129 In Dessert/ Video

Sponge Cake Recipe

Japanese sponge cake is very light and fluffy.  It is a very important component for Japanese Western-style sweets.

We have mainly two kinds of sweets in Japan: Japanese-style (Wagashi) and Western-style (Yogashi). And even though we call it roughly “Western”,  modern Western-style cakes and pastries are heavily and almost exclusively influenced by French desserts.  There are cake and bake shops in every corner of cities in Japan, often selling many different kinds of cakes by the slice or in individual servings.  Cakes are a significant part of life in Japan.  We eat cakes for any celebratory events, from birthdays to Christmas to just visiting your family and friends.

Just like French sponge cakes called génoise, this recipe doesn’t have any leavenings such as baking powder.  The batter rises in the oven because of well beaten eggs.  Sponge cakes are a little drier than some other cakes which can be eaten by themselves, like chiffon cakes. However, sponge cakes are supposed to be assembled with syrup and cream and can absorb moisture from these other components.

There are 3 points to success: exact measurements of ingredients, whipping the eggs until very thick, and not mixing too much and deflating the bubbles from the eggs.  Getting sponge cake to turn out the way you want can be a little tricky, but if you prepare and keep these 3 things in mind, your cake will come out beautifully.  So read the recipe and watch our video a few times, get all the ingredients measured and ready ahead of time (yes, seriously), and you’ll have a beautiful cake at home!

(Note: This recipe makes one 7″ cake. A double recipe makes a 10″ cake.)

See Strawberry Shortcake recipe for decorating idea.

Sponge Cake Recipe


  • 20 g butter
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 90 g cake flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) at least 20 minutes before. Line a 7" cake pan with parchment paper (bottom and side). Put butter and milk In a small bowl and microwave until the butter melts. In another bowl, sift the cake flour 2 times. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs and sugar. Over a double boiler (placing the bowl over a pot with simmering water on low heat), whisk the egg mixture until it becomes lukewarm (until the sugar dissolves). Then set the bowl on the stand mixer, and whip the egg mixture until very thick (watch video to see the texture). Add vanilla and mix.
  3. Add sifted cake flour in 3 parts. Fold in the first one-third of the flour by hand with a spatula (not with the mixer). After the flour is incorporated, add the next part of flour and again fold in with the spatula. Repeat. Next, add the mixture of melted butter and milk and fold in with the spatula.
  4. Put the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Take the cake out from the oven and leave for 15 minutes. Finally, remove the cake from the cake pan.

Sponge Cake Recipe

You Might Also Like

  • Pamela
    December 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Hi, do you think I need to triple the recipe for two 9″ round cake pans? Thanks.

    • Noriko
      December 28, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Between 3 times and 3 1/2 times.

      • Monae
        March 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        That cake that you made looked delicious.

    • jana
      January 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      if I want to make a 30×40 cake how much will it be
      Thanks very much for the best recipe

    • Manu
      March 15, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Pamela, it will be 250gr of flour and 250gr of sugar, 7 eggs, 1/3cup of milk, 50gr of butter.

      Hope it comes out delicious!

    • Loy Abregana
      April 8, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Can i put icing or frosting on top of the cake?

    • philip
      August 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Remember your basic school geometry (π r²). A 7″ round cake has an area of about 38.5 square inches. Two 9″ round cakes have a total surface area of about 127 square inches – so you need to multiply all of the ingredients by about 3.3. Hope this helps 🙂

  • Maria
    December 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Can the batter be pour into 3 seperate pans to bake? Will it still rise? Can the melted butter be replace by vegetable oil? Thank you.

    • Noriko
      December 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      you could try…but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re not comfortable slicing the cake into 3 pieces, you could cut into half. The flavor will be different with oil.

  • Anna Loraine
    December 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Is it OK to melt the butter with milk in the oven instead of a microwave? And will a hand mixer be OK in mixing the egg and sugar? I don’t have both.

    • Noriko
      December 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      You can melt butter in a pot too. A hand mixer is fine as long as you whip egg whites well.

  • Mai
    December 29, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Can you convert grams into cups so I know.

    • Noriko
      December 29, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      For baking sponge cakes, I wouldn’t use cups as amount in cups are not precise.

      • Mai
        December 30, 2015 at 5:50 am

        So I need a scale?

