An eggless classic vanilla sponge cake recipe that needs only 7-simple pantry ingredients and is light and fluffy even without condensed milk and eggs.
If there’s one recipe that a majority of people begin their baking journey with, it has to be a plain ol’ vanilla sponge cake. It’s like the kindergarten of baking, the ABC of cakes. So simple and yet so good. A warm slice of one with cream or fresh fruits is sure to evoke some childhood nostalgia. It takes me back to when I was still in school and my cousins and I would decide to bake a cake. By default it would be the vanilla cake recipe from a Tarla Dalal book. We’d spend half the day making the batter, and then spend more time licking clean the leftover milkmaid in the can and the batter in the bowl, while waiting for the cake to bake, our excitement resting squarely on the reliability of the rickety 20-year old oven my aunt possessed.
Thankfully it doesn’t take me anywhere as long to bake a cake anymore and this cake particularly is amazing because it’s a simple no-fail recipe that doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or any heavy beating/whisking. All the ingredients required for this cake are found at most homes easily:
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- All-purpose Flour
- And a good quality vanilla extract! (Ok maybe this you may not have but it isn’t too difficult to get)
The process to make this cake is even simpler. The most important rule of making this however is that you cannot OVERMIX the batter. Just like any other eggfree cakes, this vanilla sponge relies on a very gentle hand to create a light and airy final product.
USING AS A BASE
This recipe is also a great sponge to use as a base for layering decorative cakes. While light, it’s still quite sturdy, and can be cut into multiple horizontal layers without being crumbly or breaking.
If you plan to eat the cake on its own, like a tea cake, using butter Is a good option as it creates a sponge that’s richer in taste. However oil gives it a better structure if you intend to use it as a base sponge or use any heavy frostings on the cake.
MAKING THE BATTER
To make the batter, start by placing yogurt and sugar in a bowl. Home-made curds are fine as long as you use only the thicker curds and not too much of the liquid.
Next use a sieve and add the baking powder and baking soda to the yogurt and give a light whisk. Now set this aside for 5-7 minutes till you see bubbles appear on the surface of the yogurt. This basically also tests the strength of your baking agents. If the baking powder or soda are expired/old there won’t be any bubbles.
Tip in the vanilla and the melted butter or oil next. A good quality vanilla extract will make all the difference to your cake. Commercial vanilla essences are usually not even made with real vanilla and lack any flavour. Do remember to use a neutral oil like Sunflower or Canola. Avoid any oil with a strong smell or flavour profile like olive/groundnut/peanut/sesame etc as that will impact the taste of the cake.
Finally, add the flour using a sieve directly into the batter. Do this in batches and whisk immediately to ensure that no lumps are formed. Stop whisking as soon as the last dry trace of flour is gone.
Transfer the batter to a greased or lined (with parchment) pan and give the pan a few light taps to even out the batter.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you use a smaller pan for the same amount of batter, the baking time will increase since the center part will take longer to cook through.
Let the cake cool on a wire rack completely before slicing and serving. This cake can store well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
BAKING WITHOUT AN OVEN
This cake can also be easily baked without an oven. I’ve tried it and it comes out as perfectly as the one in the oven. Follow the same steps to make the batter and then read this post to set up your stovetop equipment:
BAKING ON A STOVETOP
This eggless vanilla sponge cake is really versatile and works with a variety of frostings from buttercream to cream cheese to ganache. However my absolute favorite way to eat it is with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I’ve shared an article on how to whip up the perfect stable whipped topping here –How to Make Whipped Cream
Once the cake is cool, you can top it with the whipped cream and fresh fruits of your choice.
This cake is also adaptable in that you can make additions to the batter itself for a twist. Think – chocolate chips – one or different varieties of chopped nuts – saffron, cardamom and other spices – fresh or frozen fruit pulp of your choice Amazing right! This is one recipe every baker needs to have in his/her repertoire.
If you liked this recipe, you may like some of these others too!
Eggless Coffee Cinnamon Cake
Eggless Chocolate Cake
Eggless Semolina Cake
Eggless Banana Walnut Bread
Eggless Lemon Loaf Cake
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Vanilla Sponge Cake
- 1.5 cups All-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 cup Yogurt
- ¾ cup Castor Sugar
- ½ cup Oil/Melted Butter
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Line and grease a 8 inch pan. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C.
- Measure yogurt in a bowl. Add sugar and whisk well.
- Sieve the baking powder, and baking soda into the yogurt, whisk and keep this aside till bubbles appear on the surface – 5-7 minutes.
- Add the oil/butter, and vanilla and mix.
- Finally add the flour in batches and whisk everything together so that no lumps of flour remain. The batter should not be runny or too thick.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan. Bake at 180 degree C for 35-40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely and serve. Or top with your favorite frosting.
