Thanks to cake commander Justin Chapple, constructing a parchment paper-lined cake pan has never been easier. Use that mad genius tip the next time you try your hand at making a super fluffy sponge cake. Here are seven of F&W's best sponge cake recipes to get you started:
1. Sponge Cake with Lemon Zest and Raspberries
Chef Toni Robertson uses fruity extra-virgin olive oil in place of butter, which cuts the cholesterol and produces a light and flavorful sponge cake.
2. Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries
Many versions of this dessert, made by soaking sponge cake in condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream, are too sweet and wet. This one from chef Soledad Correa is perfect, with just a hint of cinnamon.
3. Brown-Butter Sponge Cakes
Most cakes are leavened with baking soda or powder, but here Richard Blais uses a siphon to add air to batter. Then he squirts the batter into paper cups, microwaving each for just 45 seconds.
4. Hazelnut Dacquoise Fan Cake
In this dramatic-looking dessert, crisp disks of hazelnut meringue alternate with moist sponge cake, vanilla-flavored strawberries and whipped cream.
5. Almond Cake with Pears and Crème Anglaise
For a simple but elegant dessert, serve a basic sponge cake baked with fragrant almond flour, split in half and filled with a layer of tender pears.
6. Cinnamon Cake with Chile-Chocolate Buttercream
In the sixth grade, pastry guru Lisa Ritter prepared Mexican hot chocolate as part of a social studies project. Years later, she wanted to re-create that sweet-spicy sensation in a layer cake, so she developed a cinnamon-flavored sponge cake and subtly spicy buttercream frosting made with ancho chile powder and cayenne pepper.
7. Italian Trifle with Marsala Syrup
In Italy, Fabio Trabocchi makes this dessert with Alchermes, a bright-red cinnamon-scented liqueur rarely seen in the States. The Sicilian fortified wine Marsala is a good substitute: It has a subtler color but a similarly spiced flavor, perfect for drenching squares of soft sponge cake layered with vanilla-infused pastry cream.