Old Fashion Sponge (The Jane Austen Challenge)

“You know how interesting the purchase of a sponge- cake is to me.”

Jane Austen writes to her sister Cassandra in the letter from Godmersham on June 15th 1808.

Sponge cake itself is a very boring cake and especially at Jane Austin’ s time when there was no raising powder and the servants has to beat the batter until their arm was aching.

Here it is Lady Charlotte’s recipe for sponge:

Take seven eggs, leaving out three whites; beat them well with a whisk; then take three quarters of a pound of lump-sugar beat fine: put to it a quarter of a pint of boiling water, and pour it to the eggs; then beat it half an hour or more; when you are just going to put it in the oven, add half a pint of flour well dried. You must not beat it after the flour is in. Put a paper in the tin. A quick oven will bake this quantity in an hour. It must not be beaten with a spoon, as it will make it heavy.”


It is not very different from the sponge I usually do, except for the fact that I don’t use boiling water and I use the same amount of sugar and flour (90 gr. flour, 90 sugar and 3 eggs).

Doing the appropriate math, Lady Carlotte’s sponge recipe is:

4 full eggs and 3 yolks,

1 dl. of boiling water,

1 cup of flour,

1 ½  of sugar,


For my taste 1 ½ cup of sugar was too much so I used only 1 cup.

My key points for the sponge cake is to add the flour stiffing it in the batter in 3 times and I use a spatula to mix it to the batter, otherwise the sponge will sink.

Instead of preparing a single sponge, I used muffin molds to make many of them so that the kids could fill it as they prefer.


So I shared with you Lady Charlotte’s secrets as mine for a fluffy sponge.

What about you?

Do you like sponge? Do you often prepare it? Which are your secrets?

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Here the sponge dressed as mini Victoria sandwiches.


And my kids’ favorite: Her Majesty The Nutella




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