Lemon Sponge Cake (Lemon Pan di Spagna)
Posted on 25 December 2015
Italian Sponge Cake – Pan di Spagna – is a pastry product, probably one of the first of the non-yeast cakes, widely used in confectionery, particularly as a basis for layered cakes and various desserts, but it also can be served on its own, sprinkled with icing sugar. Although it’s made with only three ingredients (eggs, sugar and flour), this sponge cake is very classy and delicious. It can be enriched with vanilla, citrus or any other flavor.
This is the recipe of the sponge cake that I often use in desserts. The difference between my recipe and the classic one is that I add a whole medium sized lemon (zest+juice) which results in a fluffy, spongy and very tasty cake 🙂
Ingredients (for a 20 cm diameter cake, 6.5 cm height)
- 6 medium sized eggs, at room temperature
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 150 g cake flour, sifted
- 50 ml lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Preheat the oven at 175 Celsius. Butter a baking pan (or a spring form cake pan) and line it with parchment paper.
Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Mix the egg yolks with a pinch of salt, then add 1 tablespoon of sugar until creamy and pale yellow. Add lemon zest and homogenize.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy, then add gradually the rest of sugar alternating with lemon juice and continue whisking at high speed in order to obtain a stiff meringue.
Incorporate the yolk cream alternating with flour, one third at a time, and fold gently from bottom to top, using a spatula. The batter must be airy, with a lava-like consistency.
Pour the batter into prepared pan, level it gently and bake for about 10 minutes at 175 Celsius, then decrease the temperature to 140 Celsius and continue baking until golden brown (another 30 minutes).
Rotate the pan if needed, but do not open the oven in the first 20 minutes of baking. Check the cake with a bamboo stick and when it’s done, turn off the heat and allow to cool into the oven, with the door slightly opened.
When the cake is cooled completely, it can be removed from the baking pan and cut into layers. It’s a beautiful, strong lemon flavored, lovely colored and delicious sponge cake 🙂