two 20cm round cake tins.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add milk to butter mixture in 2 parts alternately with flour mixture in 3 parts, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread in prepared tins.
  4. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(55)

Reviews in English (47)

**update** I now make this cake often! Tastes like a pound cake and it didn't really have a sponge cake texture. It is a good recipe to use up the egg yolks from an angel food cake. suggest that you use fresh yolks as the frozen ones aren't as moist. In the 2nd cake I substituted 1/2 of the standard flour with cake flour and it made a lighter cake. We can't easily find caster sugar here so I grind my sugar. Very good!!-07 May 2016

by Misa

This recipe is excellent and produces a rich but light cake. I used 10 yolks left over from making angel food and supplemented with one whole egg to make one cup. Unlike other reviewers, I didn't find the cake particularly heavy or dense. I was careful to beat the batter until "fluffy", as called for in the recipe. This requires beating at high speed for at least 5 minutes after all ingredients are well-incorporated. The color of the batter lightens as you continue to beat it. The volume of batter was too much for my two 8" X 1.5" round cake pans, so I made several cupcakes with the surplus. Though the cupcakes were ready after 20-25 minutes in the oven, the cakes themselves required an extra 10-15 minutes to bake. The un-iced cupcakes disappeared in minutes, but the layers are going in the freezer until fresh strawberries, nectarines and peaches are in season. IMHO, a cake this rich would be best served with either fruit and whipped cream or iced with a light (non-buttercream) icing.-27 Jan 2009


Don't make this cake if you want a light, yellow cake best topped with chocolate frosting! The cake was very good, but very dense; almost like a shortcake. It is very good served with strawberries, but I was disappointed with the outcome after reading the reviews thinking of a chocolate frosted cake. If anyone knows of such a recipe, I would love to have it.-19 Jan 2005

Easy Sponge Cake Roll

HEAT oven to 400°F. COAT 15½ x 10½ x 1-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. LINE bottom with waxed or parchment paper SPRAY paper with cooking spray.

BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, ADD ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time, BEATING after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. (RUB a bit of mixture between thumb and forefinger it should feel completely smooth.) CONTINUE beating until whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks.

BEAT egg yolks in clean mixer bowl on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually BEAT in remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar until mixture is pale yellow and sugar is dissolved. BEAT in vanilla and salt.

SIFT flour over egg whites. ADD yolk mixture. FOLD gently but thoroughly until color is uniform and no streaks of flour remain. Do not stir. SPREAD into prepared pan.

BAKE in 400°F oven until center springs back when lightly tapped with finger, 10 to 12 minutes.

SPRINKLE clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar. LOOSEN cake from sides of pan with knife. INVERT cake onto towel carefully PEEL off waxed paper. TRIM all cake edges with serrated knife. ROLL up cake, starting from short end and rolling towel in with cake. COOL wrapped cake roll, seam-side down on wire rack.

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The ingredient list says baking powder while the instructions refer to baking soda. Which is the correct ingredient?

I have a recipe very like this from the Culinary Arts Institute. Differences are minor: water is hot, not cold and added alternately with the sugar to beaten egg yolks. 1 1/2 tsp of lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla, flour, salt powder sifted 4x and baked at 350 for 1 hour.

The recipe does not mention oven temperature or rack placement. I have been looking for this recipe which my mother made in the ❀s and ❐s. My sister got the angel foor birthday cake and a week later my brother got the "sunshine" birthday cake with the leftover yolks. It always had peanut butter frosting and was the family favorite.

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Eggs - Beating Techniques for Whole Eggs and Yolks

Copyright © 2000 Sarah Phillips All rights reserved.

Whipping eggs (whole and/or yolks only or whites only) with a portion of the sugar is called the EGG FOAMING METHOD. Beaten eggs are one of the key's to success in making UNSHORTENED (FOAM) CAKES, such as Genoise cakes, and even for souffles, Zabaglione, and other recipes. It is beaten eggs that give the structure and puff or leavening to the recipe.

Whole eggs and/or yolks are often beaten with crystalline dry sugar to ribbon for use in a recipe. Ribbon is a word used in baking to describe their particular consistency. On the other hand, beaten egg whites are described by their peak stiffness(soft to stiff) achieved during their preparation.

SARAH SAYS: To beat four or more whole eggs or egg yolks, I recommend using a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, depending on what you are making. Instead, a hand-held mixer fitted with beaters or a hand-held wire whisk can be used, but hand-held devices take longer. When using a hand held mixer, make sure you circulate it through the mixture as though it were a whisk.Egg Temperatre

Egg Temperature
SARAH SAYS: Typical recipes call for room temperature eggs or yolks, but I have found that ones cold from the refrigerator also work. Colder eggs may take a few seconds longer to ribbon, but it will be achieved. It's really the egg's freshness that determines their foamability newer fresh eggs will reach more volume and have greater stability when beaten than older eggs.

