Orange Scented Sponge Cake

Orange Scented Sponge Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I made this fresh orange scented sponge cake from my The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. It is a classic and really nothing about it needs changing. It is light and the orange gives the cake a fresh flavor that isn’t overly sweet. I combined it with a dacquoise, strawberry whipped cream and homemade jam to make a birthday torte for my stepmother. Even though there is no butter or oil in the cake I find it moist enough that I didn’t use a simple syrup soak. But you certainly could add it for flavor.

Fresh Orange Sponge Cake from  The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup egg whites (about 8 large whites)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup yolks (about 6)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons orange zest

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans with parchment, no butter.

Sifting Flour and Salt | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Sift together the flour and salt twice; set aside.

Beating Eggs In A Stand Mixer | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In your mixer beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, continue to beat until the whites are stiff but moist,

Eggs Beaten to Stiff Peak | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

and stand in soft peaks peaks.  Set aside.

Beating Egg Yolks In Stand Mixer | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the yolks until they are thickened slightly, then slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar.

Adding Orange Zest to Beaten Eggs | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and lemon-colored.Add the orange zest and juice, blend well.

Sifting Flour Into Egg Yolks | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Sift 1/2 the flour over the egg yolks.

Mixing Orange Scented Sponge Cake Batter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Fold the flour into the eggs. Repeat with the rest of the flour.

Mixing Orange Scented Sponge Cake Batter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add 1/3 of the whites to the yolk mixture and gently fold in. Continue with the next 1/3 of egg whites.

Mixing Orange Scented Sponge Cake Batter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the last 1/3 of whites and fold gently until they are well combined.

Orange Scented Sponge Cake Batter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Spread the cake batter into the two ungreased pans.

Baking Orange Scented Sponge Cake Mixing Orange Scented Sponge Cake Batter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Orange Scented Sponge Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Invert the cake pans and let stand this way until the cake is completely cool.

Orange Scented Sponge Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Flip over, run a knife around the sides and tap the cake gently out of the pans. Frost with your favorite icing, use in trifle, a summer torte.

12 thoughts to “Orange Scented Sponge Cake”

  1. yes, the cake is lovely–you do good work. however, i’d take a pastry bag full of strawberry whipped cream and just squirt it down my gullet. yum!

  2. Thank you!

    Amanda, I use a super slicer knife that is sharp, serrated and very long; a perfect combo for cutting cakes.

    Grace, you assume I didn’t! 😉 Actually my 7 year old got to it first!

    Zoë

  3. May I ask how tall those cake pans are? They look taller than mine (the standard ones you find in places like bed bath and beyond).

  4. Hi Courtney,

    Excellent question!

    My pans in that picture are 3-inches tall x 8-inches. I call for 9-inch cake pans in the recipe, because I figured many people won’t have such tall pans. If you use your regular 9-inch pans you will be all set.

    Thanks for noticing and bringing it to my attention. I’m sure others were quietly wondering what is up with my tall pans! 😉

    Zoë

  5. Hi Francesca,

    The way I wrote the 8, for some reason created an emoticon in its place. Very strange! Thanks for letting me know. I’ve fixed the recipe!

    Zoë

  6. Hi Zoe. I’m thinking about making this for a birthday party this weekend. I would like to sub lemon for the orange, but I’m wondering how much that will affect the sweetness of the cake as written. I’m an intermediate baker who does really well when given a recipe. Modifying, on the other hand, doesn’t always work out so well for me due to the scientific aspect of baking. Do you have any suggestions on subbing a less sweet citrus fruit? Also, I would like to fill and decorate it with fresh fruit. Recommendations for a good frosting? I was thinking maybe a stabilized whipped cream or meringue-based concoction. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Ginny,

      The cake is plenty sweet to hold up to the addition of lemon. You could also do a combination of lemon and orange juice and lemon zest.

      This cake is wonderful with chocolate glaze, but it would be lovely with a lightly sweetened whipped cream or even a toasted brown sugar meringue! http://zoebakes.com/?p=2257

      Enjoy and let me know how you decide to go.

      Zoë

  7. Thanks, Zoe. The birthday boy isn’t a fan of chocolate (I know – I can’t believe it myself) so while I would love to do a glaze I have to defer on this one. I did see the meringue and that looks amazing. I think, though, since I am a little short on time I will stick with the whipped cream. Thanks again – I appreciate the quick response!

    1. Hi Ela,

      The eggs provide the lift the cake needs. Just like an angel food cake, it doesn’t require any leavener. Did you try it as written and have an issue with rising?

      Thanks! Zoë

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