Old-fashioned sponge cake with passionfruit icing

Jul 28, 2021
This sponge cake with passionfruit icing is so light, fluffy and easy to make! Source: Getty Images

We all have that one family member who is renowned for their baking. I have some pretty exceptional home cooks in my family — both my parents have talent in the kitchen, as do my aunts and some of my uncles (the latter better with a barbecue). I happened to be discussing family recipes with my mum recently and we both agreed that, when it comes to baking, a certain aunt’s sponge cake would be — without question — one of the must-have recipes, should we ever compile a book. I don’t know how she does it, but her sponge cakes are so airy and light.

After a recent family visit, I was left with an abundance of passionfruit. Now, I could have farmed them off to the neighbours, but I thought turning them into something and then giving that as a gift might be better. That’s how I came to be cooking this old-fashioned passionfruit sponge cake*.

This is not my aunt’s recipe, but it was pretty darn easy to make and the result was rather delicious. (No, this cake did not make it to the neighbour!) Good thing I have more passionfruit to cook with!

*Note: this recipe makes one cake, stacked. Or you can adjust and have two cakes of single height, which is what I did.

Serves 8


  • 20g butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
  • 2 passionfruit, halved and pulp removed
  • 1 cup thickened cream


  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Brush two 20cm-round sandwich pans with melted butter. Dust each pan with 1 tablespoon of plain flour and line bases with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add caster sugar and beat for 3 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and meringue is thick and glossy. Add egg yolks and beat until just combined. Sift cornflour, custard powder, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda over egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon, fold in cornflour mixture. Spoon mixture among prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and cakes spring back when lightly touched. Line 2 wire racks with baking paper. Turn cakes onto prepared racks to cool.
  4. Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add passionfruit pulp, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir until icing is smooth. Stand for 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
  5. Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Place one cake, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spoon over whipped cream.
  6. Top with remaining cake and spread with passionfruit icing.


Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up