Fluffy and Moist: The Perfect Sponge Cake Recipe

Welcome to my dairy-free sponge cake recipe! I’m excited to share this recipe with you because it’s the perfect dessert for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to indulge in a delicious treat, this sponge cake is the answer.

Not only is it dairy-free, but it’s also gluten-free, making it accessible to everyone. I’ve worked on this recipe and perfected it until I got the perfect, light and airy texture that is characteristic of a classic sponge cake.

One thing that makes this sponge cake unique is its use of fresh lemon rind and juice, giving it a beautiful citrusy aroma and taste that perfectly balances the sweetness. Additionally, vanilla and sugar come together to create an irresistible flavor duo.

This cake recipe is also free from any complicated ingredients that might intimidate new bakers. It’s made with simple pantry staples like eggs, flour, baking powder, and sugar, making the preparation process uncomplicated.

So whether you’re new to baking or an experienced baker who’s looking for a scrumptious and easy-to-make treat, give this dairy-free sponge cake recipe a try!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sponge Cake - Dairy Free
Sponge Cake – Dairy Free

Have you ever craved the light and spongy luxury of a cake but have been limited by dietary restrictions? Well, this sponge cake recipe is the perfect solution for anyone who is dairy-free, gluten-free or simply looking for a healthier option!

What makes this recipe so special is its fluffy texture that melts in your mouth combined with the tangy taste from the fresh lemon rind and lemon juice which compliments the pleasant sweetness from caster sugar. This cake naturally dairy-free, made simply out of eggs and heavy lifting ingredients of baking powder and soda instead of dairy products. Moreover, it’s easy to make even without professional baking knowledge.

The best part about this recipe is its versatility – it can be dressed up for special occasions or just perfect for a simple home-made treat. You can sprinkle powdered sugar on top, top it off with fruit compote, or ice and frost it with your favourite buttercream frosting.

In addition to being delicious, this sponge cake is also the perfect go-to recipe for gluten-free cakes that still have all the texture and flavor of a traditional white cake. And, since there are no eggs or milk in this recipe, it’s also suitable for vegans.

Don’t hesitate any longer to try this recipe – you won’t regret the taste of heaven on your lips!

Ingredient List

 Fluffy and moist, this sponge cake is perfect for any occasion
Fluffy and moist, this sponge cake is perfect for any occasion

Here are the ingredients you need to make the perfect Sponge Cake that is also gluten-free and dairy-free:

Dry ingredients:

  • 175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour (gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon rind
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cold water

Additional Ingredients for Dairy-Free Version:

  • Sunflower oil (for greasing the cake pan)
  • Plus extra flour (for dusting the cake pan)
  • 300g dairy-free spread (to replace butter)
  • Oat milk (to replace regular milk)

Make sure to get all the ingredients out before starting to bake, it will make the process smoother and less stressful. Also, remember that any cake is as good as its ingredients, so invest in high-quality items for the best taste and experience.

The Recipe How-To

 No dairy? No problem! This cake is dairy-free and still delicious
No dairy? No problem! This cake is dairy-free and still delicious

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, let’s get started on making this delicious Dairy-Free Classic Sponge Cake.

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat [oven to 180°C/ 350°F] and prepare two round cake pans by greasing the bottom with sunflower oil, lining the pan with parchment paper, and then oiling or spraying the paper as well.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

Sift together [175g/6oz] of self-raising flour along with [1 tsp] of baking powder and a pinch of [salt] into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Step 3: Whisk Eggs and Sugar

In another mixing bowl, whisk together [3 large eggs] and [175 g/6 oz] of caster sugar for around 8-10 minutes using an [electric mixer] until you attain a thick cream-colored mixture. Check the mixture by lifting the whisk up; if it leaves a trail for more than a second or two on top, then it’s ready.

Step 4: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

Now add [1 tsp] of vanilla extract and mix well. Next, sift in the dry ingredients mixture that you made earlier, one-third at a time, gently folding it into the egg mixture using a spatula until all ingredients are combined. Try not to overmix as it can affect the final result of your sponge cake.

Step 5: Bake

Pour the finished batter evenly into both prepared cake pans. Now place the cake pans in preheated oven on the middle shelf and bake for about [20-22 minutes] or until toothpick inserted tip comes out clean after poking. Do not overcook past golden brown sides and edges which may make them harden.

Step 6: Cool & Frosting

Once baked, take the cake pans out from the oven and place them on a rack to cool for several minutes. Remove the cake from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with [frosting] if desired.

