Trini sponge cake is a classic cake for every occasion. It is pretty simple to make and hard to mess up. This is an exact recipe that I’ve used for many, many years.
Combine all the ingredients and bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes. You can also add pineapple juice or sorrel to make sponge cake variations.
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Ingredients for sponge cake
For this recipe, you will need:
- flour: all purpose flour works well here.
- baking powder: this acts as a raising agent for the cake. I usually use aluminum free versions for all my recipes.
- baking soda: also works as a raising agent for the cake and sometimes causes that peak at the center of the cake. Like baking powder, I always use aluminum free baking soda.
- butter: unsalted butter (especially Kerrygold) is often used for Trini baking recipes. But, any type of butter will do.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Mix the dry ingredients
Step 6: Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt all together in a large bowl.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Trinidad Sponge Cake Recipe
Trinidad sponge cake
- Cake mixer
- 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)
- 1½ tbsp citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange)
- 1 tsp citrus zest (lemon, lime or orange)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 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.