        • Noriko
          December 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm


          • evance
            March 11, 2016 at 6:49 am

            i have not seen baking powder or soda used

  • sharon
    December 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    hi can i use all purpose flour?i don’t get cake flour here,tx

    • Leisa
      March 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

      A substitute for cake flour using all purpose flour is this: Remove 2 tablespoons from one level cup of all-purpose flour, then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch back in. Sift well. (Epicurious). I

  • Lash
    January 7, 2016 at 2:33 am


    Is cake flour here is self raising flour? If i am using all purpose flour do i need to add baking powder, if so how much please?

    • Noriko
      January 7, 2016 at 9:52 am

      cake flour is not self rising flour. You can find cake flour (usually in a box) at most supermarkets.

  • Mina
    January 7, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    If i plan on making a chocolate version of this cake, how much chocolate would i need and would I use melted or power chocolate?

    • Noriko
      January 11, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Use 20g cocoa powder and 70g cake flour instead of 90g cake flour.

  • winna
    January 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    how much i need egg sugar and flour if i want make this sponge cake if i used pan 20×20? thank u

    • Noriko
      January 11, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      You can make 1.5 times of the recipe.

  • Pei
    January 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Hi, I tried making this cake. It deflated after I put in the butter. Is there something I’m doing incorrectly. I followed every step. It was very fluffy until I put in the butter. Should I substitute butter with oil instead

    • Noriko
      January 18, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      the batter deflates a little whenever you add anything such as flour and butter(melted and cooled), and that’s ok. Just carefully fold it.

  • Nory
    January 13, 2016 at 10:00 am

    What milk did you use?

    • Yuko
      January 17, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Just regular milk.

  • David
    January 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Could you tell me the dimension of your 7 inches cake pan? Are they 7×3 or 7×4 pan?

    • Noriko
      January 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      about 7X2.

  • naghmana
    January 15, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Please try to give some alternative of scale..in the form of standard measuring cups….this will benefit so many people. .thank you

    • Noriko
      January 18, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      baking a cake which doesn’t use any leavening is finicky, and precise measurement is the key to success. Measuring cups are not very accurate, and I wouldn’t recommend them for this recipe.

    • Michael Harry
      March 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Cups are not accurate enough, use scales

  • beth
    January 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

    what if im using 8″ what would be the exact measurement of each ingredients? Thanks.

    • Noriko
      January 18, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      you can increase ingredients by 30%.

  • Vic Reyes
    January 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    What kind of milk do you use? And is it okey to use all purpose flour for this?

    • Noriko
      January 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      whole milk is good. Cake flour can give the best texture. All pourpose make it chewier.

  • Priya
    January 19, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Hello, thanks for the recipe. I am planning to make the cake in 9.5” pan, to get a cake as big as yours in my pan what are the exact measurements for all the ingredients?

  • vilma
    January 19, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Hello can i use milk in can(evap milk) instead whole milk ? Thank you

  • Sky
    January 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Is it 9 g or 90g of sugar?
    When I baked it, the cake is super thick and sweet

  • liliz
    January 22, 2016 at 7:30 am

    can i decrease the sugar?

  • tasya
    January 23, 2016 at 5:57 am

    can i reduce the sugar? because it is too sweet for me. may i know how much should i put? thanks ^^

  • Mae
    January 25, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Can I substitute butter with margarine? Thanks.

  • 萩原エミリー
    January 26, 2016 at 1:15 am

    i tried this recipe once and it taste really good but the texture was not so soft. do i did wrong?

  • sneha
    January 26, 2016 at 3:35 am

    today i made this it is very nice, cake floor available in India also?
    tell me 3 times of ingredients menas how much time i have to set?
    thank u very much for nice cake.

  • Anty
    January 30, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Should I put the cake upside down after it was baked like angle food cake?

    • Noriko
      January 30, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      no you don’t need to.

  • Roma
    January 31, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Hi Noriko I tried as your receipe it really taste so good but my sponge rise only top part from middle to bottom it is not raising properly could you help me please what can be the reason thank you.

    • Noriko
      February 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      You may not have whipped egg whites enough. Or when you fold other ingredients in the eggs, may deflate the eggs too much. Good luck next time!

      • May
        February 8, 2016 at 10:47 pm

        Hi Nori, are the white eggs whipped separately without egg yolks? I had the same issue that only top part was rising well but the bottom part wasn’t.


