How to make a 4-ingredient sponge cake (genoise cake) | natashaskitchen.com

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I love this sponge cake recipe. It’s easy and you can make hundreds of different cakes with this base. This is a classic European sponge cake (aka Genoise). Once you have this recipe down (you’ll memorize it after a couple rounds), you’ll be baking things that look and taste like they are from a fancy bakery.

This cake base takes on moisture really well from fruit, frostings, liqueurs and syrups. As you can tell from my cake recipes, I’m a sucker for moist cakes. Read on to see 11 marvelous recipes you can make using this sponge cake base.

Over the years, I’ve tested countless different ways to make this cake and this is the best, most fail-proof method for genoise that I’ve tested. This is not like American cakes and readers often question if it can really be that easy and only have 4 ingredients.

I want you to discover this gem of a cake and succeed EVERY TIME you make it. I hope you find this video helpful. We had you in mind! 🙂

Watch How To Make Sponge Cake:

Tips for Success (Read First!):

1. When no streaks of flour remain in the dough, fold a few extra times to ensure you aren’t missing pockets of flour at the bottom

2. Bake the cake layers right after folding in the flour – they should not sit too long

3. Always use a conventional oven setting (not a convection/fan setting)

4. An electric hand mixer will take 2-4 minutes longer to beat the eggs

5. Tip from reader, Hilda: “How do you know u get the right consistency? Lift up your beater (whisk) from the batter. Make a figure “8” using the batter that drip off the beater. Then count to 10 seconds. If the figure 8 still remains on top of the batter, then u have the right consistency. If the figure 8 sinks into the batter before 10 secs, then u need to beat it longer.”

6. Bake in the center of the oven

7. Place cake in a fully pre-heated oven

8. Do not open the oven door to check on the cake until towards the end

9. Let the cake cool in a room without any outdoor draft which can make it seem eggy

Sponge Cake Recipes you can master at home:

Blackberry Lemon Cake – soft and moist and has a fluffy lemon blackberry buttercream frosting.

This blackberry cake is soft and moist and has a fluffy lemon blackberry buttercream frosting.

Charlotte Cake – layers of raspberry mousse, lady fingers and fluffy cake.

With step-by-step photos, you can master Raspberry Charlotte Russe Cake! A Charlotte Dessert with layers of raspberry mousse, lady fingers and fluffy cake.

Poppy Seed Cake – fluffy and moist with a hint of rum and it’s not overly sweet.

This poppy seed cake is fluffy and moist with a hint of rum and it's not overly sweet. Follow step-by-step photos to make this poppy seed cake like a Boss!

Strawberry Sponge Cake – boasts 1 1/2 lbs of fresh strawberries. You’ll love the simple and delicious whipped cream cheese frosting.

This is THE Strawberry Cake!! It calls for 1 1/2 lbs of fresh strawberries & the whipped cream cheese frosting is simple & delicious. | natashaskitchen.com

Black Forest Cake – A chocolate version of classic genoise with 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!!

Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

Russian Apple Cake (Sharlotka) – Just 5 ingredients and 15 min of prep then your oven does the rest!

The BEST apple sharlotka cake we’ve tried. Just 5 ingredients and 15 min of prep then your oven does the rest! @natashaskitchen

Poppy Seed Cake Roll – Moist, generously filled with a cream cheese frosting, covered with velvety chocolate ganache and pummeled with salted pistachios.

This moist poppyseed cake roll is generously filled with a cream cheese frosting, covered with velvety chocolate ganache and pummeled with salted pistachios. It’s moist, sweet, tangy, chocolaty and a teensy bit salty. We have a winner!

Pomegranate Christmas Cake – With a crown of glistening pom seeds, this one’s a stunner for the holidays.

A moist Pomegranate Cake with a crown of glistening pom seeds. Pomegranate cake is fantastic top to bottom and makes for a stunning Christmas Cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Story Book Cake Roll – This cake roll is moist, rolled with a vanilla butter cream, covered in decadent chocolate and the cookie crumbs give it a subtle crunch.

You have to try this cake roll! Moist, chocolatey & stunning. Step-by-step photos! @natashaskitchen

Kiwi Berry Cake – If you love fruit, this cake will make your dreams come true. Layer after layer of gorgeous berries.

Kiwi Berry Cake Recipe - If you love fruit, this cake will make your dreams come true. Layer after layer of gorgeous fruit in this berry cake. | natashaskitchen.com

Tiramisu – if you like tiramisu, you will love this!

A simple and beautiful Tiramisu cake - if you like Tiramisu, you will LOVE this! | natashaskitchen.com

I told you I loved this cake base. I’m Completely smitten 🙂

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

4-Ingredient Sponge Cake (Video Recipe)

4.90 from 623 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Once you master this easy European sponge cake (genoise), you can make hundreds of different cakes using this base!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 2 nine inch round cakes

Instructions

Prep:

  • Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of two 9″ cake pans with parchment paper (do not grease the sides).

