Corner Café

May 12, 2009

Basic Sponge Cake with Passionfruit Cream

Filed under: Basics,Cakes & Cupcakes — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,



There are two very popular homemade sponge cakes here in Australia; one filled with jam and cream, the other with passionfruit icing or cream. I have already posted the jam and cream version coupled with the delightfully light and airy cornflour sponge cake.
This time, I have done a more classic version of the sponge cake. With this version, the eggs are beaten whole instead of beating the egg whites separately first as for the cornflour sponge (beating egg whites separately produces a very airy cake). By beating the eggs whole, it produces a less airy cake but with a very fine texture, which is still very fluffy and light.


This sponge is more suitable to be used as a base for decorated cakes, as it is not as fragile as the cornflour sponge. However for the most simple serving suggestion, do as most Australians do, which is either to sandwich the sponge with jam and cream, or as I have done here, with passionfruit cream.

Makes one 20cm cake

Basic Sponge Cake:
4 eggs
2g (1/2 teaspoon) fine salt
140g (5 oz) caster sugar
140g (5 oz) cake flour *
3g (3/4 teaspoon) baking powder
30g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
30ml (1 fl oz) hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Passionfruit Cream:
1 quantity Crème Chantilly
170g-tin passionfruit pulp in syrup **

* If cake flour is not available, use 100g (2/3 cup) plain flour + 40g (4 tablespoons) cornflour instead.
** Use fresh passionfruit pulp when in season.
Basic Sponge Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 170-180°C. Grease a 20cm x 6cm deep round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift cake flour and baking powder three times, set aside. Mix melted butter and hot water together; set aside.
2. Beat eggs and salt for about 1 minute on medium high speed. Start adding sugar gradually as you continue to beat the egg mixture. Beat until the mixture leaves a trail of ribbon when you lift the egg beater; total beating time can be 6 to 10 minutes depending on the power of your beater.

The ribbon stage: When you lift up the beater and write a figure ‘8’, it should stay visible for a short while.

3. Sift the flour mixture in about 3 to 4 batches onto the egg mixture. Fold in with a big metal spoon after sifting in each batch of flour mixture. Once all the flour is folded in, add vanilla if using, and pour the melted butter and hot water mixture along the outer edges of the mixing bowl and fold in until thoroughly combined; do this as lightly and quickly as you can.


4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and give the tin a tap on the bench to get rid of any large bubbles in the batter. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until cooked.
5. Remove from oven and give the tin another tap on the bench. Turn out immediately on to a clean tea towel placed on top of a wire rack; tea towel prevents wire rack marking top of the sponge. Immediately turn right side up on to another wire rack to cool completely; cool away from draughts to avoid shrinking.


6. Fill the cake only on the day of serving. Split the cake in half horizontally. Sandwich with half the Passionfruit Cream. Top the cake with the remaining Passionfruit Cream. Drizzle more passionfruit pulp on top.


Passionfruit Cream:
Make the Crème Chantilly as directed but omit the vanilla or liqueur. Fold in about 2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp to the whipped cream. If you are using tinned passionfruit pulp, it might be a good idea to drain some of the syrup off so the pulp is not too thin with liquid. You can use the drained syrup to brush onto the cake layer before piling on the cream if desired.

Taste: Light and fluffy classic sponge cake with a tangy passionfruit cream
Consume: Best within 1 to 2 days
Storage: Store plain unfilled sponge, covered or in cake container, in the refrigerator if kept overnight
Recipe Reference(s):


  1. Wonderful & luscious looking cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ve been avoiding sponge cake because I hate having to whisk the egg yolk and egg white separately. I may try this recipe with blueberry topping (instead of the horrendously expensive passion fruit).

    Comment by Tuty — May 12, 2009 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  2. so far my experience with sponge is not good. I have yet to master the technique. haiz. Will try yours when my faith rekindle. hehee

    Comment by Edith — May 12, 2009 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

    • Just a useful tip, don’t use cold eggs, make sure the eggs are at room temperature when you use them to make sponge cake.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 13, 2009 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  3. HI Seadragon
    i tried to access the link to see how to make the cream but it said no posts matched criteria…

    Comment by octopusmum — May 15, 2009 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for letting me know, I’ve fixed the problem.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 16, 2009 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  4. Hello Sea Dragon, your cake is too pretty to eat!

    Comment by The Little Teochew — May 16, 2009 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  5. Do you know how much I love your blog? I’ve been reading it for years and again just wanted to thank you so much for maintaining such a great blog! I love the scrumptious pictures you put up and the wonderful recipes you share. Thanks for putting in the hard work and effort and time into this blog. It’s just brilliant! ^_^

    Comment by Tea — May 21, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

    • Hi Tea,
      Thank you so much for the kind words, it really brightens up my day reading that, cheers 🙂

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 22, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  6. lovely and looks so yummy.

    Comment by novia — May 24, 2009 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  7. I don’t hv much luck with sponge cake but I’ll try this one. I’ve tried the sponge cake you posted for your tirimisu cake. It’s a little dry, may be I went wrong somewhere. Will let you know of the result. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Moon Apple — October 2, 2009 @ 1:31 am | Reply

    • Did you only make the sponge cake from that recipe or did you also make the filling and frosting as well? It shouldn’t be dry as the filling and frosting makes that cake very moist. If you only make the sponge cake, that sponge cake recipe is quite dry by itself, as it is a sponge cake used only for decorating with filling and frosting. It is the same with this ‘Basic Sponge Cake’ recipe, if I’ve included filling and frosting for a recipe, please DO NOT just bake the cake only, as you are not supposed to eat only the sponge cake by itself! If you want moist sponge-like cake, please use chiffon cake recipes.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 4, 2009 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  8. Hi,
    I always have problem with slicing cake into half
    Any tips how you do that. You slice your cake beautifully!