  • Ameena
    February 1, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Hello dear can you write the recipe in cups??

  • David wee
    February 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Hi, I’m a first timer in baking cake,
    Can I use plain flour instead of cake flour ?
    Must I add baking powder to make it rise ?
    Should the oven be preheat at 180c at 20 min before I put in the cake

  • Nan
    February 4, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    hi noriko,
    How much weight in gram is each of the egg? Because eggs come in different sizes in my country.


    • Noriko
      February 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm


      • Nan
        February 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm

        Thanks, Noriko. Are you based in us? And which size egg you are using? Medium?

        • Noriko
          February 5, 2016 at 10:50 pm

          yes, we are in the us. We use large eggs.

  • Yuka
    February 6, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Hi there, I would like to make by 9 inches cake pan, how should I measure for all ingredients?

  • Chinmoy
    February 8, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I tried to whip the egg with hand mixer, but after Long time also never got the thickened consistency. Hence as a result the cake never rise properly. Is it we need to whip the egg white separately?
    Kindly guide.

  • Nancy
    February 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Hi, can i substitute the milk with coconut milk?

  • onaah
    February 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    i make it but i faild .. ingredeints not right .. i think 90 g cake floor is too littel

  • Stephanie
    February 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Can you tell me how much I would modify the recipe to make one 9 inch pan? I saw above that you do 3 to 3 and 1/2 times for two, but we don’t need that big of a batch. One would serve our needs perfectly!

  • rainbowz
    February 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

    oh… not sure wat went wrong..my cake didnt rise…
    i added about 30% more as i using an 8″

    • Lisa
      February 17, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      The video says it’s not suppost to rise as you are using the egg’s fluffiness. That’s why you gotta be gentle and not over fold the cake flour

  • rainbowz
    February 15, 2016 at 8:55 am

    there is no need to add baking powder right?

  • Bill
    February 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm


    Will there be any problems if the cake flour can still be seen? i tried my best to gently fold in the sifted flour but I’m not sure if i did well, my batter looked a bit frothy after adding the flour.

    thank you

  • Lisa
    February 17, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    It’s really hard to be precise with the measurements as in the US we don’t use grams. That said, I converted the ingredients and tried to be as close as possible but it came out very dry and hard. I know I must have done something wrong because I’ve tasted castera bread from a Asian bakery before. Mine was hard and dry on the approximately 1 inch from edges but undercooked on the middle. Could it be my hand held mixer?

    • Lisa
      February 17, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      This is how it was converted
      20g = 1.5 tablespoons
      90g= 6 tablespoons

      On the video there was way more sugar and flour used than 6 tablespoons. To me it looked like almost 2 cups. Can you pls post a converted recipe!

    • Lisa
      February 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Yup, it was my mixer. It creates large bubbles and traps flour in. So when baked I find clusters of raw flour. I’ve tried to fold gently but it’s still giving me too many flour bubbles. Sigh. I’m just gonna give up on this recipe

  • Kookie
    February 18, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Do I need baking powder if cake flour already include?

  • Popy
    February 19, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Hi noriko&yuko if i use 22cm x 7cm pan, what the exact measurement for the ingredients?

  • Yvonne
    February 19, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Hi if I wanted to make a 🍋 drizzle cake using this recipe, at what stage can I put the zest and what else can I put to my lemon cake.

  • Lin
    February 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Is the 90 grams of flour measure before sifting or after sifting?

  • ric
    February 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    If I do 3 time the recipe do I have to bake it for 60 min? Or less?

  • Harsh
    February 27, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Hi, my name is harsh . Sponge Cake can be makes without Eggs

    • Noriko
      March 2, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      sorry, no we don’t have a cake recipe not using eggs

  • Emily
    February 28, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Thank you for giving me this recipe it is great.

  • Jian
    March 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm


    I made the cake and it came out stiff. Not fluffy like the Japanese sponge cake at all. What am I doing wrong? Thank you!

    • Noriko
      March 2, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      eggs may not be whipped enough. Or when you fold in dry mixture to whipped eggs, it may have been deflated too much. Good luck next time!

      • Jian
        March 2, 2016 at 8:22 pm

        Thank you!

  • Melissa
    March 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Noriko what kind of flour do we have to use because I only have all purpose flour

    • Noriko
      March 2, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      we use cake flour which has less glutinous than all purpose flour.

