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Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan)

Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan) | recipe from runawayrice.comLight and fluffy, the Asian version of sponge cake is not super sweet and simply scrumptious!  It’s a wonderful basic cake that can be easily dressed-up to make a fancier dessert.  (I’ll share another tasty recipe in a future post.)  Most of the time, I like to serve the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar or with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries.  Yum!  Enjoy the recipe!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

The eggs need to be at room temperature so the egg whites can be whipped successfully.  Remove the eggs from the fridge and place on the counter for an hour.  Alternatively, soak cold eggs in a bowl of warm tap water for 15 minutes.

When separating the eggs, be careful not to break the yolks and contaminate the egg whites.  Any yolk in the egg whites will prevent the whites from getting airy.  Use an egg separator to make it easier.

For this recipe, it helps to have a hand mixer to make the batter and a stand mixer to whip the egg whites.  The stand mixer is powerful and gets the job done fast.  Also, most stand mixers have stainless steel bowls and this is preferred to make nice and fluffy egg whites.  If you don’t have a stand mixer and plan to use your hand mixer to make the egg whites, make sure you wash and dry the mixers thoroughly before whipping the egg whites.  Again, any egg yolks and/or water will contaminate the egg whites and prevent them from stiffening properly.

Regarding over-whipping egg whites, we all know it takes just seconds to turn egg whites from fluffy, white clouds to a watery, broken-down gray mess, so please be careful.  If using a stand mixer, it only takes 3-4 minutes total to whip egg whites.  While whipping, stop and check to see how the egg whites are forming every minute.  Stop once you’ve achieved stiff peaks.

For reference, my hand mixer speed is 1-5 and stand mix is 1-10.  I make notes on the speed in the recipe below.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake and Orange Chiffon Cake with Edible Flowers.


5 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup fine sugar (Baker’s sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup low-fat 2% milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

10″ bundt pan
non-stick baking spray


Position the oven rack toward the lower portion of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease the bundt pan with a generous amount of non-stick baking spray.  Use a pastry brush to coat the pan evenly.

Separate eggs and place egg yolks into a large mixing bowl.  Set aside the egg whites for now.

Using a hand mixer, beat egg yolks on low speed (setting 2) for 1 minute.  Add 1 tbsp of sugar and increase mixer speed to high (setting 4).  Mix for 30 seconds.  Every 30 seconds add 1 Tbsp of sugar and mix together.  Continue until all sugar is added.  Note the eggs become creamy and turn a pale yellow color.  (This step takes approximately 5 minutes.)  Add vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract and mix on low (setting 2) for 1 minute.

Add baking powder to cake flour and then sift together.  Add flour, in thirds, to the egg batter and mix on low (setting 2) until well blended.  (This step takes approximately 2-3 minutes.)

Add egg whites into stand mixer.  Mix egg whites on low (setting 2) for 30 seconds.  Increase speed to medium (speed 5) and mix for another 30 seconds.  Egg whites should be foamy now.  Add cream of tartar.  Increase speed to the highest speed (setting 10) and whip the eggs until stiff peaks form (approximately 4 minutes.)   Scoop a third of the egg whites and add to the batter.  Gently fold egg whites into the batter.  Be gentle–avoid stirring too fast or beating the batter.  This will deflate the egg whites.  Continue folding in the egg whites and mixing gently.  (This step takes approximately 3 minutes. ) The batter won’t be perfectly smooth.  Little lumps or streaks of egg whites are ok.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Use a spatula to even out the batter and smooth the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cake.  When it comes out clean, the cake is done.  Once done, turn off the oven and open the oven door.  Allow the cake to cool down gradually in the oven for 20 minutes.  The cake will deflate as it cools.

Run a knife along the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto a plate.  When serving, dust with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream.

Yields: 6-8 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

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