Genoise sponge cake with fresh cream

Serves 6-8 Cakes, Bread and Pastries

Mummys Genoise sponge cake with fresh cream



  • 125g plain flour
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • handful fresh raspberries or grated dark chocolate, to decorate
  • icing sugar, to dust (optional)

For the filling and topping

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 5–6tbsp icing sugar, or to taste
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp rose water
  • ½tsp gelatine powder, dissolved in 1tbsp hot water


Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C F/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm round cake tins.

In a bowl, sift the flour, cornflour and a pinch of salt together and set aside. Heat the butter in a pan until just melted, then leave to cool slightly.

Quarter-fill another pan with just-boiled water, then set a heatproof bowl over the pan so it sits just above the water without touching it. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the bowl and, using handheld electric beaters, whisk for a good 3–5 minutes until the batter has a mousse-like consistency. Do this initially on low speed without moving the beaters around, then increase the speed and continue
whisking until the batter is very pale and fluffy – when you lift out the beaters, a thick ribbon of batter should fall from them. This is important to keep the cake light, so keep going until you achieve this. Remove the bowl from the pan and whisk
the batter for another 1–2 minutes, just until the bowl has cooled slightly.

Add the melted butter, carefully pouring it around the edges of the batter and taking care to leave behind any white sediment from the butter. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the butter through, in only two or three folds, lightly cutting through the batter in a figure-of eight motion.

Sift half the flour mixture over the batter and gently fold it in using the same technique. Once it is incorporated, sift over the remaining flour mixture and gently fold that in too, being careful not to deflate the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the tins, then bake in the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes until the cakes are well risen and spring back when lightly pressed.

Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then carefully loosen by running a thin-bladed knife around the edges. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, for the filling and topping, whip the cream and icing sugar to soft peaks, then add the vanilla and rose water. While whipping, drizzle in the gelatine mixture and keep whipping until the cream holds stiff peaks.

Once the cakes are completely cooled, put one on a serving plate and smear some
cream over it, then top with the other cake. Smear more cream on top of the cake and decorate with raspberries or chocolate, plus a dusting of icing sugar if using. The cake can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Recipes and photographs taken from Andaza: a Memoir of Food, Flavour and Freedom in the Pakistani Kitchen by Sumayya Usmani, photography by Jodi W ilson (Murdoch Books, £25).
Mummys Genoise sponge cake with fresh cream
Recipes and photographs taken from Andaza: a Memoir of Food, Flavour and Freedom in the Pakistani Kitchen by Sumayya Usmani, photography by Jodi W ilson (Murdoch Books, £25).


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