Buying Guides

All the tools you need to master our best ever sponge cake

Wanting to master the classic sponge cake but unsure where to start? Having the right tools is a good first step.
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The humble, family-favourite sponge cake can cause some consternation in the kitchen, even amongst serious bakers. How many times should you sift the flour for the perfect sponge cake? Is a hand held mixer going to do the job?

We’ve gone through our best ever sponge cake recipe to come up with a list of equipment to help you achieve sponge success, plus the reasons why a certain pan or whisk can influence the end result. From the right mixer to the ideal aluminium tin, it’s important to ensure you’ve got the right equipment for the job.

Women's Weekly's best ever sponge cake on a plate

The tools

01

KitchenAid artisan tilt-head stand mixer

was $1049 now $799 at Myer

Best for: Consistent and efficient baking.

Stand mixers provide consistent mixing and incorporate ingredients evenly throughout the batter, ensuring that the cake rises evenly and has a uniform texture. A stand mixer also comes with a myriad of attachments, meaning you can use the one machine every step of the way: from beating the butter and sugar to whipping the cream.

A five-star reviewer wrote, “This machine is a dream come true, I love baking and have started to make a lot from scratch this machine has been a god send with all the attachments you can get for it you will never need another machine, plus it doesn’t take up loads of counter space!”

However, if you don’t have the budget or bench space for a stand mixer, we recently made this sponge recipe with a $45 Sunbeam hand mixer and were really pleased with the results. Read our full review here.

Colours: Silver, blue velvet, apple red, almond cream, dried rose, white (pictured), blue salt, back onyx, majestic yellow

Key features:

  • 10 speeds
  • Five year warranty
  • Includes both 2.8L and 4.8L bowl (4.8L pictured)
  • Includes flex edge beater attachment, pastry beater attachment, dough hook attachment and wire whip attachment
  • Convenient fitted pouring shield

Available at:

02

Mondo Pro Round Cake Pan 20cm

was $24 now $18 at Kitchen Warehouse

Best for: Ensuring an even rise and bake

Choosing the right tin for your bake is an important (and underrated!) first step, and choosing the right tin for a temperamental sponge cake is even more important. We bake our best ever sponge using an aluminium tin because the lightweight metal conducts and distributes heat evenly, ensuring the cake rises and bakes perfectly every time. Heavier or alloy metals can cause “hot spots” that lead to uneven rising and falling, and a lumpy surface. Aluminium is also a non-reactive metal, meaning it doesn’t react with acidic flavourings such as citrus. This helps maintain the flavour and colour of the cake and prevents any unwanted metallic tastes.

Materials: Aluminium

Key features:

  • Straight sides for even thickness
  • Aluminium does not warp, rust, chip or blister
  • Aluminium distributes heat evenly

03

Oxo Good Grips Balloon Whisk

was $26.95 now $16.17 at Myer

Best for: Further aerating sponge cake batter during mixing

The balloon whisk has a bulbous shape which helps incorporate even more air into the batter as you fold the flour through the egg mixture, guaranteeing a fluffy texture for your sponge cake. The larger size and multiple layers of this trusty whisk allows for thorough and uniform mixing, helping to gently and evenly distribute your ingredients so that there are no dry pockets of flour, all the while ensuring that your sponge cake batter remains airy and light.

“Best whisk ever!” Wrote a five-star reviewer. “For someone that does a lot of baking and cooking, this is the most superior whisk. It’s strong enough to cope with thick batter. It’s worth every cent.”

Key features:

  • Polished stainless steel to minimise rusting
  • Innovative handle shape for comfortable grip
  • Soft handle to prevent blisters

Available at:

04

OXO Good Grips Bent Icing Knife

from $26.90 at Amazon

Best for: Perfect blending of layers and ensuring an even sponge cake surface

We use a bent icing knife across several steps when making our best ever sponge cake. The knife’s angled blade allows you to smoothly manipulate the uncooked batter to ensure a perfectly flat surface for an even rise while baking. Come decorating time, the bent design gives you better control and precision when icing the cake, and makes blending your layers of jam and cream a sweet, sweet dream.

One five-star reviewer wrote, “This is a great icing knife. It’s comfortable to hold – not too heavy, and a big enough handle so my hand didn’t cramp. Easy to clean – no weird creases or ridges where icing could get caught. It’s a nice size – the blade is small enough that I can use it for smaller items, and it’s manoeuvrable. It’s sturdy. Glad I bought it!”

Key features:

  • Stainless steel to prevent rusting
  • Sturdy but flexible blade to ensure control while icing
  • Angled blade helps keep handle elevated
  • Contoured, soft handle to prevent blisters

What is the secret to making a great sponge cake?

Ensuring that you have the correct equipment on hand is the essential first step and big secret to making a great sponge cake. The Test Kitchen recommends triple sifting flour when making a sponge as this is one of the ways to ensure the cake rises well and has that lovely light and airy texture when eaten. After triple sifting, the Test Kitchen recommends using a balloon whisk to gently fold your flour in batches through the mixture in a circular motion. This prevents the air bubbles deflating and the sponge from becoming flat and tough. Using a spatula or a knife to fold your flour through your batter does not incorporate enough air, and can lead to a flat and tough cake.

Using an electric mixer is essential as it ensures your butter and sugar are properly creamed and combined at the beginning of baking, and that the sugar is properly dissolved. Aluminium cake pans are the best to use for sponge cakes as they conduct and distribute heat evenly, and don’t get “hot spots” like other alloys, which can cause an uneven bake and rise of your sponge cake.



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