Why You Should Stop Greasing Your Sponge Cake Pans

If you're in the mood for a light and fluffy dessert, then indulging in a piece of freshly made sponge cake may be just what you need. Of course, a homemade sponge cake is ideal, but it's not always the easiest to get exactly right. One common problem that you may have come across is a sponge cake that is too dense. Seeing as a fluffy texture is one of the defining characteristics of the cake, this is not what we want.

Surprisingly, the cake being too dense may be due to something that every baker is in the habit of doing: greasing the pan. This is because the cake will slide down the sides of a greased pan, leaving you with an overly dense cake that has been smushed down. Without the grease, the cake is able to rise as it is supposed to in order to achieve the tall, fluffy cake that we expect. If you're worried about the cake sticking to the pan and not being able to get it out, you can always line the pan with parchment paper — it takes a little bit more effort than greasing it, but it will be worth it in the end when you bite into a fluffy cake.

How to upgrade a sponge cake

Now that you know how to ensure that the sponge cake rises enough to achieve that light and fluffy texture, you can think about ways to upgrade the cake to take it to the next level. To start with, let's talk about toppings. A sponge cake can certainly be delicious on its own, but it's even better with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Then, you can drizzle chocolate sauce or strawberry sauce over the whipped cream, making for a dessert that is a little sweeter and more decadent. If you want to add sweetness without the sauce, you can opt for fresh fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or all three.

Speaking of strawberries, Tasting Table has a recipe for strawberry sponge cake that turns the simple dessert into something a bit more complex but without demanding too much effort. The strawberry sponge cake essentially consists of two layers of cake with frosting and strawberries in between and on top. Another way to upgrade a slice of plain sponge cake is to serve it with ice cream. Because of the simplicity of the cake, you can choose just about any ice cream flavor to pair it with. Classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate will be delicious, of course, but so will more complex flavors, such as Rocky Road or cake batter ice cream.