Appalachia Appalachian Food

Easy, Cheap, Sponge Cake Ever!

Easy cheap sponge cake

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making a homemade Angel Food Cake-the closest I’ve ever come is making a box mix.

The recipes I’ve seen for Angel Food Cake always make me wary-they take so many eggs! And they seem so complicated that I’m always thinking what if I waste all those eggs and the thing doesn’t turn out right?

Easy angel food cake

A few months ago I came across a recipe called Sure, Cheap, Sponge Cake. Hmmm I thought someone like me must have been thrilled when they discovered this recipe. I mean the title alone indicates the recipe is easy to make-and cheaper than the average sponge cake or Angel Food Cake (if you know the official difference between sponge cake and angel food cake by all means share it with us-they both taste pretty much the same to me)

I’ve since baked the cake twice-and it’s turned out perfect both times.

You need:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

Best recipe for angel food cake

Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until they are frothy-then add water and beat for 10 minutes (you cannot over beat). After the 10 minutes of beating-add sugar a little at a time-mixing well.

Old time sponge cake

Fold in flour and salt.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter; add lemon extract and stir gently.

Pour batter into an ungreased bundt pan and bake at 325 for 1 hour or until done.

The recipe didn’t say to-but I turned the cake upside down-with the pan resting on a jar and let it cool for an hour just like Angel Food cake Recipes tell you to do.

Sponge cake

Remove cake from pan and serve as is or with strawberries and fresh whipped cream.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 19, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    This sounds WONDERFUL, and you’re right – only FOUR eggs!!!
    Angel food cake has always been my favorite. For our birthdays, our paternal Grandmother made our favorite cake and frosting, from scratch. Mine was always Angel Food with Fudge Frosting. It still is! As a diabetic, I use Splenda instead of sugar. I’ve also used Splenda Brown Sugar instead, and that was good too – different, and real good. (There’s a recipe for Brown Sugar Sponge Cake at Martha Stewart’s website.)
    Once baked and cooled (I like to cool mine upside down too, to preserve the loft of the cake, otherwise it can settle), I take a serrated knife and cut it into layers – as many as I can get, about 1 inch thick each. Then I put the Fudge Frosting between the layers, and on the cake, just like you’re frosting a regular layer cake, and be sure to frost the center too. Yum!!!
    One funny story I remember is our Mother (not much of a baker) making an Angel Food cake from a box. Instead of following the directions on the box, we guess she plopped everything dry into the bowl at once, then added the wet ingredients, mixed it up and put it in a pan to bake. It came out about an inch tall, and heavy as lead. The look on our Father’s face (he was the baker of the family) when he saw it was priceless. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    As far as frosting…grated orange peel in the cake and an orange cream type frosting dribbled down the cake is very good…I love the frest taste…
    Did you ever make an orange slice cake? It might be a little rich for this time of year, but soon the cool weather and chilly days will bring on the desire to store away some calories…LOL
    By the way, Sponge cakes are yellers and whites…Angel Food cake is a gazillion whites…
    Sift, before this, sift before that, sift, sift, sift…slow oven. My Mom could make them not me so much…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    August 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Of course Ethelene is RIGHT! She is allers right as far as I know – which is pretty far! She is the fantastic EDITOR OF MY NEW BOOK COMING OUT SEPTEMBER 4th. Meet us in Georgia to get a ‘limited’ copy on Sept. 7, 2013!
    Best regards,
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD.
    “FIDDLER OF THE MOUNTAINS – Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull” available September 7th over in GA!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    That Angel Food cake looks nice,
    especially a fresh one. But I’ve
    never fancied those fluffy types
    of cake. Sometimes I crave a plain
    cake and just put cold applesauce on it. Thanks for the recipe. If
    it wasn’t for Duncan Hines, this
    ole boy would starve…Ken

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    LOL-yes I got it : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I don’t bake much anymore but will have to try this.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Angels make Angel Food!
    sponge cake square pans
    Didja git it?

  • Reply
    Susi Pentic
    August 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I forgot to say the first one I made was Vanilla flavored. They can be flavored with many different flavors. Try Almond, Black Walnut, Peppermint, Rum, what the fruit you put with it would make the choice when I did mine.

