Classic Sponge Cake

Classic Sponge Cake

Simple and classic sponge cake. A hit every time.

Gluten and dairy free
slice of gluten and dairy sponge cake

How could you go wrong with such a British classic. This sponge cake is so versatile and adaptable for dairy free and gluten free dietary requirements but it’s also great with an option for normal diets too.

DF: Dairy Free

GF: Gluten Free

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 270 g Gluten free flour (or 300g normal flour for non Gluten Free option)
  • 30 g Cornflour (omit for non Gluten Free option)
  • 300 g Margarine
  • 300 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum omit for non-gluten free version

For the filling

sponge cake ingredients

Recipe Tips

Dairy and Gluten Free Classic Sponge Cake Recipe

The origins of sponge cake trace back centuries, with its roots embedded in Europe’s culinary history. Ancient Greeks and Romans are believed to have created early versions of sponge cake, utilising ingredients like eggs, flour, and honey. However, it was during the Renaissance period in Europe that sponge cake as we know it began to take shape. Sponge cake evolved to be lighter and airier, thanks to the incorporation of beaten eggs to create volume and structure and refined sugar. Today, sponge cake remains a beloved dessert worldwide, cherished for its simplicity, versatility, and timeless appeal.

gluten and dairy sponge cake


I love making recipes that suit different diets, like mine—gluten and dairy-free—or for people who can eat anything. So, my recipes offer options depending on what you prefer to eat. This recipe is super flexible and can be changed to fit dairy-free and gluten-free diets, or for anyone without dietary restrictions. I’ve learned some smart tricks for using regular or gluten-free flour in all sorts of baking over the years.

Making the Sponge Cake Gluten Free

Here are some simple tips for using gluten-free flour:

  1. Plain or self-raising flour? I always go for plain flour, whether it’s gluten-free or not. This choice lets me control how much raising agent I use, ensuring I only add what’s needed. Plus, it means I only need one type of flour in my pantry, saving space and keeping flour from sitting too long, which can lead to bacteria growth. That’s why eating raw cookie dough isn’t a good idea!
  2. Cornflour: When using gluten-free flour instead of regular flour, I usually use about 10% less flour and add 10% cornflour or cornstarch. Cornflour doesn’t add flavour to the cake batter, but it has its perks. It thickens the batter and helps stabilise the eggs, which helps hold the cake together. Gluten-free flour can make cakes crumbly, but cornflour helps fix that. It also helps get rid of the grainy texture that gluten-free flour can sometimes have. And it helps make the cake light and fluffy.
  3. Xanthan gum: Like cornflour, xanthan gum is a thickening agent. In baking, it’s often used with gluten-free flour to hold the cake together and prevent it from falling apart. You only need a little bit, though, because too much can make your cake heavy. But even a small amount makes a big difference! If you’re using regular flour, you don’t need to add this. Also, check your gluten-free blend’s ingredients, as xanthan gum is sometimes already included, especially in gluten-free self-raising flour.
  4. Liquid: Sometimes, when you use gluten-free flour, it soaks up more moisture, making the batter a bit dry. If that happens and your batter feels stiff, just add a splash of milk or dairy-free milk to loosen it up a bit.
gluten and dairy sponge cake

Making the Sponge Cake Dairy Free


Margarine is a butter substitute made from vegetable oils like rapeseed and sunflower oils. I use solid margarine blocks for all my baking, including biscuits, cakes, and vegan ‘buttercream’. When picking margarine, make sure it’s made from vegetable oil and doesn’t have any extra dairy added for flavor.

Swapping butter for margarine is a common switch that many bakers make. Here are some key facts about baking with margarine:

  • Margarine can make baked goods softer because it has more water in it.
  • Margarine is often cheaper.
  • Butter gives a rich, buttery taste to baked treats, but sometimes a lighter flavour is better.

Another plus of margarine is that it has less saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories compared to butter.

When baking with margarine, the texture can be closer. In cookies, margarine can make them softer and more cake-like, while butter makes them chewier with crispy edges. However, I like using oil instead of margarine for cookies. You can read more about it in my blog on making dairy-free cookies with oil.

sponge cake slice

Try The Recipe

This recipe is so versatile and adaptable for dairy free and gluten free dietary requirements but it’s also great with an option for normal diets too.

Like this recipe? Try my gluten and dairy free coffee cake

Tried this recipe? Please leave a star rating

Rating: 1 out of 5.
slice of gluten and dairy sponge cake

Classic Sponge Cake

How could you go wrong with such a British classic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 12
Calories 388 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 270 g Gluten free flour () Or 300g normal flour for non gluten free option
  • 300 g Caster sugar
  • 300 g Margarine
  • 30 g Cornflour/cornstarch Omit for non gluten free option
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum (omit if for GF option) Omit for non gluten free option

For the Filling

  • My vegan vanilla 'buttercream' recipe
  • 2-3 tbsp Strawberry or raspberry jam

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C or 180°C fan.
  • Whisk together the sugar and margarine until smooth, light and fluffy.
  • Weigh out the dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Whisk the eggs into the batter one at a time long with a table spoon of dry ingredients, allow to completely combine before adding another egg.
  • Sift in the remaining dry ingredients and mix gently by hand until fully incorporated.
  • Divide the batter amongst 2 8 inch cake tins. Bake at 190°C/180°C fan for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool before icing.
  • Ice the cakes with my Vegan 'Buttercream' Recipe and jam. Enjoy…

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate and exact values may vary. Nutritional values without icing.
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, lemon sponge cake

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sponge cake slice