    Comment by Simonne — January 10, 2010 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

    • No special secret, I just use a long straight serrated bread knife to cut.

      Comment by SeaDragon — January 13, 2010 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

  9. This cake looks very light and fluffy, yet i am always too scared to try the whole egg sponge, or genoise method, as it has always been unsuccessful for me. I feel much safer whisking the eggs seperately, into yolks and whites. Could i do that with this recipe? How much difference would it make?

    thanks in advance for a reply

    Comment by linda — July 22, 2010 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  10. Hi Sea Dragon, I just found your blog and have been reading it for the last couple of days. I see a lot of inspiring recipes! Thank you so much for posting My kids love cake and whipped cream with fruits. We always end up buying them from the bakery for special occasions. I have been trying to make a good sponge cake but not successfully yet. It usally turns out too tight or too dry. To avoid the risk sometimes I use Betty Crocker’s or Duncan Hine’s cake mixes. The cake texture always turn out perfect, but always too sweet for me. I want to reduce the sweetness; I will definitely try your recipe.

    By the way I really would like to access your Boxes of Recipes. Is this the link which you require visitors to share two recipes to get a password for viewing?

    Comment by Cherry Apple — October 3, 2011 @ 11:43 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your interest. However, my Boxes of Recipes blog is not available to anyone except family members, they are my private online backup of recipes I’ve collected over the last 10 years. Most of the recipes in there are recipes you can find online anyway, and many are copyrighted so I really should not make them publicly available in my blog.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 4, 2011 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  11. Hi Sea Dragon, I made the cake tonight but it didn’t turn ot right. The texture is too tight and dry, it only rise to about 1.5 inches in height. I used a 10 inch round pan, baked it at 350 degrees fereheit for about 28 minutes, the toothpick came out clean. What could be wrong? I used room temperature eggs, beat them till the figure 8 is visible, sift the flour and baking powder 3 times, then sifted and folded it into the egg mixtue in 4 batches. Add the hot water and melted butter last, around the edge, and fold in carefully, lightly, and quickly.

    I really want to get this right. Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated. I took some pictures but how do I upload to show you? Would some pictures help figure out the problem?

    I am thinking maybe my pan is too big. According to the recipe I should use an 8 inch pan. I also reduce the sugar from 140 to 100 grams. Can these two changes cause the problem?

    Any assistancewill be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    Comment by Cherry Apple — October 27, 2011 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

    • From what you described, it sounds like you have success with this recipe! Reducing sugar will affect the texture slightly but it should still be OK (in that case I would also reduce flour to about 100g which will give you a lighter cake and not as ‘tight’ structure but will shrink slightly).

      This sponge cake is a very old- fashioned sponge cake recipe which gives a compact (or as what you described as tight?) structure that prevents it from shrinking and, yes it is ‘dry’ because it is what a real sponge cake is supposed to taste like (and should always be paired with cream or other frosting so the cake doesn’t taste ‘dry’, or brush with sugar syrup to provide moisture). If you are used to making cakes using cake mixes or buying commercial cakes, home-made sponge cake from scratch will taste radically different because home-made sponge cake does not use artificial cake emulsifier which is an ingredient in all cake mixes and also many commercial cakes. Incidentally commercial cakes tastes so sweet because sugar helps to moisten cake as well as providing sweetness. If you are after a moist and light cake and not too sweet, try (Japanese-style) chiffon cake recipes. Hope this helps.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 27, 2011 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  12. Seadragon, I was trying to see if I could just email you since this is not really related to your passionfruit sponge cake recipe, but since I don’t seen am email address, I am using this comment box. I want to tell you to google “rum raisin sponge cake.” You will find a wonderful recipe posted by someone who lives in Indonesia. I made it yesterday and it is really good. I would really like your take on it Here is the link. I hope I am not doing anything wrong by showing you the link here. Regine!

    Comment by Regine — March 24, 2012 @ 5:30 am | Reply

    • No worries, you can provide links here. Otherwise, you can also use my forum “Home Cooking Club” (even though I have closed it down, it is still open to existing members) and share or discuss recipes there.
      I have a look at that recipe, at first I thought it was a Victoria Sponge, but no as it has double the amount of eggs and used oil instead of butter, it is also not a traditional sponge as it has much too much oil in the recipe, so I think it looks more like a Chiffon Cake recipe than anything else, except they used all oil instead of a mixture of oil and juice (or milk) which is usually the case for a proper chiffon cake. I haven’t try anything like that yet so can’t really comment on that.

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 24, 2012 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  13. Hello SeaDragon I just wanna say thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe, I have a question what kind of cake flour should I use? is it any special?

    Best Regards

    Comment by Ariana — November 5, 2013 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

    • Any kind of cake flour (low-gluten plain flour) that you can get your hands on can be used. Otherwise if you cannot find cake flour, just use plain flour (all-purpose flour) which works just as well.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 6, 2013 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  14. Hi , may I know how long cannot be store with passion fruit cream ?
    Need to be chill in fridge ?

    Comment by Raeka — December 29, 2013 @ 3:02 am | Reply

    • Once you put the cream on the cake, it is best to finish it that day.
      If there is some leftover, it can be chilled overnight in the refrigerator and finish the next day, but no longer than that.

      Comment by SeaDragon — December 29, 2013 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  15. Hi , may I know how long cannot be store with passion fruit cream and it need to be chill in fridge ?

    Comment by Raeka — December 29, 2013 @ 3:03 am | Reply

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