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A vanilla sponge cake is a must-have recipe for any cake decorator. This simple and easy sponge cake can be used for celebration cakes, novelty cakes as well as wedding cakes. A great place to start if you are new to baking a cake from scratch.

a slice of cake on a plate.
Sponge Cake – Vanilla

One of the most basic cake recipes you must have on hand when you start baking from scratch is a vanilla cake. This simple, easy and effortless vanilla sponge cake is it. Moist with a soft crumb and melts in your mouth. Made with delicious butter and plain all-purpose flour.

It is also a very versatile cake. You can use it with frosting as well as fillings such as strawberryblueberry, or other fruit fillings. One of my favorite cake filling with this is custard or pastry cream filling.

If you need a stable cake to stack at the bottom of a 4-tier wedding cake? This is it! I have used it to cover with fondant as well as modeling chocolate.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Flour – I like cake flour for this recipe because it lends a wonderful soft cake with a tender crumb. If you do not have cake flour you can make your own cake flour substitute
  • Butter – I always use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the cake. But, if salted butter is all you have use it and omit salt in the recipe.
  • Milk – I use full-fat 3% milk. You can also use skimmed or low-fat milk.
  • Vanilla – I think vanilla bean paste is perfect to use for this cake but you can certainly use vanilla extract or substitute some of the sugar for vanilla sugar.
Slice of vanilla sponge on a plate.
Sponge Cake – Vanilla
How long will this cake keep?

Unfrosted this cake will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Well wrapped in the fridge it will keep for a week. It can also be frozen for up to a month. Once frosted, it will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. In the fridge for a week and can be frozen for up to a month.

How to freeze cakes?

If you can’t use a cake immediately, I always recommend freezing rather than chilling. I find the freeze does a better job of locking in moisture as compared to the fridge.
Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, then in parchment paper. If you plan to freeze it for longer, wrap it in aluminum foil again. The parchment will prevent freezer burns while the aluminum will keep the smell of other foods from getting into the cake.

What is the difference between a white cake and a vanilla cake?

The main difference is the use of egg whites as compared to whole eggs. The absence of egg yolks in a white cake gives it a lighter and brighter batter which bakes whiter than other vanilla cakes. Using white butter or oil makes a white cake appear whiter too!

Can I use this to make 8-inch cakes?

Absolutely! the recipe card below will calculate this recipe from 6 to 16 inches for you. Just use the automatic calculator below
1 x makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes
2x makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes
3x makes 2 – 10 inch round cakes
4x makes 2 x 12 inch round cakes, etc

a slice of cake on a plate.

Vanilla Sponge Cake

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 554kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 12 servings


A vanilla sponge cake is a must-have recipe for any cake decorator. This simple and easy sponge cake can be used for celebration cakes, novelty cakes as well as wedding cakes. A great place to start if you are new to baking a cake from scratch.


Cake Batter

  • ½ cup (113 g) Butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) Sugar
  • 2 cups (250 g) Cake flour
  • 2 Eggs Large
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Vanilla buttercream

  • 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 4 cups (480 g) Powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Simple syrup

  • ½ cup (100 g) Sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Water
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F /165°C/ Gas Mark – 3
  • Grease and line the baking pans with parchment paper.. The original recipe
    – 1X makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes
    – 2X makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes
    – 3X makes 2 x 10-inch round cakes
    – 4X makes 2 x 12-inch round cakes
    – 5X makes 2 x 14-inch round cakes
  • Dry ingredients – Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Next add the eggs, one at a time. Followed by the vanilla extract.
    Pro tip– adding eggs one at a time will prevent the eggs from curdling. If the batter does curdle just add a tablespoon of flour to help stabilize it.
  • Next, add the flour and milk in three batches. Combine well but do not over mix.
    Pro tip – we do not want to activate the gluten in the flour so work gently once you add the flour.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Pro tip – using baking/ cake strips for your pans will prevent a dome and excess caramelization around the edges which looks better for layer cakes.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Pro tip – always cool cakes completely before decorating otherwise the frosting will melt on warm cakes.

Vanilla buttercream

  • In the bow of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Then, add the salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is in add the water or milk and vanilla extract.
  • Continue to whip for 2 to 3 minutes until the buttercream is pale but light and fluffy.

Simple syrup

  • To prepare the simple syrup, boil the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil a minute more – then cool completely.


  • Using a bread knife or cake leveler, level each cake layer by cutting the domes off. Brush each layer with simple syrup.
    Pro tip – Watch a video – how to level, torte, and fill cake like a pro.
  • Place the first layer on the cake board or cake stand. Add a dollop of buttercream and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then, place the second layer on top followed by more butter and the third layer. Chill the cake for 15 minutes.
    Pro tip – chilling the cake will help hold the two layers together and prevent them from moving while frosting the outside.
  • Add more frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the buttercream as best you can.
    Pro tip – an offset spatula for the top and a straight-edged spatula for the sides of the cake does a better job of smoothing. You can also dip a bench scraper in warm water for final smoothing
  • Transfer any remaining buttercream to a piping bag with a piping tip. Pipe a border on the top and bottom of the cake. Alternatively, this cake can be coved with fondant as well.

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Nutrition Information
Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Sponge Cake
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 554 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 90mg30%
Sodium 416mg18%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 82g27%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 65g72%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 773IU15%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

Keywords – Sponge cake for cake decorating, Sponge cake for novelty cakes, Vanilla Sponge Cake
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  1. I’m planning to use this recipe for a 9×13 inch cake tonight. I was going do the recipe x4 to have enough. I wonder if you would suggest baking at the same temperature if it will most likely take a lot longer to bake…

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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