Pan di Spagna 

“Sponge Cake” 


This sponge cake was originally made without using any specific recipe. 

The main ingredients flour, sugar, eggs and a leavening agent, as baking powder or lemon juice, were put together without using a scale or measuring the ingredients. 

The Pan di Spagna is used to make cassata Siciliana, tiramisu', all kind of cakes; it is ideal to enjoy it plain, with espresso coffee or cappuccino or filled with any kind of creams, marmalades or fruits.



Makes a 10 inch round sponge, about 2 inch high. 




  • 6 large eggs or 7 medium 
  • 1 ½ cups flour 
  • ¼ cup cornstarch  
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar  
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla  
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder  
  • 10X2½  inch round pan with bottom lined with parchment paper or greased and well dusted, including the sides 


An electric or an hand mixer is necessary to whip the eggs. 



Preheat oven at 325 degrees. 

In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and ½ cup of powdered sugar. Sift and blend the flour, baking powder, salt and the mixture of the cornstarch-powdered sugar. Set aside. 

Set up the mixer with the wire whip attachment and beat the eggs and 1 cup of powdered sugar. 

When eggs are foamy and a light yellow color (12 to 15 minutes), add the vanilla and lemon juice and immediately stop the mixer. 


Remove the wire whip and using your hands, or a wooden spoon, start to stir in and fold the flour mixture into the eggs–sugar combination. 

Mix continuously in a circular motion from the top to the bottom of bowl, until mixture is well blended and has a soft and delicate consistency. 


Transfer into the greased pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, insert a toothpick in center of cake. If toothpick comes out dry and clean, remove from the oven or continue cooking until the “Pan di Spagna” is properly cooked. 

Transfer and invert into a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan.