Yellow Sponge Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Hello there ! After publishing my post on “Cake Mix“, I was bombarded with requests for cake recipes! “how do I proceed to making cakes using your cake mix?” ……” How long for your cake recipes?” …….”how about wet ingredients?” !! These are a few quotes from the many messages I’ve received over the past week! Of course, I had my cake recipes coming for you lovely people …… thank you for your patience, and thank you for your interest !
This improvised yellow sponge cake recipe is a little different from the traditional recipe which my mother uses. Why? Just as i have mentioned in my previous posts, as cake designers, we want cakes that are light, and airy but structurally strong enough at the same time, making it convenient to ice and decorate upon. Especially cakes decorated with “fondant” (a kind of sugar paste, which I will be teaching in the coming weeks) need to withstand the weight of “decorations” and other add-ons. The last things you want is a cake that is squished under the weight of your beautiful cake toppers!
My baking goals needed to meet with my decorating goals !
12 test and fails, 4 dozen eggs,a ton of flour and many frustrating days later came the rainbow!……Finally a recipe with a perfect balance of taste, texture, and structure! I re-tested twice again with friends and colleagues… the reviews validated this recipe!
To those of you visiting my page for the first time, welcome !! I highly recommend reading the following posts, so you understand the basics before proceeding to Baking.
The procedure in detail- First preheat your oven at 320F/160C. Yes, I use a lower temperature than other baking sites recommend. I find using a lower temperature for a longer time helps with even baking, and softer crumbs. Next make a sugar syrup by heating water and sugar together. You can use the microwave (high power, 2-3 minutes) or the stove (medium-low heat)- remember to stir and scrape down the sides to prevent sugar from charring.
You will notice that my “white cake mix” contains granulated sugar. These granules help with aerating the flour, while the sugar syrup helps with an easy even blend of the ingredients. I use a hot syrup , so it helps bring other cold “wet ingredients” to room temperature before use.
Next, (1) prepare your pans and attach bake-even strips (2)prepare cake mix flour . This gives the boiling sugar syrup time to cool (remember we want it hot but boiling!).
Measure out your wet ingredients into a mixing bowl. It is important to use the right utensils to improve accuracy (Read measuring dry and wet ingredients- know the difference).
Mix ingredients together as instructed. Over mixing will result in hard chewy cakes, so mix for the recommended time. Pour into cake pans and insert into the preheated oven. Remember not to leave the oven door open for too long… be as quick as you can!
Once the baking time is over (45 minutes) you will notice that the sides would have slightly browned and top edges detached from the pan.
At this point use a toothpick or fork , insert into the center of the cake . If it comes out clean it is ready to be removed. If not give it another two minutes and test again for doneness. Proceed to “cooling“.
This non-iced cake, makes a great tea accompaniment!
The frosting- I have a detailed article, with reference to 8-10 different buttercream types and recipes coming up. This cake was decorated with my all time favorite- swiss meringue buttercream. I have attached this recipe for anyone that wants to have a go at it before the article is put up.
- Thula's White Cake Mix
- 1/2 cup Water
- 250 g Sugar
- 4 Eggs whole
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Yogurt
- 1/2 cup Whole milk
- 1/2 cup Oil
- 339 grams/1.5 cups/3 sticks Unsalted butter at room temperature,cut in pieces.
- 4 Egg Whites
- 200 g/1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 320F/160C
- 1. Mix sugar and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat covered on high for 2 minutes. Stop give the mix a quick stir and continue heating at 30 s intervals until the sugar dissolves completely. Now the mixture needs to be a clear molten syrup.
- 2. Prepare 2*8 inch circle cake pans (I use aluminum pans) and attach Bake-even strips
- 3. Prepare cake flour mix
- 4. In a separate kitchen aid or mixing bowl add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla essence and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, continue mixing and slowly pour in the molten sugar syrup into the mix. Continue mixing for another 30 seconds. Then reduce the speed to low (setting -2 in the Kitchen Aid)
- 5. Add the "white cake mix" and continue mixing for 1 minute - Adding one cup at a time prevents a flour cloud and unnecessary mess. Stop, scrape sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula and continue mixing for another 30 seconds. Stop
- 6. Pour into two 8*3 inch baking pans and bake at 320F , 45 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness- insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean then your cake is done. If not give it another 2-3 minutes and check again.
- 1. In a heat safe bowl add egg whites and sugar. Whisk this together to break the egg whites.
- 2. Double boil this mixture, stirring continuously to prevent scrambling until the temperature reaches 130F. You can use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.
- 3. The mixture at this point turns translucent. Immediately add it to a grease free metal bowl, add cream of tartar and whip on high speed until cool (5-7 minutes).
- 4. Once the mixture is cool change to paddle attachment and add butter one piece at a time keeping the speed at medium.
- 5. Add flavoring and desired coloring and mix on high speed for 2.5 minutes.
- 6. Frost your cake
- *tsp- Teaspoon
- Cream of tartar helps with stabilizing the eggs during the whipping process. It is an optional step.
- I use gel food coloring as it does not alter the consistency of the icing.
- Confectioners sugar is superfine sugar.