Paradise sponge cake

The paradise sponge cake - ‘Torta Paradiso’ - is, amongst desserts, the classic of classics. It is a soft sponge cake, ideal to be filled with cream of various kinds – Italian custard, whipped cream, chocolate cream or coffee, etc. etc. – and flavoured with fresh fruit, macaroons, chocolate flakes, lemon icing; the list goes on. In this way you can transform it into the cake you need for any occasion: if you learn to make the ‘Torta paradiso’ you will be sitting pretty gastronomically speaking - your children’s birthdays or the arrival of unexpected guests will no longer be a problem! It does not end there: the ‘Torts Paradiso’ is also very good as it is, without special fillings but simply sprinkled with icing sugar ... you can ice it, or cut it into slices, or even freeze it (yes, you read that right!). You could even have it every morning as a genuine Italian-style breakfast: nutritious and enticing together with your indispensable mug of coffee. So let’s learn to make Paradise sponge cake once and for all, for breakfast, children’s parties, or for those last minute guests ...


  • eggs 2 units
  • sugar 180 grams
  • butter 100 grams
  • potato starch 100 grams
  • icing sugar For sprinkling
  • baking powder 15g of baking powder
  • egg yolks 2 egg yolks
  • plain flour 100 grams
  • lemon zest To taste

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60 minutes Total time
35 minutes Active time
Serves 6 persons
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Allow the butter to soften for a while, then beat it with the sugar. Add the eggs, egg yolks and then beat again. At this point fold in the sifted flour and cornflour, lemon rind and baking powder. Grease a baking tray or cover it with baking parchment. Spoon the mixture into the tray and bake at 170 °C for 35 minutes. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. Then sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar. Serve.

The ‘Torta Paradiso’ will keep well for a day or two. However, if you intend to enjoy it the day after you make it we recommend storing it in a cake tin with a lid, thereby ensuring it remains moist and fragrant.
It was Enrico Vigoni, famous pastry chef of Pavia, who invented the sponge cake known in Italy as ‘Torta Paradiso’. It seems that the name derives from the fact that one of the first customers who tasted it said that he had just been treated to a cake ‘from paradise’.

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