Wanted: No Fail Sponge Recipe

Talbot, Australia

Unfortunately, I have lost the recipe that I had for this. My sponges always failed until I got this one and I am hopeless without it. All I can remember about it was that it had custard powder in it and it never failed no matter what I did!! Can anyone help this poor excuse for a sponge maker. Hubby and the kids are sick of having 'pancakes' that taste like a sponge!!!!

Talbot, Australia

For anyone out there that might be interested: I have just been given the Recipe for the 'No Fail Sponge'. And it works!!!!

No Fail Sponge:

4 Eggs
3/4 cup Caster Sugar
1 Tablespoon Custard Powder
3/4 cup Corn Flour
1/2 teaspoon Carb Soda
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartor

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
Add egg yolks one at a time.
Gradully add sugar.
(All up to this point is done with an electric beater)
Fold dry ingredients into egg mixture

Cook in Moderate oven pre - heated to 180 degrees (Celsius) for approxiamately 30 - 40 minutes (or until cooked). Either split the mixture and cook 2 sponges or place in 1 large cake tin. (sorry can't tell you the size - that's something that you will need to work out!!) Good luck.
Mine turned out beautiful, light and fluffy, and it didn't fail!! The kids think it is great. - Lee

West Branch, MI

Interesting. I've never heard of this ....what is it exactly? It's not a real ocean going like sponge is it?

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

What a hoot!! I have no idea what a edible sponge might be!! Take a picture and post it here!!


Talbot, Australia

A 'No Fail Sponge' is a cake that is extremely light, fluffy and is also used for the base for Lamingtons. For serving as a sponge: you cut it in half and add your favourite sweet filling to the middle. My lot love raspberry jam and whip cream. Place the top on, after spreading with jam and cream or whatever, and either put more whipped cream on top or just dust with icing sugar.
Another filling is lemon filling/lemon spread. I don't know if you can get it in USA. Place in middle of sponge, then ice cake with Lemon icing. (Icing Sugar mixed with the juice and rind of lemon)
Sorry Judy I don't know how to post a picture but when I do I will.
Sponge cake is extremely popular here in Australia. As I said it can be used for the base for Lamingtons, Trifle (which is a desert) or other ingredients can be added to make: Chocolate sponge, Ginger Fluff, Marble Cake etc.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Sounds wonderful!! I'll have to try your recipe. There are a bunch of really nice people over on the Mid-South Gardening Forum. For the most part we live in the Mid-South USA but we more than welcome anyone who likes to complain about the weather, tell funny happenings and smile, hope to "see" you there.


Talbot, Australia

Judy - thanks for the invite. Although I have seen these Forums, I have not worried about going into them - the reason is quiet obvious - I live in Aussie land. But I will come and visit tonight when all the boys go to band practise and I am here on my own!!! I love the peace and quiet - it's just wonderful!!! :) - Lee

Talbot, Australia

Well girls I finally managed to post my first picture (hopefully!). Who said I needed my kids to teach me!!!! LOL This is the humble sponge which is a favourite here in Australia. This is with whipped cream and Jam in the middle and dusted with icing sugar.

Thumbnail by leelovespigs
Talbot, Australia

This is sponge with strawberries!! Aren't I a clever girl!!! Two pics in a row!!! I just amaze myself sometimes - I'm beginning to think I am so Goooood. LOL :) - Lee

Thumbnail by leelovespigs
Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Oh how beautiful and the pictures are GREAT!!!

You should be very pleased with yourself.


Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Lee, those look so good (I popped in here from the MS gardening forum). My Mom makes something to go on her pound cake called "lemon curd" - I bet it would taste great with your sponge cake. I hate to be ignorant but what is castor sugar and custard powder? Translate please. I think I will have to try this. I'm on a diet right now but today I've been craving something at least a little sweet and would like it to be different! This may do the trick. Thanks for visiting us at MS -I hope you will continue to pop in.
Its been so hot here, I've tried not to use the oven much but I want to give this a try. GREAT PICS - they made my mouth water!

