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Italian Sponge Cake Recipe

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In the realm of desserts, few things are as satisfying as a perfectly baked Italian sponge cake. Also known as “Pan di Spagna,” this light and airy delicacy has been a staple in Italian kitchens for generations. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply craving a sweet treat, learning how to make this classic dessert will surely impress your taste buds and loved ones. In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to create your own delicious Italian sponge cake from scratch.


Before we dive into the process, let’s gather the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan, as the cake needs to cling to the sides for support as it rises.

Prepare the Eggs

In a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs and add the granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick and pale in color. You’ll know it’s ready when you lift the beaters and the mixture falls back into the bowl in a ribbon-like stream.

Fold in the Dry Ingredients

Sift the cake flour and salt together. Gently fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs using a rubber spatula. Be careful not to deflate the batter; fold just until the flour is fully incorporated.

Add Flavorings

Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using, to add a subtle fragrance to your cake batter.

Bake the Cake

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched.

Cool and Serve

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve slices of this delightful Italian sponge cake on its own or with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh berries for a truly elegant dessert.


In conclusion, mastering the art of making an Italian sponge cake can be a rewarding experience. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create a light and fluffy dessert that will delight your senses. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire. So, gather your ingredients and get baking – your taste buds will thank you!


Q1: Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour? A1: While cake flour is preferred for its lighter texture, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour. However, the cake may be slightly denser.

Q2: Can I make this cake ahead of time? A2: Yes, you can bake the cake ahead of time and store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

Q3: Can I freeze the cake? A3: Yes, you can freeze the cake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil before freezing for up to three months.

Q4: Can I add other flavorings to the cake batter? A4: Yes, you can customize the flavor of your cake by adding extracts such as almond or orange, or even a splash of liqueur.

Q5: Can I use this cake as a base for layered cakes? A5: Absolutely! This Italian sponge cake is perfect for layered cakes as it is light and moist, providing a great base for fillings and frostings.

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