Mrs. Whitehead’s Sponge Cake

For Women’s History Month, the recipes selected from Louisa Macculloch’s handwritten cookbook were chosen because the recipe includes the names of the women who shared the recipe with her.  Searching through the sources from the North Jersey History and Genealogy Center at the Morristown Morris Township Library, records exist for the Whitehead family who lived and worked in Morristown. The “Mrs. Whitehead” attributed to the recipe is most likely from this family.

The first written mention of sponge cake dates to 1615 but was not similar to the sponge cake we enjoy today. By the mid-18th century, the technique of beating eggs to lighten the cake’s texture became more common.

Original Recipe: Mrs. Whitehead’s Sponge Cake

3 eggs

1 ½ cups of milk

1 cup of sugar

2 ½ of flour

a very small piece of butter

a spoonful of soda

two of cream of tartar

Adapted Recipe: Mrs. Whitehead’s Sponge Cake

3 eggs

1 ½ cups of milk

1 cup of sugar

2 ½ cups of flour

3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whip eggs in stand mixer. Add sugar gradually and continue whipping for 15 minutes.

In separate bowl sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Fold in half of the flour. Gently add milk and melted butter. Fold in the other half of flour. Do not overmix.

Pour into greased pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and fruit.

A slice of yellow sponge cake topped with whipped cream and blueberries on a blue and white china plate.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: 1, Primary, Elementary, Life Long Learner

Mrs. Whitehead’s Sponge Cake Photo Gallery

Yellow sponge cake batter in an aluminum Bundt pan.