Summers are finally wrapping up in the capital. It is still very hot, but day by day, degree by degree the temperatures are dropping. The arrival of the monsoon gets me excited every time. It is the perfect temperature, cool breeze and light showers. Which means if you follow me on my Instagram @shivesh17, you will see stories of me and the family perched on our terrace, surrounded by the lovely plants and trees enjoying the weather during tea time. Also, it can not be tea time in our house without a tea cake. It’s just not right, haha! So just for that perfect occasion I made this super fluffy vanilla sponge cake.
This vanilla sponge cake is like a cloud in the form of cake, light and fluffy. I love adding nuts to my tea cakes, it just gives that much needed crunch. You will be in textural heaven when you bite into this one. With the golden brown top and soft crumb, I am in love! So now that you know my monsoon plans, let’s whip this cake up and get you prepared as well! Best part is that it only has 8 ingredients.
Ingredients for the vanilla sponge cake
For the perfect texture and taste, I always use all purpose flour for all my baking needs. However, this vanilla sponge cake will taste wholesome as well if you wish to use wholewheat flour. The nuttiness and earthiness in wholewheat flour will compliment the richness from the eggs.
Eggs are what make our vanilla sponge cake what it is. FLUFFY. It is very important to use room temperature eggs for whenever you are baking. My trick is as soon as I decide what I am baking, the first thing I do is pull the eggs out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter until I measure the rest of the ingredients. This gives the eggs time to come at a base temperature which will help the eggs mix well in the batter and the cake will rise better.
I have not tried this recipe with an egg replacement, however if you bake eggless you can try substituting eggs in this recipe with 2 cups of thick yogurt!
For most of my recipes where I use oil, I have leaned towards using vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is neutral in taste and smell. I would not recommend using strong smelling oils like mustard and sesame. These types of oil will contribute a bitter taste to our vanilla sponge cake, which nobody wants. So any mildly flavored oil is your best baking buddy.
Caster sugar is the way to go, it is the perfect size of grain to make our vanilla sponge cake. Smaller sugar crystals of the caster sugar dissolve better when mixed with fats. If we were to use granulated sugar, the sugar crystals will not dissolve properly and will leave the cake with an unnecessary crunch from the sugar. For the caster sugar I use the brand Trust.
I like adding milk to cake batters, especially when baking a sponge cake. Milk improves the texture of our cake and also gives our cake a soft crumb. Mouthfeel of the cake is also upgraded when milk is added to our cake batters. Milk has natural sugar in it, which when comes in contact with heat, caramelises. This means the perfect golden brown top for our cake!
The leavening agent
Baking powder is the leavening agent that I have used to make my vanilla sponge cake super fluffy. When the alkaline and acid in the baking powder mix with wet ingredients, baking powder is activated. And if you are uncertain about the uses of baking powder vs. baking soda in your baking. I have a detailed blog post about baking powder and baking soda, RIGHT HERE.
If it is called vanilla sponge cake, it needs the best quality of vanilla. I have used a good quality vanilla extract here. If you have vanilla beans, that would also be amazing here in this recipe. The vanilla extract that I use is either from Sprig or indian vanilla goodness.
The crunchy bits
I am all for textures. To make this vanilla sponge cake taste even more amazing I had to make an addition of nuts. Here I have 2 of my favorites, walnuts and almonds. You can also substitute these for cashews, pistachios or pecans.
Tips to make the best vanilla sponge cake
- Mix the oil and caster sugar really well, until it is light and fluffy. Doing so, will add texture to our vanilla sponge cake and not make it feel dense.
- Incorporate one egg at a time. This will help you beat the eggs properly, one at a time. This will also ensure maximum air in the batter, hence leading to a fluffy and light cake.
- Fold the dry ingredients GENTLY. I know I always say this, I really really mean it for this recipe. As gently as you would swaddle a newborn baby. Yep
I have so many more tea cake recipes on the website that I absolutely love! Eggless Strawberry Tea Cake with Fresh Strawberries, Lemon and Black Tea Cake with Fresh Blackberries, Eggless Whole-Wheat Apple Cake are some of my favorites.
- 2 cup maida
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup oil
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ chopped nuts
- Preheat your oven at 180 C.
- In a bowl add the flour and baking powder, mix them well using a wooden spoon.
- In a separate bowl add sugar and oil. Using an electric mixer mix them well on high speed until the mixture looks light and fluffy.
- To the sugar-oil mixture, add eggs one at a time and beat it well with the electric mixer until well combined.. Add vanilla and mix again.
- Add half of the dry ingredients that we set aside first, mix gently using a wooden spoon.
- Add the milk to the batter and mix in gently. Now add the leftover dry ingredients and combine until the batter has no large flour pockets.
- Gently fold in the nuts into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to a 8’ inch cake pan lined with parchment. Bake @180C for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.