How to Make this Sponge Cake:

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment (this is the one I have), beat 6 large eggs for 1 minute on high speed. With the mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating 8-10 minutes until thick and fluffy.
  • Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder then sift this mixture into fluffy egg mixture one third at a time. Fold with a spatula with each addition just until incorporated. Scrape spatula from the bottom to catch any pockets of flour and stop mixing when no streaks of flour remain. Do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.
  • Divide evenly between prepared cake pans (it helps if you have a kitchen scale to weight the pans). Bake at 350˚F for 23-28 minutes (my oven took 25 min), or until top is golden brown. Remove from pan by sliding a thin spatula (here’s the one I love for cakes) around the edges then transfer to a wire rack and remove parchment backing. Cool cakes to room temperature then slice layers equally in half with a serrated knife.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: sponge cake
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

 

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • McGyver
    March 3, 2024

    Natasha,
    I made this because I was craving spongecake and strawberries. Looke djust like my mother’s cake. Just curious, the recipe, itself, doesn’t mention the parchment technique. Unless the baker is familiar or watches tghe video, they would have no idea. Just curious, what happens if they put it into a dry pan. My husband, who is a CIA grad and working chef thinks it would get mangled when trying to remove it from the pan. BTW, he’s makinf Beef Wellington for a family dinner!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 4, 2024

      Hi, I would definitely line the bottom with parchment. I do have that in the instructions as well. Can you share where you feel I should add that in the post as well to make it more clear? Are you looking higher up in the post? Here is the first step of the print friendly recipe card: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of two 9″ cake pans with parchment paper (do not grease the sides).

      Reply

  • Raquel
    February 26, 2024

    Good afternoon. Have you made this with monk fruit or stevia? My husband is diabetic. I love all your cake recipes, I just need to find something we can both enjoy. Thank you so much!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 26, 2024

      Hi Raquel! I have not. I don’t have much experience with sugar free baking alternatives. I read through the comments to see if any of my viewers had any feedback on this but I did not see any comments pertaining to this. If you experiment, please let us know how it turns out.

      Reply

  • LC
    February 10, 2024

    I love your recipes and made the cake. While it is easy, it’s bland. I added 1 tsp of vanilla, but probably could use more. And theirs no salt in the recipe? Is there suppose to be? Thank you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 11, 2024

      Hi LC! This type of sponge cake is used as a base for hundreds of European cake recipes and gets its flavor from the syrups, fruit/cream fillings, and frostings. I think that with most sponge cake recipes you’ll find that they have a very basic flavor because they don’t contain ingredients like butter, oil, milk, etc. which add flavor.
      You can add more vanilla extract, lemon, or almond extract to help add flavor to this sponge cake. If you want more of a traditional vanilla cake, I would suggest my Vanilla cake recipe.

      Reply

  • Natalia
    February 6, 2024

    Hello Natasha,

    thank you for a wonderful recipe.
    I have been using your recipe for biskvit for 5 or so years now, but looks like I used the previous version I saved years ago but cannot find now. It had 5 eggs, 3/4 cups of sugar, 1 cup of flour and no baking powder.
    Is the recipe on this page the updated version?

    Thanks,
    Natalia

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 8, 2024

      HI Natalia this recipe was updated years ago to include some baking powder for more consistent results. I think the issue was that some people were underbeating the eggs and adding just a little bit of baking powder helped make the recipe more failproof.

      Reply

  • Elena
    January 29, 2024

    Hi,
    Thank you for the recipe and instructions. Has anyone tried baking this cake in a tube pan?
    Regards,
    Elena

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 29, 2024

      Hi Elena! You’re very welcome. I have not tested that. I looked through the comments but did not see that somebody has tried that.

      Reply

  • Daniela
    January 7, 2024

    Heya, how tall are you cake pans ? also are they sandwich pans ? Thanks so much

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 7, 2024

      I used 9″ cake pans, it is a standard cake pan. I have a link to the pan I use in my Amazon shop.

      Reply

  • Ramya Pasumarthy
    January 5, 2024

    Thanks for the amazing reciepe natasha..I tried last week and it came very well.. do you recommend doubling or tripling recipe? I want to do that for bigger cakes

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 5, 2024

      Hi Ramya! If you have a bowl large enough to properly fit and incorporate the ingredients well without over mixing the batter, you can increase the recipe. You’ll have to experiment with the pan sizes and baking time.

      Reply

  • NoniB
    January 2, 2024

    I’ve previously made three-ingredient Italian sponge, just the same minus the bit of baking powder and I like this one better. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 2, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Larissa
    December 13, 2023

    Hi Natasha

    Love this recipe!!! Have made it a few times for various cakes. This time I was wondering if I can make it a chocolate sponge cake?? I looked at the Black Forest version but did not want to use butter as thought it maybe too heavy. Please advise

    Big thank you
    Larissa

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 14, 2023

      Great to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. I haven’t tried making that version to advise. If you do an experiment, we’d love to know how it goes!

