How to Make a Sponge Cake / Genoise

by Dawn Phillips Oler

This sponge cake can be the base for a variety of fillings. The cake itself can be piped into ladyfingers for tiramisu or can be prepared as is here & use strong coffee and mascarpone filling.


  • 10 Grams Butter for the pan
  • 130 Grams European butter
  • 120 Grams Cake flour
  • 14 Grams Cornstarch
  • 200 Grams Whole eggs
  • 100 Grams Granulated sugar
  • 10 Grams Vanilla extract
  • 10 Grams Honey
  • Filling of choice
  • Buttercream Icing, as needed
  • 6 Ounces Fruit syrup of choice
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Assemble ingredients.

    Step 2

    Clarify butter. Bring butter to a boil over low or medium low heat in a small saucepan. Boil 2-3 minutes until the water popping stops.

    Step 3

    This is about 1 minute in and you can hear what I'm talking about.

    Step 4

    Use a large spoon or sieve to remove impurities that have risen to the top.

    Step 5

    Reduce heat to low and let cool for 3 minutes. Being careful not to allow it to brown. After 3 minutes remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

    Step 6

    Strain the butter through a strainer or cheesecloth into a bowl and re weigh 100 grams.

    Step 7

    Sift together the flour and cornstarch.

    Step 8

    Trace a 9" round or square cake pan on parchment paper. Cut inside the line you drew.

    Step 9

    Measure the width of the sides and cut long strips of parchment to wrap the entire inside of the pan.

    Step 10


    Step 11

    Melt 10 g butter and rush into bottom and sides of pan.

    Step 12

    Place parchment in pan to cover bottom and sides.

    Step 13

    Preheat oven to 350* making sure the rack is positioned in the center.

    Step 14

    Place 1" of water in a medium saucepan. I am using my 2.5 qt. pan.

    Step 15

    In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the whole eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla and honey.

    Step 16

    Place bowl over water creating a Bain Marie. Whisk continuously until you reach 149*. Move the bowl and whisk so you don't get scrambled eggs!

    Step 17

    Immediately upon reaching 149* move bowl to stand mixer fitted with wire whisk attachment. Mix for 3 minutes on high. The mixture should be fluffy, light and pale.

    Step 18

    Turn the speed down to medium and mix for another 3 minutes.

    Step 19

    Check the temperature of the butter. You want it at 105*.

    Step 20

    Reduce mixer to low and slowly drizzle the butter into the batter. Once incorporated, transfer batter to a mixing bowl.

    Step 21

    Pour half of the flour mixture onto the sponge batter. Gently fold together, making sure to turn bowl and scrape bottom. 60-90 seconds until all incorporated.

    Step 22

    Add remaining flour mixture and repeat folding process. Remember to scrape bottom of bowl because every time you think it's incorporated you will find more pockets of flour!

    Step 23

    Pour gently into prepared pan. You should be able to see air pockets.

    Step 24

    Place pan on cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

    Step 25

    Mine took just 20 minutes! Insert a knife into center, if comes out clean done. I might try 17 minutes next time, this is a little to golden for me!

    Step 26

    I inverted it onto my hand and then onto the cooling rack.

    Step 27

    Remove parchment edges and allow to cool completely.

    Step 28

    Using a serrated knife, cut off the top 1/3rd of the cake.

    Step 29

    Try to get it more even than I did:)

    Step 30

    Now cut the other portion in half, so you end up with 3 squares.

    Step 31

    All three layers.

    Step 32

    Place the bottom layer on a serving platter. Using the syrup of your choice, brush it onto the bottom layer.

    Step 33

    First layer complete.

    Step 34

    Add buttercream or other filling, I am using an Italian Meringue Buttercream here.

    Step 35

    Spread to a thin even layer.

    Step 36

    Add the middle layer of cake.

    Step 37

    Brush syrup on this layer as well.

    Step 38

    More buttercream or filling of your choice.

    Step 39

    Brush syrup onto the top layer.

    Step 40

    Carefully place the top layer of cake onto the layer of buttercream.

    Step 41

    Place remaining filling/buttercream/frosting on top of cake and spread being careful to only proceed in one direction so you don't get any crumbs.

    Step 42

    Step 43

    I like the wavy pattern and then garnished with a strawberry fan.

    Step 44

    Yum! Visible distinct layers! Mine was super sweet with the Italian Meringue Buttercream.

    Step 45