The first cake I learnt to bake was the sponge cake. It is probably also the most useful cake I have learnt to bake since it can be used to make all kinds of cakes with various fillings and toppings and building blocks to all sizes of cakes. It is also the cake inside the Marzipan Cake.
I learnt to make this cake from my mother. I think I was not more than six years old when I started. And the most vivid memory I have is all the times I failed. Every time the cake would fall down in the middle and not be baked. My mother never said a word. We just cut out the middle so the cake got a ring shape and used that. Why did it fall down? I think I was impatient and I opened the oven door to look at it so cold air came inside. This cake is very sensitive. So my instruction below is not empty words! Do not open the oven door before the right time has passed.
I also remember the miraculous first time the cake did not sink down in the middle and never ever after. I had mastered the challenge of the sponge cake!
It is kind of funny to think about that I felt it was harder to master the sponge cake than the marzipan decor.
Sponge Cake (small round)
- 6 eggs
- 200 g sugar
- 180g wheat flour
- ½ tsp bakingpowder
Spongecake (rectangular large)
- 8 eggs
- 400 g sugar
- 320 g flour
- 1 teaspoon bakingpowder
Whisk egg and sugar until fluffy and shiny and stiff.
Sift the flour and bakingpowder and blend carefully and softly in by hand with a spatula.
Pour into baking tray covered by baking paper.
Set oven to 160 Celsius degrees and bake about 30 minutes
Try to not open the oven since the sponge cake easily can “fall down” if getting cold air inside the oven. Try with a toothpick to see when ready. If nothing sticks to the toothpick it is baked enough.
Take out of oven and cool down on a grid.
Homemade Vanilla Cream
- 2, 5 dl Milk
- 2, 5 dl Cream
- 100 g Sugar
- 35 g Maizena Cornflour
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ Vanilla bean
- 2, 5 dl cream to be whipped and added when the cream is cold before filling the cake.
Beat together egg yolk, Maizena Cornflour and sugar.
Pour milk and cream into a saucepan, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them and the whole bean of vanilla in the pan.
Heat the milk mixture to boiling point and pour some of the boiling liquid in the bowl with egg yolk mixture while stirring.
Pour everything back into the pan and stir vigorously until it thickens. Make sure it does not burn.
Put the cream in a bowl or mold and cool.
Whip 2, 5 dl cream and fold into Vanilla Cream before filling the cake.
(The vanilla cream can be made by ready mix in packages that you just add cold milk to and mix together. Or you can make your own. Add some whipped cream to the vanilla cream to make it really good.)
Fill the Sponge Cake with Vanilla Cream
Divide the sponge cake into two and spread the vanilla cream evenly on the bottom part. Put the second part on top and put vanilla cream all around the sponge cake. Make it smooth with a knife.
*For the large size cake you need to make vanilla filling with about 1 liter milk. Add at least five dl whipped cream. For the smaller one as in recipe above.
- 500 g almonds grinded in an almond grinder
- 500 g icing sugar
- 1 eggwhite
Heat the almonds and egg whites in i thick bottomed pan on low heat and mix all the time until it becomes a sticky, shiny dough, than take it off and cool and mix the icing sugar in while kneading with your hands until all sugar is in and it is a white soft dough.
When you have made the dough, roll out the marzipan to a cover with a rolling pin and put on the cake. Leave some small parts to color for flowers and leaves.
To make flowers and leaves you roll the marzipan to a thin film and cut out the leaves. Flowers can be shaped by cutting half circles with an egg cup for instance and making the roses, adding the halves outside of each other.
“False marzipan” (Can be made without almonds)
- 60 g flour
- 1 dl cream
- 3-400 g icing sugar
1 teaspoon tragacanth (can be bought in drugstores/pharmacies and this makes the marzipan hold together so it is possible to roll it to a thin cover)
50 g almonds (you can eliminate this and use almond drops instead) or just leave it completely)
Heat the cream and the flour in a thick bottomed pan on low heat while all the time stirring. Stir until you have a shiny dough that forms like a ball. Take it off the heat and cool down. Add the icing sugar and tragacanth by kneading the dough by hands. Add icing sugar until the marzipan feels like it can be rolled to a cover and tastes like marzipan. Too little icing sugar it will taste too much flour and not sweet enough.
When you have the wished consistency take some small parts and color with food color for the decorations. The rest roll to make the cover.
Before placing the cover on the cake:
Decorate all around with whipped cream like I have done in the picture, to make it really festive.
For the cover you can buy marzipan cover and decorate with instead of making your own. In certain stores even colored marzipan can be bought to make roses and leaves. Or you can color your own with food color.
I make my own marzipan and color it and make the roses and leaves.
Sponge cakes can be decorated in so many ways. You can make a chocolate cream and decorate with. You can make a summery cake with Whipped Cream and berries or fruits. Just use your imagination. The spongecake can be buildingblocks to make large festive cakes for larger parties like weddings and anniversaries of all occations.
You can vary your fillings any way you like and to your own taste.