Follow these steps and you will be rewarded with not just one but two scrumptious layers of sponge cakes!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to impress your guests with this impressive dessert
Get ready to impress your guests with this impressive dessert

One of the best things about this dairy-free sponge cake recipe is that it’s very versatile, and you can customize it to your tastes or needs. Here are a few suggestions for substitutions and variations:

– Gluten-Free: The recipe calls for plain flour or self-raising flour, which contain gluten. If you’re gluten intolerant, you can substitute them with gluten-free flour blends or almond flour. Keep in mind that different flours absorb moisture differently, so you may need to adjust the liquid or baking time accordingly.

– Lemon Cake: If you love citrusy desserts, you can add more lemon flavor to the sponge cake. Try adding the zest of two lemons and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the batter. You can also make a lemon glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice to drizzle on top of the cooled cake.

– Vegan Sponge Cake: If you’re looking for an eggless or dairy-free version of this recipe, you can use substitutes such as applesauce, mashed bananas or chia seeds instead of eggs. For the dairy-free component, use oat milk instead of regular milk.

– Chocolate Sponge Cake: To make a chocolate sponge cake, replace 1/4 cup (30g) of flour with unsweetened cocoa powder, add 1 tsp of baking soda to the dry ingredients and decrease the baking powder to 1 tsp. You may also need to increase the amount of sugar slightly since cocoa powder is more bitter than flour.

– Vanilla Bean Sponge Cake: For a fancy twist on this classic dessert, add one scraped vanilla bean to the egg and sugar mixture.

Remember that any changes in ingredients may affect the texture and taste of the original recipe. Nonetheless, experimenting with different flavors is always great fun in baking and sometimes yields surprisingly delicious results!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't let the lack of dairy fool you, this cake is full of flavor
Don’t let the lack of dairy fool you, this cake is full of flavor

One of the best things about this dairy-free sponge cake recipe is its versatility. It’s a cake that can be enjoyed all year round and suits any occasion, from birthdays to afternoon teas. Because it has a light texture and subtle sweetness, it pairs well with a wide range of toppings and drinks.

For a classic serving suggestion, I recommend pairing this sponge cake with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped coconut cream. The tartness of the berries cuts through the sweetness of the cake while the cream adds richness without any dairy. Alternatively, you could dust the top with some powdered sugar or drizzle it with dairy-free chocolate sauce for an indulgent treat.

If you’re looking for something more floral, try serving this cake with a side of Earl Grey tea. The citrusy notes in the tea complement the flavors of lemon in the cake perfectly.

For those who prefer something stronger, a cup of coffee would be ideal. You could also add a dash of vanilla to your coffee to match the cake’s vanilla undertones.

Overall, this sponge cake recipe is so versatile that you can pair it with almost anything! Its delicate flavor allows room for experimentation, and you simply cannot go wrong with this crowd-pleaser.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Whether you're cutting out dairy or not, this cake is a must-try recipe
Whether you’re cutting out dairy or not, this cake is a must-try recipe

Let’s be real, sometimes life gets busy and we don’t have the luxury of making a cake from scratch on the day we need it. That’s why I’m excited to share with you that this Dairy Free Sponge Cake recipe is perfect for making ahead of time! You can make it up to two days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you’re ready to serve, take the cake out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before slicing. If you find that the frosting has become a little stiff during storage, simply whisk with a spoon or spatula to loosen it up before unfurling it onto the cake.

If you want the freshly baked taste without having to put all the effort into it; don’t worry, we’ve got your back! This recipe reheats like a dream. Simply pop any leftovers in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10 minutes, and voilà! Your cake will taste like it was baking only moments ago.

Even better? You can freeze any leftover slices for up to two months! Make sure to wrap individual slices securely in plastic wrap before placing them in an airtight container for freezing.

Whether you’re looking for a make-ahead dessert or just want to enjoy leftover cake whenever you’d like, this Dairy Free Sponge Cake is definitely worth your effort. Trust me when I say that it’s going to be your new go-to recipe for any occasion!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A classic sponge cake made dairy-free? Yes, it's possible and we'll show you how
A classic sponge cake made dairy-free? Yes, it’s possible and we’ll show you how

Achieving a perfectly moist and fluffy sponge cake can be quite a challenge, but with the right tricks, anyone can bake a delicious gluten-free and dairy-free sponge cake that will blow every taste bud away. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when baking this vanilla sponge cake recipe.

Firstly, be sure to preheat your oven for at least 20 minutes before baking the cake. This not only ensures that the oven is at the required temperature, but it also helps to offer consistent heat throughout the baking process.

Using fresh ingredients like baking powder and cream of tartar are highly suggested as it makes sure your cake will rise perfectly. Old or stale ingredients won’t give you the desired results because they lose their essential elements like reacting with other ingredients in the batter.

