Trinidad Sponge Cake Recipe (from Scratch)

Trini sponge cake is a easy-to-make classic cake for every occasion. I’ve been using this exact recipe for many years.

The cake bakes at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes and you can add pineapple juice, blended fruits or sorrel to make sponge cake variations. Oh and check out my pineapple upside down cake recipe too.

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Ingredients for sponge cake

For this recipe, you will need:

  • all purpose flour: cake flour also works well here.
  • baking powder: acts as a raising agent which helps the cake be fluffy.
  • baking soda: another raising agent and sometimes causes that peak at the center of the cake.
  • butter: unsalted butter (especially Kerrygold) is often used.
  • sugar: white granulated sugar works best here. I’ve used brown sugar before as a substitute but it can darken the color of the cake.
  • eggs
  • milk: I usually use low fat dairy milk for this recipe but you can substitute with almond milk or cashew milk.
  • essence: most baking essences or extracts can be used in this forgiving recipe. I most often use vanilla essence but you can to add different flavors like lemon, orange or even almond essence.
  • citrus juice: lemon, lime or orange juice can be used here. For variations, try pineapple juice or sorrel too.
  • citrus zest: lemon, lime or orange zest adds additional citrusy notes to the cake.
  • cinnamon: the powder adds great, comforting flavor to the batter.
  • salt: enhances the flavors and balances the overall sweetness of the cake.

How to make Trini sponge cake


Step 1: Take the butter out of the fridge and leave it on the countertop to soften for an hour or two.

Step 2: Preheat the oven at 350°F once the butter is sufficiently soft and you’re ready to get started with making the cake.

Cream the butter and sugar

Step 3: Add the softened butter and sugar to your cake mixer. Cream for a few minutes at high speed. Reduce the speed and continue mixing for a few more minutes until the butter becomes fluffy and loses its yellow color.

cream butter and sugar for sponge cake

Add the wet ingredients

Step 4: Mix in the citrus juice, essence and zest once the batter nice and fluffy.

Step 5: Add in one egg and beat to incorporate fully. Repeat for all other eggs.

add eggs to sponge cake batter

Mix the dry ingredients

Step 6: Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt all together in a large bowl.

Combine everything

Step 7: Fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk. Turn on the mixer and combine until fully incorporated. Next, add the remaining milk and remaining flour. Combine again until you have a smooth, silky batter.

batter in cake pan


Step 8: Prepare your cake pan. Butter and flour it or place parchment paper on the base.

Step 9: Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. An 11-inch cake pan is perfect for this cake. Use a larger pan if you want a thinner sponge cake to make a nice layered cake. You’ll need to reduce the cook time by a few minutes to be sure it doesn’t dry out.

Step 10: Bake the cake for about 45 to 50 minutes.

sponge cake from oven

Step 11: Check for doneness with a skewer at the center of the cake – if it comes out free from raw batter, your cake is done. Otherwise, pop the cake back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. The cake should pull away from the sides of the cake pan.

When the sponge cake is done, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

sponge cake slice

Tips for making Trinidad sponge cake

This recipe is such a straight forward one.

It is ideal to have the butter at room temperature when making this cake. If you are short on time, cube the butter and pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. That should soften it enough without melting it. If it is still too cold, add microwave it for another 10 seconds.

Preheating is very important. You’ll want that oven to be nice and hot when you are ready to bake the cake. Too cold or opening the oven door for too long can affect how the cake expands and bakes.

If you open the oven door during the baking time and cause a drop in temperature, the center of the cake will sink. You won’t get this nice bubble effect at the top. If it sinks, the cake won’t be light and fluffy in the center.

So, don’t be too impatient when baking.

Can you half this Trini sponge cake recipe

My mom halved this recipe and baked the cake for 30 minutes. It came out so, so good!


sponge cake slice featured
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Trinidad sponge cake

Want a light, fluffy sponge cake? Then, try this simple Trinidad sponge cake recipe. It is so easy to make and you won’t be disappointed when you bite into a slice of this sweet cake.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: sponge cake
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 408kcal
Author: Ros Singh


  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp essence (like vanilla, lemon, almond, and orange)
  • tbsp citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange)
  • 1 tsp citrus zest (lemon, lime or orange)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


  • Cake mixer


  • Leave butter on the countertop to soften for an hour or two.
  • Preheat the oven at 350°F.
  • Add softened butter and sugar to the cake mixer.
  • Cream until smooth and fluffy.
  • Mix in citrus juice, essence and zest.
  • Add one egg and combine fully.
  • Repeat for the remaining eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Fold half of the dry ingredients into the batter.
  • Add half of the milk and combine.
  • Mix in the remaining dry ingredients and milk.
  • Combine until smooth and silky.
  • Butter and flour the cake pan.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the center of the cake is completely cooked (a skewer should come out clean).
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Serve with your favorite desserts.


If the center of the cake is not fully cooked after the 50 minutes, place the cake back in the oven for another 5 – 10 minutes.


  1. 5 stars
    Instructions are easy to follow. Came out just like the cakes I remember. Looking forward to more trini recipes

    1. It’s an 11-inch pan. But I’ve split the batter in 2 in the past to make a thinner 11-inch and 6-inch cake. The 6-inch had to be taken out by 30 minutes or so otherwise it would have been too dry.

  2. I will definitely try this recipe. Everytime I try sponge cakes they always come out with sink in the middle and you can smell the eggs. The texture is sort of rubbery. To be truthful, I gave up on making sponge cakes…..However, I will try this one…
    Thanks for your recipe and instructions…..

  3. 5 stars
    The mixture was silky and smooth and made a beautiful and delicious cake! Thanks for your great recipe, it’s now my favorite sponge cake.

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