  • maricar
    March 5, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Hi. Can i add mango flavor to make this a japanese cotton mango cake?

  • maricar
    March 5, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Oh sorry…i type the wrong question earlier.
    Can i add mango flavor so as to make the sponge cake flavored mango?

  • Rozemarijn
    March 6, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I tried to make this cake today but the measurements are wrong. My cake is super flat and hardly rised. Maybe I did something wrong but I’m almost sure that I followed al the steps and that the ingredients were right measured.

  • Silvia
    March 19, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Dear Noriko-san & Yuko-san,

    I tried this recipe today. It went well but the top of the cake is not as brown as in your video, I wonder why is that?
    And do u think that if I use 2 egg yolk + 1 egg, will the texture be smoother and softer? Thanks.

    • Noriko
      March 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      was your oven preheated well? It needs to be reached the temperature before baking.

      • Silvia
        March 31, 2016 at 7:26 pm

        Dear Noriko-san,

        I think you’re right maybe my oven was not preheated well. I’ll try again! Thank you ! 🙂

    • Leisa
      March 26, 2016 at 10:11 am

      The egg whites are essential part of the recipe for loft. I would imagine that f you took out the egg whites of 2 eggs you would end up with a dense, rich cake without the lightness. I would not recommend.

  • Peace2Piece
    March 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Thank you for the recipe! It’s lovely. May I find out how much I should modify the bake time for every 30% increase in ingredients? (Based on increasing 30% for every inch diameter of cake pan.) Much obliged for any help. Thanks again!

    • Noriko
      March 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      I would recommend to check every 5 minutes or so after normal baking time.

  • Mugdha
    March 21, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Hi Noriko!
    Thanks for such a nice recipe. I tried it first time with the same amount of ingredients mentioned in your recipe and it turned out well. Very light and spongy. However, second time i increased the amount of ingredients proportionately for the bigger yeild, it didnt turned well. it was doughy. Did i miss something?

    • Noriko
      March 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      when you make a bigger batch, sometimes you don’t mix well, deflate whipped eggs too much, and so on. I wouldn’t do more than double.

  • debby
    March 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Please all I have readily available is all purpose flour…please can I use baking powder? Also this will be my 1st baking and I don’t have a stand mixer can I use a food processor/blender to make the eggs fluffy? Thanks

    • Noriko
      March 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Debby,

      Sponge cake is a tricky recipe because the texture can easily change when you make substitutions in ingredients or use different equipment. It’s really best to follow this recipe closely.

      Using all purpose flour can make the sponge cake tough or chewy – stick with cake flour. This sponge cake uses the air in the whipped eggs to give the cake lift so we don’t use baking powder. It’s probably best not to add that. For whipping the eggs, a blender or food processor may not work well either, though I haven’t tried that. If you don’t have a stand mixer, an electric hand mixer will work or you could try beating by hand with a whisk but that will take a long time to get the right texture. It will help to watch the video carefully to see how the eggs and batter need to come out.

      Good luck!

  • Candida
    March 25, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Noriko
    The cake is baked in fun forced air?

    Tank you

    Cândida from Portugal

    • Noriko
      March 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Cândida,

      If you mean a convection oven (which uses a fan to circulate air in the oven), no, we did not use a convection oven. You could use a convection oven, but the moving air can be tricky with some batters and can change the shape of cakes as they bake.

  • Leisa
    March 26, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for taking time to demonstrate this recipe. I will be making it for Easter dessert using it in conjunction with your short bread recipe. I would add that this would be lovely with any fresh berries. Further filling it with a mixture of both mascarpone cream cheese and whipped cream would also be a variation.

    • Leisa
      March 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Sorry, I meant strawberry shortcake (not bread) recipe!

  • Leisa
    March 27, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I made this cake and it turned out beautifully. I used a loaf pan as I wanted a rectangular cake and increased the cooking time accordingly keeping a careful eye out. The cake was moist and I was able to work with it easily. Regrettably the strawberries are “meh” give the season. Rather than using syrup (too lazy!), I used apricot preserves that I heated so that they would spread easily and give my tasteless strawberries a lift.

    I’ve made this type of cake before without such good results. Your exposition o the method and the recipe is one that should inspire confidence in you readers.

    Thank you again!

