French Sponge Cake Recipe

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



  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.