I’ve been rather uninspired to bake any type of cake lately, content to make muffins and cupcakes instead; but luckily for me, I took a look at Aspiring Bakers and was inspired again. This month’s theme is Swiss Rolling Good Times, and it’s the 9th edition, hosted by Lyn. I’m actually quite amazed at how our little group has grown and how active I’ve been in participating. To date, I have tried to submit at least one post for each theme, and I’m always excited to see what the other Aspiring Bakers come up with, because I tend to get inspired when blog-surfing. 
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of swiss rolls, which is kind of strange, because I like sponge cakes, which are essentially swiss rolls but flat. Anyway, I really like this sponge cake recipe a lot – I’ve been using this for a while now and been alternating this with another basic recipe when I need sponge cakes as a base for my other cakes. This recipe is probably the shortest you’ll see anywhere – it only consists of 3 ingredients! I’m not sure why though, when I finally decided to make a swiss roll out of it, the sponge cake didn’t turn out too good – it’s supposed to be a lot thicker than what you see in the photos but it turned out rather flat. I think it might be because I used a different sized pan and downsized the recipe incorrectly?

Basic Sponge Cake
Adapted from an unknown, very popular Japanese recipe a long time ago
Makes a 30cmx30cm cake
4       large eggs 
60g   castor sugar
40g   all-purpose flour
  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. 
  2. In a bowl, whisk 30g sugar into the yolks. Sift in the flour, stirring until you get a smooth paste. 
  3. In another bowl, whip up the egg whites until foamy, before adding the remaining 30g of sugar. Continue whipping until you get shiny, stiff peaks. Mix some of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it up before folding the remaining whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture. 
  4. Pour into a lined baking tray and rap the tray against the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. 
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tray for about 10 minutes before placing it on the cooling rack. 

To make it a swiss roll, 
  • To make your rolling easier, do roll up the cake while its still warm, right after removing it from the tray. Roll it together with your lined baking paper and leave it to cool, rolled up, on the cooling rack it’s cool enough to add your filling. 
  • As with any swiss roll, you can use any form of filling you want. If you wish for a whipped cream or buttercream filling, do prepare it while waiting for the cake to bake. I chose to go with my homemade strawberry-apple-rhubarb jam, which was slightly sweet and tart. Be generous with the filling, because otherwise, the cake will taste rather plain. 
  • You can choose to put your swiss roll in the fridge for the flavors to meld together or you can choose to slice it up and consume it right away!

Janine’s jots: 
  • Notes: I weigh my egg whites and yolks, and I tend to use about 120-130g of egg whites and 70-80g of egg yolk. Also, if you want a cake with a finer crumb, do swap the all-purpose flour with cake flour or substitute a little cornstarch with the all-purpose flour.
  • Taste: If you’re not a huge fan of the ‘egg-y’ smell, I would advise adding about 1tsp or less of vanilla extract. Otherwise, this makes a really nice sponge cake. 
  • Serving size: This recipe fits the 30cm by 30cm tray perfectly. I’ve tried using 3 eggs instead, and using a smaller 10-inch rectangular tray (the cake you see below).
  • Storage: The cake keeps well for weeks in the fridge! I’ve tried keeping it for a month before using it and it still tastes as good. At room temperature, it stores well for about 3-5 days. 
  • Would I make this again?: Definitely! I have been using this sponge cake recipe a lot, because I like the fact that it doesn’t use any form of oil or butter but still tastes as good, or it not better than those with!
Oops I can’t slice my swiss roll properly :/
I know the photographs aren’t too pretty and aren’t too convincing, mainly because I made this just before tea, so I was scrambling to get it done so that I could eat it! The other reason is really, I’m not that good at making swiss rolls. The many times I’ve tried, the cakes turn out to be failures – either they are too thin, or cracked, or just inedible. Although not too aesthetic, I’ve to say that this was a pretty good attempt on my part, after the many failures. I’ll definitely do trying this again (making my recipe into a swiss roll) so that I can convince some of you out there to try this. It’s a really simple and short recipe, and produces fantastic results! 


  1. You roll your cake really well! Only 3 ingredients? Wow, this is really simple, the trick is the rolling part, which I am not very good at!
    I have not even made a swiss roll this month to participate! Only two days left!

  2. You made with only 3 ingredients? Amazing! And it looks so soft and spongy!

  3. hanushi says:

    3 ingredients and no oil? This recipe is certainly interesting. 🙂

  4. Janine says:

    @Joyce: thanks! yup the trick is to roll it when it’s warm! hurry bake a swiss roll to participate ;p

    @ssb: thanks 🙂

    @hanushi: yup i found it interesting and tried it, and have never regretted trying it!

  5. sotong says:

    this has got to be the simplest sponge cake recipe ever! and your swiss roll is rolled up nicely, and the skin is browned evenly.
    i’ve always had problems with the skin of my swiss rolls peeling and looking ugly and had to roll them inside out/upside down to hide!

  6. sotong says:

    yahooo! finally i can post comment!

  7. Tina V. says:

    The roll looks adorable 🙂
    I have a confession – I’ve never made a sweet roll 😛
    Building up my courage to do it 😀

  8. Viv says:

    im also not a huge fan of the swiss roll too janine!! but do love sponge cake too! this def has the short ingredient outta any ive seen! 🙂 have you got your other sponge cake recipe posted somewhere on ur blog?

  9. Kirbie says:

    Like you, I’m not a big fan of swiss rolls even though I love sponge cake. I am curious to try making one though after seeing all these posts for the Aspiring Baker’s challenge. The sponge cake recipe looks so interesting with so few ingredients. I think I want try it to make a regular sponge cake and maybe attempt the swiss roll at some point.

  10. Janine says:

    @Sotong: yeah this is actually the first recipe that I didn’t have peeling skin!

    @Tina: do try making your first, you won’t regret it 😀

    @Viv: Nope I have not, but will be getting there soon!

    @Kirbie: I’ve tried this as a sponge cake, ie layered with some buttercream in the centre and it’s pretty darn fantastic if I should say so myself ;p

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