Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chinese-Style Sponge Cake

Ideal for kids as it's not super sweet and it pairs wonderfully with fresh fruit. Use diced or sliced strawberries, peaches, and/or berries. Frost with barely-sweetened whipped cream.

This cake is great for making strawberry shortcake too.


3/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar (if you don't want to buy some, it's cool. You can always use regular sugar. If you have a small blender, you can turn regular sugar into superfine sugar by blending it for a minute)
6 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

diced or sliced fresh fruit

butter and cake flour for pans
parchment paper
cake pan(s)


1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Butter the bottom and sides of your cake pan. Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of your pan. Then butter the paper. Coat the bottom and sides with a thin layer of cake flour.

2. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the sugar with the egg yolks and beat until thick and pale yellow. Stir in the vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they are starting to form peaks. Then slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, a little bit at a time. Continue to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

4. Spoon half of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture and fold them together gently, to minimize volume loss. Fold in the flour in small increments. Fold in the milk and oil. Gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.

5. Pour the batter into your cake pan(s). Gently tap the sides to evenly distribute the batter and release any air bubbles.

6. Bake for 20ish minutes or until the top is just barely turning light brown. If you're using a dark or non-stick pan, then you may need to cook for a little longer. If you're using a glass or light aluminum pan, then cook for a little less time. I cooked my cake in a 12x12 shiny, aluminum pan and it was perfect in exactly 15 minutes. Watch the cake carefully.

7. As the cake cools, it will shrink a little bit. So when you pull it out of the oven, run a knife along the edges of your pan to make sure the cake will shrink evenly on all sides. Leave the cake in the pan to cool completely before removing it and peeling off the parchment paper.

8. This step is optional, but it will help if your cake ends up a little dry. Prepare some simple syrup by mixing 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and just barely bring it to a boil. Then let it cool. Once it's cool, brush the simple syrup over the cake.

9. The whipped cream frosting I made was super simple. Mix 1 pint of whipping cream with 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until the whipped cream is thick and spreadable.

10. Assemble your cake layers putting a layer of whipped cream and fruit in the middle. Then frost your whole cake with the rest of your whipped cream. Decorate with more fresh fruit.