Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Pan di Spagna

Pan di Spagna may literally be translated as "bread of Spain" but between you and I, you can just call it a sponge cake.

It's a pretty simple recipe - eggs, sugar and flour - to which you might add flavourings such as vanilla, lemon & orange zest or cocoa powder if you'd like to make a chocolate pan di spagna.

When it comes to flour, my mother likes to use a mix of plain and potato flour but I've decided to make one using all potato flour - which means this pan di spagna is gluten free.

pan di spagna© by Haalo



2 eggs, separated
50 grams icing sugar, divided
50 grams potato flour
vanilla extract

Beat the egg yolks with 25grams of icing sugar until light and fluffy and the mixture feels smooth between the fingertips. Drizzle in the extract and beat to combine. Sift in the potato flour and fold through until just incorporated.

Beat the egg whites until fluffy and then add the rest of the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition.

Add a large spoonful of eggwhite to the cake batter and fold through to slaken the mix - add the rest of the eggwhite a third at a time, gently folding it through to ensure as much air is kept in the mix.

Butter and flour your cake pan - line the base with baking paper. Pour in the cake batter and carefully smooth the surface. Bake in a preheated 170°C oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and cooked through. A good sign it's done is when you see it pulling away from the pan.

Let it sit in the pan for a few minutes before unmoulding - leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

pan di spagna© by Haalo

For this cake I've soaked the the layers in a mix of vanilla vodka and sugar syrup and then topped it with crema pasticceria and vanilla macerated strawberries.


  1. It always sounds so easy to make pan di spagna when reading recipes, but it's always a battle for me then while baking :-) ... sometimes too thick, sometimes awfully flattening in the centre :-), but will try your recipe, maybe potato flour helps! :-)

    1. I think a lot of it has to do with getting the sugar dissolved into the eggs and I find that when I use icing sugar this isn't a problem and the cakes have turned out beautifully risen and flat topped. Love to know if the recipe works!

  2. Very nice! Crema and pan di Spagna are perfect together.

    1. Thanks Simona - it's a very hard match to beat!

  3. Pues me gusta la receta, pero aqui en España no existe una receta que se llame asi. Besos

  4. Soaked with Vanilla Vodka,Haalo?
    You caught me with that one! ;-D
    I usually use rice flour, but will try your recipe (vanilla vodka included!)


    1. Thanks Brii - vanilla vodka and strawberries are a good match. If I wasn't using strawberries, I like to use frangelico and then add crushed roasted hazelnut to the cream.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It's look fantasticly!
      I'm trying make PAN DI SPAGNA ;D
      I invite to my blog http://amityisatree-moonlee.blogspot.com/


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