- This is a vanilla sponge so a good quality vanilla extract will go a long way. However if you don’t have it, or want to skip it, you can even add the zest of one lemon or lime for added flavor.
- If your cake doesn’t brown from the top, change your oven setting to broil for the last 3-4 minutes. Keep a keen eye during this time since it can burn quickly in this function.
- For measurement conversions to grams and ml, refer the conversion guide here – Measurements Conversion Guide
Can we use powdered sugar ? And please tell the temperature and timing settings according to microwave convection mode..??
Hi Riya, you could use powdered sugar but in a little lesser quantity. In a Microwave convection baking temperature will remain same but timing will be lesser by 10-12 minutes
Vanilla sponge cake turned out to be so so yummy. Thank you Pooja. Everyone loved it.
Hi Nisha, thank you so much for your feedback! Glad to know everyone loved it!
Tried vanilla sponge cake. It came out perfect and also tastes good. Thanks for the recipe
Hi Jyoti, so glad you liked it ????
Thanks alot mam ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you so much for this recipe!
I have made this in my convection at 180degC for 40 min..cake was awesome but it got browned from top & all sides. i wanted a white cake as yours – what could be the reason?
Hi Swagata, a little browning on the cake top and sides is actually a good thing and indicates it’s baked well. The crumb should still be white though
Thank you for your prompt reply! the crumb was white and cooked nicely, however, i want a white cake as yours for frosting & decoration – what to do?
You could try baking with only the lower rod and no fan. Also lower the temp by 10-15 degrees
Hi Pooja, after baking the surface of the cake is quite oily, did I go wrong somewhere?
Hi Ambika, This usually happens when you don’t whisk the oil and yogurt mixture properly. The oil/butter has to be well combined with the rest of the wet ingredients before adding the flour into it.
Hi pooja..could you suggest a good vanilla extract..Tia☺
Hello Hina, I use a brand called Sprig or Ossoro natural vanilla extract
Hii can we use wheat flour
Pooja can this be used as a base for cakes? Is this a spongy cake ? I’m love all your recipes they are fool proof. never had luck in getting a good oil based vanilla cake recipe. So can’t wait to try this.
Hi Deepika, Thankyou so much for your kind words, and you can certainly use this as a base for cakes.
I really like your page and recipes you share.
Wanted to know how to measure ingredients if I am taking only half a cup of all purpose flour instead of 1 1/2 cup. How other ingredients will differ?
Hello aakriti! I am glad that you enjoy the recipes. You have to reduce all other ingredients in the same proportion. You can also refer to this ready reckoner for measurements. https://loveandflourbypooja.com/tips-and-tricks/measurements-ready-reckoner/
Hi Pooja. The vanilla sponge cake turned out very soft. But it has a slight bitter after taste. I’ve used the recipe as it it but just changed the butter to oil. Any particular reasons for that?
Hi supriya! If you used an oil with any strong flavour, it could leave a residual taste. I suggest using a neutral oil like sunflower/vegetable. Also, bitterness sometimes arises from baking powder and baking soda being old/expired or not being mixed well into the batter.
Thank you for the reply. Will check on the quality of the soda/powder. Other wise the cake for super soft and thanks for all the tips u give. Comes handy for beginners ????
Thankyou so much Supriya! I am glad you liked it.
I like your recipes.
I have converted recipe into grams using your measurements-conversion guide. Please guide me if these are correct
240 g Yogurt
150 g Caster Sugar
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Baking Soda
113 g Oil/Melted Butter
1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
210 g All-purpose flour
Thanks in Advance
Could you please check and let me know
Hello! I checked and they are correct.
Which measuring cups have you used?? 200 or 250 gms??
250 gms. Check out this measurement conversion guide in case of any confusion https://loveandflourbypooja.com/tips-and-tricks/cups-to-grams-and-ml/
How can I make this base into a Strawberry Swirl Cake ??
Hello Tejal. You can try adding strawberry topping on top of the batter and give it swirl with the help of a toothpick.
Hii maam I m big fan of ur recipes u inspire me every single day I love ur dedication hardwork nd kindness towards ur work I had a question if I m using home made curd do I have to drain the excess water? Thanks in advance can’t wait to try it
Hi Krishita, thank you so much. Yes when using home made curd I suggest hanging the curd for atleast 15-20 mins to drain our the excess water.
Can we use this recipe for vanilla cupcakes?
Hi Hinal, yes you can
Yogurt is same as dahi…in this recipe??
Hi Pooja this recipe looks full proof and I can’t wait to try this out. Can you please let me know if I can use this recipe for vanilla loaf cake?
Hi, yes you could make a loaf cake too with this recipe