Gluten Free Sponge Cake

August 22, 2019

Filled Gluten Free Sponge

When I was a teenager, I often used to spend the weekends with my father and step-mother, and loved some of the cakes and biscuits she made. I purchased a ring binder and started copying her recipes on the pages, then  later, as a young mother, I added to this collection, taking notes during the (very amateurish) cooking shows of the day, and collected recipes from my mother-in-law to add to the pages. Many of these old recipes became family favourites, to be made many times. Over the years I’ve added more from friends and family members, and that old binder is now yellowing and stained with the evidence of many cooking sessions.

One of the recipes was given to me by my brother-in-law who used to be a chef; he would have been all of about 20 when he passed on his recipe for a sponge cake, but omitted to include the cooking time or temperature; a bit like the ‘technical challenges’ on The Great Australian Bake-Off. I recently re-visited this recipe and tried it with the least expensive brand of gluten free flour in the shop, and guessed the timing and temperature. The result surprised me. Light and fluffy with a close texture that didn’t collapse as it cooked. Maybe it was the organic free-range eggs collected from our busy chooks, maybe it was the flour combination, or a combination of many factors. My non-gluten-free husband kept coming back for more of this cake, filled with a vanilla crème patissiere and topped with passionfruit glace icing, telling me it didn’t ‘taste gluten free’, so I must have improved my production of this recipe since I first tried it gluten free for the sponge in a Christmas trifle a couple of years ago that didn’t go down well with my very fussy (about trifle) offspring.

I hope when you make this recipe, that it works out as well for you as it does for me.


  • 6 eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 125 g gluten free cornflour
  • 125 g gluten free plain flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum
  • Pinch of salt.


  • Preheat oven to 180C, and grease and line 2 x 20 cm round cake tins.
  • Put eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat at a high speed until it is very pale, light and fluffy. (like merangue)
  • Sift the dry ingredients and quickly fold into the egg mixture.
  • Pour evenly between the tins.
  • Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes or until brown on top and it springs back to the touch.
  • Cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to complete cooling.

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