Sponge cake is rumored to have been the very first non-yeasted cake. It's created by trapping a good bit of air in the batter while beating the eggs and sugar together, which makes for a light, delicate dessert. If you've had a jellyroll cake or a slice of tiramisu, you've likely had sponge cake. So why do I think it will be a summertime hit this year? The answer to that question is two-fold. First, the wonderful thing about a sponge cake is its light, fluffy nature — it's unlike any other cake in that way, making it a sure bet on a lethargic summer evening. But even more, the cake itself is super absorbant, so it soaks up the juices of summer fruits better than any cake I think of. If you have a glut of strawberries or blackberries (or any berry, really), let them sit with a few tablespoons of sugar to macerate and then use them as a simple and delicious filling to your favorite sponge cake recipe.
Because sponge cakes contain little fat other than egg yolk, they're a great excuse to experiment with decadent rich icings or whipped cream toppings (my favorite is one with a strawberry filling). But really, when it comes down to it, a sponge cake is a blank canvas. You can fill it with any seasonal fruit or filling you like, and even finishing it in the most simple way — with a sprinkle of powdered sugar — will satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.
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(Images: Lulu's Sweet Secrets)