Eggs, flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt are the basic ingredients to make any sponge cake, one of the most versatile preparations in the kitchen. And if we enrich this initial recipe with butter, yogurt, fruit, or some aroma, for example, the possibilities of making different cakes will multiply almost infinitely. But, in any case, you always have to follow specific guidelines to get the best result. Next, we are going to review some of the main tips and tricks so that our sponge cake is fluffy and well baked.
Making a good cake will depend on several factors, although there are two that are fundamental: the temperature and the amount of air that we incorporate into the dough. Baking homemade cakes are easy and difficult at the same time. I explain. Most likely, it will be more or less well cooked and rich in flavor, as we are adding simple and natural ingredients. Now, what is more, complicated is to give it just that desired texture or that the shape is perfect. But do not spread panic! If we take these tips into account when baking our sponge cake, success is assured.
There are several types of cakes and each one has its secrets. However, here you can read some general guidelines that are applicable to most of the cakes that we like to make at home.
Prepare the ingredients to make a good sponge cake
It is one of the most common mistakes when making cakes and it is easier to correct. As a basic guideline for making a sponge cake , the ingredients should all be at room temperature, so that the hot-cold contrast does not make our dough cut. For this we have to remember to take them out for a long time before the fridge, depending on the temperature in our kitchen. It is important that the butter is very soft, or as they say, in an ointment.
To get the butter to be in ointment, the microwave trick is not worth it. This way we will only get the butter to be melted in some areas, while in others it remains cold. Or, even worse, that it is completely melted. If we want to speed up the tempering process of the butter, the only thing we can do is cut it into smaller pieces and let it rest at room temperature along with the rest of the ingredients.
How to beat the eggs to make a good sponge cake?
They are the key to the dough, as they will provide the necessary air for the sponge cake to be fluffy. In general, the eggs are beaten together with the sugar using electric rods. If we do it by hand it won’t look so good, unless we have Popeye’s arm! We will beat the mixture between two and three minutes per egg, and if we do it on a warm water bath that does not exceed 40º, much better. It is one of the best tricks to make a good cake. In this way we will achieve a fantastic emulsion in which the air will have been trapped in a kind of microscopic cells. Just what you need our cake for fluffing .
In some recipes it is indicated that the whites and the yolks are beaten separately. In this case, the whites will have to be very cold, while the yolks will be warm. The latter will be beaten together with the sugar.
What flour do I use to make the cake fluffy?
We will always use pastry flour , also called loose flour, which has a low content of gluten, a protein typical of many cereals that allows the dough to become fluffy during fermentation. If we use bread flour, our cake will not rise. These are the main types of flour that are marketed classified by their gluten content:
Strength flour: Contains a high percentage of gluten (between 11.5% and 13.5% protein per 100 grams). They are flours that result in elastic and consistent doughs. They are indicated for the preparation of all kinds of bread and sourdoughs (such as those used to make pizzas, empanadas, focaccias, cocas)
Medium strength flour: Contains between 10% and 11.5% gluten per 100 grams. They are suitable for making puff pastry, brioches, etc.
Flour or pastry flour: Contains a low proportion of gluten, around 10% or less. It is what we use to make cakes, muffins, churros, profiteroles, shortcrust dough, etc.
It is convenient to sift the flour before incorporating it into the cake batter to aerate it and undo any possible lumps that it brings. When we mix the flour into our dough, it is necessary to do it using soft and enveloping movements, with the help of a wooden or silicone spatula, so as not to break those air cells that we will have achieved during the whipping.
The yeast you need to make a good sponge cake
If the recipe indicates it, we will use chemical yeast, also known as baking powder or raising agent. The best known is the Royal, although there are other brands. The effect of the yeast consists in the creation of small air bubbles inside the dough, which provide that spongy and light texture to the cakes that we like so much.
If the recipe indicates it, we can also use baking soda. It is not worth using baker’s yeast, neither dehydrated nor fresh. In the market, there is a type of flour marketed under the name of sponge cake or leavening, which has already incorporated the yeast. The use of this type of flour is not recommended, as we cannot control the exact amount of yeast that we are adding to the dough.
Although it does not influence the quality of the cake, we must be careful when choosing the yeast brand if we are making an egg, milk, or gluten-free dessert, as certain brands include traces of these foods in their yeasts.
- 3 eggs
- 1 lemon yogurt
- 1 measure of olive oil or sunflower oil (with sunflower, more gentle)
- 2 measures of white sugar
- 3 measures of common wheat flour
- 1 sachet of chemical yeast
- 1 lemon zest
- 3 grams of salt (a pinch)
- The best thing is that we put the cake ingredients separately and that way it will not be easier to handle ourselves.