Egg yolks and sugar are beaten until the mixture is pale yellow, thiick and forms a ribbon. When the beaters are lifted, a bit of the mixture falls from it and forms a ribbon which slowly dissolves on the surface. This is used with Priscilla's Orange Sponge Cake Recipe.

NOTE: You must use the whisk attachment, not the paddle attachment.

To beat egg yolks with other ingredients:
1. In a mixer bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg yolks to break them up.
SARAH SAYS: Instead of by hand, you can clamp the mixer bowl onto a stand mixer and add the egg yolks. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment, and mix the egg yolks on low until combined.

2. Then, add sugar, orange juice, and vanilla and orange extracts(or zest).
SARAH SAYS: Instead of by hand, stop the mixer, and add the ingredients.
NOTE: While the egg yolks are beaten, large amounts of sugar can be added by tablespoons if too much is added at once, it can cause the yolks to speckle. You beat long enough to dissolve the sugar and the mixture will ribbon.

3. Attach the mixer bowl to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

4. Start with your mixer on medium-low, gradually increasing its speed to high.

5. Stop when the egg yolk mixture is light in color, taking about 4-5 minutes
When you stop the mixer and lift the whisk attachment, the mixture should fall in a ribbon pattern that sits on top of the swirl for seconds before sinking.
SARAH SAYS: That's why it's called ribbon the egg yolks or ribboning!

Whole eggs and sugar beaten to a beautiful thick, fluffy and foamy light yellow cream. They triple in volume, and fall from lifted beaters in a flat, ribbon-like pattern that sits on top of the swirl for seconds and then, slowly dissolves into the rest of the mixture. That's what is known as "making the ribbon."

If the mixture is not whipped long enough, it will not be able to hold the ribbon formation. Whipping the mixture too long will make it too fluffy to make the ribbons, resulting in more of a foam consistency. On the other hand, under whipping will make your recipe dense. If you have reached the ribbon stage, stop whipping the mixture and continue with your recipe.

NOTE: Warming the ingredients simply helps dissolve the sugar better and improves the emulsifying properties of the eggs, a technique used in the Basic Genoise Cake Tutorial. As a result, it helps them reach maximum volume when beaten. I like to use superfine sugar because it dissolves faster than regular table sugar. It's very important because if the sugar is NOT dissolved all the way, the egg structure needed for ribboning won't be done correctly.

NOTE: You must use the whisk attachment when ribboning the eggs, and not the paddle attachment.

To accomplish:
1. Hand-whisk the eggs and sugar together in the mixer bowl with a large balloon whisk.

2. Then, heat the mixture about 2 to 4 minutes, until it is foamy, slightly pale, and reads 110 to 120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

One way is to place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, taking care not to touch the water, and, whisking steadily,
SARAH SAYS: A technique I use when warming the eggs and sugar, is to turn a stove burner on low, and then continually rotate the bowl's bottom over the burner, while whisking. Be careful, because the handle of the bowl gets hot! Hold it with a kitchen mit.

Beat until the eggs are foaming throughout and slightly pale, indicating the sugar has dissolved.
SARAH SAYS: Check and make sure the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a small amount of mixture in between your fingers. It should not be sandy. If it is, stir rapidly until the sugar is dissolved.

To measure the mixture's temperature, remove the bowl from the stove or the simmering water, stir the mixture and, place the end of the thermometer half way in, making sure you don't touch the bottom of the bowl. It should read 110 to 120 degrees F.

When ready, remove the bowl from the heat source or water immediately, and dry the bottom.

2. Fit the bowl to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

3. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed (speed #8 on a KitchenAid 325-watt mixer), until it cools to room temperature, triples in volume, the sugar is completely dissolved and is pale yellow in color, taking about 8 to 10 minutes. It should then ribbon.

SARAH SAYS: The egg foam passes through various stages during beating - it first becomes foamy, then light and aerated and finally it thickens. Take the time to do this carefully. During the last four to five minutes of beating, stop the mixer from time to time and test the mixture for ribbon thickness.

When the mixture ribbons, it should fall from its beaters or a rubber spatula, and hold together like a sheet of batter and then, fall very slowly into a thick ribbon
back into the mixing bowl.

The ribbon will sit on top and then, spread slightly and then, slowly flatten as it dissolves. The ribbon will still have some definition to it in the bowl.

4. Use the ribboned eggs immediately in the recipe.

For example: Beat the eggs and yolks together with sugar for a total of 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume. This is used with the Vanilla Scented Biscuit Roulade Cake Recipe.
SARAH SAYS: This is a VERY important step.
1. Fit the stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Do NOT use a whisk attachment.

