Italian Sponge Cake Recipe

8 Min Read

Italian sponge cake, known as “Pan di Spagna,” is a classic dessert beloved for its simplicity and versatility.

With its light and airy texture, it serves as an excellent base for various desserts like tiramisu, layered cakes, or served on its own with a dusting of powdered sugar.

This traditional Italian recipe is cherished for its delicate flavor and moist crumb, making it a delightful treat for any occasion.

Follow this recipe to create your own delicious Italian sponge cake at home and indulge in the flavors of Italy.


  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120g) cake flour
  • Pinch of salt


  • Two 9-inch round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Electric mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Wire cooling rack


Preheat Oven:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Grease and line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.

Whip Eggs:

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.

Add Sugar and Vanilla:

Gradually add the granulated sugar and vanilla extract to the whipped eggs while continuing to beat on high speed.

Beat until the mixture is thick and forms ribbons when the beaters are lifted, about 3-4 minutes.

Fold in Flour:

Sift the cake flour and salt together into the egg mixture in three additions, gently folding with a spatula until just combined after each addition.

Be careful not to deflate the batter.

Pour Batter:

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, spreading it into an even layer with a spatula.


Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.


Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.

Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


Once cooled, the Italian sponge cake is ready to be served as desired.

Enjoy slices on their own or use them as a base for various desserts.

Nutritional Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 slice (1/12 of cake)
  • Calories: 130
  • Total Fat: 2.5g
    • Saturated Fat: 1g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 95mg
  • Sodium: 50mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 24g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0g
    • Sugars: 16g
  • Protein: 4g

Some health benefits of Italian sponge cake:

Low in Fat:

Italian sponge cake is made with minimal fat compared to other desserts like cakes made with butter or oil.

By using only a small amount of fat, typically from egg yolks, Italian sponge cake offers a lighter option for those looking to reduce their fat intake.

Good Source of Protein:

Eggs are a primary ingredient in Italian sponge cake, providing a significant amount of high-quality protein.

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining overall health.

Including protein-rich foods like Italian sponge cake in your diet can help you meet your daily protein needs.

Provides Energy:

Italian sponge cake is primarily made from carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary source of energy.

The carbohydrates in Italian sponge cake come from flour and sugar, providing a quick source of energy to fuel your daily activities.

Enjoying Italian sponge cake as a snack or dessert can help replenish energy stores and keep you feeling satisfied.

Contains Essential Nutrients:

While Italian sponge cake is not as nutrient-dense as some other desserts, it still provides essential nutrients from its ingredients.

Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium, which support various bodily functions.

Additionally, flour contains important nutrients like iron and B vitamins, contributing to overall health.

Versatile Dessert Option:

Italian sponge cake can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other desserts.

It can be layered with fresh fruit and whipped cream to create a light and refreshing dessert, or it can be soaked in flavored syrup or liqueur for added moisture and flavor.

Its versatility makes Italian sponge cake a popular choice for special occasions and celebrations.

Lower Calorie Option:

Compared to richer desserts like chocolate cake or cheesecake, Italian sponge cake tends to be lower in calories.

By enjoying Italian sponge cake in moderation, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming excessive calories, making it a suitable option for those watching their calorie intake.

No Added Preservatives or Artificial Ingredients:

When made from scratch, Italian sponge cake contains no added preservatives or artificial ingredients.

This makes it a healthier option compared to store-bought desserts that may contain additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors.

By preparing Italian sponge cake at home using wholesome ingredients, you can control the quality of the ingredients and minimize your intake of processed foods.

Overall, Italian sponge cake can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, providing a light and delicious dessert option that offers several health benefits.

Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a more elaborate dessert, Italian sponge cake is a versatile and satisfying treat that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?

Yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, but the texture may be slightly denser.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze them for longer storage.

Can I add flavorings or extracts to the batter?

Absolutely! You can customize the flavor of the cake by adding citrus zest, almond extract, or other flavorings to the batter.

Can I use this cake for layering or stacking?

Yes, this Italian sponge cake is ideal for layering and stacking in cakes or desserts like tiramisu.

How should I store leftovers?

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Share This Article
Leave a comment