Talbot, Australia

Thanks everyone - I am proud of myself for managing to post the pictures - I did it all on my own, and the pictures were taken with a friends help!!!!
Now let me see if I can help you out with the translations. Sometimes I find it hard when reading some of the Forums - they say they use 'whatever' and it is obvious an Americian thing!!!!

Castor Sugar is a finer sugar than white sugar - but not as fine as icing sugar. When I have run out of castor sugar I have actually put white sugar in the Kitchen Prossessor and 'chopped it' up finer.

Custard Powder: This is a hard one to describe but here goes. When you celebrate Christmas do you have Pudding with Brandy Sauce? The Brandy Sauce, when home made, is just custard with Brandy added. (Hope this is making sense, and that you can translate it to something that you know!!). To make Custard, you use Custard Powder, sugar and Milk. The powder is what is used in this sponge. If you are unable to find a substitute let me know and I will resource another recipe that you can make a sponge with. Hope this helps!

Now I need a translation lession!! What is a pound cake? I don't know this one - is it easy?

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Hi Lee... I want to remind everyone that Australians speak King's English with an Aussie twist, just like most folks in the southern US who speak King's English with a decided drawl... We just need to work together to get the twists out! LOL

You mentioned Lamington up in the top of this thread. Here's a link to a recipe for it:


Your cake is beautiful, and it looks delicious!!!

This message was edited Sep 13, 2006 8:50 AM

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

I think "pound cake" was originally named such because it called for a pound of most of the ingredients, ie: a lb of flour, lb of sugar, lb of butter. The following is my Moms no-fail pound cake. I'll try to find the recipe for the lemon curd as well. The cake is simple and she is asked to make it for all church socials and family events. I don't make it often because she always has one available and my DH would eat the whole thing! I apologize for my particular Southern lingo. I write like I talk and its a combination of educated redneck and down-home vernacular. Oh, by the way, JudyC, told me she thinks they have custard powder at Wal-Mart - I'll check at the local one tomorrow.
Miss Byrtie's Lemon Pound Cake Recipe
3 c sugar
1 c Crisco (shortening)
6 eggs
3T lemon flavoring
3 cups plain flour (all-purpose)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
Do not preheat oven
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk to sugar and butter mixture. Beating continously until smooth. Add flavoring. Grease and flour bundt or cake pan. Bake at 275 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
I'll have to check with Mom for the lemon curd...I seem to have lost my recipe. This cake stays fresh for quite a while but is delicous when sliced warm. A soft crust forms on the top while baking. I love to sit and visit with Mom while eating her pound cake and drinking a cup of coffee. Its ONE of the reasons I've gained so much weight!
I'm off now to try the teacake recipe...its an old standard in these parts (Neshoba County, Mississippi) and I've never made it.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)


I need your Tea Cake recipe!!!!!


Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Judy, its on this forum http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/636595/
I just made some. The recipe makes a LOT! I'm not sure how I feel about them right now. I haven't been eating sweets at all for about a month. I made some mistakes to begin with...I think I rolled my dough too thick, I've given all of my good cookie sheets to my kids, I had to use 325 temp instead of 350 because the bottoms were burning. I should have used a small biscuit or cookie cutter. I couldn't find mine, so used a jar instead. They came out much bigger than I imagined because they not only rise, but spread (lots of butter in recipe). I'm going to make another attempt one day when I'm more prepared. The dough was delicious!! (yes, I'm one of those dough eating people!) I just kind of jumped into it today and was talking on the phone with my youngest while I was mixing! I think the DH will like them and I'm sending some to my in-laws. Pretty straight forward, simple recipe.

The lemon curd recipe is in a Southern Herb book I've had for years (I had forgotten where it originated) Here it is....goes great with the pound cake. As soon as I find all of the ingred, I'm trying your sponge cake.
Lemon Curd: (from Madeline Hill's book Souther Herb Growing) Pub 1987 Quoting "This excellent sauce has a multitude of uses - icream toping, pie filling, pudding garnish, cake frosting, to mention a few -- and it keeps well in the refrigerator"
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 c sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup butter
Mix all ingredients in blender or mixer. Cook in stainless or ceramic double boiler til thickened, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftover sauce and reheat in double boiler to serve. Yields about 2 cups
Variation: Once sauce is thickened, stir in chopped sweet herbs--rose geranium, mints, lemon verbena, or rosemary.

