or scroll for tips (and a little nostalgia).
Feel like stepping back in time some days? Then just whip up this old-fashioned Passionfruit Sponge cake.
Nana’s Passionfruit Sponge Cake
This is the type of recipe that our grandmothers always had stored away in their head. An old-fashioned sponge cake – this one is a “Prize Sponge” recorded by Nana Ling at the start of 1942 – with a generous layer of fresh cream and a sweet passionfruit icing to top things off.
The key to this recipe is, of course, getting the two layers of sponge cake just right.
When making sponge cake, start with fresh eggs and keep them out of the fridge so they’re at room temperature when you’re ready to use them. When you whip the whites, the frothy mixture will then be more stable.
Also make sure you prepare your tins by greasing and then either lining the tins with baking paper or sprinkling with flour and shaking the flour around so that it evenly coats the inside of the tins.
When adding the dry ingredients and water/butter mixture, treat the mixture like it’s delicate. Use a spatula and make sure the ingredients are well combined but do not stir vigorously or over-mix.
Finally, keep an eye on the sponges as they’re cooking but do not open the oven door until you’re fairly sure they’re cooked. The sponges should rise and cook to a golden colour, taking about 20 minutes. If you open the oven door and still hear a sizzling sound, it’s likely your cakes are still cooking. Quickly close the door and allow to cook a little longer.
Layers of cream, plenty of pulp
While the sponge layers are key to making up this recipe, the cream filling and passionfruit icing are the key to enjoying it!
The cream has a little icing sugar and custard powder, both for flavour and to help it hold together better.
The icing is a simple passionfruit icing with just the pulp and icing sugar – and a little hot water to get the right consistency.
Nana Ling’s Passionfruit Sponge Cake recipe
Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.
Passionfruit Sponge Cake
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 1 tablespoon melted butter (15 grams)
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 cup thickened cream
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon custard powder
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup passionfruit pulp (about 3-4 passionfruit)
- 1-2 teaspoons hot water
- Prepare two round cake tins by greasing and lining with baking paper or a sprinkling of flour.
- Pre-heat oven to a moderate temperature (170 degrees celsius, fan-forced).
- Separate egg yolks from whites.
- Beat egg whites to a stiff froth.
- Add yolks and sugar and beat on med-high for a further 5 minutes.
- Sift flour, cornflour and cream of tartar together. Add gradually to the egg and sugar mixture, folding together gently with a spatula.
- Combine melted butter, hot water and bicarb soda and add to the mixture. Fold together gently using the spatula.
- Pour half of the mixture into each of the round tins.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tins.
- Whip all ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of one sponge and then place other sponge on top to form a sandwich.
- Sift icing sugar and stir in the pulp. Add enough hot water to form a thick icing.
- Pour over top of sponge sandwich.