This is a beautifully moist coffee sponge cake that is a perfect base for any occasion. My favourite way of making sponge cakes uses the tang mian/cooked dough method, which coats the flour with fat before adding anything else. This inhibits the formation of gluten and creates a lovely moist cake. (Read more about the science behind it here).
Using a hot waterbath with the tang mian method gives it extra moisture and prevents the top from cracking. I’ve tested this recipe many times, leading to a pretty foolproof way of making sponges successfully!
For the coffee pastry cream, biscoff buttercream and stresel crumble, check out this Biscoff Streusel Coffee recipe post.
If you don’t like coffee, try this tang mian sponge cake recipe instead. Let me know how your baking goes by tagging @ultimateomnoms on Instagram – I’d love to see your creations!
Coffee Sponge Cake
Egg yolk mixture
- 65 g oil
- 200 g milk
- 60 g sugar
- 2 tsp instant coffee powder
- 6 egg yolks
- 180 g cake flour
- 1 pinch salt
Egg white mixture
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 135 g sugar
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan using low-med heat. Sift in the cake flour and mix
- Add the milk, coffee powder and sugar and mix. Take the saucepan off the heat
- Add the egg yolks in one at a time, whisking between each one
- Add a pinch of salt
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy and add the cream of tartar. Add the sugar in batches and whisk until the egg whites reach stiff peaks
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC and prepare your hot water bath
- Add one third of the egg white to the yolk batter and mix well. Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg white in two batches. Do so gently and thoroughly so no streaks of egg white remain
- Pour the batter into the lined 8” cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap the pan against the tabletop to get rid of any large air bubbles
- Put the cake pan into the hot water bath, ensuring that the water height reaches at least a third of the cake pan
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 20min or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and tap the pan against the tabletop a few times to prevent shrinkage. Transfer to cool on a wire rack pan for 10min before unmoulding
Hi, this looks delicious! I’ve been using the tang zhong approach to bread baking and would really love to try tang mian for a cake. Question: comparing this recipe to your other tang mian sponge cake, in this one you add the milk, sugar, coffee while the flour mixture is still on the heat? Do you have to allow the mixture to cool before you add in the egg yolks? The cake looks like those pillowy treats I sometimes get at the Asian bakery in my city, but would love to be able to make at home.
Hey Ann, I usually take it off the heat when I add the egg yolks. This way it doesn’t cook the yolks. This recipe really does give a pillowy soft cake! Hope it works out for you 🙂
Does this recipe yield 1 – 8″ round cake that can be halved horizontally? (3×8 cake pan?) I’m wondering if it’ll be enough for a 9×13″ sheet cake or I’ll need to double the recipe.
Hey Patricia, yes it makes a big 8” cake or two smaller 6” ones which I use for a taller cake. I haven’t tried it with a sheet pan yet. If you do, I highly recommend still using a water bath!
Followed your recipe to the T and I must say this is clearly a winner recipe. Your recipe is easy to follow and yielded as promised. Am a Tang Mian convert now.
Thanks Regina! Yes, it totally changed the way I make my sponge cakes now 🙂
Hi! I am looking to make this cake. Looks great! I have the round aluminium baking tins- should these be lined? or would it be best to use a non stick pan? thanks!
Hey Amanda, aluminium baking tins are perfect. I would line just the bottom of the pans. The cake should come nicely away from the pan as the cake cools.
Thank you so much for replying 🙂 and to the comment above about the 6 inch pan – would I just put half of the batter into the 6 inch at a time? (I don’t have an 8inch)
Perfect! I often make this recipe for 6″ cakes. If you’re pedantic about cake layers you can just weigh each pan on the scale 😉