- We start by mixing the eggs with sugar.
- We continue with the oil, yogurt, and lemon zest. We mix.
- It is time to add the sifted flour, we pass it through a strainer and incorporate it.
- As you can see, it is very fine. Now add the yeast and a pinch of salt.
- We mix everything very well with the rod.
- We grease a mold with butter and put flour so that it does not stick to us. We dump the cake dough in the mold.
- Preheat the oven. We introduce the oven at 180º for 40 minutes with the fan (in my case). In yours, you have to check that it is finished if you don't have a fan because each oven is different.
WHAT MOLD TO USE FOR THE CAKE
In this case, I have used a 24 cm one that makes it flatter, and therefore the baking time is shorter. In other cases, I have used one of 18 and the truth is that I have had to increase the baking time, as always control the time.
The good thing about this easy cake recipe is that we will use the measure of natural yogurt with which we will add the rest of the ingredients.
BAKING AND TEMPERATURE FOR SPONGE CAKE
The ideal temperature is for the oven at 180º. In my house, I have the possibility of putting the fan on and that's why I put it on but if you don't have it, you put it with the temperature from the bottom since we run the risk of burning us from the top.
In addition, we always have to have the oven previously hot, this step is really important because if not, it will not rise as it should.
WHAT KIND OF FLOUR DO I USE TO MAKE SPONGE CAKE?
The flour I recommend is common wheat flour since they currently sell cake flour in supermarkets where the mixture with yeast already comes, it is best to do it ourselves.
PERFECT DOUGH FOR SPONGE CAKE AND WITHOUT LUMPS
To get a perfect dough we have to use the ingredients at room temperature and something very important so that no lumps come out is to sift the flour. We achieve this by passing it through a strainer or through a sieve if we have it.
HOW TO KNOW IF A CAKE IS READY
To know if it is completely baked we have to prick it with a toothpick or a wooden skewer, if it comes out wet it still remains, when it comes out clean and dry, it is ready. Once we take it out we have to let it cool like any dough to eat it.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 280Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 142mgSodium 368mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 1gSugar 10gProtein 10g
What mold do we use to make a good sponge cake?
Its size will depend on the amount of dough that we are going to bake in it. If the mold is too large for the amount of dough in our recipe, the cake will be very short. On the contrary, if the mold is relatively small, we run the risk of being raw in the center, or else burning the surface when trying to bake it completely.
Many recipes indicate the size of the mold , which is proportional to the amount of dough used and the type of cake that we are going to obtain. However, if our recipe does not indicate it, the guideline is to choose a mold whose capacity is twice the volume of the raw dough.
In the same way, the material from which the mold is made has its importance. It is worth investing a little money in some good molds, because surely we end up putting them to good use. The tools of poor quality just finally cornered in a drawer. In general, I do not like silicone molds as it is easy for them to bulge in the center during baking. Try to always be removable and non-stick. And it is always convenient to encamisar them before baking, that is, cover them with butter and a thin layer of flour, so that the dough does not stick to the walls.
Oven temperature to make a good sponge cake
It is one of the main tricks to make a perfect cake. We will bake with heat from above and below. The oven should always be preheated. The most usual temperature is 180 °, unless the recipe indicates otherwise. If we use the fan function, we will lower it to 160º. It is essential not to open the oven until the first 20 minutes of cooking have passed, as the contrast with the cold air outside could cause our sponge cake to lose volume. If our oven had a very imprecise thermostat, it would be advisable to use an oven thermometer, which is inserted into it during cooking.
Ideally, place the mold on the oven rack and not on the tray, so that the hot air circulates better around the cake. The rack will be located in the middle of the oven.
What can happen to my cake if the temperature is wrong?
- The cake is sunk in its central part: the oven temperature was too low.
- The cake is bulging in its central part: the oven was too hot. In this case, the problem has some fix. When we unmold the cake, we place it upside down so that the “mountain” is flattened. You can also cut the projecting part with a serrated knife and decorate as planned, or just cover it with icing sugar so that the cut is not visible.
- If the cake does not rise much over its entire surface, it is because the dough lacked air. Next time you will have to beat the eggs for longer or with more power. It may also be due to the fact that we have taken too long to introduce the dough into the oven once it has been poured into the mold and the air that we had trapped inside those cells has partially escaped us.
These are some of the tips to make a perfect cake that I have found most important, but there are certainly many more. Now it’s up to you to put them into practice. Maybe the first time everything is not perfect, but the key is to try again. You can put these tips into practice by making this juicy apple cake, for example. Or, why not, a delicious brownie.