Image: Gluten Free Sponge Cake

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

This gluten free sponge cake is a great way to have your cake and eat it, too! – any way you desire. Fill it with sweetened whipped cream or custard, and strawberries, to make a gluten free shortcake. If you make mini shortcakes, it will almost be like those little sponge cakes you can purchase in a package during strawberry season. Just halve them if you prefer that size. Add chocolate ganache to middle and top layers or one or the other; add strawberries or cherry pie filling, and add whipped cream or custard to both or just one layer. You may also break this gluten free sponge cake in pieces and create a parfait. The possibilities are endless! See all of the gluten free recipes below.

Gluten Free Sponge Cake


Yield: Makes 4 to 5 mini sponge cakes or one 10-inch round

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

Whether it's strawberry season or not, you can make gluten free strawberry short cake with frozen strawberries and this wonderful gluten free sponge cake; or make a 2-layer cake!


    For the Sponge Cake:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated when ready to use
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Carla's Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if not using a flour mixture which contains baking soda)
  • For the Strawberry Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 8 ounces fresh or thawed, frozen, unsweetened strawberries, sliced, including juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • See The Perfect Whipped Cream Recipe
  • For the Ganache:
  • See the Gluten Free Ganache Recipe


    To Make the Sponge Cakes:
  1. Oil an 8 - 10-inch spring form pan or 4 mini spring form pans. Line bottom with parchment paper. Then oil the top of the parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar on high for 3 minutes, scraping bowl if needed.
  4. Pour in hot water a tiny bit at a time over about 1 1/2 minutes while mixer is running on high speed. You want to beat air into the batter.
  5. Allow to cool for 2 minutes and then add in vanilla; blend in well on low speed.
  6. Gradually add flour, mixing on low speed until smooth.
  7. Pour mixture into another bowl. Clean out mixing bowl and beater(s). Beat egg whites to firm stiff peaks, about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes in a KitchenAid mixer,
  8. Add cake batter, and fold into egg whites by hand or with your mixer's paddle tool (or dough hook, if that is all you have) on very low speed. Over mixing will cause those air bubbles in your egg whites to pop, creating a heavier cake.
  9. Pour into prepared 10" spring form pan or distribute even amounts in 4 mini spring form pans, a little more than half full; smooth out the tops (do not hit on counter to even, as this will cause the air bubbles to surface or pop).
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cake springs back up when pressed with finger tips.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in pan. The sooner removed, the better.
  12. Unlock spring form pan. Turn upside down onto a cooling rack lined with parchment paper. Gently remove the spring form ring. With the tip of a sharp knife, separate cake edges from bottom disk, if necessary. Remove parchment paper. Allow to cool completely upside down on parchment lined cooling rack. To speed up cooling, flip over once.
  13. Slice in half, horizontally, and add your filling(s) of choice and top with your favorite topping.
  14. Serve immediately; freeze assembled; or sliced in half, ad parchment paper between slices and store in freezer bags. Thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending upon size.
  15. To make the Strawberry Sauce:
  16. Mix water and starch together in a saucepan.
  17. Add strawberries and sugar; stir gently with a fork.
  18. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened, about 1 minute, or so.
  19. Refrigerate until well chilled or place in the freezer to speed up cooling. Stir occasionally. Do not allow to freeze. Use to layer shortcake slices.


Double recipe for a 3-layer (1-1/4-inch high) sponge cake and use three 8-inch round pans; keep baking time to 25 minutes.

If you prefer to make smaller, mini shortcakes, bake in 2 batches, filling mini pans between 1/4 and 1/3 the way with batter and lessen baking time, if needed.

If you desire to make 5 mini shortcakes, fill each about half way full.

Reserve 4 - 5 strawberry halves before cooking the strawberry sauce. Once the sauce is chilled, coat with the sauce and add to the top of the cake for garnish.

You may also be interested in Gluten Free Tiramisu Cake, which calls for this gluten free sponge cake recipe. Check it out to see the texture of the cake.

7 comments on “Gluten Free Sponge CakeAdd yours →

  1. I made this last might for a dinner party and it came out wonderfully. Everyone loved it! My hubby (gluten sensitive) loved that it didn’t have an obviously gluten-free taste/texture.
    I used coconut sugar, so it came out looking more like a gingerbread but it stayed moist 4 hours at room temp in a Tupperware container. (I was a little worried with your comment on serving immediately or freezing)

    1. Hi Missy,

      FYI – I just updated this recipe. If you’d like to take a look at what the inside of the cake looks like, take a peak at my tiramisu recipe: .

      In regards to substituting honey for sugar, is a bit trickier than other types of sugar. Honey makes baked goods softer, and will require additional gums, whether they be xanthan or guar gum. Your friend may wish to increase the xanthan gum in my Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend, or add some additional gum to this recipe. My cake flour blend contains 2/3 teaspoon per cup, therefore, I would suggest experimenting by adding about 1/4 teaspoon to start. In addition, the liquid will need to be reduced. If making a single recipe it calls for 1/4 cup water + 1 tablespoon of water. I would reduce the water as much as 1/4 cup, no more.

      It is best to freeze any unconsumed cake, as honey tends to soften baked goods by grabbing the moisture in the air, and all baked goods do this in the refrigerator. You will need to expect, though, that the cake will taste like honey, and it will be more dense, as the sugar crystals create a good crumb, where honey has no crystals.

      I hope it works out well! If you’re friend cannot have sugar, something is better than nothing, I suppose. I haven’t tried a sugar to honey conversion in this recipe. Each recipe tends to work out differently, as higher protein flours such as sorghum, millet, etc. absorb more liquid.

      Happy upcoming Thanksgiving to you!


  2. Hi, I just went to make the sponge cake and in the directions it tells you to add water but it’s not listed in the ingredients. Should there be water in the ingredients and how much? I can’t wait to try this!!

    1. I forgot about this, Tracy. I was out of town when someone brought this to my attention. The 1/4 cup of water is now added to the ingredients above. So sorry! My readers are my proofreaders, as well! :-)


  3. In the Ingredients list for GF Sponge Cake, you do not mention water, but Direction #4 says to pour in hot water. How much hot water? Thanks. Looks delicious!

    1. Oh gee, Jeannie,

      I don’t recall anything about the water. I’m out of town right now, but when I get back home this weekend and settle in I will look up in my Joy of Cooking cookbook to see what I may have done.

      By the way, I froze a couple of these and my husband stated that it still seemed pretty fresh.


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