This 5-ingredient Hungarian recipe for basic sponge cake, or piskotatekercs, is one of my favorites. It's easy to make and turns out perfectly every time if you follow the directions.
Sponge cakes can be used for rolled desserts or roulades, also known as jelly rolls and Swiss rolls or, when baked in round pans, for multi-layered cakes like Dobos torta, Esterhazy torte and more.
Remember to sprinkle or sift the flour over the batter 1 tablespoon at a time and fold it in by hand. Don't over bake the sponge because it will become dry and will crack easily when rolled.
- 6 large room-temperature eggs, separated
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon room-temperature water
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Then lightly coat the parchment with cooking spray. You can alternatively use a jellyroll pan, but the sponge, naturally, will be thicker.
- If using round pans, line the bottoms of 4 (8-inch) pans with parchment paper and then lightly coat the parchment with cooking spray.
- Whip 6 large room-temperature egg whites with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon room-temperature water until stiff but not dry.
- Add 6 large room-temperature eggs yolks, one at a time, while whipping on slow speed. It should take 2 minutes to slowly incorporate the yolks.
- Add 6 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. again at slow speed, taking about 4 minutes to mix it all in.
- The batter should be light and fluffy at this point. BY HAND, sprinkle (or sift) 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour over the batter and gently fold it in, trying not to reduce the volume. Repeat with the 3 remaining tablespoons of flour, 1 at a time, until no streaks of flour are visible.
- Pour batter into prepared pan(s), spreading it evenly. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE.
- Remove from oven. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the top of the cake and invert it onto a countertop. Remove parchment paper that lined the pan and is now the top of the sponge.
- Roll the sponge in the fresh piece of parchment paper and let it cool completely. Then unroll and fill as your recipe directs.
- If you have baked your sponge in round pans, just invert them onto a cooling rack.