Sponge cake or pan di Spagna/pan di span is a traditional Italian white sponge cake consisted of just 3 basic ingredients: sugar, flour, and eggs. It is a base for numerous cake recipes. You will need just 20 minutes to prepare it plus 35 minutes to cook. Soft, tasty and easy – here is the recipe:
- 120 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) sifted cake flour
- 120 grams (½ cup plus 1½ tablespoons) white sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
- Spray with nonstick baking spray (or butter and flour) a 7-8 inches (18-20 cm) pan.
- In a mixing bowl, apply the sugar, eggs, salt, and lemon zest or vanilla and use an electric mixer to beat the mixture until fluffy and pale yellow (around 15 minutes on medium-high speed).
- Sift the flour over the egg mixture, and use a wooden spoon to fold it gently.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Do not bang the pan on the counter or smooth the top, simply leave it as it is!
- Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (make sure to not open the oven for the first 30 min!)
- Then, turn off the oven and leave the cake inside (just keep the door a little bit open using a wooden spoon) for about 7 minutes so it could cool down slowly.
- Next, remove your pan di Spagna from the oven; allow to cool for 10 more minutes; after that, use a knife to loosen around the edges, flip it on a wire rack upside down so it can cool completely.
- Now, you can use it as a cake base, spread some jam over, or simply sprinkle berries of your choice and drizzle powdered sugar – and consume.