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Lee, in the sponge cake with the strawberries, what other filling do I see? I hope mine turns out that pretty! My Granny (Mom's Mom) made sponge cakes.

Crossville, TN(Zone 6b)

Lee, the corn flour is actually corn that has been ground. I have that. We call it cornmeal. How about the custard powder. From what you said I think we call it flour. If I am wrong someone please correct me.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)


From what I've read on the internet, it's more like instant pudding, but heavier. I'm thinking I saw a instant custard in the Mexician food section of Wal-Mart, but I can't swear to it.


Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Headed for town. Going ingredient shopping, among other things. I'm not sure how the cake will turn out - but I'm enjoying the "adventure"

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

I forget just how rural we are sometimes. Couldn't find anything for this recipe in Philadelphia, MS! I'll have to try next time I visit Jackson. I don't need to be making it anyway. Still trying to lose weight.

Talbot, Australia

Sorry about not being round in the last few days or so but other than having hubby in hospital (nothing serious, just day surgery) and having the 40 foot + tree cut down from the front of our place - it has been just pure hectic here at the moment!!

MFG: In the pic of the sponge with strawberries, I added whipped cream. It goes especially well in sponges and makes it even more calories to eat. Just what we all need!!!!!

Judy: Custard Powder is a form of instant pudding. Along that line. Instant Pudding here in Aussie is a powder which is added to milk and put in the fridge to set - makes a 'Mousse' type Desert. Do you use a thing call Brandy Sauce? It is a desert sauce that is poured (hot) over steamed puddings. It is made with custard powder (if you make your own). Might not be the same there. Looked on an Aussie site (http://www.gffoodservice.com.au/content.aspx?contentid=293). This is just one of our brands (White Wings) that we have. There are lots of brands and it is so popular over here that we have 'No Name' custard powder. (No Name is the Supermarket's generic brand - and is a little cheaper than the 'well known' brands!) This site will tell you a little about Custard Powder. Custard Powder, among other things, puts a lovely yellow colour to the cake when it is cut.

sorry don't know how to hyperlink yet. Well 'Glory Bee' will you look at that - it Hyperlinked for me.... I am just sooooooo clever. Don't know how it happened but it did. I just amaze myself sometimes!!!!!! :-) Lee

italy, Italy

Hi there, I live in italy,( ex Kincoppal student in Sydney), could you please convert the sponge recipe in grams ?. It is really difficult here to get the ' cup'.
Can you also tell me what custard powder could be in italian??
thanks so much...debbie

This message was edited Aug 21, 2006 8:02 PM

Talbot, Australia

Hi Debbie. How long did you live in Sydney for. Did you enjoy your time.

I will try to convert for you:
1 cup = 9 ounzes = 250 millimetres = 255 grams (approx)
3/4 cup = 6.5 ounzes = 185 millimetres = 155 grams (approx)
1 tablespoon = 1 ounze = 28 millimetres = 28 grams (approx)
As for the Italian version of Custard Powder, I can't help you - I have no idea. Sorry. Here is the website that explains 'custard powder'. http://www.gffoodservice.com.au/content.aspx?ContentID=293 This brand (White Wings) is the brand available in Australia. This might help - I hope - or confuse you even more!!!!! LOL
:-) Lee

Crossville, TN(Zone 6b)

Judy, I forgot to watch this thread.
I think you are right about it being closer to our instant pudding; but, the main ingredient is cornflour. Or, what we might call cornmeal. Did you check the Mexican section of the grocery store yet? Linda

The above site reads:
Ingredients: Cornflower, salt, flavour (contains lactose), colour (102, 110).