One of the most critical steps when making this delicious dairy-free vanilla sponge cake is to mix the eggs and sugar correctly. Use an electric whisk on high speed and whip for at least 8-10 minutes until it forms a fluffy and light mixture. This method ensures that enough air is incorporated in the batter, resulting in a light texture with small air pockets that aren’t heavy or dense.

Sifting dry ingredients such as flour several times before adding them to the wet mixture can make a significant difference in your sponge’s overall texture. It avoids malformation from clumps of flour or lumps of baking powder further improving your mix consistency.

When folding flour into the egg mixture slowly, gently using circular motions rather than stirring aggressively will keep those vital tiny oxygen bubbles intact lending a hand in keeping everything light, soft, and airy.

Lastly, when placing your cakes into the oven try not to slam the cake tray down too hard; it eliminates extra air out of the batter, deflating instead of fluffing up your amazing sponge cake.

If you follow these tips correctly, your dairy-free sponge cake will turn out so wonderful that it will have you wondering why you weren’t doing it like that all along.


As a nutritionist, I’ve been answering questions about healthy eating for years. And as a food blogger, I’ve answered more than my fair share of baking-related queries. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this dairy-free sponge cake recipe that I hope will help you to making the perfect sponge cake every time.

Does sponge cake contain dairy?

Sponge cake, a classic dessert, can be made entirely dairy-free using only three simple ingredients: eggs, sugar, and flour. Unlike other cakes, no fats or leavening agents (such as baking soda or baking powder) are necessary to create a light and fluffy texture.

What cakes are dairy free?

As a nutritionist and food blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to explore a variety of delicious recipes that cater to people’s dietary preferences and restrictions. From carrot cake to vegan sponge cake to choc-cherry fudge tortes, the recipes I’ve come across are rated highly by those who have tried them. Blueberry & coconut cake has a rating of 4.8 out of 5, while carrot cake has a rating of 4.7 out of 5. Meanwhile, vegan sponge cake and gingered rich fruit cake received ratings of 3.8 and not rated, respectively. And if you’re a fan of chocolate, I highly recommend trying an easy vegan chocolate cake. These recipes offer a range of flavors and dietary options, making them perfect for anyone looking to indulge in healthy, organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free treats.

Why do you put milk in a sponge cake?

In the world of cake recipes, milk plays an important role in creating a lighter and stronger texture. Thanks to its protein and lactic acid content, it helps to activate other ingredients in the batter like baking soda and baking powder, which contribute to making the cake rise. However, it’s crucial to use just the right amount of milk to avoid making the cake too dense.

Can you use non dairy milk in cake mix?

When it comes to baking without dairy milk, it’s important to choose an alternative that can mimic the structure and texture of traditional milk. Soy milk, with its high protein content, is the perfect option for creating baked goods that require a sturdy foundation, such as breads and cakes.

Bottom Line

Wow! There you have it – an easy-to-make, delicious sponge cake recipe that is dairy-free and gluten-free. Trust me, this is a recipe you do not want to miss.

Not only is it incredibly simple to make, but the wholesome ingredients make it a guilt-free indulgence. Not to mention, the delightful aroma of fresh lemon rind and lemon juice will have everyone’s mouths watering.

So, give this recipe a try and let it impress your guests with its natural sweetness and impeccable texture. And believe me when I say that you don’t need to be a master baker or spend hours in the kitchen to achieve great results!

In conclusion, this dairy-free vanilla sponge cake recipe will certainly tick all your boxes if you’re looking for a dessert that is both healthy and divine. Baking doesn’t have to be complicated – take advantage of this adaptable recipe to substitute ingredients based on your dietary needs, preferences, or add some personal flare.

Now go ahead, bake yourself an A-star rated cake worthy of any special occasion – or just because you fancy a treat!

Sponge Cake - Dairy Free

Sponge Cake - Dairy Free Recipe

Enjoy a sponge cake without worry about dairy
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dairy-free
Servings 1 cake
Calories 2297.6 kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon rind, grated


  • In bowl, sift together flour, 1 cup sugar, salt and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar.
  • Beat until think.
  • Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until mixture is stiff.
  • In a third bowl combine egg yolks, water, vanilla, lemon juice and grated rind.
  • Add this to the dry mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  • Slowly fold in egg white, blending well.
  • Pour into ungreased 10 inch tube pan.
  • Bake for 40- 45 minutes at 350.
  • Invert pan and cool for 1 hour before removing cake from pan.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 872gCalories: 2297.6kcalCarbohydrates: 449.4gProtein: 57.1gFat: 30.4gSaturated Fat: 9.7gCholesterol: 1116mgSodium: 1199.7mgFiber: 5.5gSugar: 302g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dairy Free, Dessert, Free Of..., Healthy, Lactose-free
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