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5 from 11 votes

Vanilla Sponge Cake

A vanilla sponge cake that is light and fluffy! It's absolutely perfect....layer with whipped cream and fresh strawberries!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cake
Keyword: cake, vanilla
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 532kcal
Author: Heather Perine


For the vanilla sponge cake:

  • 2 2/3 cups cake flour (322 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar (463 grams)

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • strawberries sliced


To make the vanilla sponge cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/175C, with a rack in the middle. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans..
  • Make the cakes: Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a container with a spout (I used my 2-cup liquid measuring cup) whisk together the oil, milk, and vanilla.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large heatproof bowl, using a hand mixer) beat the eggs and sugar to combine. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water (with the bowl not touching the water) and heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 105F/41 C on an instant read thermometer.
  • Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whip the mixture on high speed until pale and thick, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more (this will help stabilize the foam).
  • Sprinkle about one quarter of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture in to 2 to 3 additions, mixing just until incorporated into the batter. Gradually drizzle the milk mixture into the batter, mixing just until incorporated. 
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans (about 730 grams per pan). Bake the cakes until the centers spring back when touched, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. I split the layers into two and frosted with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. But you can really use any type of buttercream you want. If you use both pans, it makes a tall cake, You could also cut each cake into two layers, and make two smaller cakes (or freeze one for later!)

To Make The Whipped Cream:

  • Place cold water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Let sit for 5 minutes. While it's sitting, place heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl if using an electric beater. Once gelatin is set, place bowl in microwave and heat until gelatin turns to liquid, about 10 seconds.
  • Turn mixer on to start beating cream. Let it run for about 1 minute and then with the mixer on high, very slowly pour the melted gelatin in, in a small steady stream.
  • Continue beating cream until you reach medium-stiff peaks. Spread or pipe whipped cream as desired. Top with fresh sliced strawberries


Grease the pans properly. There is nothing worse than having a cake that sticks! I find that greasing the sides with shortening works the best. And the addition of parchment paper on the bottom of the pans can ensure the bottoms don't stick.
Be sure to sift and measure your cake flour accurately. If you don't have any cake flour on hand, you can make your own cake flour.
When adding the dry ingredients to the egg foam mixture, be sure to do so gradually so as not to deflate the mixture. One of the reasons that a sponge cake rises and results in a light and fluffy cake is because of the air that is incorporated.
You can make this cake 4 days ahead of time. Just allow the cake too cool, then wrap each layer in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
You can also freeze this cake. Simply wrap in plastic wrap and one more layer of tinfoil or place inside a zip-loc bag. It can be frozen up to 3 months. You can allow it to thaw in the refrigerator, still wrapped, overnight. Then frost as normal.
I find frosting a frozen cake much easier and would simply unwrap the cake directly from the freezer and frost frozen. Then serve once it has come to room temperature.


Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26.1g | Saturated Fat: 7.2g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 136mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 46.5g