In our previous post; I shared 4 main types of cakes used in baking, based on mixing methods – one of them was Sponge cakes. These cakes have a variety of methods in which they are combined, which give them each a different taste and texture.
In this post; I will describe the 4 most popular types of sponge cakes and their mixing methods. This will hopefully help you as a baker or bakerette when you encounter different mixing methods in the various recipes you may search for or find in our recipe ebook you may purchase as well, e.g. in our Our Recipe Book that contains Sponge cake recipes..
Biscuit (Pronounced ‘bees – kee’ = French)
This type of sponge cake contains both the egg white and yolks in the recipe. They are however first separated; whipped separately (egg whites and sugar to make a meringue) then mixed back together. In this type of Sponge cake; the eggs are the raising agent in the recipe. Chemical raising agents are not used in this recipe traditionally.
The resulting foam batter is very light. The Biscuit Sponge cake is a bit dryer than most sponge cakes, but holds its shape very well. It can be used to make just a regular sponge cake for different types of cakes and tortes; it can also be used to make Swiss rolls. It is also known to be used while making Lady-finger cookies.
This sponge is usually moistened with syrup, fruit juice or some kind of liqeuer to give it moisture and flavor.
You can use this type of Sponge cake in the Black or White Forrest cakes assembly. Click here for a simple Spicy Sponge cake recipe on this blog made using this method. This type of sponge cake is best decorated using Whipped Cream frosting as it tends to be lighter in texture.
This type of sponge cake is made with whole eggs (no separation); this technique is a bit more involved as opposed to the Biscuit. Eggs are mixed with sugar and heated over simmering water then whipped. You must ensure that you constantly whip the egg mixture so the eggs don’t cook and become scrambled eggs. Make sure the bowl you’re mixing in doesn’t come into contact with the water in the pot below. The pot of water should not come to a boil; it should simmer. Whisk the egg mixture on top of the water about 3 to 5 minutes; until the bowl is warm to the touch or until it gets to about 110°-120°F/43°-49°C. Whipping the eggs over heat allows them to whip to a greater volume. After the eggs and sugar have doubled or almost tripled in volume; add some melted butter and fold gently – then add the flour and fold. The eggs are used as the raising agents; this is why you need them to double or triple in volume.
Genoise cakes tend to be light, airy and a bit moist; but they can also be moistened with syrup for flavoring and to add more moisture. These types of sponge cakes can be used in Forrest cakes assembly. They are also used as layer cakes (e.g. in making a cake called Fraisier); they’re torted into a few layers and filled with fruits, fruit preserves, pastry cream or frostings such as whipped cream or meringue buttercreams.
Angel Food Cake
This type of sponge cake is made with egg whites alone, no egg yolks. The egg whites are whipped; then a fine granulated sugar is added and whipped until very firm. The flour is then very gently folded in. This gives a very white, airy and fluffy cake; it does tend to be dry in texture.
This type of sponge can also be moistened with sugar syrup, then filled with whipped cream and also garnished and filled with fruit; they go very well together (the fruit & cream). This Sponge cake also uses the egg whites as the raising agents traditionally.
This is a cross between a sponge cake and an oil cake. We refer to it as a sponge cake that ‘cheats’ ^_^
This sponge cake contains both a fat and a chemical raising agent; oil and baking powder, in the ingredients list. The eggs are also separated; the whites are beaten until stiff. All the other ingredients are combined in another bowl to make a smooth batter like a pancake batter; the beaten egg whites are then folded into the ‘pancake’ batter. The result after this mixing process is of a lighter sponge cake texture, but with a rich flavor like butter/oil cakes. These cakes are generally layered and filled with fillings and frostings. They don’t always require decoration especially when used in Chiffon cake pans or Bundt pans; you can just dust some icing sugar on top or drizzle a little bit of glaze. You can however decorate with whipped cream or meringue butter-creams if you prefer.
These are our favorite sponge cakes to make; especially in our Cakes Brand, that’s all we sell – Chiffon cakes by Amari ^_^
You also don’t have to ‘wet’ or moisten the inside of these cakes due to their rich and soft texture; however, you can still do so if you would like for flavor and moisture.
Special Mention: Jaconde Sponge cake
It is a type of Biscuit Sponge. A lot of pastry chefs use it for the assembly of different types of cold desserts or entremets. Generally, it’s used by pastry chefs and rarely by bakers. It’s a sponge cake that’s baked like a rectangle, very thin. The difference between a Biscuit and a Jaconde is that you add some almond flour or almond meal. When you finish baking it, you then add sugar syrup or just sugar to keep it moist. It’s used for a lot of assembly of entremets and other types of pastries.
We have a YouTube video on sponge cakes if you prefer to watch, Click here
These are the top most popular sponge cakes made by most bakers in the industry. Once again; these are not all the sponge cakes used in the world, there are many varieties out there. I hope this post will add some insight to your baking knowledge as you grow as a Baker or Bakerette ^_^
Feel free to leave a comment below; please do share this post in your networks for those it may help – sharing is caring!
To get tried and triple-tested Sponge cake recipes, get our Baking with Amari: Cakes, Cookies & Breads Recipe Ebook, click here for details.
The ebook is also available on Amazon, check here = Baking with Amari Ebook on Amazon.
Happy Baking awesome people.
P/S: We offer both online – ( Click here for Online class details ) and practical Baking classes (in Nairobi, Kenya) where we teach various types of cake mixing methods. Click here for the practical classes details.