Throw Back Thursday: The Case of the Sinking Sponge

September is a big birthday month for me…  remember, we are calling this Throw Back Thursday for a reason! 3 birthdays to celebrate in 3 weeks. One birthday celebrant asked me for one thing, a sponge cake. Now, I am not a frequent cake maker and a ‘sponge cake’ as it was described to me was not how I would describe a ‘normal’ cake. So a week before the birthday I found a recipe online and gave it a try… and to my disappointment I came out with this:


Okay, so maybe it didn’t come out of the pan exactly like that; but it stuck to the tin so badly, it was so dense and crumbly that it hardly passed as a cake at all!

So I did a little more reading up, read that a smaller tin can help with the sinking problem and I tried a different recipe.


A smaller tin did NOT help with the sinking problem. It was a disaster. It was mistake after mistake (I thought my tin was a 8″ pan, it was really a 6″ pan – a too small tin can cause major sinking).

I tried 4 different cake recipes in 3 days, until I realized I had my Great Grandmother’s recipe cards.


After heading to my local craft store and purchasing an actual 8″ cake tin. I whipped up my Great Grandmother’s 2 egg sponge cake. It was the closest I came in the week of trying to make sponge cakes. (I won’t even mention 3 additional attempts made by my partner in crime) In the end, my sponge was sandwiched with one of his with jam and fresh whipped cream in the middle and brought into the work place of the birthday boy to good fan fair.

I on the other hand was still not satisfied and decided to try my hand at making an Angel Food Cake (which sounded far more like what was being described to me than the ‘sponge cake’ my internet searches were turning up). I didn’t have a bundt pan, so I found this recipe for angel food cake in a loaf pan and served it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries for the after birthday dinner treat. After all that sponge cake madness it turns out that the fluffy, slightly rounded top and moist center of what I know as the Angel food cake is what we should have been trying to make the whole time!

If there is any lesson to be learned in all this it is to keep your cool in the kitchen at all times and if one recipe or idea doesn’t work, there are always others!