Sponge Cake (Pantespani in Greek) is one of my favourite kind of cakes, which I use to make birthday cakes. Sometimes I make it plain and sometimes I add dark cocoa in it and I love that it is so versatile that you can make so many different things with it.
I make Birthday Cakes with different fillings and decorations and with the same recipe I also make Swiss Rolls or roulades.
Sponge cake can be used as a base for different kinds of cakes and desserts.
The most important part is to take great care to incorporate air in the beating, whisking and sieving stages. The method shown below is when you use a hand mixer. You should be cautious when breaking and separating each egg. You should do it in a different container because if yolk falls in the egg whites, the meringue will not become stiff. Lemon juice is added to the egg whites which helps make the meringue stiff.
If you have a very powerful stand mixer you do not have to whisk the egg whites separately.
If you want to cut the sponge cake into layers, it is best to prepare the sponge cake from the previous day or at least many hours in advance so that you may cut it easier.
Pantespani (Basic Sponge Cake)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 50 – 60 minutes
- 6 eggs (about 55 – 60 grams each) separated
- 1 cup cake flour*
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Note: If you want a chocolate sponge cake, reduce flour by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup cocoa powder. If you don’t mind a more dense cake do not substitute cake flour with cocoa but just add additional 1/4 – 1/2 cup cocoa to the above recipe to get a darker sponge.
*To make 1 cup cake flour: In a measuring cup add two tablespoons corn flour (starch) and fill it with all purpose flour. Sift the two kinds of flour into a sifter set over a bowl before using, a few times so that they are well combined. Use it in any recipe using cake flour.
- Whip eggs whites with lemon juice until eggs are stiff.
- In a separate bowl beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until light and creamy.
- Sift flour with all the dry ingredients.
- Add a little flour alternating with a little meringue by gently folding the ingredients until all ingredients are well incorporated to the mixture.
- Preheat oven at 180ο.C – 350οF.
- (Alternatively, if you have a powerful mixer, beat eggs (whole) with sugar on high speed until white and fluffy. Lower speed to minimum and add the remaining ingredients).
- Line a 28 cm / 11 inch diameter springform pan with parchment paper and add mixture. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick or a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out neatly clean.
- Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool before cutting it.
Use this as a base for many cakes.
Note: If you want to cut the sponge into three pieces just use a 23 cm / 9 inch baking tin. It is best to use a serrated knife to cut the sponge.
How to make a roulade:
- The procedure is the same as above only the baking time is reduced to 20 minutes.
- Use a baking tin 35 x 40 cm., which is lined with parchment paper and the height of the batter should not be more than 1 – 2 cm before baking.
- When it is baked, sprinkle icing sugar to cover all its surface and roll it with the paper while it is still hot.
- When it cools, carefully remove the paper.
Some ideas for Cakes and Roulades:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,