Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe

The quantities shown and instructions are for baking ONE cake. If you are baking for a birthday cake, please check the number of cakes required as this may need to be doubled.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C on standard bake (135–140°C on fan bake, but avoid using fan bake as it causes excessive peaking during baking). Prepare cake tins by spraying liberally with oil spray.
  2. Combine butter, white chocolate drops, caster sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water until everything has melted together and the sugar crystals have dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool down slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the two flours together, then stir into the melted mixture along with the lightly beaten eggs. Mix gently until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour 40 minutes, checking the cake regularly during the last quarter of cooking time, or until a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
  5. Leave the cake in the tin for 30 minutes before removing, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool. Once fully cooled, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container if you plan to decorate it the following day, or wrap it in tinfoil followed by plastic wrap and then freeze it. 

Note: If you know your baking isn’t cooked through but it’s looking golden and crusty on top, carefully place a sheet of tinfoil on top of the cake. This will stop it from getting any darker on top but will allow the cake to continue cooking until it’s fully done.

Meal Type:
Sweet treat
Prep Time:
1 hour
Cooking Time:
2-3 hours including rest time
The Great New Zealand Birthday Cake Book


For 1 round (15 cm) vanilla cake:

15 cm round Cake tin

140 g Pams butter

85 g Pams white chocolate drops

230 g Pams caster sugar

165 ml Pams whole milk

¾ tsp Pams vanilla extract

110 g Pams plain flour

105 g Pams self-raising flour

110 g (2-3 eggs approx.) Pams eggs, lightly beaten

For 1 round (20 cm) vanilla cake:

20 cm round Cake tin

285 g Pams butter

170 g Pams white chocolate drops

465 g Pams caster sugar

330 ml Pams whole milk

1½ tsp Pams vanilla extract

225 g Pams plain flour

210 g Pams self-raising flour

225 g (4-5 eggs approx.) Pams eggs, lightly beaten