Sponge Cake


Simple bakery style sponge cake with little lemony flavour.

Bakery Style / Lemon Sponge cake / Pound cake / Plain Cake / Bakery Slice Cake / Lemon / Bakery Cake

1½ cup All purpose flour
¼ tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Baking soda
½ tsp Salt
½ cup Unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Lemon juice
¼ cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon zest (optional)
2 nos Eggs



Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/20) inch loaf pan. I usually line with a parchment paper for perfect finish but optional. First cream the butter and sugar in the bowl using an electric mixer for 4 to 6 minutes @medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add one egg, beat for few minutes then followed by the next. You may add the lemon juice, zest (if any), vanilla and buttermilk to this and mix for few seconds. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and keep aside. Now add flour and fold, do not beat too much (just use low speed to combine everything).


Pour the batter in the loaf pan, smooth the top and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean (toothpicks don’t work for loaf pans). Cool the cake completely and then slice. Serve as an evening snack with a cup of tea.


Yield: 1 loaf (10 slices) approx.


From the book Barefoot Contessa Parties

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27 comments to Sponge Cake

  • Nithya

    Hi mullai,
    one stick means how many grams butter? and also how can i make the above cake without eggs? please advise.

  • Lalitha Radhakrishnan

    Hai mullai

    I am a regular fan of ur recipes i tried so many and my doudt in this recipe is Lemon Zest, what it means and where it is avalible pls reply.

  • aish

    Mullai maam,
    I like all ur receipes.I have doubt in this abt the measurement of the butter.What do mean by one stick??Idont understand.Do u have picture of it or can u pl explain it??

  • Cappuccino

    Mullai i tried this y’day it cameout good but the smell of eggs didn’t go off…What shall i do to get-rid of egg smell…

    I’m facing the same problem in Biscotti too…Gonna try for Christmas party for this weekend, pls help.

    Have a great day

    • Mullai

      Cappuccino, try a few teaspoons of honey while beating them, that might help. Increasing the vanilla flavoring or adding few drops of rum(if its ok with you) might also help. Sorry.. i was out of town and couldn't reply you in time. Hope you had a blasting celebration.

  • anup

    hi mullai,
    i made two days ago it came out very well.i didn’t use lemon zest
    so delicious.
    thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Gv

    I tried your sponge cake recipe on the microwave. Settings: 180 C + 20% MW for 20 minutes … but by the 18th minute I noticed that the sides of the cake had come away from the dish . The texture was not perfect … but it was quite good. I also used a round dish instead of the loaf pan. Thanks a lot.

  • padma5575

    just a quick question– where do u place the cake in the conventional oven?? at the bottom most or in the middle layer of the oven?? please do let me know. thanks in advance.

  • rupahemantkumar

    thank u so much.i am going to try this today….yeah….

  • satyas

    Hii , can we make this cake without using lemon juice??

  • sworna

    just tried this cake.came out very well.the cake is very soft and spongy,but the crust is a little crispy.I dont know what must have gone wrong.anyway the taste is wonderful.i used orange zest instead.Thanx for the recipe.

    • Mullai

      Sworna, this can happen with change in baking time, brushing with butter, shape, size and type of pan used for baking. With pyrex the baking time varies and there are chances for it go crispier. Of course for any cake the outer surface gets browned slightly which looks thicker but not crispier like biscuits, texture of it should resemble soft bread crumbs. Anyway glad that you enjoyed. Thanks.

  • jlakshmi


    I tried this yesterday.. Could not find Lemon Zest ( no idea ) what that is, so tried with Lemon Extract . It came out so well. Really spongy..Unga color varavillai, ( that yellow inside), but I think I got the taste. Y’day was a good mood to bake… so along with that tried the cranberry Biscotti.. Al Yummy.. Hippip Hooray !!


    • Mullai

      Lemon zest is the outermost part of the rind, the yellow skin area. This gives good intense lemon flavour, the more you peel hard, it gets bitter…as it touches the white stuff under it. Gently peel the yellow skin with a special tool called zester (something like our grater), but I used a regular potato peeler and then with the help of a sharp knife, cut them into thin strips. Voila!!!

      Thanks for getting back, appreciate your sincerity. So.. baking has become fun now I guess, fear turned to confidence, let the fun continue..

  • biji

    Hi Mullai Your cake looks so good, i would like to try, but it will be really helpful, if u clarify my doubts, ie, can i bake cakes in a microwave, or just ovens are great for baking and grilling, and which brand oven would u suggest and what is the real use of microwave oven

    • Mullai

      Biji, For years, I hadn't used my microwave for much besides reheating, steaming, par boiling and popping corn. Its the starting and stopping… opening and closing… unreliable results… timing tremors… all these are quite annoying to me. Even after efforts of perfect timing and planning, the results were like steaming and no way great than that.  I personally consider stove top or conventional oven convenient and much reliable, food cooked this way taste good and texture turns the right way.

      There's quite a hype for micro-wave cooking recently and so many enthu attempts have been shared online but again its involves some research before proceeding as not all of them yield promising results. In my opinion, stove top suits well for Indian cooking and conventional oven combined with microwave setting will be a helpful kitchen appliance. Hope I've answered your question, there are so many models in different price range, keep the pros and cons in mind, choose the one which comes under your budget.

  • priyasudha

    Nice teatime cake Mullai..

  • divya mubarak

    nice soft cake mullai…ungalluku yenna per vekkalam???….neenda aarachikku pin ungalukku sagala kala mullai nu per vecchachu …hehehe… :) )))


  • Sadhanaraveen

    wow very nice Mullai!!! picture superayirukku!!

    Sadhana Raveen

  • sri sudha

    Very nice pict of Sponge Cake…will try this week…

  • abhimuthu

    Your cake looks soft and spongy. the pictures look perfect, the fully baked picture and perfect slices. Thnx for sharing.

  • swathi


    pound cake looks nice. I like barefoot contessa recipe

  • kaviarun

    Nice pound cake….i want to taste without lemon flavor..

  • Arthi Selva


    Shops la iruka Cake madhiriyae iruku mullai.. Photos give additional effect to the cakes

  • jayamini

    mullai really nice pictures your family members are really lucky

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