Genoise Sponge

Genoise is a light, airy sponge-like cake that relies on air beaten into the eggs to make it rise. A genoise is not a true sponge cake, as it is made with butter. Genoise is traditionally made in a moule-à-manqué mould, a French cake tin with slightly sloping sides. The cake can be flavoured with chocolate, almonds or liqueurs. Make genoise on the day you want to eat it, or freeze it straight away as it doesn’t have enough fat to make it last for more than 2 to 3 days.


  • 290 g (10¼ oz/2⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 220 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, to dust


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Lightly grease one 25 cm (10 inch) Genoise tin or two shallow 22 cm ( inch) round cake tins with melted butter. Line the base with baking paper, then grease the paper. Dust the tin with a little flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Sift the flour three times onto a piece of baking paper. Combine the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, and beat using electric beaters for 8 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and fluffy. Remove from the heat and beat for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add the butter and flour. Using a large metal spoon, fold in quickly and lightly until the mixture is just combined. Spread the mixture evenly into the tin. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the sponge is lightly golden and has shrunk slightly from the side of the tin. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.