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Simple step by step instructions for the perfect sponge cake dough. With these tips, baking biscuits will be child's play in the future!

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Sponge cake is perfect as a fruit cake base, for Swiss rolls or as a base for multi-tier cakes. With this Basic biscuit recipe and not much can go wrong with my tips. In the following, you will learn what you have to pay attention to when baking a biscuit base and which different variants there are.

Sponge cake is a light, frothy mass made from lots of eggs, sugar and flour. With the exception of the Wiener Boden there is no fat in it except that from the eggs, which means that the result is quite low in fat, but also rather dry. Sponge cake recipes are the basis for lavishly filled sponge rolls and tarts, the basis for fruit cakes and small baked goods such as ladyfingers and egg cookies. The problem: If you do something wrong with the biscuit mixture, you may end up with a thin, hard cake base instead of an airy, high dough. So that this doesn't happen to you, read the step-by-step instructions for the perfect sponge cake base carefully.

Sponge cake with whole or separated eggs

Before starting, you have to decide whether you want to make the biscuit with whole or separated eggs. There are two different ways of preparing sponge cake: Sponge cake with whole eggs and hot water, or sponge cake with separated eggs and stiff egg whites. Which you use is a matter of taste and belief. Basically, the biscuit recipe with hot water and whole eggs is a little looser and more voluminous, the one with egg whites a little firmer. When using a food processor, I would recommend whole eggs, because you can easily beat 10 minutes volume into the mass with this and the variant is more suitable for beginners. If you only have a hand mixer, you should still take separate eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff.

Sponge cake recipe with step-by-step instructions

Baking the sponge cake: preparation

The basis of every good biscuit is a voluminous mass. The ingredients for sponge cake should be at room temperature. So take the eggs out of the fridge early enough! Important: The baking pan is not greased. Otherwise the sponge dough will not rise or collapse. Instead, just cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Stirring the sponge cake: preparation

For biscuits with separated eggs, perfect egg whites are crucial. To do this, separate the eggs neatly; The bowl and whisk must be absolutely free of grease so that the snow becomes stiff. The egg whites are ready when they form peaks and you could theoretically turn the bowl upside down. For sponge cakes with whole eggs, these are beaten for a very long time, together with the sugar, until they are lightly foamed. Then sieve flour and baking powder (and possibly starch) so that no lumps are formed. Very important: Do not stir in the flour mixture, just fold in carefully! And not all at once, but gradually! Otherwise the air bubbles will escape from the egg mixture and the biscuit will not open or become airy.

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Baking sponge cake: How to use it

Your sponge cake base is baked when it no longer feels damp, but is not too dry either. But don't open the oven too early! If you want to cut a high sponge cake base, for example for cakes, you should let it cool down well first. The best way to separate biscuits is with a very large sharp knife, thread or a cake divider.

Recipe variations: chocolate biscuit and Viennese mass

Depending on the type of pastry, sometimes more, sometimes fewer eggs are used in the biscuit recipe. For particularly juicy and firm biscuits ("Viennese mass"), liquid butter is also added to the dough; Eggs and sugar are whipped over the hot water bath. Chocolate sponge cake is made by replacing 20-30 grams of the flour with the same cocoa. Unsweetened baking cocoa is best for the chocolate sponge cake.

Typical biscuit problems

The sponge cake does not rise or collapse

There are a variety of reasons that can cause sponge cake to stay flat, hard or dry:
The sponge cake was not frothy enough: A light, frothy, thick egg and sugar mixture is important for a perfect sponge cake base. If you use whole eggs, they must be beaten with the mixer for 5-10 minutes.
The sponge cake was stirred: Flour as well as any baking powder and cornstarch may no longer be mixed in with the biscuit, but only carefully folded in. Otherwise the air bubbles will escape from the egg mixture, the sponge cake base will not become airy and will not open. It is best to sieve the dry ingredients onto the egg mixture and then fold them in with a whisk or spatula. In any case, stirring for too long is definitely bad.
The sponge cake stood around too long: Sponge cake must be baked immediately after folding in the ingredients. If not, the sponge cake will not be fluffy, but rather firm and flat.
The form was completely greased: The edge of the baking pan should not be greased with biscuits! Otherwise the dough “slips” off, cannot rise properly or collapses when you take it out of the oven. The bottom of the springform can of course be greased or covered with baking paper.
The oven temperature was not right: It is also possible that the sponge cake does not rise because the oven was not (sufficiently) preheated.
The oven door opened too early: It's good that ovens all have a window these days, so you don't have to open the stove to see anything.
The dough wasn't baked through: If the sponge cake collapses after baking, i.e. outside the oven, it may have been too raw. Next time it is better to do a chopstick test (but only open the oven towards the end of the baking time!)

The sponge cake base bulges when baking

The edge of the springform pan has probably been greased: Then the sponge cake will not rise well on the sides. A curved sponge cake base or cake base can be saved by turning it over after baking and letting it cool down with the bottom side up (on the head).

The sponge cake is too dry

If sponge cake bases and sponge doughs get dry instead of fluffy, you may have made the following mistakes:
The biscuit was in the oven too long: If you bake sponge cake too long, it can become dry and chewy. The sponge cake base is ready-baked when you press something on the surface with your finger and the sponge cake "springs". If the sponge cake has been baked too long, the pressure will remain in the dough and will not go away immediately.
In addition to the baking time, the Oven setting be to blame for a sponge cake base that is too dry. If possible, you should use top and bottom heat instead of circulating air.
Eventual Lumps of flour can make the sponge cake dry. If you sift too much flour onto the egg mixture at once, it can sink to the bottom or clump. Best to add gradually and seven.

I hope that with my tips you will always succeed in sponge cake without any problems! The following basic biscuit recipe is sufficient for either a baking sheet or a springform pan. If you use twice the amount of ingredients, you get a very high sponge cake base that can be cut into three layers for cakes.

Note: This post is the updated version of a recipe from our archive from 2015.

Note: I published this post for the first time in 2015 and last updated it in 2019.

Basic biscuit recipe

Successful basic recipe for sponge cake with whole or separated eggs. Enough for a fruit cake base. For a baking tray or cake base, simply double the quantities, the recipe makes 3 layers.
Quantity: 1 spring form 26 cm


For the sponge cake with whole eggs

  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 80 grams of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 120 grams of wheat flour, possibly half of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the biscuit with separated eggs


Sponge cake with whole eggs

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees top and bottom heat. Cover or grease the bottom of a 26 cm springform pan with baking paper. Beat the eggs with the water on the highest setting for about 8-10 minutes until lightly frothy, slowly drizzling in the sugar and salt.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Sieve the flour mixture onto the custard and fold in carefully. Put the sponge cake in the baking pan, smooth it out and bake immediately for around 15-20 minutes until it is golden yellow. If a higher floor is required for several layers, then around 35 minutes.

Sponge cake with separated eggs

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees top and bottom heat. Cover or grease the bottom of a 26 cm springform pan with baking paper. Separate the eggs neatly. Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff; slowly pour in half of the sugar. Absolutely no egg yolk should get into the egg white; In addition, the mixing bowl and whisk must be free of grease.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until creamy. Then slide the egg and sugar mixture onto the egg whites and carefully fold in. Do not stir any more, otherwise the air bubbles will escape!
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Sieve the flour mixture onto the custard and fold in carefully. Put the sponge cake in the baking pan, smooth it out and bake immediately for around 15-20 minutes until it is golden yellow. If a higher floor is required for several layers, then around 35 minutes.

General information