Sweet Tweaks: Pumpkin Sponge Cake Recipe

Sweet Tweaks: Pumpkin Sponge Cake Recipe

For our second Sweet Tweaks contest, we're hoping to harness a bit of your Halloween enthusiasm (and maybe turn up a few tasty Thanksgiving dessert ideas) with a moist, fragrant pumpkin sponge cake. Though this cake is generally used as the basis for the popular and delicious pumpkin roll cake (pumpkin sponge cake spread with cream cheese buttercream and rolled up into a log), it seems to us that it's got a lot more potential. So, stuff it, layer it, toast it--anything--just tweak it and have fun!

As with the last contest, we ask that you keep the original recipe somehow recognizable and significant in your entries.

How to Enter

Get the Recipe: It follows, after the jump. Then tweak it in some way, as described above
Submit your Sweet Tweak to: [email protected]
Include: A brief description (30 words or thereabouts). A photo or two (increases your chance of winning)
Deadline: 10 a.m. ET, Monday, November 3, 2008

  • Yield:1 eleven-by-fifteen-inch sheet of cake


  • 3 large egg yolk
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar, divided (210g)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned, 160g)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (90g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 11-by-15-inch baking sheet (jelly roll pan) and line the bottom of the pan with wax paper or parchment. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Whip on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture is very light and thick.

  3. 3.

    Mix lemon juice with pumpkin purée, and gently mix into yolk mixture.

  4. 4.

    Sift together flour, baking powder and spices (I usually recommend whisking over sifting, but in this case, sifting is the best bet). Add to yolk mixture and mix until homogenous.

  5. 5.

    In a medium, immaculately clean metal or glass mixing bowl whip the egg whites until foamy, then add a pinch of the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue whipping the whites, adding the remaining sugar little by little until firm peaks form.

  6. 6.

    Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture until well incorporated.

  7. 7.

    Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch.