Sponge cake

Hands up who wouldn’t want a slice of sponge cake right now! Sponge cake is one of those really quick desserts you can make at home with just a few simple ingredients. Some eggs, some flour, sugar, a lemon, a little baking powder, et voilà, and soon you’ll have a really wonderful cake that will delight your children, and adults too. In fact, a sponge cake, together with the simple doughnut and the ‘paradise’ sponge cake - two of its famous and equally popular "cousins" - are the tea-time treats that you really can’t do without in a house where there are children. If you want to make it even more appealing, maybe when you’re having a get together with your adult friends, you can fill it with Italian custard or with a generous layer of creamed chocolate or Nutella. Alternatively, as a snack to be enjoyed every day at breakfast or in the mid-afternoon, serve it as it is, simply dusted with icing sugar.


60 minutes Total time
40 minutes Active time
Serves 6 persons
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Divide the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in order to get a nice frothy mixture. Add the sifted flour, the grated zest of a lemon, melted butter and yeast. Beat everything together again with a whisk. Add the milk. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the egg whites, stirring gently from bottom to top. Bake in a springform pan lined with parchment paper; 40 minutes at 180°C will be sufficient. Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

When beating the egg whites, add a pinch of salt: they will stiffen up even more effectively! Another tip: when cooking a cake, never open the oven during the first twenty minutes. You risk stopping the cake from rising perfectly!
It seems that the Italian name for this cake ‘margherita’ – meaning ‘daisy’ - derives from the daisy colour contrast that occurs between the yellow and the white on the surface of the dough when dusted with icing sugar.

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