  • Reply
    Susi Pentic
    August 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Angel Food cake has no yolks, it is white. Texture is different also sponge absorbs differently also.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Looks yummy!! We will add this to our Blind Pig recipe folder and make one this weekend. Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    Gina S
    August 15, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I used to bake cakes all the time from recipes, but never tried angel food cake even though I love it. Mama beat all I’ve ever seen. She would take out her big yellow Pyrex bowl and stir up batter for a cake, never once using a measuring cup or spoon.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    August 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

    regardless of name — they both sure do taste good — with or without fruit!!!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Ethelene is right. Angel Food cake does not have egg yolks – sponge cake does.
    For Angel Food cakes, we sifted the flour twice before mixing it with the sugar. Once the egg whites reached the soft peak stage (not stiff)we slowly sift the sugar/flour mixture over the egg whites, gently folding the flour/sugar mixture into the egg whites. This makes for very tall, fluffy, pillowy cakes.
    Angel Food cakes were our standard birthday cakes and for many, many years my great grandmother made them by hand. Yes- – she beat the room temperature egg whites to their firmly soft peaks by hand! She must have done this into her 90s because I always watched in awe as her little 4 foot 10 body focused on this task for each and every family birthday – (I was a freshman in high school when she died at 98.) In later years,my grandmother or mother used a mixer to beat the egg whites.
    I must admit, I’ve tried to beat the egg whites by hand but compared to Granny, I am a wimp – I always give in and get out the mixer.
    Some of those extra egg yolks would go into a glaze for the cake with egg yolk and confectioners sugar – that was usually an adult woman’s birthday. The menfolk and children always got the very sugary and crisp Seven Minute Frosting for their cakes.
    These birthday Angel Food cakes also meant other treats since the egg yolks couldn’t be wasted: a few would be added to the scrambled eggs or French toast for an extra rich birthday breakfast. Food coloring and sugar would be added to a few to “paint” sugar cookies to share at school or church. A few might be added to mac and cheese or some casserole for an extra touch of richness. If lemons were in season, special lemon pudding or lemon bars were made. Waste was not allowed. “Waste not – want not.” “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
    Even though we no longer have chickens to provide the eggs, birthdays are still made special with Angel Food cake.
    As always, thanks for the memories as my mind wandered down nostalgic paths stimulated by your and your other readers sharings.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I think Ethelene is correct about the difference in the two cakes. I have always used seven minute icing on these cakes if I decided to frost them at all. Recently my husband and I were in an Amish Grocery and they had added mandarin oranges and maraschino cherries to their homemade sponge cakes. It looked really good!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 15, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I’ve mussed up one or two of these light and fluffy cakes a time or three…This one sounds easy enough. The good thang is that you can bake it, taste it, and look at it and if it don’t suit you, then back to the chicken run it goes…so the hens can recycle the cake and make more aigs…LOL
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I love to trifle bowl mine and inbetween the tore up layers of sponge, adding strawberries or blueberries, peaches and a light cool whip topping…the sponge asborbs the juices and yummmmm!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

    This made me want to bake something today. I think I will be somewaht creative with something; I will look in the pantry. Thanks for getting me going.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 8:50 am

    This looks good, I will try it with our raspberries.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    August 15, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Momma used to make angel food cake a lot when we were growing up. Especially when we had fresh strawberries or peaches. She always stuck hers on top of a 1 liter glass coke bottle to cool back in the day. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I’m not much of a sponge cake person, but that seems easy enough.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 15, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Tipper, that cake would be good with blueberries too!
    I’ve made a few Angel food cakes. Forest loved them. As far as I know Angel food cake and sponge cake are the same thing.
    When I started looking for recipes I was astonished that they are so simple to make. For some reason I expected them to be more complicated. Like you I looked for the recipe that didn’t call for a dozen eggs.
    They never lasted very long when I made them.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    August 15, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I believe even I can tackle this. Will save it for fresh strawberry season. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    August 15, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Wonder how it would taste with vanilla instead of lemon. Sounds easy enough. Thanks, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    August 15, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Like to give this a try. Ingle’s Grocery Store here ices their’s with some type of Cool Whip icing. My daughter said it needed sprinkles. The next time I went to buy one,there sat one with sprinkles, the different color sprinkles. Pretty cake and delicious.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 15, 2013 at 7:19 am

    I don’t stand as an authority on either Angel Food Cake or Sponge Cake–although I used to bake both “back when” I did a lot of cooking! I think angel food cake is defined as the one that has only the whites of the eggs. A sponge cake may have both egg whites and egg yolks beaten well for either and added to the batter. Maybe readers can set us straight–as to whether sponge cakes have both yolks and whites of eggs!

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