Summer Yoghurt Sponge Cake

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This isn’t your average sponge cake. This sponge cake is truly spongey, and needs to be experienced to be believed. The crumb is super dense, and it’s lighter and moister than anything you’ve ever tried before! It’s also incredibly refreshing. I’ve worked some hints of lemon and vanilla into the batter to add a bit more to the freshness, and it’s worked quite well.

The crumb is so delicate in this cake that the grated lemon zest can be really obvious, so running a knife through it a few times before throwing it into the batter isn’t the worst idea. I’d describe it as mix between sponge cake and cheesecake, as it’s so utterly moist and dense, but maintains the lightness of a traditional sponge.

SummerSpongeLook at that super dense, but incredibly light, crumb!

I used low-fat yoghurt in this recipe, though you could probably experiment with this a little bit, whether that be using full-fat or other flavoured yoghurt. Do, however, opt for something thick and creamy; natural yoghurt is the best option – a basic yoghurt will be far to thin. I don’t suggest making two of these and sandwiching them. This cake is pretty dense and pretty filling. I do suggest serving it with something like a coulis, something fruity will work particularly well. Experiment and see what you like!

Summer Yoghurt Sponge Cake
Serves 6
A wonderfully light and refreshing sponge cake, perfect for hot summer days!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 200g Natural Yoghurt
  2. 30g vegetable oil
  3. 40g plain flour
  4. 25g corn flour
  5. 4 eggs, separated
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  8. 80g caster sugar
  9. A pinch of cream of tartar
  1. Preheat your oven to 150C/300F.
  2. Whisk together the yoghurt and oil.
  3. Add one yolk at a time, whisking thoroughly before adding another.
  4. Sieve the plain flour and corn flour into the mixture, and fold until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  5. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract, and mix until combined.
  6. In a plastic or metal bowl, which is clean and dry, add your egg whites and cream of tartar.
  7. Beat until frothy.
  8. Add a third of the sugar, and beat until soft peaks form.
  9. Slowly add the rest of the sugar, bit by bit, beating continuously. Continue to beat until reasonably stiff peaks form and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  10. Fold the egg whites into the batter one third at a time. Use a plastic or wooden spatula, and fold gently so as not to expel too much air from the mixture.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a cake tin lined with greaseproof baking paper.
  12. Place the cake tin in a deep baking tray filled with boiling water. The water should rise to about 1 inch of the cake tin.
  13. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 1 hour.
  14. Once baked, remove and immediately drop the cake from a height of about 20cms on to a hard surface. This will stop the cake from collapsing or shrinking too much on cooling.
  15. Remove from the cake tin immediately and allow to cool.
  16. Once cooled, refrigerate the cake for 2-3 hours, or overnight, before serving.
Sauce Pots
  1. Nicole
    March 10, 2015

    Great looking recipe, but I think you’ve missed adding the lemon and vanilla in the method, and ingredients says ‘corn flour’ while method says ‘cake flour’.

    • Alice | Sauce Pots
      March 10, 2015

      Hi, Thanks for pointing this out – these mistakes have been corrected.

      Happy baking!

  2. Jessica
    April 24, 2015


    Here in the states we don’t usually say “corn flour”. Did you mean corn meal or corn starch? Wikipedia says that corn flour can refer to either so I wanted to check! This recipe looks wonderful and I can’t wait to make it 🙂

    • Alice | Sauce Pots
      April 24, 2015

      Hi Jessica,

      It should be Corn starch for you! The different terminologies can be confusing! I hope you give this a go, the weather’s been so nice here I’ve been thinking of making it again too!

      Alice 🙂

      • Jessica
        April 24, 2015

        Thanks so much!

  3. ES
    October 2, 2015

    Hi, great recipe. I just tried baking this and the texture come out great. However, I find it taste a bit bland maybe because I omitted the vanilla essence as I ran out of it.

    Also, I find that the top surface of the cake is sticky. The “skin” on the top of the cake will come off when I touch it with my finger. In fact, anything that touches it will “peel” a patch off of it. Is this normal?

    • Alice | Sauce Pots
      October 2, 2015

      Hi, Thanks for the feedback, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

      To answer your questions, I imagine that there was not enough lemon and vanilla in the mixture to up the flavour a bit. This is a summer cake, that should have a fresh flavour driven by these two ingredients. If you make it again, I would try to up the amount of lemon zest and vanilla.

      As for the skin on top, I didn’t have this problem. With taking the photos I would have handled the cake quite a lot, and didn’t experience this. Perhaps the batter was a bit too moist? An extra tablespoon of cornflour might help. I dust the top with icing sugar, which would also help to stop the sticking.

      I hope this helps!