Vegan Sponge Cake 101: Helpful Tips and Recipes to Bake Now
The first step is always the hardest – to make it at least a little easier for you if you want to switch to a vegan diet, we've written a few articles on the basics. They are about how to get the nutrients you need when being vegan, non-vegan ingredients to look out for, and vegan pantry essentials. Find all our articles here.
The perfect sponge cake should be fluffy and airy – almost like a pillow that looks like you want to snuggle right into it. In the range of the vegan doughs that we’ve written about until now (vegan shortcrust pastry and yeast dough), the sponge batter is the easiest and quickest in preparation. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind. Sponge cake is a great base for all kinds of layer cakes and Swiss rolls. The sponge cake itself shouldn’t be sweetened too much as it can otherwise turn out way too sugary with toppings such as buttercream, fruits, whipped cream, chocolate, or else. In “traditional” recipes, beaten egg whites and creamed sugar ensure the fluffy texture of the cake, but for our vegan version, sparkling water does the trick!
Vegan Sponge Cake
225 g (2 cups) flour
150 g (0.7 cups) sugar
250 ml (1 cup) sparkling water
50 ml (0.25 cup) plant-based oil
1 tsp baking powder
8 g (0.28 oz) vanilla sugar
You need a 9 inch/22 cm circular cake pan for this recipe.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Mix in a bowl: flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder. Whisk until combined.
- Add the oil and the sparkling water. Mix the dough for another time.
- Grease a cake pan and add the batter. Bake for 30 minutes. Test with a wooden stick if your sponge cake is done. Extend or reduce the baking time until cake is golden-brown.
3 Secrets of (Vegan) Sponge Cake That You Should Know About
1. First step: Preheat your oven. Unlike yeast dough that needs to rise for quite some time, sponge cake is matter of great urgency. In order to prevent the batter from deflating, make sure to always preheat the oven and prepare your baking pan. You want to bake this cake right away. Only grease and dust the bottom of your baking dish, and leave the edges as they are. If you grease the baking pan all around, it could happen that the cake slipps off and won’t rise while baking, but instead collapses.
2. Do not overstir the batter: This golden sponge cake rule applies even more for recipes that are not vegan. Still, vegan sponge cake wants to be treated with just the same kid gloves. Never stir ingredients together like crazy. Instead, fold in liquids until all ingredients are just mixed and no flour is visible anymore. This is how your cake will get so fluffy. It’s also best to sift flour and baking soda into the bowl to prevent any lumps forming in the batter.
3. Use sparkling water and vinegar as egg substitutes: Classic sponge cake uses beaten egg whites and creamed sugar to get an airy texture. For a vegan sponge cake, you can either use sparkling water (it already comes with a lot of air bubbles in it) or apple cider vinegar. The vinegar reacts when combined with baking soda or baking powder which helps to rise the cake while baking. And no worries, your cake won’t taste of vinegar after baking.