  • Jenn
    April 2, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Hi noriko and yuko!
    Can i store this cake before decorating it? Any advice how to store it and for how long? Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Noriko
      April 5, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      you can freeze a cake (very well wrapped) and it can be stored for a month or two.

  • Betty
    April 2, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Can I use this recipe for cup cakes? What changes on oven temperature and baking time?

    • Chan
      August 4, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      I’m interested in making cupcakes too and would like advice. Did you try to make it, Betty?

  • Frank
    April 8, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Help if I am using a 12″ x 3″ round pan what percentage increase would I use

  • Loy Abregana
    April 8, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Can i put icing or frosting on top of the cake?

  • Lyn Palacios
    April 10, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I tried this recipe for the first time and the cake rose while baking and the deflated towards the end. There was a thin layer of gummy batter on the bottom of the cake. What went wrong?

  • saba
    July 28, 2016 at 6:57 am

    i bake it but it didn’t blow
    why don’t we add baking powder?

    • Noriko
      August 20, 2016 at 8:52 am

      It should rise if the egg whites are whipped well. Good luck next time!

  • aleena
    July 31, 2016 at 4:36 am

    thnx works great

  • Joy
    August 1, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Did you use salted or unsalted butter? Thank you

    • Noriko
      August 20, 2016 at 8:50 am


  • Joyce
    August 7, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Easy recipe and fit nicely using my airfryer baking pan.
    I baked twice, the second time i add 10g butter and 1 tea spoon of green tea powder, the texture is good.!

  • Sana
    August 21, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Can I use plain flour or self raising Flour?

  • Loo
    August 23, 2016 at 3:09 am

    I would like to understand why must whisk the egg mixture until lukewarm.

  • Audrey
    August 26, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Hello Noriko, Thankyou for the recipe. what measurements would i need to make a 1 kg sponge cake,

  • Kally
    August 31, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I don’t have a scale can you make with cup if not why ??

  • Anastasia
    September 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Could the cake be made the same in a 9″ cake pan vs a 7″ ?

  • Rex
    October 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    It will ҝeep your hands noticeably nice and
    smooth. This can lead to outbreaks ɑnd other skin ϲare problems.
    A ѕkin treatmеnt item line which is created from natural
    substаncеs is friendly tο the environment.

  • May
    October 27, 2016 at 1:12 am

    I love your cake recipe! I made it for my coworkers birthday and it was a major hit!! Thank you! But one question though, mine came out a bit dry when we ate it the next day, did I do something wrong?

  • Snoopy
    November 1, 2016 at 6:06 am

    I am using 6 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ round pan. How long do I have to bake it?

  • Victoria
    November 26, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Hi,thank you so much for this recipe. I tried it and it is really yummy! I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour.
    Can i use this recipe for a swiss roll sponge cake? The rectangular pan size is 11 inch by 11 inch by 1.2 inch.
    What would be the exact measurement of each ingredients? Will the baking time be the same?
    Also, if I were to make cupcakes with this recipe, is there a change in baking time as well? Hope to hear from you!

  • Michaela
    December 6, 2016 at 7:28 am

    would i be able to use all purpose flour instead and would i be able to use a whisk

  • Jasmine
    December 6, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Hi, I would like to try this cake for my son’s birthday this weekend!! For 9 inch round cake pan, how many times of ingredients should I add? 1.5 times? Thanks.

  • Cyrus
    December 9, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Thank you for your recipe.
    How can I avoid egg smelt and taste in my baked cake.
    Also can I use brown suger.

  • Bharti
    December 12, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I tried this recipe last evening and the cake has come out as never before.
    Most of the times, I m a silent reader, but the cake was so spongy and tasty and was appreciated by so many people, that I couldn’t resist myself leaving this comment.
    Thanks a lot for the recipe and for giving tips and tricks to make it perfect too..

  • Stone Island clothing
    January 10, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate
    you taking the time and energy to put this information together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both
    reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  • wenqi
    January 18, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Why does my my cake not rise alot like yours?

  • Jessica Guillergan
    January 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Noriko, can you please give the exact measurements for the sponge cake if I’m using an 8″ pan. Seemed that my cake did not rise as much as if using a 7″ pan. Thanks.

  • Eliza
    February 6, 2017 at 12:51 am

    My cake came out a little soft and sticky. Do you know why? I followed every step. I used pastry flour and granulated cane sugar. Thank you!