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Gluten Free Sponge Cake

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

This gluten free sponge cake is light and airy, and so simple to make. Serve it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries on a hot day. It’s perfect for Memorial Day, or any day!

This gluten free sponge cake is light and airy, and so simple to make. Serve it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries on a hot day. It's perfect for Memorial Day, or any day!

Gluten free sponge cake is a light and airy treat that I think of almost like a blank gluten free cake canvas. It has such mild flavor and tender texture you can serve it a million different ways: with or without fruit, with just a big dollop of whipped cream, or with a drizzle of simple syrup. And it’s the perfect end to a big meal on a warm day.

This gluten free sponge cake is light and airy, and so simple to make. Serve it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries on a hot day. It's perfect for Memorial Day, or any day!

Sponge cake is very similar to gluten free angel food cake, but it includes the egg yolks instead of just the whites, resulting in a more flavorful, slightly more moist cake.

This gluten free sponge cake is light and airy, and so simple to make. Serve it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries on a hot day. It's perfect for Memorial Day, or any day!

You can make this cake in a bundt or tube pan, but I don’t recommend it. Since sponge cake doesn’t have much fat (only that from the egg yolks), it has a tendency to stick a bit. And those pans are like cake prison.

You’re much better off baking in a round cake pan. Generally, I bake one 9-inch cake, then slice it through the center and layer in some whipped cream or 7-minute frosting. In these photos, I increased the recipe by 50% and baked it in two 8-inch cake pans, then layered with frosting and berries.

This gluten free sponge cake is light and airy, and so simple to make. Serve it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries on a hot day. It's perfect for Memorial Day, or any day!

A word about the gluten free flour blend in this recipe. Please use my basic Gum-Free Basic Gluten Free Flour Blend, or your favorite, comparable blend. But no xanthan gum! I learned the hard way that a xanthan gum-containing blend will clump with the egg yolk mixture terribly. No bueno.

So fill it with berries and cream, serve it plain or cut it into cubes and layer it into your favorite trifle. So easy, and so versatile.

Links:
Trifle recipe ideas
Tips for whipping egg whites

This gluten free sponge cake is light and airy, and so simple to make. Serve it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries on a hot day. It's perfect for Memorial Day, or any day!
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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 9-inch round cake

Ingredients

4 eggs (200 g, out of shell), separated

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice)

10 tablespoons (88 g) Basic Gum Free Gluten Free Flour Blend (58 g superfine white rice flour + 19 g potato starch + 11 g tapioca starch/flour)

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan* well and set it aside.

    *Alternatively, multiply all of the ingredients in this recipe by 150% or 1.5. Follow the recipe instructions as written, but divide the batter between two 8-inch cake pans. Bake them for about 25 minutes or until the cakes have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached.

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow. Sift the flour blend, cornstarch and salt into the egg yolk mixture, and beat until well-combined. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

  • Clean out the mixer bowl very well, and place the egg whites and cream of tartar or lemon juice in the bowl, fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, and beat until glossy, stiff (but not dry) peaks form. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture and the vanilla into the egg white mixture, and beat until just combined. The mixture should be smooth and glossy.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread into an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 35 minutes). Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Serving Suggestion: Cool the cake completely, then wrap it tightly and freeze for 30 minutes. Unwrap and slice the cake in half horizontally, fill with fresh whipped cream or 7-minute frosting and a layer of sliced strawberries. Top with the other half of the cake, more whipped cream or frosting and another layer of sliced strawberries. Chill for about 2 hours before serving.

  • Recipe originally published on the blog in 2013. Recipe method and ingredients updated slightly; photos updated. 

Love,
Nicole

  • This looks fabulous! I love all these basic every day recipes made over – you’re the best! :)

    • gfshoestring

      Thanks, Jennifer! I’m all about the every day comfort recipes. I just want us to have the same choices as everyone else. Full stop!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle

    Thanks so much for this! I love the strawberry cream cake in the picture, and I have an old recipe from a neighbor that uses a sponge cake and lemon- I’ll have to see if I still have the recipe. Yay!

    • gfshoestring

      Sounds fab, Michelle!
      xoxo Nicole

  • okay, I have another question. I want to try the sourdough recipe in your book. So I made the starter and following the directions leaving it on the counter. I don’t want to put it in the fridge, I want to use it! So I don’t need to feed it right? I would only need to feed it if I had it in the frig, right?!

    • gfshoestring

      If you have just made it and it is ripe, Katherine, then that’s right. Just use it!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Amy

        Could you use this recipe to make a trifle?

        • gfshoestring

          Sure could, Amy! Anything you could do with a conventional sponge cake recipe, you can do with this one. :)
          xoxo Nicole

    • If you have just made it and it is ripe, Katherine, then that’s right. Just use it!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennifer

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! I have to say, I love love love your cookbooks! My all time favorite recipe as of right now is the sweet and sour chicken. I also love your fresh pasta dough for homemade lasagna and pierogies!

    Something I find to be helpful when removing cakes from pans is to line the pan with wax paper before cooking. It makes removing cakes super easy and less cleanup!

