Pan di Spagna – Italian Sponge Cake Recipe

Pan di Spagna – Italian Sponge Cake Recipe

A light cake that can be used as the basis for other desserts, or eaten on its own.

Unknown to most is the connection between Spain and Italy. Charles II 1661–1700, ruled as the king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily. This cake, Pan di Spagna, means “Bread of Spain.” It is a simple sponge cake that is perfect with coffee or can be paired with frostings or fruit. I like it with just a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

Pan di Spagna
Sponge Cake


  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp grated lemon peel
  • butter and flour for the pan


  1. Separate the eggs putting the yolks in a large bowl and the whites in a smaller bowl. Add the sugar to the yolks, and beat until the consistency of frosting.
  2. Beat the whites until they stand stiff.
  3. Fold the whites into the yolk-sugar mixture. Turn it over slowly and gently until completely mixed.
  4. Sift the flour (even if you don’t usually sift flour–do it).
  5. Fold the flour slowly, a bit at a time, to the egg-sugar mixture.
  6. Add the vanilla and lemon peel, folding in gently.
  7. Butter and flour a 9″ cake pan. Pour in the batter and bake at 350F, for about 20 minutes. When done the cake will be toasty on top, and a toothpick will come out clean.
  8. Turn upside down to cool. Let cool before frosting.

Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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