A regular sponge cake pan should be ungreased. A preheated 350 degree F. oven is the best heat for baking a sponge cake. When the cake is done, the pan should be inverted to cool for about an 90 minutes. Before removing the cake from the pan, the sides should be loosened with a knife. It is best not to try to cut a fresh sponge cake with a knife; use a divider with prongs instead, and slide it back and forth gently.
Zell Schulman in “Let My People Ea”t offers these additional tips to keep your sponge cake from falling: have the eggs at room temperature and use only large eggs; don’t add sugar until the egg whites begin to hold small, soft peaks; beat the egg whites until good and stiff but not dry; and never make a sponge cake on a wet day!
Here are three different kinds of sponge cake.
Orange Glazed Sabra Sponge Cake
- ½ cup unsalted pareve margarine or ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons oil
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange rind
- 2 tablespoons Sabra liqueur
- 3 separated eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup potato starch
- 3 tablespoons Sabra liqueur
- 6 tablespoons orange juice
- 4 teaspoons orange rind
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, cream margarine or oil and sugar. Add 1 teaspoon orange rind, 2 tablespoons Sabra and egg yolks and blend.
2. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 2 tablespoons sugar. Add to creamed mixture gently, then stir in potato starch.
3. Pour into greased tube pan. Bake in 325 degree F. oven 45 minutes to one hour. Let cool for at least an hour then gently remove to a plate.
4. Meantime, in a bowl, combine orange juice, 3 tablespoons Sabra liqueur and 4 teaspoons orange rind. While cake is still hot, punch holes around cake with a toothpick and pour the glaze over the top..
Miriam’s Banana Cake
This is from one of my close friends in Overland Park, Kansas, who is a really creative cook and is now 88 years old.
- 7 separated eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- ¾ cup potato starch
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, then refrigerate.
2. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating continually.
Fold in bananas and potato starch. Fold in egg whites, then nuts. Turn into an ungreased tube pan and bake in 350 degree F. oven 45-50 minutes. Invert pan to cool.
Pan di Spagna
This recipe comes from “The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews” by Edda Servi Machlin.
Pan di Spagna (bread of Spain) is also called pasta reale and was made in the matzah bakery with the same flour that was used for matzot.
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup Passover cake meal
- ¼ cup potato starch
- freshly grated rind of 1 large lemon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with salt until soft peaks form.
2. In a larger bowl, place egg yolks, sugar and orange juice and beat until frothy and lemon colored.
3. Combine the cake meal with potato starch and gradually add to the egg yolk mixture, beating until the batter is smooth. Add the lemon rind and fold in the egg whites.
4. Pour into an ungreased sponge cake pan with removable bottom and bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for one hour, Remove from oven and invert over a wire rack to cool before unmolding.
Sybil Kaplan is a Jerusalem based journalist and compiler/contributor/editor of 9 kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She leads shuk walks of Machaneh Yehudah, the Jewish food market.