Skip to content

Simple sponge cake

Learn how to make the perfect sponge cake with this easy recipe from our development chef, Clive Goudercourt.

  • 10 minutes prep. time
  • 1 hour cooking time
  • Serves 8
  • Cakes, bakes & desserts
Written by
Image of Clive Goudercourt
Clive GoudercourtDevelopment chef, National Trust
Baking with flour and butter
Rubbing the mix into fine breadcrumbs | © National Trust Images/Oskar Proctor


  • 4 eggs
  • 500g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300g butter or margarine
  • 250g caster sugar
  • Splash of milk to bind


Top tip

Rubbed-in cakes like this are ideal for adding fruit to. Try cherries or sultanas, or a mix of both.

Step 1

Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan/gas mark 4). Line a 23cm (9 inch) springform baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Step 2

Place the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and stir well.

Step 3

Add the butter or margarine and rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in well.

Step 4

Make a small well in the centre of the mixture then add the eggs and a splash of milk.

Step 5

Use a spoon to mix the dry and liquid ingredients together until you have a soft batter. The batter should drop from a spoon when lifted out of the bowl, so add more milk if necessary.

Step 6

Pour the batter into your lined cake tin, place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.

Step 7

Check if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is done. Once cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool before turning out of the tin.

Red pepper and sundried tomato fritters: a pile of three fritters on a board with a fork alongside, with red pepper and spinach pieces showing through the crisp batter


From tried and tested classic bakes to healthy dishes the whole family can enjoy, find inspiration for your next meal.

You might also be interested in

Preparing fresh vegetables for the restaurant at Knightshayes Court, Tiverton, Devon


We believe in sourcing sustainable food wherever possible and use local and seasonal produce in our cafés. Discover why this is important and have a go at some of our recipes at home.

Looking down on shortbread biscuits topped with rhubarb compote and mixed yogurt and cream, drizzled with red wine syrup. A cupful of cream and yogurt is to the right, and shortbread biscuits cool on a rack to the back.

Cakes, bakes and desserts 

We love food and we've got some great recipes to prove it. Here are some of our favourite cakes, bakes and dessert recipes from our chefs and local experts.

A close up view of a scone served on a plate with a generous helping of jam and cream

National Trust fruit scones 

Discover how to make the ultimate National Trust fruit scone.

Sliced chocolate brownies, some on a plate and some on a baking tray next to a hot drink

Chocolate brownies 

Learn how to make these delicious gluten free chocolate brownies – a tasty treat for any time of the day.

Slice of coffee and walnut cake on a plate

Coffee and walnut cake 

Made with punchy espresso and crunchy walnuts this cake packs in all the flavour, texture and treats a coffee and walnut cake should.