Gluten-free Sponge Cake

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Author: Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Last Updated:


When all is said and done, I’m an absolute sucker for the plainest of plain sponge cakes sandwiched together with fruit jam and lashings of whipped cream. Always have been; always will be.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll go ga-ga for just about any slice of cake you can throw at me, but oftentimes they can feel a bit heavy, overly sweet and calorie dense. You have one slice and you feel you need to go walk it off (or, if you’re like me, simply stretch out on the sofa until that feeling passes!).  What I love about a slice of feather-light sponge cake is that you usually end up feeling like you could eat more (which I usually do!). And, let’s face it, there’s something just a wee bit refined and olde-worlde about enjoying a slice of sponge cake along with a nice, hot cup of tea.

This deliciously simple, not to mention gluten-free, recipe comes from Chelsea Sugar and, like my other favourite cake – lamingtons – basically comprises eggs and cornflour (corn starch). As you can imagine, the sponge is incredibly light – so light, in fact, that you really only want to assemble it just before serving, as the weight of the top layer starts to compress the lower layer fairly quickly.

It’s been suggested by some reviewers that the sponge tastes either a little eggy or a little starchy. And, yes, that’s probably true given the ingredients, but when paired with lots of whipped cream and a really flavoursome jam, I personally find it’s not an issue. I’ve made this cake a few times now and have always been stoked with the results. I hope you will be too. Enjoy!



Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 Slices



For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs, separated (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup golden caster sugar, superfine (or raw sugar)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • Icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) to dust

For the filling:

  • 6.5 fl oz heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Strawberry jam (see my jam recipe in notes)


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Grease well and line 2 x 23cm sandwich cake tins (I actually used 2 x 20cm tins) with baking paper.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add golden caster sugar (or if using raw sugar, blitz the raw sugar in a food processor until a finer crystal size is achieved) and beat until mixture is stiff and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and then the yolks one at a time, mix in well.
  • Sift together cornflour, custard powder and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into the mixture using a metal spoon (do this VERY gently until just combined – over-mixing can cause the cake to sink).
  • Pour equal amounts of the mixture into each prepared tin. Bake for 15–20 minutes (make sure you don’t open the oven door whilst cooking). The cakes should shrink slightly from the sides of the tins and spring back when gently touched.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack covered in a clean tea towel or paper towel to prevent a rack imprint on the sponges.

For the filling:

  • When cool and when you’re ready to serve, fill with whipped cream and jam and sprinkle with a fine dusting of icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar).


I made my own strawberry jam using 1/2 cup strawberry jam and a 400g (14 oz) tin of strawberries. I added them to a saucepan over a moderate heat and allowed it to simmer for 10 minutes or so until somewhat reduced (though the whole strawberries retained their shape) and then let it cool in the fridge.
Keyword Gluten-Free, Sponge Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how if you liked it in the comments below!
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.

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