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I checked but Wal-Mart has downsized the Mexican foods section so I don't know if I was dreaming or not. lol lol

I don't think it is our "cornmeal" because it would be too heavy, must be a finely ground cornflour which would be much lighter.


Cochise, AZ(Zone 8b)

I think it is a type of corn starch?? But haven't used so I'm not sure.

Talbot, Australia

Can you tell me - do you have steam pudding at Christmas Time!! What 'Sauce' do you put on your deserts other than cream? Custard is similiar to instant pudding (and in Australia is found next to instant puddings) but instead of making it cold to set you cook it. Place Custard Powder in bowl, pour in a little milk until smooth paste. Add sugar more milk and whisk. When combined, heat until very hot. It than gets thicker.

Does this help at all. I would send some over for you but I don't think the Postie would like me very much!!!! LOL :-) Lee

Talbot, Australia

Newsflash: One of the wonderful ladies on another forum (Trash and Treasure) was just informed me of the following. Hope it helps you out:

"Custard powder can be found, but generally online for about six dollars.
Orgran and also Crosse & Blackwell are available on Amazon.com.
Isn't the internet fabulous? What on earth would we do without it?"

Thanks Wuvie if your about!!!

:-) Lee

italy, Italy

thank you very much...I'll certainly try to buy it online!!! Wonder what I'll get!!!

Talbot, Australia

Hope it is the right thing. Please let me know if and when you do get it so I can let others know
:-) Lee

Burlingame, CA(Zone 9a)

HI everyone - I've been reading this thread with interest and a few smiles. I'm a displaced New Zealander currently living in CA and have spent the last three years tracking down ingredients for my 'kiwi' recipes.

I can help with a few translations

Cornflour = Cornstarch
Caster Sugar = Superfine/UltraFine Sugar (or as lee says, put regular sugar in the food processor and whiz it)
Custard Powder = Custard Powder , LOL - Proper custard is made with egg yolks, milk and sugar and heated gently until it "sets", then it is served with steamed fruit puddings. It can be tricky to make from scratch so some wonderchild came up with custard powder which takes all the trickery away. I buy mine from this website: https://www.simplyoz.com/ . Sometimes though I've seen it in the German and Kosher sections of my supermarket.

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

I have bought Bird's custard powder in my local store - in the pudding aisle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird's_Custard

Thanks for posting the recipe!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

I went to our local "Penny Wise" bang and dent store and guess what I found... Corn flour. It's made for ethnic cooking, i.e., home made tamales, tortillas, etc. I think I'll try the recipe with it and see what happens.

Talbot, Australia

I'm so glad that we have been able to get the translation on the ingredients. I hope it all works out for you all. I would be very interested to hear how you all go with the 'No Fail Sponge'. I haven't had a failure yet.....LOL :-) Lee

On the banks of the , VA(Zone 7a)

You can buy masa harina in most grocery stores around here (No. Virginia) which I think is closer to corn flower than corn meal...it's finer.

I've bought Bird's custard at my local grocery stores..Trader Joe's has it, too, and even occasionally HP sauce.

Valley Village, CA

Thank you leelovespigs for your No Fail Sponge Receipe. The receipe looks great and I think I have a similiar one in my receipe file.

How do you like living in Talbot, Australia? I have never been there but I sure would like to go someday. I remember someone telling me that our Summer is your Winter and our Winter is your Summer. Is that correct.

Jill and Jolie

albury, Australia

hi i am another aussie, and make the no fail sponge all the time, another no fail is scones made with 2 cups sr flour, 1 cup cream and 1 cup lemonade , after sifting flour, gently fold in cream mixed with lemonade put on lighly floured board and knead and then cut with scone cutter, bake 15 mins in mod oven serve with jam and cream yum only takes a few mins to make

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the recipe, kayef

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

I made a sponge cake (2x) years ago and they were flops. My dear mother always made hers in angle food cake pans.I have to try this recipe and revive the history of homemade sponge cake birthday cakes that stopped when my mother died. many thanks for this recipe.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images