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Italian Sponge Cake (Pan di Spagna)

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Learn how to make a traditional Italian sponge cake from scratch with only 3 ingredients: eggs, flour, and sugar!

Italian Sponge Cake (Pan di Spagna)
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • For an 18-20 cm (7-8 inches) pan:
  • ½ cup + 1½ tablespoon (120 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or vanilla extract optional
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (120 grams) cake flour, sifted *you can use all-purpose flour: 120 grams=1 cup
Instructions
  1. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time as the eggs need to be at room temperature or soak them for a few minutes in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (338 degrees F).
  3. Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) a 20 cm (8 inches) pan.
  4. Put the eggs, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  5. Beat the eggs until very fluffy and pale yellow (about 15/20 minutes on medium/high speed). To test that it has been beaten enough, let a small amount of batter fall into the bowl. If it remains "sitting" on top, it means that it's ready.
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  7. Sift the flour on top of the egg mixture, a little at a time, and fold it gently with a wooden spoon.
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  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Don't smooth the top or bang the pan on the counter, leave it as it is!
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  11. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Remember: do not open the oven for the first 30 minutes!)
  12. Turn off the oven but leave the cake inside (keep the door slightly open using a wooden spoon) for 5/10 minutes so it can cool down slowly.
  13. Remove the sponge cake from the oven, let it cool for 10 more minutes, then loosen around the edges with a knife, and flip it on a wire rack upside down (without the pan) to cool completely.
  14. Enjoy it!