This is probably the fluffiest, lightest sponge that has ever come out of my oven and I’m so in love with this recipe. I won’t bore you on the blog by how I came to make this because you can watch my video tutorial below, where I explain it in very much detail and even I have to admit that I ramble on a little bit sometimes… so lets get straight to business!
200g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
250g Caster Sugar
250g Soft Unsalted Butter
1tsp Vanilla Extract
5 Eggs, separated
50g Icing Sugar
Cream Cheese Icing:
60g Soft Unsalted Butter
120g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
120g Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Coffee Extract OR 1/2-1 tbsp Espresso Powder
Preheat the oven to 170 degree C. Grease and flour a loaf tin to make sure your cake comes out of the tin easily later.
Put the butter, along with 200g of the caster sugar and the vanilla extract, into a large mixing bowl and cream them together until they’re light in texture and colour and fluffy. At the same time whip up the egg whites until they’re stiff, add the remaining 50g of caster sugar. This will help incorporate the egg whites into the batter later. By whipping both the egg whites and creaming the butter and sugar we’re creating a lot of air in the batter, which will lead to a very light and fluffy sponge later.
Add the egg yolks to the fluffy butter-sugar-mixture and mix them in well.
Combine flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt and then add it to the rest of the mixture. Mix until smooth. Then add a few spoonfuls of the stiff egg whites to the batter and mix it in well. This will lighten the texture of the batter and we will lose less air when folding the rest of the egg whites in.
Add the rest of the egg whites to the batter and using a spatula or large metal spoon (don’t use the stand mixer or hand mixer, they’re too vigorous and will knock too much air out of the batter) carefully fold them into the batter. To fold something in, you use the spatula to first go around the outside of the bowl and then bring it though the middle of the batter. Give the video a watch if you’re not quite sure if you’re doing it right.
Crush the walnuts up roughly and fold into the mixture as well.
Fill the batter into the loaf tin and bake on the lower shelf of your oven for about 55mins-1hr. It’s ready when you lightly push your finger into the top and it springs back.
Combine the coffee and the icing sugar. Using a skewer or cake tester, poke holes into the still warm cake. This will help the coffee soak through the sponge better. Soak the sponge with the coffee – a pastry brush will make it a bit easier and make less of a mess than just pouring it over the cake. This amount of coffee won’t soak through the whole sponge, if you want it to be more saturated use more coffee.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese icing.
Whip the soft butter for 3-4 minutes until it’s light and fluffy, then add the Philadelphia cream cheese and combine quickly. Add the icing sugar in 2 stages and then the vanilla and coffee extract (use espresso powder if you don’t have coffee extract), then add the milk to loosen the icing a little bit. The light texture of the sponge doesn’t need an overly heavy icing. Only mix until everything is combined.
When the cake is cooled very carefully take it out of the loaf tin. Since we soaked it in coffee it’ll be a bit more delicate. Then spread the icing over the top, it doesn’t have to look too neat and finally, if you like, sprinkle a few more walnuts on top for nice looks.
Hope you enjoy this. I ate most of the loaf by myself and then felt quite sick the next day but it was TOTALLY worth it.
Lots of love