    • actually a safer option to wax paper would be unbleached parchment paper. but great tip! :)

      • gfshoestring

        Thanks for jumping in, Jennifer! Baking with wax paper is generally not a good idea!
        xoxo Nicole

  • Pingback: Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity would celebrate, but too tired()

  • Judy

    Oops, you call for 3/4 cup sugar in the ingredients list, but when I get to the directions, each step calls for 1/2 cup sugar!. Which step calls for the 1/4 cup?

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Judy, the following step properly said 50 grams of sugar, but improperly stated the volume. I have fixed it. Sorry about that!
      Nicole

  • WTFPinterest.com

    I have this in the oven right now and my house smells divine! Thanks, Nicole! I can already tell this is going to be another of your recipes that Celiac me falls in love with and my party guests would never think is gluten-free. You give gluten-free a good name, my dear! Thank you!
    OXO
    Allison

    • gfshoestring

      Oh, Allison, I just saw on Twitter what Grover the Cat did to your lovely sponge cake! Well, practice makes perfect. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Gail

        Made this tonight… so good!! However the bottom stuck to the pan. We just cut wedges out and dolloped on the whipped cream and berries. Next time I will definitely use the parchment paper. Thanks Nicole, for another great recipe.

      • WTFPinterest.com

        Ha! Crazy beast! No more cooling cakes on the table for me! But I quickly baked another, topped it with whipped cream and macerated strawberries, and it was devoured at the party! Perfect, perfect cake. Thank you for all you do! And P.S. I am using your bagel recipe from one of your cookbooks (I have both) combined with a recipe from the Mamafoku Milk Bar cookbook to make their Bagel Bombs. I know they will be perfect…all your recipes are!

  • WTFPinterest.com

    I have this in the oven right now and my house smells divine! Thanks, Nicole! I can already tell this is going to be another of your recipes that Celiac me falls in love with and my party guests would never think is gluten-free. You give gluten-free a good name, my dear! Thank you!
    OXO
    Allison

    • Oh, Allison, I just saw on Twitter what Grover the Cat did to your lovely sponge cake! Well, practice makes perfect. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • WTFPinterest.com

        Ha! Crazy beast! No more cooling cakes on the table for me! But I quickly baked another, topped it with whipped cream and macerated strawberries, and it was devoured at the party! Perfect, perfect cake. Thank you for all you do! And P.S. I am using your bagel recipe from one of your cookbooks (I have both) combined with a recipe from the Mamafoku Milk Bar cookbook to make their Bagel Bombs. I know they will be perfect…all your recipes are!

  • Amy

    Could you use this recipe to make a trifle?

    • Sure could, Amy! Anything you could do with a conventional sponge cake recipe, you can do with this one. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Gail

    Made this tonight… so good!! However the bottom stuck to the pan. We just cut wedges out and dolloped on the whipped cream and berries. Next time I will definitely use the parchment paper. Thanks Nicole, for another great recipe.

    • Robin Poe

      I had my doubts, so I used parchment the first time.

  • Heather G

    Wow!!! I grew up with my mom making both Angel Food and Sponge cake and so many people don’t know the difference. You always amaze me by coming up with GF recipes to all my childhood favorites. Visiting my mom in June and she’s going to give this a try for me. I can’t wait. Doing the Happy Dance!! Thank you!!

    • Heather G

      BTW, my mom has a special pan she uses for this cake. It has a removable bottom. When done, she slides a knife around the sides, pops it out, then takes the bottom off. Can you tell I’m not the baker in our family, since I don’t know what it’s called. Hopefully I’ll inherit it :-)

      • That’s called a tube pan, Heather (if it has straight sides). You can see one at work in this gluten free angel food cake post. They do still tend to be difficult to work with, even with the removable bottom!

        • ctgal

          My mother had, and I have now, 2 9 inch cake pans with removable bottoms, just like tart pans. I cannot think of what they would be useful for. Could Heather G. be talking about that? I so want to use them as they are my mother’s, and I no longer can ask her. Any suggestions?

  • Nora

    The flour blend 58 grams , 19 grams and 11 grams how much in cups please ?

    • To build a gluten free flour blend, Nora, you must use a kitchen scale. The amounts simply don’t translate into volume measurements neatly, and volume measurements are just too imprecise. For a further discussion, please see my gluten free flour page.

  • Jennifer S.

    This looks delicious!!! :)

  • Joanne

    Friends, which is more important to the recipe, the number of eggs or the weight of the eggs out of the shell?

    • Lynne

      The weight of the eggs is the most important!

  • Dalya

    Hi! I’ve been wanting to try one of your recipes for awhile now, and I finally tried this recipe! The cake is in the oven now and I’m so excited to try it! I didn’t use your flour blend recipe since i didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, so I used Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 cup flour. I hope it works! :-)

    • Dalya

      The cake cake out amazing! I basically at the entire pan (minus a few pieces). Thanks for the recipe!

  • Celesté Pienaar

    Hi there. Just bought Gluten free on a Shoestring bakes bread ebook. So excited. Can this recipe be made into cupcakes?

  • a brick

    I’m new to GF – the test run of this cake was easy and turned out fantastic on the first try! Thank you for measurements in grams! Can’t wait to make it for the occasion! ^_^

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