2. Place the large eggs and yolks in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer.

3. Add the sugar.
SARAH SAYS: Do not let the sugar sit on top of unbeaten egg yolks for any length of time.

4. Beat the egg mixture on high speed for a total of 5 minutes or until it becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume:
SARAH SAYS: If your egg mixture does NOT achieve this, make a sweet omelet with it, and start again with new!
Here's how:
a. Start the mixer on low for a few seconds and then adjust it to high speed. Beat for one minute.
The mixture will start to look bubbly.

b. Stop the mixer. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl without squashing the egg foam.
Be gentle.

c. Add the vanilla to the beaten egg mixture.

d. Resume beating on high for 3 or 4 additional minutes, or until thick, fluffy, and triples in volume.
You will have beaten the egg mixture for a total of 5 minutes.


Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Sift the flour, corn starch, and baking soda together.

This mixture should be light, pale, and frothy. You can do this by hand without too much sugar, but a stand mixer will make it much easier. Dump this mixture into a bowl and clean the whisk for the egg whites next. Make sure the whisk and bowl are very dry or the meringue will not form properly.

The yolks will deflate a bit here, but that is okay for this recipe. Set the yolks aside and prepare the meringue.

It should be a stiff mixture like whipped cream. Try to work quickly on the next steps to avoid the meringue sitting for too long.

Start with a small amount to lighten the texture and make the rest easier to combine. The meringue will deflate here, so only use a small amount. Then, working one third of the meringue at a time, fold in the rest while deflating as little as possible. Err on the side of under-mixed rather than over-mixed to ensure a light and fluffy sponge.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to stick to the bottom. Buttering and flouring the bottom may not be enough to separate the cake from the pan.

The batter will rise a bit and start to brown on the top. This will be about 30-35 minutes, but depends on your oven.

This means the center is done and the cake is ready to come out. You may have to test a few times, putting the pan back in the oven if it's not ready. Let the cake cool in the pan.

A properly buttered and floured pan will make a very clean separation. You can also use a paring knife to cut the edges.

Step 1: Separate eggs

If your recipe calls for beating the egg yolks and whites separately, begin with separating the egg whites from the yolks. Eggs separate more easily when cold, so separate them immediately after taking them out of the refrigerator. Even the tiniest bit of yolk can inhibit the beating of the whites. To ensure that no yolk gets into the whites as you separate the eggs, separate each white into a small bowl (such as a custard cup), then transfer the white to the extra-large bowl in which you will eventually beat them. Place the yolks in a small mixing bowl. If any yolk does get into the white, do not use it refrigerate that white for another use. 

Allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (For safety, do not let eggs stand longer than 30 minutes at room temperature.) The standing time ensures that the whites will reach their full volume when you beat them.

No cake flour? No problem!

If you don’t have cake flour on hand, don’t worry. It’s super easy to make your own. I do that all the time. Here’s a fabulous tutorial for homemade cake flour, if you have time to read.

But in short, measure 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, remove 3 tablespoons of flour, and replace 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. That’s it! Now you just need to sift it well and you’ve got yourself a cake flour.

Sponge Cake (Separated Eggs Method + Video)

***If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #christinesrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.


I noticed you inserted baking sheet around the cake tin and bottom too. If you invert the cake after baking, won't the cake fall out easily? Then what's is the point of inverting the cake?

Hi Radioteletype,
By inverting the cake, the top will be flattened a bit and leveled. I don't need to trim off too much of the yummy cake. :)

Hi I do not see water in your ingredient list. For beating the egg white to stiff peaks in step 5, I think you meant sugar in 3 batches for the remaining 30g you have left? And not water to beat egg white I suppose.

Hi Kimchilover,
You're right. No water is required to make this sponge cake.
The cake will be brushed with rum syrup and decorated with icing. So it won't be dry and just right.
Yes, beat in the remaining 30 grams of sugar into the egg whites in 3 batches.
Don't ever add any water into the egg whites.

My oh my, I was looking all over the places for a good sponge cake recipe, you have the right one I'm looking for! I really appreciate if you can answer my questions:
1. Sponge cake is soft and fluffy, is it able to hold mousse layers instead of just whipping cream? I'm making a cake for an outdoor baby shower far from city so mousse is a safe choice to minimize meltdown, and it's a naked cake with mousse layers between :)
2. For a 9-inch cake, do you think double the recipe is good enough?
3. If I make this in green tea flavor, how many tablespoon of matcha powder that should be added for a 9-inch cake?

Thank you! I have been following your recipes all the time and always success, so I hope to hear from you soon.

