Superb Sponge Cake Recipe (Pan di Spagna)

Pan di Spagna - Sponge Cake
You need only three ingredients to make the Superb Sponge Cake Recipe ( Pan di Spagna): eggs, flour, and sugar.

When I was child, one day a week, my grandmother allowed her grandchildren to sleep at her house. For us children it was a big gathering.
The next morning for breakfast on the table was a soft Superb Sponge Cake freshly baked emanating a vanilla and lemon fragrance. The cake was dipped into fresh milk that brought love and warmth all throughout my body. 💕

The Sponge cake was created by a chef from Genoa Giovan Battista Cabona, in the 1700s, accompanying the Marquis Domenico Pallavicini in Madrid for an important banquet. For that occasion he served a very light and fluffy dessert. The Cake pleased the Spanish Royal who named it “Pate`Genoise”.
Later it took the name of “Pan di Spagna” with some changing in the preparation of the cake.

Genoa - Superb Sponge Cake Recipe

Genoa is the beautiful capital of the Riviera Ligure.
Francesco Petrarca (a writer, poet and Italian philosopher, considered the founder of humanism and one of the cornerstones of Italian literature) called Genoa “La Superba” The Superb.

He wrote:
“You’ll see a royal city, which leans against an alpine hill, Genoa is so stately, superb, that her aspect can only be described as  the Lady of the Sea”.

Superb Sponge Cake Recipe

Superb Sponge Cake Recipe (Pan di Spagna)

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: berries cake, pan di spagna, sponge cake
Servings: 8


  • cake pan of 24 cm in diameter (9-inch round and 1 1/2 inch deep)


  • 5 medium eggs room temperature
  • 130 g flour 00 4.6 oz
  • 30 g potato starch 1.1 oz
  • 150 g sugar ⅔ cup
  • 1 grated lemon peel
  • 1 scraped vanilla bean


  • Mix the eggs with the sugar.
  • Beat the mixture in a mixer for 15-20 minutes at medium speed (*).
  • Add the sifted flour and starch potatoes with a spatula from the bottom to the top to obtain a homogeneous consistency.
  • Put the mixture into the cake pan properly greased and lightly floured.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 40-50 minutes, never open the oven before 35 minutes.
  • Do the toothpick test to check cooking,  insert it in centers and has to come out clean.
  • After the time necessary to allow to cool and remove it from the mold.
  • Allow the sponge cake cool completely before slicing.


(*) Low or high speed results in poor absorption of air. Beat the eggs for long time the cake loses its consistency during cooking.
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