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French Sponge Cake Recipe

French Sponge Cake is made without butter. The result is a light and airy cake with a hint of almond and lemon flavor. This cake is best garnished with fresh fruit or berries with simple syrup, or fruit compote.

This recipe was adapted from Gateau de Savoie in Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan

Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 40 minutes | Servings: 8-10

French Sponge Cake


  • 7 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt or angel food cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt for about 3 minutes. The mixture should be pale yellow and make a thick ribbon when you lift the beaters and the batter drops back into the bowl. Mix in the almond extract and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch, ground almonds, and flour. Gently fold into the egg yolk mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Mix a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and even out surface of cake batter with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the pan immediately to a serving plate to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with simple syrup* and fresh bruit or berries, or fruit compote.

*Simple Syrup is made by boiling together 1 cup of sugar + 1 cup of water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

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