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Jewish Sponge Cake

5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 226
This traditional sponge cake is light, spongy and full of flavor. Pair it with coffee or tea, or just enjoy it as a breakfast cake.


  • 1 10-inch tube (angel cake) pan


  • 8 large eggs
  • 1-2 lemons (use 1 large lemon or 2 small to medium lemons)
  • 55 grams lemon juice (4 Tablespoons)
  • teaspoon vanilla extract (¼ cup)
  • 333 grams sugar, divided (1⅔ cups)
  • 240 grams cake flour (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt or fine sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • Zest and juice the lemon(s). If using more than 1 lemon to reach the 55 grams or 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice, use the zest of 1½ of the lemons.
  • Separate the eggs so that the egg whites are in the bowl of an electric mixer and the egg yolks are in a large, separate mixing bowl. Set both bowls aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine most of the sugar (approximately 283 grams, or all of the sugar less ¼ cup) with the lemon zest, using your fingertips to press zest into the sugar. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour and the baking powder; whisk in the salt. (If using table salt, sift it with the rest of the dry ingredients.) Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium high speed (6 or 7 on a KitchenAid). Once they start to foam (barely any of the liquid is visible in the center), add 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Continue beating, and once the egg whites start to form soft peaks, slowly add the remaining sugar (approximately 50 grams or ¼ cup), just a little at a time and keep whisking until stiff peaks form. You may increase the mixer speed to the highest speed once the sugar is fully incorporated.
  • While the mixer is beating the egg whites, add the lemon zested sugar to the yolks and whisk until pale and fluffy. (If you have a hand mixer, feel free to use it. Alternatively, you can whisk or beat the egg yolks with the lemon sugar with the mixer before beating the whites, but be sure to clean the mixing bowl and the beaters very carefully before beating the egg whites.) Whisk in the lemon juice and the vanilla extract.
  • Once the whites have formed stiff peaks, fold approximately ¼ of the stiff egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Once fully combined (no streaks remain), carefully add the rest of the egg whites to the bowl and then pour the dry ingredients over the egg whites. Fold just until the whites and dry ingredients are no longer visible.
  • Spread into an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan, being careful not to overwork the batter to avoid deflating the aerated batter.
  • Bake for 65-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, the top is nicely browned, and the cake has just started to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and invert, allowing cake to cool completely in inverted pan.


  • Once fully cooled, use a knife to cut the cake around the edges to release it from the pan. Store the cake in an airtight container or plastic wrap. It will keep well at room temperature for least several days. It also freezes beautifully.
Calories: 226kcal
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Jewish
Keyword: lemon, sponge


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg