This is one of my husband’s family recipes that I have recently discovered. The original name of this recipe was ‘Dad’s Sponge’, and the ‘Dad’ is Theo, my husband’s grandfather. The recipe was written by Joan, one of Theo’s daughters. I couldn’t resist to make this sponge that Theo loved.

The recipe requires 1 cup Custard Powder. I baked the first cake using 1 cup Custard Powder, and that created overpowering artificial vanilla smell and strikingly yellow colour. I decided to reduce the amount to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup Corn Starch, as Custard Powder is mostly Corn Starch.

This cake expands amazingly. I used 21cm round tin and it was almost too small. Please see the photo below. If you want to bake 1 cake, use a larger cake tin and reduce Sugar, so that the cake won’t get brown too soon. I recommend to use two 20-22cm cake tins.

Cake Tin

2 x 20-22cm Round Cake Tins *OR 22cm (OR larger) Round Cake Tin


4 Egg Whites *room temperature
3/4 cup Caster Sugar *reduce to 1/2 cup if you bake 1 large cake, and also if you prefer less sweet cake
4 Egg Yolks *room temperature
1/2 cup Custard Powder
1/2 cup Corn Starch Flour
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/2 teaspoon Bi-Carb Soda

  1. Preheat oven to 170℃. Grease OR line the base and sides of two 20-22cm round cake tins, OR a 22cm (OR larger) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, blend Custard Powder, Corn Starch Flour, Cream of Tartar and Bi-Carb Soda.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whisk Egg Whites in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Add Sugar gradually and whisk well. Then add Egg Yolks and whisk until well combined.
  4. Gradually sift Dry Ingredient mixture over the Egg mixture while folding in with a large spoon or spatula, and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into 2 tins (OR 1 large tin) and gently drop on the bench a few times to remove bubbles in the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until cakes spring back when gently touched.
  6. *Note: If you bake 1 large cake, it takes about 30 minutes. If you don’t reduce the amount of Sugar, the cake would get very dark brown.
  7. Turn out on a wire rack. Carefully peel away baking paper if you lined the tins, then leave to cool.
  8. *Note: I sandwiched whipped Cream and Strawberries with two cakes for the above photo. I used 23cm deep pie dish with 20cm base.
  9. *Note: The photo below is the same cake that is baked in a 21cm cake tin and the tin was almost too small. It would be safe to use a larger size tin.