Hi Annie,
1) This sponge is soft but enough to hold mousse layers too. Good idea of using mousse instead of fresh cream for easy transportation.
2) For making a 9-inch cake, you can double all the ingredients.
3) Try 1 tablespoon of matcha powder as the start. Depending on how intense the matcha flavour you like, you might increase or decrease a bit to experiment.

hi christine,
in point 5, you mentioned to put the 30 gm of water. water or remaining sugar ?

Oh, it's a typo. It's fixed. Thanks a lot, Senses. :)

I was wondering if it is possible to leave out the baking sheet (liner).

Hi Linda,
The liner is to help remove the cake easily.
If you want to leave it out, hope you'll find a way to remove the cake easily.

I know the measurements for the pan are 6" round or 8" round. But how tall should the pans be? Thank you!

Hi Joanne,
The height of both of my 6-inch and 8-inch round pans are 3 inches.

Hi Christine, is it possible to use plain flour for this cake recipe ?

Sure, you can use plain flour instead if you don't mind the end-product texture different form mine.

Is it possible to post the recipe in cups please?

When it comes to baking, weight measurement is more accurate and enables you to produce the best results. So I didn't have any cup measurement records. Sorry.
You might search the conversion on the internet.

Hi Christine, can we substitute the caster sugar with regular sugar or icing sugar? We have a family member that seems to get an allergic reaction each time we use caster sugar in cooking. Thanks!

Hi Jennifer,
Caster sugar is finer than regular sugar and can be dissolved more easily and quickly while beating.
You might use regular sugar though. Make sure that you beat until the sugar is dissolved completely.

Hi Christine,
I have tried this recipe twice, came out real nice! Thanks!!
I have one question, my cake seems to have yellow spots here and there, and I am not sure why. what should I do to get even color?

Hi Garlic,
Probably the yolks weren't mixed well, leaving yellow spots in the batter. If the eggs were chilled before, it's hard to break them down. Next time try leaving the yolks at room temperature for a while. Then beat the yolks first, then add the sugar. See how it goes.

Hi Christine
How can I adjust this recipe to make a chocolate/coffee sponge cake?

You might add one or two tablespoons of cocoa powder or coffee powder.

Hi Christine, my cake did not rise, not soft, not fluffy.

I read all the comments and the recipes seems to work for everyone. I wonder where I mess up.

I weighed the ingredients, followed each step, the cake batter loked exactly like yours in the video, using 8 inch round pan, baked 350 degrees 30 minutes.

If your measurement was right, followed all the steps exactly right and the batter looked exactly like mine, I really don't know what went wrong with your cake. I wasn't with you while you made this cake. So anything that I say will just be guesses.

I tried making the Hokkaido Milk Bread last weekend and it was a success! First time I got a good recipe from internet :) My kids loves the bread so much that I am going to bake it this week again. This time, I am going to try this sponge cake receipe!

Hi May,
So glad that you made the Hokkaido Milk Bread. It's a big hit in my family too. :)

Hope you also get big success on making this sponge cake.

Hi, Christine,
I live in rural China, and a local friend of mine has been telling me for weeks that she wanted to try to make a sponge cake. It's hard to find certain ingredients and equipment in this small town, but I recently found an electric mixer on Taobao, and brought back some vanilla from a recent trip to England. Anyway, today my friend came over, and I googled "sponge cake recipe"and found your page. I suggested that we watch your video first, and said apologetically, "it will be in English, but at least you can see how it's done"."(My friend doesn't speak English). Imagine our surprise when we realized the video was in both Chinese and English! So we made the cake, substituting vegetable oil for butter (butter isn't available in our small town, I have to buy it at the nearest large city, and it's very expensive). It was a great success! My friend and her seven-year-old son loved it! I'm sure we'll be visiting this page again.

Hi Zanmei,
Glad that my recipe and video helped you and your friend. Congrats on your success at your first attempt. I feel happy for you too!

Egg-Yolk Sponge Cake

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Carol
Photo By: sunnysideup
Servings: 14
“This is a moist and tender cake with plenty of orange flavor.”
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup egg yolks
1 egg

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice, strained
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Sift together twice: flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour back into sifter.
3. In a large mixing bowl beat egg yolks and whole eggs with an electric mixer until thick and lemon colored (about 5 minutes). Gradually add sugar, beating after each addition. This should take about 10 minutes.
4. Fold in orange rind, orange juice, and lemon extract. Sift dry ingredients into egg and sugar mixture and fold in. Do not stir or beat. Add boiling water and fold in quickly, just until liquid is blended. Pour batter into one ungreased 10 inch tube pan.
5. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 60 to 65 minutes. Turn cake over in pan on a wire rack and let cake hang for 1 hour or until cool. Loosen cake sides from pan with a spatula and shake from pan. Dust top lightly with confectioner’s sugar or frost with Orange Butter Frosting.