Simple coffee and cream sponge cake

Neil Perry
Simple coffee and cream sponge cake.
Simple coffee and cream sponge cake. Photo: William Meppem

A light, attractive sponge cake that won't last long on a wire cooling rack before it is eaten.


190g self-raising flour

50g cornflour

8 eggs

2 egg whites

200g caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp extra

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

whipped cream

coffee icing (see recipe in Hot tips, below)

icing sugar, to dust


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter 2 x 24cm-diameter cake tins and line the bases with baking paper. Sift the flour and cornflour together.

Separate 6 of the eggs; put all the egg whites together in a bowl (you will have 8 egg whites in total). In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 2 whole eggs, 6 egg yolks, 200g plus 2 tbsp caster sugar and the vanilla essence and whisk for about 8 minutes or until mixture is thick and fluffy.

Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk to stiff-peak stage, gradually adding the remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar.

Fold one third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Sift the dry ingredients over the top of the lightened yolks, spread the remaining whites over the top and fold to combine.

Divide the mixture between the 2 tins. Place the cakes in the oven, reduce the temperature to 170°C and bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread whipped cream on 1 cake and top with the other cake. Spread coffee icing on top and dust with icing sugar.

Hot tips: To make the coffee icing for the sponge cake, beat together 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, 4 tbsp strong espresso and 1 tbsp melted butter until smooth and creamy.

You can also ice the cake with vanilla icing and fill it with strawberries and cream, rather than the coffee icing and whipped cream.

To glam up the sponge cake, sprinkle the top with chocolate-covered roasted coffee beans.