Donna Hay: Basics To Brilliance

Donna Hay shares her Nan's delicious recipe for the perfect sponge.


  • 1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 6 eggs

  • ¾ cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 75g unsalted butter, melted


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).

  • 2.

    Lightly grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with non-stick baking paper.

  • 3.

    Sift the flour and baking powder together 3 times and set aside.

  • 4.

    Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 12–15 minutes or until pale, thick and tripled in volume.

  • 5.

    Sift half the flour mixture into the egg mixture and, using a large metal spoon, gently fold to combine+. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture.

  • 6.

    Add the butter and gently fold to combine.

  • 7.

    Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and gently smooth the tops, using a palette knife++.

  • 8.

    Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the cakes are springy to the touch and come away from the sides of the tins. Turn out onto wire racks covered with clean tea towels and allow to cool completely. Makes 2 cakes.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

  • Energy 224kj
  • Fat Total 8g
  • Saturated Fat 4g
  • Protein 4g
  • Carbohydrate 31g
  • Sugar 20g
  • Sodium 74mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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+ Use a large metal spoon to combine the flour and egg mixtures, with a gentle cutting, lifting and folding action.
++ Be gentle when smoothing the tops of the cakes, to keep the mixture light and airy.

TIP! By covering the cooling racks with tea towels (or non-stick baking paper), you’ll prevent the wire from imprinting grid marks on the cakes.

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