      Reply

  • christine
    December 5, 2023

    hi! first time mking a spinge cake! i woould say i aced the sponge part but i lacked the part where my sponge cake tasted like egg amd smelled lime it. i didnt habe time to habe the egg at room temperture so would that also effect how ots made?

    And i cant wait to make the strawberry cake!

    thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2023

      Hi Christine, I can’t wait for your to try it either! Normally this should not taste or smell eggy. The most common reason for that would be under beating the eggs and sugar. I suggest watching the video tutorial to see if your cake looked the same and if not, try to determine where it started looking different in the process. Another reason for an eggy smell would be if the cake was cooled in an area of the outdoor draft – the same thing goes for any egg-based dessert-like meringue or egg-based cakes. Also, be sure to use fresh eggs. Some people are more sensitive to eggs so you can also try to mask the egg flavor with a little vanilla or lemon extract in the cake batter next time. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Rubes
    November 24, 2023

    Hi Natasha, the video is missing. I love your easy going and fun way of teaching! Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 24, 2023

      Hi Rubes! What device are you using? I tested this on my phone and desktop and I am seeing the video attached and able to watch it. It’s linked above underneath the note: “Watch How To Make Sponge Cake.” I would try refreshing or restarting your device to see if it corrects the issue.

      Reply

  • Zhenya
    November 13, 2023

    Hello, wondering how many servings does this yield if cut into medium size portions?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 13, 2023

      Hi Zhenya! A cake this size normally serves 8-12.

      Reply

  • Pretty Tony
    September 11, 2023

    Hello Natasha,

    I made this recipe with an electrical hand mixer. I mixed the eggs for 4 minutes. Added a tsp of vanilla extract. Gradually mixed in the sugar for 12 minutes. Then follow the recipe as described but my cakes didn’t come out fluffy. They was kind of dense. What did I do wrong?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 12, 2023

      An electric hand mixer will take 2-4 minutes longer to beat the eggs.

      Reply

  • Alex
    September 7, 2023

    Hi,

    Just took the cakes out of the oven and they smell SO strongly of egg… is this normal?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 7, 2023

      Hi Alex, Normally this should not taste or smell eggy. The most common reason for that would be under beating the eggs and sugar. I suggest watching the video tutorial to see if your cake looked the same and if not, try to determine where it started looking different in the process. Another reason for an eggy smell would be if the cake was cooled in an area of the outdoor draft – the same thing goes for any egg-based dessert-like meringue or egg-based cakes. Also, be sure to use fresh eggs. Some people are more sensitive to eggs so you can also try to mask the egg flavor with a little vanilla or lemon extract in the cake batter next time. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Irene
    September 4, 2023

    🎈Great recipe. The cake was light, delicious, and quick and easy to prepare.
    I made it with gluten free flour.
    Bake it in a round pan.
    I grabbed a loaf pan and it sunk a little in the middle. But it was good. Icing fixed that little mistake. 😊

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 4, 2023

      Hi Irene! I’m so glad you loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

  • Gabriele
    August 29, 2023

    Hi Natasha
    I want to make a small cake. I have 6 inch pan do you think i should divide the recipe in 2?

    Reply

  • Vidia
    July 8, 2023

    Hi natasha I love your recipes my birthday is coming up soon I have decided to make this cake .

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 8, 2023

      Hi Vidia! Happy (early) birthday! I hope you love this sponge cake! Be sure to check out the recommended variations and flavor combinations for this cake that I included in the blog.

      Reply

  • Elaine
    June 26, 2023

    Hi, I didn’t have two 9” pans so I divided the batter into three 8” pans. I’m thinking they may not need to be cut in half. I wanted to know how thick were your sliced layers? Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 27, 2023

      Hi Elaine. They were about 2” thick.

      Reply

      • Mia
        September 11, 2023

        Hi. I’m not sure why you saying not to use convection oven.
        I ‘ ve been baking everything in convection oven for 30 years. I mean everything. Even at work in commercial convection.
        It is a night and day. Things are fluffier, evenly baked and faster done.

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          September 12, 2023

          Hi Mia! Feel free to use your convection oven if you’re used to baking with it. I don’t know what changes would need to be made to the time and temperature because this recipe was written and tested in a conventional oven using regular bake mode.

          Reply

      • Aurie
        January 11, 2024

        I used this recipe to make my Puerto Rican Mojadito cake and it worked beautifully! The fact that it held it’s wonderful texture after adding the almond sugar syrup really surprised me! It only lasted 2 days. The only change I made was to add a little vanilla extract. Thank you so much for this recipe

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          January 11, 2024

          Hi Aurie! That’s great to hear. Thank you for sharing that.

          Reply

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