Twins Judy and Joy: Nana's Sponge Cake, a family favorite

Finally after years of talking about this, we found the Sponge Cake recipe! It is a recipe our mom has been raving about for years. Every time we ask her a question about any cake recipe we want to write about, she always says, “I wish I could find Nana’s sponge cake recipe. Oh, how she used to whip the eggs and the sugar by hand!”

The Italian sponge cake is the most popular type of cake in Italy. Like the famous Genoise cake from France, this sponge-like cake serves as a foundation for many wonderful and very elaborate desserts. It keeps well and sometimes Nana would call it a “keeping cake” because it could be dried and kept for a long time and still taste amazing when soaked in fruit syrups or any soaking liquids. Her favorite way to use the dried-out cake would be for tiramisu or just simply toast slices in the oven and then slather them with sweet butter and homemade jelly.


But today we are talking about serving it for the Thanksgiving holiday. It is light, delicate and spongy. Served with any fruit, it is perfect after the heavy holiday meal. Papa's favorite whipped cream sweetened with sugar and vanilla just takes it over the top!!

In the next few weeks we will be sharing our family favorite recipes for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We would love to hear from you on our Facebook page and tell us all our treasured family favorites as well.

Nana's Italian Sponge Cake

The perfect choice for after the very heavy holiday meal! Light and spongy with hints of Sambuca — delish!

9 eggs

1-1/2 cups sugar (we used our favorite vanilla sugar)*

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons lemon extract

2 teaspoons Sambuca

1-1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine the eggs and the sugar in bowl of mixer and mix for 10 minutes on high speed. Add oil and all the extracts. Now add dry ingredients. Prepare your tube pan or bundt pan by greasing and flouring perfectly. Pour into pan of choice and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until top is golden. Test with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through. Every oven is slightly different. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and turn out into serving plate.

Chantilly Cream

Delicately sweet, this whipped cream was a favorite of our Nana’s. Judy and I use it as much as we can! It is a perfect choice for any dessert, or even a big dollop in coffee!

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons confectionary sugar, sifted; more, if needed

Combine all and whip until stiff peaks form, taste and add more vanilla or sugar to your liking.

*Vanilla sugar – 2 cups of white sugar and 1 or 2 vanilla beans. Split beans and push into sugar. Store in an airtight container and swirl container around for a few days so vanilla can perfume the sugar.